Just the Good Stuff: Women’s All-Around Final

What you need to know, in quick, easily digestible bullet points.

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  • So that didn’t go…quite as planned
  • But much like the women’s team final, if you didn’t watch the meet and simply looked at the podium of Biles, Murakami, and Hurd, you would be like, “…I mean yeah?”
  • You might be slightly surprised that Murakami finished ahead of Hurd, but otherwise…I mean yeah?
  • Oh dear, sweet, naïve, stupid baby, there is so much you don’t understand
  • Let’s start with Simone
  • Simone had…we’ll say…her worst meet since 2013 Classic?
  • It began with the Biles, on which it seemed like she got negative block (by Simone standards), sitting down like she hasn’t done on a vault since the Mesozoic
  • Perhaps the most surprising thing, however, was that the rest meet didn’t turn into “ANGER SIMONE BAM BAM HIT” like we’ve seen so many times before following a mistake
  • The mistake was instead compounded on beam, where she fell on that damn barani
  • THAT DAMN BARANI, you guys
  • That damn barani
  • Backstory if you haven’t been here for the last three years: I fully believe that Simone could do pretty much any acro skill in the CoP, so I’ve never understood why Chest Down Charlie is the one they go with. It always looks like a center-of-gravity disaster waiting to happen
  • You know that thing where it’s the second semester of senior year and you phone in a trash paper in 30 seconds and still get an A for it and you’re like, “Oh, sweetie, no. It wasn’t”? That’s how I imagine Simone feels about today
  • Anyway, the other two events were fine (an OOB but whatever), so Simone won the world title by about 1.7, proving that the current answer to the “How many times could Simone fall…?” question is “almost four.”
  • But should you be able to fall twice and still win the world AA title?
  • ……No?
  • Simone finished 13th in this final on execution score, so the win was almost entirely based on her difficulty
  • Difficulty must be taken into account and rewarded of course, but it shouldn’t be so significant that it completely outweighs hitting routines—just like anyone who falls on vault shouldn’t be able to medal in the vault final because…you didn’t successfully do the thing you’re getting a medal for
  • So when Simone wins gold for a meet like this, it feels like she’s getting a medal for what she’s capable of doing, rather than what she did on the day
  • At the same time, she really is that much better than the rest of the field so that a missed barani doesn’t suddenly render her worse than the other competitors or render the rest of her excellent beam skills irrelevant, and that’s exactly what this code of points rewards
  • So it’s not that Simone doesn’t DESERVE gold among the rest of this field—she does because of her superior ability. Any other competitor in the field ALSO would have fallen if they attempted that vault, and if the goal of a competition is to find the best gymnast and rank her first, you found the best gymnast and ranked her first
  • But, a sport that rewards capability and potential over the actual performance on the day will fall flat as a viewing experience
  • Simone can crash 80 billion times and still win…so does it even matter? Why even have the competition? We already know what’s going to happen before it starts
  • Thankfully for this particular meet’s sake, we had an insanely close fight for the remaining places among Murakami, Hurd, Derwael, Melnikova, and De Jesus Dos Santos that spiced things up and reinvigorated the inevitable
  • Going into the final rotation, this peloton truly could have ended in any order
  • Even after the final rotation, they still could have ended in any order with less than two tenths separating them all. Eight different sets of judges using the same code of points would have had them in eight different orders
  • None fell, but for almost all of them, the ultimate standings came down to the severity of the medium-sized mistakes that they did make
  • For Hurd, it was grabbing the beam on her side aerial—the most significant issue for any of them and enough to undercut the execution advantage she was accumulating on the other pristine events
  • Murakami had smaller mistakes, falling out of a turn on floor and the general amplitude and handstand issues on bars, which allowed her just barely to overcome Hurd’s 0.3 D-score advantage and take the silver, knocking Hurd to bronze
  • De Jesus Dos Santos had the D-score edge among the group, but she was never quite able to get out from under a 13.500 on bars for an arched handstand, which took her down to 6th place
  • Melnikova continued showing us that she is now the princess of consistency and a deserving winner of the Longines Prize for Most Ladylike Cotillion or whatever, but with some real landing problems on floor and a lunge and three hops on vault (which should have added up to 0.6 off just for landing steps), she dropped down to 5th
  • That brings us to Nina Derwael. Nina doesn’t fit into the same tale as the rest of this group. She had no medium-sized mistakes. Derwael performed an intensely clean competition, allowing her to win the E score crown by more than 6 tenths over Murakami
  • It was simply a lack of equivalent difficulty that put Derwael into 4th. Her floor and vault D scores are miles behind the rest of the lead challengers, so while her execution nearly overcame that, it wasn’t quite enough
  • It’s the exact opposite of Simone’s situation today and illustrates the observe side of this tenuous balance between difficulty and execution. You want a CoP to reward both execution and difficulty, but which one more? (*cough* execution *cough*) And how much lack of difficulty should execution be able to overcome?
  • In this CoP, Derwael’s huge bars difficulty is able to make up for lower difficulty on one of those two lower-D events, but not both
  • That’s why I’m not too outraged about Derwael in 4th. She was absolutely rewarded for her execution (I mean, she finished FOURTH…for BELGIUM), but her VT/FX difficulty isn’t really up to the standard for a world AA medalist in the current age. And that should matter some
  • Chen Yile hit a complete four events (even beam) and took 7th, which must be gratifying after the competition she had on beam to this point
  • Flavia Saraiva was being perfect on beam and then fell on a layout stepout to take 8th. *swallow me whole, sweet lava lake*
  • Ellie Black is the one medal contender who didn’t end up neck-and-neck with the others at the end after falling on bars in the second rotation. Or so we’re told. The Ellie Black cam was not in effect in this meet.
  • I feel like the whole mood of today’s competition can be summed up by “Ellie Black fell”
  • Actually, no, it can be summed by “Brooklyn Moors finished last”
  • If Brooklyn Moors is last, I don’t want to be first

70 thoughts on “Just the Good Stuff: Women’s All-Around Final”

    1. I loved Kim Jacobs barani when she competed at Alabama. Is it the skill you don’t like or just the way Biles does it?

    1. I feel like we’re going to have a similar execution vs. difficulty debate once NCAA gets going and everyone is going to be upset when the gymnasts who do a lot of difficulty end up getting low scores for one mistake, while gymnasts who play it safe get 9.975s or 9.95 on vault for a FTY.

  1. Figure Skating found itself in a similar position in the last quad. It had become a splat-fest because trying a triple/quad jump and crashing was still worth more so much more than landing a double cleanly. In this quad’s code they’ve made changes to put more weight on landing the clean skill to try and balance the risk/reward equation for those high difficultly skills.

    1. Yes! I thought of this during today’s competition as well. Let’s hope they find a way to balance the two more evenly in gymnastics.

  2. Simone’s performance in the AA raises the question of why she needs to do 4 events during team finals. Why tire her out so that she performs at 60% during the AA? The two gymnasts who qualify for AA should not do 4 events during TF when the gold is a lock.

    (Hey, Ukraine, when you get Oleg back to strength, don’t waste him during your hopeless TF competition. Save him for the AA where he has gold medal chances.)

    I think Simone’s fall on the Barani on beam wasn’t as bad as the fall on vault. The fall on beam happened because she wasn’t centered on beam, but the skill was completed fully. Her vault was really, really short. It wasn’t just a fall, it should have been deducted much more severely for basically only being 3/4 of the flip around.

    Vault is one gymnastics element, and everything about it needs to be judged harshly. The judges aren’t as strict as they should be on vault.

    1. OMg do yall even watch the interviews after the competition before you go into your arm chair psycho analysis? Simone WASNT TIRED. SHE WASNT EXHAUSTED FROM TEAM FINALS, IT WASNT HER KIDNEY STONE… From her own mouth she stated, SHE WAS REALLY GOING FOR A STICK, she wanted to stick it, so she said she under cooked it trying for the stick. Now she said she wants to do it in finals, and will def use all her power so that never happens again. I can give the link sis, but it might put your whole analysis to sleep. lol

  3. Spencer, i love your blog and your humor. You are amazing. That Simone question is soooo controversal. I don’t know if it was enough to summon up a CoP change, but..

  4. Great analysis! I agree…Simone won by what she’s capable of, not what she did. Hard to know that a gymnast fell twice and still won a competition.

  5. What if execution was 66% of a gymnast’s score instead of the current 50%? This would discourage messy skill-chucking and not put power gymnasts at such great advantage over gymnasts who execute clean but lower difficulty routines.

    1. But e-score already gets the majority of the weight because it starts from a 10.0, whereas most D-scores start from a 6.0 (and usually less). So when you have a 8.0 E and 5.0 D, the e-score is about 62%.

      1. I agree that E-score (out of a 10) is weighed more heavily than D-score (for example, out of a 6) for each individual’s score. The issue is that E-score does not separate gymnasts as much as the D-score. The E-score variance is very low, so gymnasts are still mainly separated by their D-scores which has greater variance. Create more variance in the E-score so that gymnasts are ranked by E-score as well as D-score. Simone should not be rewarded for that hideous vault today, even if it is the most difficult in the world. Her E-score was embarrassingly high and is a call for judging change. If she weren’t Simone, all of us would be up in arms over that score.

    2. I find myself agreeing with Grace to an extent. That a gymnast can crash a vault and still get 8 out of 10 in execution of that vault is ludicrous, in my opinion. A crashed vault is not a good vault. The landing should be worth more the 20% of the total mark of the vault.

      1. I think it’s not so much the landing, as the fact she didn’t finish the vault. If she had landed well and taken a step and stubbed her toe and fell on her face, that would be a landing error. This vault did not have a landing error. It was the vault itself that was the problem.

  6. Is that simone looking at the sky and laughing hysterically because of how crazy things went today? lol…

  7. I feel like there are a million valid arguments, approximately half a million of which you covered in your recap, and many of which I’ll be repeating.

    Watching it live was crazy, having years shaved off my life was crazy, but it’s especially crazy that the end result came thisclose to having both generalized sides of the difficulty vs execution argument on the podium. Nina was the equivalent of one baby spider attack on Morgan or Mai away from getting bronze. She didn’t even need the spider to chase them out of bounds or, like, get stuck in their leos and make them do a wild spider attack dance.

    (Speaking of, have we considered that the secret to Belgian floor choreo is a spider in the leo?)

    I don’t think it can be emphasized enough that Simone gets high numbers in both D and E, that she does skills that she is capable of performing on a regular basis, and that she performs those skills very well on a regular basis. She’s using the code to her advantage, sure, same as anyone else, but she’s also constantly improving, upgrading where she can and smoothing out areas that need attention. From what I can tell (ps I am not Simone), she’s doing what she’s doing because she loves the sport and because she holds herself to high standards. In a lot of ways, she’s demonstrating the best of what this code can inspire.

    If people want to be mad about D outweighing E, go for it, but I truly feel like she’s the wrong target, even if she’s the most obvious one at the moment.

    Similarly, people would be foolish to come at Nina for relying on E when she’s continued to push her D on bars, which she’s already performing at the highest level in the world, as well as the other apparatuses. If she wants to keep going for AA—which, duh, she totally should—then she knows exactly what she has to do, and it doesn’t require her throwing bonkers, life-ending skills.

    I really feel like this isn’t enough of a cut-and-dry “person with big ol’ sloppy skills runs away with the prize while the living Degas painting withers into nothingness” kind of situation that makes one argument more valid than any other. I also feel like it’s possible to dislike one style over the other without thinking the whole system is garbage.

    How the current standings of Simone vs the world influence the excitement of a competition is a debate with a lot more mileage, I think, particularly in terms of figuring out how to make it more exciting without overhauling the code. IMO, alternating countries in the team final lineups seemed to help! Not that that helps with AA but whatever I’m ending my novel here.

  8. Everyone is going to complain inevitably about Simone winning with 2 falls but we have to remember… she REALLY is that much better than everyone else. Plus the global competition has been weaker for the women this quad which only makes Simone seem more dominant. I mean look at China’s floor difficulty….and FTY’s in AA finals…

  9. I have mixed feelings about Simone being able to win with two falls. I would have loved her to win today without the asterisk those falls are going to put on things. That said, I’m usually firmly on the side of “please don’t do that if you can’t do it well *coughrussiacough*” when it comes to adding difficulty. People shouldn’t be able to chuck skills and win purely off of that. Except Simone isn’t out there putting up overall poor execution with big difficulty.

    Falls stand out in our minds, but it’s easy to rack up the equivalent of two falls in relatively minor, less visible faults. Simone doesn’t have many of the latter, and it’s why she finished middle of the pack in execution despite so many “big” errors, and why she can fall off the beam and still not have it be an actual disaster. Execution is (and should be) about more than staying on the beam and putting vaults to your feet. It’s why I got so frustrated watching Paseka vault and screaming at the TV that just because she didn’t die or fall on her butt doesn’t mean it shouldn’t get HUGE execution deductions. Falls shouldn’t trump the rest of the execution. And honestly I would rather watch a beam routine like Morgan’s today where there’s a big error but the rest is fantastic than one where there isn’t one big error but they never managed to point their toes or extend their legs on a single skill.

    1. Totally agree, and I said something similar on another post. Sure, it’s not fun to watch someone win – or place really well – with falls. But as a whole, watching the sport all the time, I’d rather see people do exciting, generally clean routines with an OCCASIONAL fall than watch sloppy skills all. the. time. That’s why, if we’re re-vamping the COP to be more strict on execution, I’d rather see that strictness in terms of deducting for poor form and technique than adding more deductions for falls.

  10. For me the vault fall was more of an issue than the beam. I wish the gymnasts were required to do two vaults and both had to count. Instead of averaging them, they could be added. So the Biles would be a 3.2 instead of a 6.4. If you add that to an Amanar (2.9), it would be a 6.1 difficulty. If she fell on the first, a one point deduction would be more significant for that skill since the skill is 3.2 instead of 6.4. It would also increase deductions overall on the vault having to do two. Personally, for the first two years, I would let athletes do vaults in the same family but not the same vault (an Amanar and a DTY). After two years, I would like to see different families and different flights (like the event final qualifying rules).

    I also wouldn’t be opposed to increasing the deduction for a fall to 1.2-1.5 for all events. If they stick with one vault, maybe a fall should be at least 2 points? Honestly, I would not be opposed to increasing most deductions. I would love to see the judges use the full 10 points of E score to differentiate between gymnasts. I love parts of the open code and how it rewards difficulty but I would like to see the judges be harder on the execution (as long as it done consistently between gymnasts and events). There does need to be a balance between the d and e. Unfortunately, not everyone will ever agree on what the balance should be. I think if judges were stricter on execution, the current system could work.

    I also think what happened today isn’t something that is going to happen regularly. If it started happening all the time, then the FIG would need to address it. It is relatively rare for someone to be so ahead in difficulty AND typically good form. I don’t think she would have won if she had the falls and messy form throughout. Interestingly, Simone’s AA total was about 3.5 less than qualifying. 2 points for the falls, .5 for the beam grab, .3 less in total difficulty, .1 for the OOB, which leaves about .6 unaccounted for (I imagine most would be on other issues related to the falls e.g coming in short for the vault).

    1. all great ideas but i wouldn’t even oppose requiring all gymnasts to do two vaults of different families every time. that would really separate the good from the great, even if they kept averaging vaults as is.

  11. Totally interesting read and comments. I am so very torn as I am a sucker for execution but never want to see a “glass ceiling” imposed on a gymnast like Simone who strives for unmatched difficulty with clean execution. If she would have done a DTY striving for an NCAA stick to be safe everyone would have gone nuts. IMO she should be rewarded since she is capable of the big skills and usually executes them safely & well. The comment above about resting gymnasts like Simone in the team final is interesting. These girls have to be so exhausted let alone Simone dealing with a medical issue and media around her at all times. Not that that mattered today but Im wondering if resting her during team would have made the difference. Have to assume her coach knows his athlete but I cant imagine how taxing it must be day in and day out to be Simone right now! Thanks Spencer for all your commentary. Its awesome.

  12. I have mixed feelings about Simone winning, but I think that if the E-score was weighed more heavily in this meet, Simone would not have done her full difficulty. She would have done easier skills on which she knows she doesn’t fall and would still be world champion. Simone takes the risk because she has room for error.

    1. I think this is probably relevant. I agree with the above comment that if she’d shown up and done a double twisting Yurchenko and a watered down beam and floor and won, we all would have been really sad.

      I do think, given what happened, she was overscored on vault.

      I do think, given what happened, she deserved to win anyway.

  13. Also mixed feelings about Simone’s win today, and really interesting reading through the comments and noting everyone’s viewpoints.

    I wondered if maybe FIG needs to introduce a ‘non completion’ rule, particularly for vault. That being, if a gymnast falls on a vault, it is judged as ‘non completion’ of that vault and the gymnast receives zero. If a gymnast sits a vault down, that is not successful completion of that event, as far as I’m concerned. Completion would be putting it to your feet (and not sitting down at any time) and a ‘stick’ would be holding for three seconds.

    It’s hard to feel good about the win for Simone today, when it was with two falls on different apparatus and the OOB on floor. Not mastery of all events, imo, and that’s what AA should be about. Taking nothing away from Simone of course, she is a fantastic gymnast – but difficulty today triumphed over execution (as Spencer said, she was 13th today in terms of execution), and that’s not good for gymnastics as far as I’m concerned.

    Yes, she is *usually* very clean and *usually* very consistent. But it’s about what you bring on the day as well surely.

    Just my two cents.

    1. I agree that the vault E scores are of control (and not just because of falls), but I think this might swing the pendulum too far the other direction. I’d rather see changes to how E scores work on vault, like doubling all the deductions, to bring them more in line with E Scores on other events. Zero on the entire event for a fall would mean that a fall on vault would hurt worse than, say, 13-15 falls on other events.

      1. I would support increasing the deductions on vault (for falls and other deductions). However, I don’t want them to say it is a zero if someone falls (as long as the feet hit first). Personally I think that is too harsh; there is a lot more to a vault than just the landing.

    2. slightly better idea than just zero-ing a vault – if it lands feet first it gets a score, but a fall to hands is 1 point off, hands and knees 1.5 point off, and a fall to butt/back is 2 points off? that way worse falls get more harshly deducted

      1. Yeah, except on a double twisting yurchenko you wouldn’t want someone to land fall to hands and only get one point off…..much better to land fall to butt/back because it means they fully completed the skill prior to falling

  14. i agree that the big “problem” in the current scorescape in WAG is vault. before simone vaulted, i even thought “she could fall and still score the same as a DTY”… and then she did. something really needs to be done about vault execution scores in general.

    she maybe should have also scored lower on beam and floor but like a couple tenths at most.

    1. Majority of people get high e scores on vault though. In a sea of FTY at a World competition? You cannot fault gymnasts for being more talented than the rest. What every one is really saying is STEP UP YOUR GAME OTHER PEOPLE, COUNTRIES…

  15. Sorry when the rest of the field is that much weaker, you cannot blame Simone. Step up your game. Execution over difficulty, well here comes Gina Gogean 1997 beam finals again… Here comes Svetlana B beating Gutsus crazy difficult routine 1991 beam finals… Like have several seats!

    1. Sorry, completely disagree.

      Not ‘blaming Simone’ to any extent. Just saying that AA is about showing mastery over all four events. When you have two falls on two different events and an OOB on another one, that’s not mastery, and should be deducted as such.

      I don’t think anyone wants to go back to 1997 Gogean or 1991 Boguinskaia. It’s more about difficulty outweighing execution on such a huge level that even with two falls and other minor mistakes, a gymnast can still win. That’s not good for gymnastics at all.

      1. And she was deducted to the max for each of those deductions.. And still? It wasnt like Oh well it’s Simone so instead of a full fall we gon give her half a fall. SHE WAS DEDUCTED. SHE WAS DEDUCTED. Oh well its AA and because she fell on Vault and Beam, hmmm then lets give her more because its about AA mastery>? You just salty because chicks cant touch her. IF ANYTHING A NEW RULE NEEDS TO BE MADE THAT AA GYMNASTS CANNOT HAVE ROUTINES BELOW CERTAIN D SCORES, no yurchenko fulls hahah, no 2 passes with a 4.8 d score, bring back the 3 per country rule SO ACTUALLY THE BEST AA ‘masters’ compete….

  16. I think the best comment and response is above; if Simone knew a fall would take her out of contention, she wouldn’t throw super difficult and new skills. She would tone it down and go for stuck routines. She would have won either way. There is strategy to what routines and skills the gymnasts use.

  17. Obviously the first point that has to be made is that the E scores are way too similar to one another. For instance on beam, if you add back points that virtually were lost on visible errors, most of the gymnasts would be right around a 7.9-8.1 E score. That is so egregiously incorrect.

  18. I see a lot of Simone supporters trying to use the totally asinine & incorrect argument that “well maybe she fell twice but she doesn’t but have the little errors other girls get deducted for so they’re getting equivalent deductions for less visible errors.”
    Okay, the first point we should make is that even if this was true, maybe the COP should stop punishing those little errors so egregiously if it results in them accumulating the same E score as 2 fall Simone. Seriously, incorrectly applied rhythm deductions for split second pauses (obviously not applicable to long pauses)? Standing on 2 feet in a corner? Catching a shaposh skill or Pak at an angle a few degrees off? Tenths upon tenths that honestly do not matter to the average viewer? Who the hell cares about this to such an extreme degree?
    The next point is that no, Simone does have major “invisible” deductions too. Handstands on bars, rhythm on beam (yep, she’s jerky), that whole switch-switch half-pike sequence is SO ugly, chest down, even her floor routine today had SO many questionable landings, lack of control on her leaps. How are you gonna excuse her falls by saying her execution is so good “everywhere else” when it CLEARLY is not?
    Let’s face it. She’s overscored in E and overscored consistently and by a lot. Because she’s Simone. And the reality is that she is the GOAT, and absolutely wonderful, and I’m not saying she’s undeserving of her titles. But y’all are fawning over her point gaps when the reality is that they wouldn’t exist, or would be much lower, if the judges did their damn jobs and deducted properly on beam and floor (and sometimes bars).

    1. Honestly, the fact that you’d list chest-down landings shows how far you’re reaching to try to portray Simone as having bad execution. She has that problem on a specific skill on one specific event. To try to say Simone has standard issues for upright landings is utterly ludicrous. Her execution IS exceptional. The thing all those issues you listed have in common is that they’re cosmetic errors. Much more important is that she has killer technique and performs her skills properly with great flight and securely.

      1. uh, that was one item in a multiple-item list of her known issues that are visible not only to experienced viewers but to common viewers. to list an error that she objectively has is not “reaching” – rather, to omit it would be disingenuous – maybe you should work on your reading comprehension. I’m not denying she’s great, but she can be great and still be overscored up the wazoo. As far as being secure, certainly on 3 events yes but she has been shaky as hell on beam this year and that front tuck/pike is asking for disaster.

      2. Again: she has that problem on one skill. You didn’t say “chest down on her barani,” you just said “chest down,” making it seem like you’re saying this is a consistent problem across all her gymnastics. To suggest that is reaching super far because it is a problem she has ON ONE SKILL. Reminder that your assertion was that her execution “CLEARLY is not” especially good. Which is a ridiculous thing to say.

        When I say she does her skills securely, I don’t mean that she never makes mistakes. I mean that she does skills she can complete safely and using proper technique, and that she doesn’t have to do breaks in the skill to complete them. Look at how completely laid out her Moors is and how she fully completes the skill (as in… she has her chest up!) instead of having to whip it around and crunch her body in the air to get it around.

        And honestly, a lot of faults which common viewers can see are the less important cosmetic issues- which usually are the result of more important technique issues, admittedly. But your average common viewer would probably notice leg form issues on a vault more than a block that isn’t square but the block is the bigger issue.

  19. Final comment – the whole idea of saying “well there are deductions that exist that you just can’t see or notice.” That’s literally such a logical fallacy because you can say or justify virtually any E score (and therefore any result) (cough the Chinese) and not have to prove anything. E score deductions should always be visible to an experienced gym fan. And the crazy thing is that the events where Simone fell are NOT where I have problems. I actually believe her floor & bars scores this worlds have been outrageous – bars consistently so, and the fact that she outscored her TF floor today with a worse routine is just…insane. FWIW, I support Simone and am so grateful of what she has brought to the sport. But I also will be relieved when she retires because this absurd scoring is so discouraging to other athletes.

      1. As if Mustafina doesnt have errors. Bent knees on giants, leg separations. Stop acting like she is some immaculate perfect form goddess…. #butshejusthadababy idgf

    1. I think Simone is good for the sport. She is pushing boundaries. For me as an athlete, that would be motivating. I would be trying to keep up but I imagine that different athletes react differently to the same thing. For some it may be discouraging or others motivating.

      I also think it will be sad when she retires. She does some of the best gymnastics of all time. Yes, the AA final yesterday was not a good showing, but she isn’t typically out there throwing skills she can’t do just for the difficulty value. Yes, sometimes she makes AA finals less suspenseful, but in exchange, we are getting to watch one of the best, if not the best, gymnast of all times do incredible gymnastics. For me that is a great trade off. If she starts regularly having multiple falls and winning AA finals, then I may change my opinion but I think it was a one off.

      Also, I think there are some deductions that are difficulty to see on television especially from certain angles. For example, amplitude — sometimes (not always) it is difficult to see lack of amplitude. The US commentary on NBC/Olympic Channel also doesn’t do US viewers any favors. If I only listened to them (which I did for many years until I came across BBS, Gymcastic, etc), I would think falls, steps on landings, and OOB were the only deductions (a slight exaggeration, but not much). I was surprised after I started going to events how much more I saw even without the advantage of replay. Also judges are heavily trained to catch certain things, so I don’t know that we should say, if viewers can’t see it, it shouldn’t be a deduction. It may help in judges had to release the details of their E scores. That could help viewers and we could see the “invisible” deductions (and call bs if they are in fact bs).

      I really enjoyed reading your point of view. It definitely made me think and examine my own opinions. I love coming on here and reading the comments.

  20. Chen Yile could have been in the mix if her DTY was competition-ready again. Hope she’ll gain some confidence through this competition and come back stronger next year.

    1. Yay for the Chen Yile shoutout! She sort of gets lost in the conversation with all the drama at the top, but she’s extremely impressive, and clearly just getting started on the international stage. I look forward to seeing her grow.

  21. New Rules for AA Gymnasts at Worlds:
    No D score allowed under 5.0 at Elite gymnastics haha
    No Yurchenko Fulls permitted during AA
    No double pikes allowed for final pass on floor
    No 100 spins trying to up your D score on floor
    No bullshit gainer dismounts off beam
    No bull shit 1996 compulsory bar dismounts
    3 per country of the best actual AA in the top 24

    Then maybe it wont seem like such a discrepancy… STEP UP YOUR GAME LAMES!

    1. So basically what you’re saying is let’s limit Worlds to ~50 AAers total, if that

  22. I think it’s so awesome that there are multiple paths to the podium and different people (almost) took different ones. Nina and her high E, medium total D vs Morgan/Mai/Angelina with medium-high total E and higher D.

    I kept thinking of pole vault today. You get to try a few different heights (difficulties) at a competition, from ones you’re more comfortable with to ones you know you’ll only make 10% of the time. Gymnastics is kinda like that, except you have to choose your difficulty before you go, choose how much risk to take. If Simone was going for a stuck Biles vault, well, she shot too high. Mikulak took calculated risks not to water down his routine yesterday, and they didn’t work out.

    Now gymnastics has to decide whether to approach the Simone situation like track with Bolt / Ladecky with swimming – accept there’s not much officials can or should do to diminish the dominance, and watch people vie for silver – or like basketball has several times in the past and adjust the rules to keep the game interesting when one style becomes to dominant. I personally vote for the track/swimming approach, but I know not everyone would.

    It will be interesting to see what happens.

  23. What do you mean by the track/swimming approach? I recall that Bolt and Ledecky were fairly unstoppable (though I know Bolt’s last race probably didn’t end the way he wanted it to)

    1. Tim Daggett keeps saying that Simone is the most dominant female athlete in the world. I think Katie Ledecky is about as dominant in her sport, swimming, as Simone is in gymnastics. They should hang out and talk about being the GOATs.

    2. The track/swimming approach being…accept that you have a very dominant athlete, don’t try to somehow change the rules to limit the dominance.

  24. I find it funny that there is no controversy at all when Simone qualifies 4.5 points ahead of 2nd place, but when her falls reduce her margin of victory to a measly 1.693 people freak out about how the code is wrong.

    1. uh, no. M U L T I P L E people all over Twitter and Tumblr were talking about how her bars E during quals (and if we’re gonna be honest, her beam score too) was too high both in absolute terms and relative to competitors. don’t make the argument that people weren’t peeved by the scoring just because you didn’t see it. furthermore obviously we are going to be especially vocal when it happens during the world AA final than say, quals. what, do you expect us to be outraged every single time Simone competes? no one’s got the time sis

      1. Um No sis! Your 3 twitter tumblr follower dont count. Yall only get salty when you see how far ahead she is in front of your full twisting yurchenko FAVOS. Yall bitches knew it would take her 4 falls, and were like cool! Now she fell twice and its BLASPHEMY! Have several seat sis. I GOT TIME!

      2. Okay so lower her beam and bars execution to make you trolls happy. Now she is 4.3 points ahead. Better bitch? Bye. Have a nice life Yurchenko Full! lmao!

    2. amazing that you did not say one useful thing in 3 comments and hundreds of words. you are the definition of useless stupidity

  25. Did yall have these same conversations when Nastia and He Kexin made it into Bar finals in Beijing with a fall in QUALIFYING??? No. Right.

  26. I think at this point the COP is not working. I don’t say that because of Simone’s win. I say that because there are so many gymnasts who cannot seem to take advantage of the code without injury. We had a realistic contender for a medal with a FULL TWISTING YURCHENKO. WHAT YEAR IS THIS!? The thing is she IS gorgeous to watch elsewhere? So what is the solution? Do we up the value of certain things to try and make multiple routes to the top? Do we make it so someone like Nina who does not have the power can some how rack up a higher d score? I don’t want to see a FTY in an AA final from a contender, but I also don’t want to see someone like Nina going for a DTY and getting too hurt to ever compete at her top level again. The code is not working.

    1. I think we need to consider how much one or two events can “compensate” for others. For example, I think Morgan is a more balanced all arounder than Riley who excels on two events and is weaker on the other two. We had Aly who was great on three but wasn’t at the same level on bars or Shang who was also great on three but not at the same level on vault. I also love all of these gymnasts so I am not trying to knock any of them. This is just something that I sometimes wonder about. Do we care about having a more balanced all rounder vs someone great on one or two events and okay on the others (or even sometimes less than okay)? Is there even a way to account for that?

  27. I feel like the discussion for difficulty vs. artistry/execution has always been there. Some of my favorite gymnasts are those who aren’t highly decorated medalists mainly because they pushed the envelope too much to keep them from it. Dudnik on beam and vault….way ahead of her time with taking risks. Also, Lysenko on vault in 1992 is a more recent example. She got no extra points for doing a DTY when everyone else was doing a full. How do you compare hers which may not be 100% perfect but is more difficult to a perfectly lovely Shannon Miller FTY? It’s absolutely hard to find a balance. I feel like we always hear these controversies in gymnastics and figure skating and not so much in something like Diving, which also has two components that are judged. Are they doing something that’s working?

  28. C’mon how often does a Simone come around? COP, whatever the shortcomings, is much better than late 80s early 90s where there were 10s a-plenty, routines were around the same level of difficulty, and the winner was the one who made the least mistakes during the day, kinda flukey and boring.

    1. I think having Simone in the current gymnastics world is skewing our ability to think rationally. Simone is not the norm. In a few years, we will not have her compete anymore (sob). Simone has made the current WAG world non-competitive. Every AA in which Simone competes is simply a coronation, not a competition.

      So, let’s think about how scoring works while disregarding Simone’s extreme outlier performance. For anyone not Simone: (A) would it be possible to win with two falls when the second place gymnast goes clean? (B) would we want a sport where that’s possible?

      Personally, I can’t imagine another gymnast so far ahead of his/her peers where (A) would be “yes.” The MAG AA is always about who goes cleanest. Without Simone, the WAG AA would be the same.

  29. Just a point about vault- it’s true that it has the highest scoring average, and it does seem pathetic that a fallen vault should score so highly. However, people seem to be forgetting that a vault is INHERENTLY the most risky skill, since it’s quite possible to score a zero. If Simone had crashed her vault in qualifications (like Simakova) even she wouldn’t have managed to qualify into the AA finals (and not just because of 3-per-country). And while it’s rare for athletes to so completely fall on their vaults, it is an ever present risk which they have to consider when deciding what difficulty to vault- which is why so many of them will go for crazy difficulty in the EF, but (most) All Arounders don’t in QF (so hat’s off to Simone!).
    There’s also the fact that vaulting isn’t just about the landing, and the COP already differentiates between a completely failed vault and a one from which you fall after landing it. So while I agree that doubling the penalty for falling in vaults is probably a good idea, I think giving a zero is a little extreme.
    Finally, let’s admit it- the only athlete in history for whom this discussion is even relevant is Simone Biles, and even for her it’s only been true since Rio 2016. in the 13 years of the open code, no athlete has ever been dominant enough to survive one fall, let alone (nearly) four. Do we really want to play with the code (and risk going back to the era of capped-difficulty and stagnant routines) just to block a once-in-a-lifetime athlete from winning with falls? Especially considering that Simone is NOT just a difficulty-throwing demon, but rather usually has (among) the highest execution scores in every competition (despite throwing such crazy difficulty)? We all know what will happen if the code changes- Simone will throw normal difficulty, still beat everyone (because her execution at that level is better than other people’s) and we will have lost out on all the amazing upgrades she has thrown over the years. Let’s remember that this isn’t a vacuum- if Simone’s amazing execution had won her the vault finals in Worlds 2014 and 2015, she probably never would have upgraded to the Cheng (let alone the Biles).
    Personally, I’m happy with the current system, and while I would be OK with 2 point deductions for fallen vaults, I think we should focus our annoyance at the ridiculous execution scores in general. If judges had to publish their E score deductions than there would be a lot less controversy, and the (fair) criticism they would get would ensure (for example) that we don’t see Paseka winning a medal with such ugly vaulting.

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