Simone’s Vault Value – Does It Make Sense?

On Saturday at Classic—well, on Friday at podium training—Simone debuted her long-awaited Yurchenko double pike, forcing Sports-Balls across the nation to try to learn what gymnastics words are and say things like, “To put this in perspective, it’s like if a basketball ran the 100 meters without an interception.”

Thankfully, we can move a little bit beyond “gymnastics, boy, I don’t know” and talk about what really matters, that 6.6 D-Score decision. According to Tom Forster, this value came directly from the FIG, so even though it’s technically provisional until the Olympics, it’s pretty likely to stay the same because…the exact same all-powerful TECHNICAL WOMEN will be deciding its value 2 months from now.

As for the value itself, I’ve thought more about it, and here’s where I am in a little bit more detail: It’s low for me. I’ve mentally had this at 6.8 since we heard about it, and I still agree with me. But honestly it’s not as low as I thought they were going to go, and not as egregious a case of undervaluing as the beam dismount from 2019.

The problem with Simone’s double double beam dismount in 2019 being given an H value is that it did not adhere to any kind of recognizable precedent or logic established by previous values of other beam dismounts. On beam, a double tuck dismount is a D. Adding a full twist to that bumps it up three tenths to a G. And then adding another full twist bumps it up…1 tenth? To an H? Any logical progression falls apart pretty quickly, and the FIG’s post hoc explanation of the value as an effort to preserve the safety of gymnasts was fully laughable coming from an organization that, for example, doesn’t allow a touch warmup for event finals or has a checkered history with the various equipment manufacturers selected for various world championships.

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