Thursday, March 17, 2011

Scams and Execution

I am sorry about the lack of posts. I started a new job about a month ago, and it has already taken over my life in that I have not been able to leave work before 10pm for two nights in a row. So much for the nine to five job I was offered.


The scam cup came and went. Like Spanny and Lauren Hopkins, I think the right decision was made. Many have said that Wieber did not earn her score in floor, but I agree with many others who say that Mustafina did not earn her scores in beam and vault.

However, if the code of points punished crap execution more, there would be no debate.

Consider this, exhibit A:

Look at the last pass. In that pass, in case you did not notice, Zmeskal did not control her power sufficiently and she stepped out. That was the competition done for her right there. In that moment, the commentators could confidently say she would not take home a medal. They were right.

Now, there is exhibit B:

It is hard to miss her fall, which is a much bigger mistake that Zmeskal's. The commentators thought the gold medal was gone for her. They were wrong. In the American cup, the ladies in first and second both had falls, as did most of the competitors.

Why? The bottom line is that Zmeskal and her competitors knew that they could not step out, let alone fall. Now, competitors chuck all the difficulty they can, and hope the will stay on.

Even if they don't, winning is still possible.

Once the new COP revision comes up, FIG is going to have to work out what it really wants. Does it want ever-increasing difficulty with people chucking skills to get a few tenths whilst knowing that crappy form is a-o-kay. Or do they want some cleaner gymnastics.

If we have to stay open ended, falls need to be docked at least two points. Small deductions need to be 0.3 or more. 0.1 is not enough. A huge bobble needs to be 1.0.

Right now, chucking fugly skills is worth it. This risks falls, injury and sore eyes for spectators. When a Patterson is well done, like Patterson herself did it, I want to watch. Ditto Tweedle on bars, ditto Rosu's Amanar. But I prefer a well done layout full over any of those skills done with ugly form.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Past gymnastics with present scoring

Many gymnastics fans crave the return of the perfect ten and the old scoring system. But I can imagine that some past gymnasts watching the current scoring a rewarding of difficulty, and wishing that the present system had been around when they were competing.

The first gymnast that comes to mind when thinking about this topic is Yelena Produnova. Produnova had amazing skills, and she was not rewarded for them at the time. On vault, she did a handspring double, which is usually a vault done by men. I have not heard of any other women doing this vault. Some commentators mentioned that this vault should be biomechanically impossible for a women. Apparently, the judges did not like it because it they feared for her safety.

I can see why this vault was not well liked. She consistently landed it in a squat, but if Produnova were doing this vault today, she would be well rewarded for doing this vault. Even if she fell over, she would beat a lot of DTY-ers.

Her floor was also pretty amazing.

Double arabian into a front tuck... then a layout into a double front. Those are two amazingly difficult passes! How many people do those now? Now, they would be rewarded for them. Not so much then. I know that Produnova was partly doing lots of forward tumbling to cope with an injury, but still, her skill-set is pretty much unmatched, even now.

The next gymnast I think of is Maloney. Maloney has been criticised for her lack of form and style, but could she ever tumble! Her passes included a double layout, a full twisting double layout and a whip to triple twist. Again, I think she would have done better had the current scoring system been in place when she was an elite.

I know that the open ended scoring system is not liked by everyone. When I see people chucking big bad skills, (cough, Nabieva, cough) I yearn for beautiful execution to come into play over difficulty.

But some good things have came out of the open-ended system. Bars has become much more spectacular. And if any people like Produnova and Maloney turn up, they will be recognised for their difficulty.

Yes, I am a bit of a Pollyanna with this, but the fact is that the old scoring system had problems too. That is why they changed it.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gymnastics Therapy: Part two

A few days late, but here are a few more all-time favourites that I watch to cheer myself up.