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.

In the case of this vault value, as opposed to that beam dismount, there’s an actual recognizable logic to giving it a 6.6. To me, it’s faulty logic, but at least one can recognize the world this score came from this time. Basically, it looks like the FIG elected to compare this vault to other Yurchenko vaults that already exist and applied the established 0.4 progression for upgrades. They looked at the Yurchenko 2.5, currently at 5.8, and said, “OK, so then if you do a Yurchenko double tuck, that would go up 4 tenths to 6.2, and then the Yurchenko double pike goes up 4 tenths from there to 6.6.”

It’s something. It’s a reasoning. The problem here is that it seems like they’re treating the Yurchenko double pike as an upgrade of the Amanar, which is fundamentally flawed. It’s not an upgrade of a single-salto twisting vault. It’s a completely different thing that wouldn’t appear on the same line of the code as the layout-twisting Yurchenkos and shouldn’t be viewed as a progression of those vaults.

The best comparison would be to other double salto vaults, but sadly we don’t have many of those in the women’s code save for the double front, which is also itself a completely different thing as a handspring vault with front tumbling, rather than a Yurchenko vault with back tumbling.

So if we’re attempting to go by any kind of precedent and not just pull a value out of our asses (the FIG special), we are forced to look to the Yurchenko double pike in the men’s code—which is a 5.6—and compare that to some of the vaults that do exist in both codes, like the handspring double front, which is considered 4 tenths easier than the Yurchenko double pike in the men’s code (5.2 versus 5.6). In the women’s code now, the handspring double front is a 6.4 and the Yurchenko double pike is a 6.6. So, it would be very valid to ask the FIG the question, why is the Yurchenko double pike is 2 tenths harder than the handspring double front for women, but 4 tenths harder than the handspring double front for men? What makes women doing this vault different from men doing this vault?

At the same time, I recognize some real cherry-picking in that argument. Instead of pointing to the double front, one could instead point to Yeo Seojeong’s recently named handspring front double full at 6.2 in the women’s code and 5.2 in the men’s code. By comparison, having the Yurchenko double pike at 6.6 in women’s and 5.6 in men’s makes total consistent sense. (Even though again we’re comparing a double salto vault to a single salto vault.)

What this really illuminates is that the FIG codes of points are a damn old illogical mess and unless a value is truly beyond the pale (like the 2019 beam dismount), then trying to use precedent or a comparison between the men’s and women’s codes is too messy to be categorically convincing. Sure, you can make a solid argument using comparison, but there are always going to be valid counter-examples because—and I cannot emphasize this enough—none of this shit makes any damn sense.

Even if we compare this vault value to itself, however, we run into trouble with 6.6 being too low—namely because of the value it implies if Simone had popped up this summer doing an also-groundbreaking Yurchenko double tuck instead of the double pike. Based on this 6.6 value, it sounds like the FIG would have given that double tuck vault a 6.2—lower than the value of the Biles I, the Y1/2 on layout 2/1, at 6.4—and therefore totally in no way worth doing and not representative of what a groundbreaking or difficult accomplishment it would be. The codes definitely do seem to think that complicated 1/2-on twisting vaults are the more difficult prospect, but that doesn’t really ring true with respect to the reality of women’s gymnastics. There’s a reason no one has come close to competing this thing before Simone.

But to me, even if you throw precedent or lines of the code totally out the window because of fundamental inconsistencies and instead try to take a wider-lens or more holistic approach, you also get to 6.8. Is the Yurchenko double pike the most difficult vault ever competed in women’s gymnastics? Yes. What is the value of the previous most difficult vault(s) ever competed in women’s gymnastics? 6.4. By what rate do all upgraded vaults increase? 4 tenths. Yada, yada, yada = 6.8. (And if you happen to need to explain this issue to a civilian, this is the simplest and best way to do it.)

So basically, 6.6 seems a bit low. It’s not shockingly low and there’s an actual logic and attempt at fair valuation at play here—so I’m not banging the pots and pans of protest—but it can fit as an additional example of the FIG having open-ended code cold feet if you want it to. Not as convincing an example as Simone’s beam dismount, or the tragic capping of Seitz’s Shaposh full, or some connection value formulas on bars and floor, but the FIG did undershoot a very logical and justifiable value again and, most of all, re-exposed the scab of this code being a nonsensical disaster. Because, let’s be honest, there are also tons of areas in which skills are overvalued, particularly back tumbling on floor with respect to front tumbling, so it’s not as though they’re always undervaluing skills, or always undervaluing Simone’s skills (I have no issue with the floor values), but there’s certainly an inconsistent application of…what they’re even going for here.

Do you like the open-ended code? Or are you trying to undermine it? I never have any idea.

Is this an example of specific FIG bias against Simone? Well, that’s up to Simone, I suppose. My instinct is that any athlete performing this vault would have received the same 6.6 value for it because I can see the logic they used to get there. There are so many examples of FIG bias against Simone—like, for instance, every word that has ever come out of Nellie Kim’s mouth—that I wouldn’t put this vault value in your top-10 most convincing examples for that argument. There are others. But has the FIG spent the last (nearly a) decade totally bungling everything about Simone and viewing her dominance as a problem to be managed and addressed rather than the best thing that’s ever happened to them? Absolutely.

87 thoughts on “Simone’s Vault Value – Does It Make Sense?”

    1. YESSSS! i just came here to comment the same thing. well done. 😂👏

  1. Brilliant. I would argue though that “the FIG codes of points are a damn old illogical mess” functions as cover/deflection for FIG’s and Smelly’s racism. The stupid trundling garbage fire that is the CoP may well have its illogic as a deliberate feature, not a bug. Anything to cover Smelly Scrim’s vindictive, criminal, egomaniacal ass.

  2. I, too, was not too upset by the value assigned to this vault.

    People whined and moaned nonstop that the Produnova was overvalued and led to Pena and Karmakar and eventually Chusovitina at the 2016 Olympics nearly killing themselves on their ill-advised attempts. People were happy when it got devalued even though the new difficulty value didn’t really reflect the true difficulty of this vault.

    Now that we have someone competently performing a double salto vault, the whining is going in the opposite direction – that the difficultly value now needs to reflect the true difficulty of the vault being performed.

    I would prefer the Produnova not be the same value as the Biles 1 because there is no single salto vault currently done that is harder than either of the double salto vaults ever performed by a woman.

    I would argue that the Produnova needs to be a 6.8 to clearly differentiate itself from single salto vaults. The double Yurchenko tucked would then be a 6.6 and the piked a 7.0. However, since the FIG continually devalued the Produnova to a 6.4, the 6.6 is about as fair as we could expect.

  3. Summary of the nonsense that is FIG:

    Double layout – F
    Double layout 1/1 – H
    Double layout 2/1 – I

    Double tuck – D
    Double tuck 1/1 – E
    Double tuck 2/1 – H
    Double tuck 3/1 – J

    Double tuck – D
    Double tuck 1/1 – G
    Double tuck 2/1 – H

    Double tuck – B
    Double tuck 1/1 – D
    Double tuck 2/1 – F

    Double layout – D
    Double layout 1/1 – E
    Double layout 2/1 – G

    There is not one ounce of consistency in any of the values above. I would argue the two most egregious undervaluations are the Moors on floor and Biles on beam. Moors should be a J and Biles on beam should be an I.

    The FIG does know how to value saltos though. Just look at the tumbling code of points. There are exact formulas for determining the value of a salto and are applied consistently for every salto there is.

  4. But I don’t understand the progression, if one looks at the non-twisting vaults with different entries. For one tuck salto, the ranking is Yurchenko-Tsukahara-Handspring entry, with handspring valued the highest.
    Shouldnt the same progression be done for upgrades? But maybe I just confused the values…

    1. No, that’s exactly right. That’s why I proposed that a double yurchenko tucked should be a 6.6 as opposed to a 6.8 for the handspring double tucked. The piked position of Simone’s vault should put it slightly higher than the Produnova at a 7.0.

      1. Look, logic and an actual understanding of the comparative difficulties of different entries! Why aren’t you guys on the WTC?

      2. Thanks for the answer, that makes sense now. Out of interest I also looked in the men’s code, and there the differentiation of values between entries seems only be considered for the single saltos:
        handspring with tuck salto: 2.4,
        handspring with pike: 2.8
        handspring double tuck salto (Roche): 5.2
        handspring double pike (Blanik): 5.6
        roundoff tuck (Tsukahara): 2.2
        round off pike: 2.4
        roundoff double tuck (Yeo): 5.2
        roundoff double pike (Lu Yu Fu): 5.6
        yurchenko-entry tuck (Yurchenko): 2.2
        yurchenko-entry pike: 2.4
        yurchenko-entry double tuck (Melissanidis): 5.2
        yurchenko-entry double pike: 5.6

        I so much want the code to make sense, but it doesn’t…

  5. Let’s call it what it is — the lowest possible value they could give the vault without causing the uproar they created when they artificially held back Biles in 2019. I also believe the judging panels saw through this and was purposefully lax in evaluating the vault.

    1. The E panel was no more lax on this than half the vaults they give 9.1 E scores to.

      1. She had a 0.3 step and a 0.1 hop. There were more than 0.1 in other errors so shouldn’t have been a 9.5, but they definitely gave her an execution boost due to perceived undervaluing.

    2. Exactly. See the other comment about ‘if Listunova or Melnikova or Murakami did it’ (not that any of them could without literally maiming themselves) and what the value would be in *that* case.

  6. I wouldn’t actually guess that if another gymnast debuted the vault, it would be listed the same. If Listunova or Melnikova or Murakami did it and it looked like it could bring them close to challenging Simone, I think it would have been on the higher end of the scale. Anything to try to get some “competition” happening.

  7. unpopular opinion

    Not about vault, but I think FIG technical committee is self-consistent on difficulty level of single skills – That is they cap one specific skills’s difficulty level so that you do not get a maximal boost of your D-score because you could do a hyper-difficult skill.

    If on beam double tuck is D, double pike is E, how is full-twisting double tuck the same as full-twisting double pike the same at G? FTDP is already capped at G, so they also apply the cap to DTDT(biles). I feel that FIG certainly wants to cap beam dismounts so that beam is mostly about what you do on the beam, not dismount-dominated. The same way they cap turns (5x turns by Tisha you guys, do you like Tisha to show up with GFE turns in a FX routine by just spinning) how can Okino be an E?Ono half /Healy half/Shaposh full a E? Because when it approaches more difficult versions of one skill family, FIG doesn’t want it to be overused (a routine mostly revolves on one family of element) so that you don’t have a balanced routine.

    1. I absolutely agree and for this reason I totally support the undervaluing of the Biles beam dismount. Beam is not primarily about dismounting the beam – therefore you should not be able to make up a competitive routine that relies mostly on a massive dismount.

      Devaluing the vaults for the same reason doesn’t hold up as well IMO. Same for just flat out capping all UB transitions rather than doing that kind of regressive increase you describe.

      1. I totally disagree. FIG has managed to trash all decent (to say nothing of difficult or interesting) beam mounts in terms of value to the point that no one does anything even remotely good as a mount. There is an entire long video on youtube called ‘the mount that dares not speak its name’ which features all the gorgeous, fascinating, hard beam mounts that used to be done constantly until FIG and Marta totally screwed, blued, and tattooed them. Biles’ routine would be hard enough (and was at the beginning of her career) without the full-in dismount; most gymnasts are not capable of a Barani on beam. Beam is not primarily about codewhoring with endless easy B/C skills to amass a huge total from absolutely nothing particularly difficult, and that’s exactly what you advocate for. There are a grand total of two fulls (one as far as contenders for the Olympic team) on the entire Chinese team, virtually no Baranis or Arabians or illusions, and that damn front handspring-front layout which is all the Chinese coaches can teach apparently. An occasional ff or ff-layout to two feet. Beam is more tedious, more predictable, and more mediocre than ever now, and you want to remove one of the only remaining points of virtuosity or interest. LOL!

      2. I mean, you’re kind of illustrating the point? They don’t want you to be able to do one amazing mount, a bhs loso and a coupla leaps and have a higher d score than People whose score comes from elements on the beam.

        I wish mounts were valued more highly because I think they’re more of a ‚beamy‘ element than a dismount, and you’re not wrong that the current code makes for some snoozy beam and really discouraged difficult single elements. But i still don’t like the idea that beam is more about huge tumbling than precision, and that’s what – IMO – extremely highly valued dismounts does. You should have to be really excellent ON THE BEAM to have a high beam D score.

        Anyway I guess it is pretty arguable whether that’s even FIG‘s intention since instead they go with the „safety“ arguments which are really flimsy.

      3. I mean, you kind of make my exact points FOR me? Your beef is with the open ended CoP and with Olga Korbut, LOL!, not just with beam dismounts. Ms Korbut, for good or ill, began the process of turning beam into a tumbling mat and that’s the way the sport evolved. You complain of lack of precision? Take that up with the jerks who value high difficulty miserably executed over precision, beauty, and flow. Karmakar’s awful Butt-a-Prod has gotten her into multiple international vault finals and I’ve never yet seen her land it in anything but a poop squat. Want precision rather than tricks? Four letters: NCAA–and guess what, they still use the 10 system. What a coincidence. Now I get a little bored with the lack of difficulty and very bored with the stupid E caps on all floor skills, but I’ll say one thing: they’ve got better form and stick more dismounts.

        You also kind of destroy your own argument by saying ‘an amazing mount, a tumbling series (I paraphrase), and a couple of leaps’ to try to exemplify what gets overscored? What else do you think *are* elements on the beam exactly besides tumbling and leaps and , shudder, the required full turn which most people butcher every time, no matter what ugly variation of it (wolf turns, looking at *you*) they try? The cheesy five seconds of ‘choreography low to the beam?’ The awful, jerky, rigid, inflexible hand and arm motions, oh, excuse me, ‘choreography’, when they’re standing up? Beautiful strength elements (planches, one-arm balances, etc ad infinitum) have been gone for years for exactly the same reason precision and grace have–and that’s open-ended scoring.
        Of COURSE FIG has zero interest in precision, grace, and beauty, and of course they trot out the utter canard of ‘safety’–it’s part of their cover for their racist attacks on Biles. I agree that beam routines should be complex ON the beam, but absolutely nothing precludes beautiful and difficult mounts and dismounts as part of beam routines. Nothing about it is either/or.

      4. Well, my point (and that of the original commenter, I think) is that if mounts and dismounts are highly valued enough, gymnasts can basically do an NCAA routine then add one very high value element to get on or off the beam and they can make event finals. Most elite routines do contain more than a simple acro Series and a few leaps. Should by far the highest rated beam element be something that doesn’t actually land on the beam? IMO no.

        I understand your argument that if it’s the hardest possible element then it should have a proportionally difficult rating whether or not it creates imbalance in routine composition (since, as you say, routine composition is incentivized to suck right now by the COP). But you seem really heated about this and unwilling to actually read any comments as anything other than an attack on Simone and a defense of FIG‘s racism. You don’t have to agree – obviously this is all subjective – but you’re misrepresenting what people are saying when you try to refute them and sucking any of the enjoyment out of discussing this topic.

      5. And you seem more than a tiny bit myopic. The fact that I mentioned the racism of FIG once at the end of a very long post (and, of course, the subject of the comments is, theoretically, Biles’ vault, not beam routines and dismounts :D) hardly constitutes ‘being unwilling to read any comments as…’ If the dismount is extremely difficult, it will perforce be the hardest thing in the routine; take that up with the scoring of dance elements and turns on beam (to say nothing of the scoring of difficult single elements on beam) please, and stop trying to penalize all interesting dismounts. You misrepresent what I say when you try to refute me (unsuccessfully, since the difference in NCAA beam routines and elite beam ones is two more leaps and another tumbling pass, with easier dismounts–NOT some marvel of complex choreography.) and of course you are mortally offended by any suggestion of passion about the sport. Your attempted critique of me is uninteresting in every way, but I am so sorry I wounded your infinitely delicate snowflake sensibilities; tone-policing wannabes like you suck all the enjoyment out of any public discussion.

      6. Yes beam is about doing 100 leaps connected to a back handspring step out, and 1 mediocre beam series, and some wolf turn and ending with a double twist. THATS MORE LIKE IT!

      7. OMG, like, you, like forgot the squat onto the beam ‘mount’ and the triple-double ‘wolf turn’ and the nonexistent sissonne and the totally failed split rings. How COULD you?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!

  8. I actually think there was a logic to the Biles dismount. A very FIG illogical logic, but a basis there nonetheless. FIG has never introduced a new skill value on an event other than the next highest value, and it seems very FIG to refuse to have an “empty” skill value, all else be damned. And damn all else they did.

  9. In practice, the open ended code of points has allowed Simone to dominate. I don’t see any Simone-specific bias whatsoever in the actual code. This isn’t to say Nellie Kim and others haven’t made comments but under- and over-valuing has happened across the board in ways just as, or more so, egregious than Simone’s new vault or beam dismount.

    Instead, it’s a case of FIG’s WTC not having any clue how to manage the code of the points and then bungling their response to questions about their skill ratings by saying it’s about safety or something else nonsensical.

    The Maldonado (front triple full) on floor is hands down the most egregious undervaluing of a skill in recent memory – worse than Simone’s vault or beam. They gave that an F when it should have been an H. They equated that to a double layout…

    This is a WTC issue. This is a group of people who are bad with numbers and logic and have no structure for evaluating and rating skills. If they truly had it out for Simone, they’d cap skills at a G and vaults at a 6.0 and say that’s the end of it. The poor unfortunate mistreated Simone narrative doesn’t help at all because it makes the WTC look like a cunning, wily group of women who have it out for Simone when the problem is really that they’re in over their heads.

    Simone can and absolutely should publicly complain about the values her skills get. But saying this is due exclusively to a vendetta against Simone is unfair to the many gymnasts who invented and debuted amazing skills who got the exact same poor treatment.

    1. If you actually think Smelly Scrim is a lovely, rational, fair, unsophisticated naif who only has everyone else’s best interests in mind, you’re beyond help and beyond hope. Perhaps you could actually study gymnastics history , which among other things would inform you of Smelly’s *famous* suspension from judging for outright cheating and her completely criminal, fraudulent renaming of multiple skills for herself, among other things. Your example of the Maldonado is completely inapplicable and unrelated to this discussion, as is your absurd allsidesism–as if many gymnasts had ever been treated as Biles has after creating epochal skills!

      1. Wow, you absolutely misread everything I said. My example of the Maldonado is absolutely applicable here because this is another example example of a extremely difficult skill that was undervalued severely.

        The problem turning this into a Simone-only issue is that it makes it look like the WTC has it out solely for Simone while they are fair and honest and competent everywhere else. The fact is that they are massively incompetent across the board. Yes, I’m sure Nellie Kim has said a bunch of terrible things about Simone. And that’s awful and horrible. No reasonable person here will say that that’s ok. But it’s absolutely vital that discussion of their incorrect valuing of skills uses examples from many gymnasts across the board. We have to bring attention to the fact that the women’s COP as a whole is a poorly constructed, illogical mess of a code that arbitrarily values skills and has ridiculous rule and requirements across all 4 apparatus.

        When you say it’s irrelevant to bring other people into the discussion, you’re unintentionally dismissing the incredible work and dedication of these gymnasts to invent these incredible skills and you’re indirectly saying that the COP or valuation of other skills isn’t a problem.

        We are lucky to have Simone who is high profile enough to cause this larger discussion. Someone like Maldonado has no mouthpiece or platform for bringing attention to her own skill’s undervaluing. Now that Simone’s vault has sparked articles and discussions and more attention overall to the Code of the Points, this is the time to bring up have to bring up Maldonado, and Seitz, and Ezhova, and Okino, and Mustafina, and Komova, and Dos Santos, etc.

        Broadening the overall conversation doesn’t minimize Simone’s legitimate complaints one bit. In fact, the extra supporting evidence only supports her claims and puts more pressure on Kim and the WTC.

      2. Virtually every skill you bring up is *not* undervalued, with the possible exceptions of the Maldonado and perhaps the Seitz. And, of course, the Maldonado should be a G, not an H (it’s true that F is too low.) Your poor, unfortunate, mistreated other gymnasts narrative did not even bother to mention Liu Xuan, one of the only other legitimate examples. Most of the skills you mention, with the exception of the Seitz, are– and can be– done by other gymnasts (and some of them were virtually from the get-go; the Seitz also would and could be were the bars code not completely insane.) Mustafina as a poor maltreated gymnast? One of the most overpraised, overhyped, overdecorated judges’ darlings ever, with a cache of undeserved medals, particularly bronzes? Really?

        I said the example of Maldonado’s skill is inapplicable here–and it is–because a) she is not anything close to the most famous gymnast in the world (Biles) b) therefore she is not ‘famous enough’ to be victimized in the high-profile way Biles is; in her case, and you admit this yourself. It is merely a matter of dismissal and ‘no one knows or cares about her,’ which is nothing like the deliberate public slaps in the face they give Biles. (By the way, I never said all other gymnasts were irrelevant to the discussion, so you may stop lying about my post.) The Maldonado is difficult but ten or twenty other gymnasts right now–at least– are fully capable of that particular trick; Biles’ skills are not only epochal and at the edge of what could be imagined in the sport, they are impossibly difficult; therefore it is more vital for them not to be undervalued or no one , INCLUDING Biles, will do them. Biles, unlike the originators of those other skills who always did them/will always do them because it’s their claim to fame in most cases, doesn’t need to risk her body doing impossible (as compared to difficult) things which never get proper credit. Were you not paying attention to the fact that we’ve never seen her beautiful double-double off beam again? How often do you think we’ll see the magnificent new vault with this absurdly low rating?

        Finally, your either-or absolutism on the WTC is ridiculous; you essentially claim they can’t be malignant and spiteful because they’re dumb. Of course they are incompetent, illogical, stupid women whose CoP is a garbage fire; *they can also be, simultaneously, racists who loathe the fact that the arguable GOAT in women’s gymnastics is Black and do everything they can to undermine her.* Looked at the skin tones of the WTC lately? News flash: it is less than diverse. In fact, this is the problem; you attempt to dismiss their obvious biases on the basis that any other gymnasts have ever had skills undervalued, when nothing about those other gymnasts’ circumstances is comparable either in terms of the difficulties of their created skills *or* their position in the gymnastics world and their fame.

      3. It’s not worth arguing with you. We both are on the same side on most aspects of this topic yet you’re being combative for no reason.

        I was listing skills – not gymnasts. The Mustafina is referring to the triple Y turn on floor…

      4. I completely agree that you aren’t worth arguing with. See, we do agree on something. The Mustafina turn, by the way, is if anything *over*valued considering that Mustafina fell out of it/put her heel down before finishing the triple ninety-eight percent of the time.

    2. Don’t know why the person thinks the Maldonado or the Seitz are not relevant here – they’re completely relevant here.

      Nellie Kim is racist and awful and May be going after Simone out of that racism. But the WTC has ALSO egregiously undervalued other gymnasts‘ skills. Simone is not alone in being picked on by the WTC- she’s just done more extremely hard skills than anyone else so she‘s had more opportunities have them undervalued.

      1. First, the ‘Maldonado’ is the front triple full, not the Maldonado–Andrea Maldonado has never done the skill in a Worlds, Olympics, or youth Olympics, which is necessary to get it officially named for yourself. Whether or not FIG’s rules suck (and they do) that’s what they are. Second, yes, it should be a G, but definitely not an H; the problem is that things like DLOs and even Silivases are overvalued now. Third, what even are all these other extremely difficult skills which have been undervalued and who were the gymnasts? The only thing I can think of is Liu Xuan’s one-armed giant into Gienger, which was indeed egregiously undervalued.

      2. It’s officially a Maldonado, she did it at a world cup and that counts as well

      3. OK. Last time I looked at the regulations, world cups did not count.

      4. The Seitz and the Alt both come to mind for me. I suppose you could say since they’re victims of the transition cap it’s not the same, but those are still two very undervalued skills. And as you said, Liu Xian’s one-armed skills.

      5. You can have an element named after you if you compete in any FIG event now.
        Europeans and Pan American Games are not eligible because the first is run by the UEG and the latter is run by PAGU.

  10. I honestly don’t think FIG has done anything to try and hold Simone back via the COP. Not with how overvalued backwards tumbling and wolf turns continue to be. To me, 6.6 is more than enough. With how low the variance in vault scores is, Simone can fall and still easily outscore everyone else, so what’s the point of adding extra tenths and make it that much more tempting to chuck?

    1. Oh, so since Biles will win anyway she should never receive proper appreciation/scoring value for doing ridiculously difficult things no one else can do? She should coast and do nothing because winning ugly or winning mediocre is so much better than winning by being dazzling?
      ‘More than enough’ is a joke, just like you and your utter cluelessness.

  11. So, I’m a Romanian gymnastics watcher. I was at one point part of the “gymnternet” (don’t know, do we still call it that?). After the downfall of our system I kinda gave up the sport (to painful to watch) and kinda kept gymcastic and balancebeamsituation as my only links to this sport.

    I gotta ask: how do you (gymnastics connoiseurs, lovers, junkies, watchers etc) feel about Jessica? Is she taken seriously? Does she have any power or influence outside the bubble of her podcast? Does she have such a big following that she affords to do it without a day job?
    I feel like for the crap that she says and how she says it, she should be talked about a lot more…

    1. Can’t you just google this (try Reddit) instead of reopening this can of worms?

      1. Thanks. Honestly!

        1. I had no idea this is a can of worms;
        2. Never used Reddit for anything :)))

        On it.

      2. 🙂 It’s just been discussed a lot and there’s no new arguments. You could probably find comments on it on here, especially if you search „Jessica“ and „Val.“

    2. Hahahaha she is talked about in this comments section on almost every post. So you could read back on old post in this blog to see some complaints.

      Since you seem to be asking a genuine question, I will give you an answer instead of sending you elsewhere. She has a lot of haters but unfortunately still has a lot of worshippers who still hang on to her every word. I don’t think she has any real influence, although it is a bit dangerous if she is influencing the opinions of a bunch of fans.

      I personally fall somewhere in the middle. I think she is someone who started out well-meaning (and still can be well-meaning) but has bought into her own hype and that has made her super problematic now. I won’t support the podcast financially anymore unless there are big changes and I don’t see that happening. I’ve sent in some feedback from time to time and haven’t seen it come to fruition. I was listening to today’s episode and heard two factual errors and one offensive comment, all from Jessica, although Spencer didn’t correct or stop her on any of it. It makes me question whether I will even continue to listen unless they are doing an interview of interest.

      I will end on a positive note though – I was recently listening to some old episodes of Half In Half Out (the LGBTQ-focused podcast – which is great, give it a listen!) and they mentioned how helpful Jessica was to them

      1. I’ll check out Half In Half Out. First time I hear about it. Thanks!

        What other good gymnastics podcasts are there. I don’t really have gymnastics lovers amongst my friends, so I sometimes feel the need to listen to a good podcast or watch a good doc.

      2. Jessica’s flaws have been discussed here ad nauseum. The biggest complaints are that she’s unknowledgeable abut the technical side of gymnastics and that she can dish criticism but not take it. She also on several occasions has been inconsistent in her application of criticism. Some people she shows no mercy with and others she gives every excuse to.

      3. I think Jessica means well but her over the top positivity comes across as contrived. Spencer is intelligent and much more reasonable in terms of separating gymnastics from politics and life in general. I mean, even if we criticize somebody here about their gymnastics, this doesn’t mean we criticize them as human beings. I think everyone understands this distinction damn well but Jessica would go out of her way to convince us we are nothing but haters and racists.

    3. She’s generally not respected by intelligent gym fans. She is loud, rude, ignorant, pretentious, and talks over people when she’s wrong. She also makes a habit of offensive comments. I am weighing in because the poster who said ‘she means well’ may have been correct once upon a time but is wrong now IMO. Their comments about her buying all her own hype are correct; she’s pretty much a monster and an embarrassment.

      1. I think I still occasionally see signs of her meaning well now from time to time but unfortunately those signs are less and less frequent. This last podcast was almost unlistenable.

        I’m probably going to keep listening through the Olympics, but then I will unsubscribe and just watch the Twitter feed to see if there is an interesting interview.

      2. EVERY other podcast is better, bar none. Spencer needs to DECAMP. NOW.

  12. The way I like to think of it is this: do gymnasts start / keep performing the skill at that value? No one ever competes double back 2/1 off BB for H? Its under valued. Basically all competitive routines have double back 2/1 on FX for H? Its over valued.

    I’m from men’s gymnastics and I think Sohn on PH is how this should work.
    2012 COP – D, no one used it
    2016 COP – E, some but not all top level routines have it
    2021 COP – no change, correctly valued!

    Yamawaki (straight Hecht with 1/2 over the bar) on HB is the other side of how this should work.
    2012 COP – D +0.2 with connection bonus with Alder 1/1 (D)
    2016 COP – D no connection bonus for Alder 1/1
    2021 COP – C +0.0 connection bonus (connection requires D or higher flight skill)

    Every competitive routine had to have a Yamawaki in 2012, it was overused and not always done well. In 2016 not all routines had it and it wasn’t usually in connection any more but still very common and with errors. FIG seems to be saying “it still seems to easy for a D, you should do other releases too”. On the other hand Sohn is high value enough for the best guys to want to do it but still not everyone sees it as a must have.

    Ideally, most skills are usable and gymnasts select a variety of skills for their routine and there is no ‘required’ skills you need to compete to win or skills that cannot be used to win (at lower levels for A, B, C skills).

    1. I absolutely agree that the frequency of elements needs to be taken into account. A highly-rated skill that is done more frequently than its high value suggests indicates a skill is likely overvalued.

      Likewise, a skill that is rarely or never done likely needs a difficulty increase.

      Just look at the 2016 floor final where nearly everyone did a double double. That’s like if 6/8 gymnasts in an event final were doing a standing Arabian on beam or a double-double layout off bars. The frequency of the double double tucked on floor indicates that it’s not as difficult as its H value would suggest.

      Likewise, almost no one does an Arabian on beam or double double layout on bars suggesting that you could increase the difficulty value of those elements.

      1. This is a very good way to put it!

        The biggest issue for Simone is that she’s the only one who can do some of these skills so we get a sample size of 1. Yes they should be the highest value skills in the COP but exactly what value? Idk

      2. Yes. Exactly. The Silivas is an excellent example; it went from a yuuuuuuge Thing that only a few great tumblers could get through to a sine qua non for international floor finals in about five or six years. Suddenly everyone did it. The van Leeuwen is the same; you can’t make a bar final without a fancy van Leeuwen combination now. As Spencer’s clickable code of points says, it’s basically compulsory. Fifteen years or so from unheard-of difficulty to shouldn’t-even-be-an-E-anymore. The Nabieva at least perhaps they have fixed somewhat in the upcoming CoP. Meanwhile, the wages of Smelly Scrim’s and the FIG’s evil sins are that we will never see Biles’ *wonderful* double-double off beam again. Who can blame her?

  13. The real crime of this code is capping dance elements at E. You want artistry? Let people do panche and Kabaeva turns!

    1. Oh but it’s so important to *penalize* great turners and reward ugly tumbling with flexed feet and unstraight legs on beam, don’t you know?

      1. More parity between dance and acro skills is all I’m advocating for. Dropping down like a bag of potatos from a turn? A 0.5 deduction. Incorrect form on a wolf or Y turn, 0.3. Attitude or arabesque not parallel to the floor? 0.3. Side, front or backscale with a bent leg? 0.3. Hit them with a high E score deduction but also recognize the difficulty of a perfectly executed high flexibility turn.

      2. I was actually snarking. My bad. I loathe bad turns of the varieties you described but I think I loathe bad acro/tumbling even more. I am very fond of Sanne Wevers’ routine of amazing turns and completely agree with you.

  14. I don’t think the WTC’s intention is to keep Simone or any other outstanding athlete down but rather to keep the D to E ratio in what they reckon an “optimal” 1 to 2 proportion. But even if this is the ultimate goal, why not increase E score deductions! 0.3 for flexed feet and 0.5 for insufficient amplitude on leaps, problem solved. Hard acro skills should be still rewarded by 0.7+. And yes, D-score incentives have not reached a negative return on investment yet as we still see people like Simone and Nagorny innovating but it’s getting pretty close.

  15. I disagree with how you think they came up with the value.
    5.4 for DTY -> 5.8 for 2.5TY -> So a 6.2 for TTY then? In other words, the double pike (6.6) is ‘next level’ AFTER a TTY, the same as a 3.5TY would be valued if we believe in the 0.4 progression? Do you agree double pike is the same as a 3.5 TY? I don’t.

    I agree 6.6 is basically the lowest value that wouldn’t cause an uproar, but I think it’s the highest rating they would have given anything, anyone came up with in the yurchenko vault line. I think the double pike was the easiest smartest upgrade she could do on and it has less built in deductions than the amanar. It’s amazing and scary, but smart.

    There’s no doubt Simone is the best WAG vaulter right now, but winning gold isn’t set in stone any more than it was for McKayla. Jade topped her in ’19 world’s qualifying…she might actually NEED this vault to secure a gold in case she has an ‘uncharacteristic’ day.

    1. It’s almost impossible to fairly value a double salto vault when 95% of vaults in the code are single salto vaults. There’s really no formula or precedent other than the Produnova. They went 0.2 higher than the Produnova which I think is exactly correct. The biggest problem though is that the Produnova is undervalued itself which makes the Biles II undervalued by default.

    2. I think this is actually the most fair assessment given the way vaults are progressed while keeping different difficult vaults in the same general space. I think we are probably just as likely to see someone else perform a Yurvhenko double tuck as we are to seeing a good yurchenko triple twist and that both of those being valued at 6.2 is fair. I also think that the yurchenko double pike is much safer and plausible of a vault than a yurchenko 3.5 twist which I don’t believe I will ever see a woman safely perform. So, I think 6.6 makes a lot of sense actually. Comparing it to the Prod is a fools game because the vaults have so many different considerations.

  16. For me this is the argument right here: “‘Based on this 6.6 value, it sounds like the FIG would have given that double tuck vault a 6.2—lower than the value of the Biles I, the Y1/2 on layout 2/1, at 6.4—and therefore totally in no way worth doing and not representative of what a groundbreaking or difficult accomplishment it would be.”

    1. One thing to consider is that half-on vaults are overvalued… possibly by 0.2 each. There’s a valid argument that they should be equivalent in difficulty to front hand spring entries. You get more power from the round off entry but have a more difficult half-turn entry onto the table. It’s not totally unreasonable to me to consider the Rudi and Cheng as equally difficult. That would put the Amanar, Cheng, and Rudi as equally difficult which I find extremely reasonable and accurate… something to consider.

  17. Look at how gymnasts dismount beam with under-rotated double back tucks…their head almost hits the end of the beam… safety first FIG? Devalue that dismount based on safety alone.

  18. Look at how gymnasts dismount beam with under-rotated double back tucks…their head almost hits the end of the beam… safety first FIG? Devalue that dismount based on safety alone.

    1. Oh but that doesn’t matter because WHITE girls do THAT dismount.

      1. Race baiter. I see you and Jessica from gymcastic have had your diversity training sessions completed! lmao

      2. Oh hi racist denier. I’d actually even prefer to be like Jessica if you’re the alternative. ROTFLOL!

  19. This vault issue reminds me of “comparable worth”… equal pay for equal work, a huge issue about men making more money than women. Men and women same vaults should be valued equally. One would think that men’s vaults should be higher than women’s vaults because women are seen as weaker. Simone has so much power that she can do quadruples. Simone skipped training Y-tucks and went straight to Y-pikes because she feels more comfortable doing them. Her power causes her to step out of bounds on floor exercise at times, perhaps her coaches need to work with her on controlling her power. Vaults are valued from least to most difficult (in order): tucks, pikes, twists; tucks least difficult than pikes, pikes least difficult than twists. Add a twist to a Y-double tuck and it becomes more risky to land. FIG takes into account the risk factor and wants gymnasts to head in the opposite direction where safety is more important. Execution is key. The Produnova is known as the “death vault”. FIG devalues front vaults because of blind landings. Any front skill-blind landing is a risk whether beam or floor exercise. Auburn gymnast jammed both knees on a front tumbling skill because of the difficulty. Risk does not equal reward. Front skills can cause paralysis and even death. Just my opinion and I agree with me.

  20. Not only do vaults need to be valued correctly in relation to one another, they need to be valued correctly in relation to possible scores on other events. It’s the tabulation of the all-around score that puts a great stress on this whole friggin magilla. Even considering it in this context it’s still a little low.

    I am not 100% sold that the Biles II is more difficult than the Produnova. Vault is one of those events where gymnasts can do one type of entry at a much higher level than other types of entries. Both Biles and Maroney have said TTY is more difficult than Y-double Salto. If something is more difficult, shouldn’t it be worth more?

      1. TTY = triple twisting Yurchenko…yes it is different than Produnova (front entry to double front tuck with blind front landing yes)?

    1. Yep it’s a whole friggin magilla 🙂 One would think that high difficulty in any event = higher value +/or higher score…but unfortunately FIG does not want gymnasts to perform risky skills, and I stress risky as causing paralysis and even death. FIG wants to see difficulty yes but not dangerous difficulty, especially front entry vaults +/or double/triple front tucks with front blind landings where the snapping of spine/neck can occur…that’s why they probably undervalue Simone, just saying. There’s videos that show the stories of former gymnasts who did paralyzing skills and who are now in wheelchairs for the rest of their lives or who have died from injury complications – and I’m not forgetting a few coaches who told the gymnasts “just do it, you will be ok”… perhaps the coach should perform the paralyzing skills, bet they don’t and let alone can’t. Sad issue.

    2. Lots of vaults are landed with gymnasts leaning forward thus the chance of them falling forward and hurting their head and snapping their neck is high, same with dismounts from beam. Getting the maximum height off the beam is very important in order for the skill to be completed in the air with time to get a decent landing. Gymnasts are the most pure athletes!

    3. The comment about the Prod and the comments about the TTY are referring to two different vaults. I think for Simone both the Prod and the TTY would be more difficult than her Y2P. Who knows…as the Y2P was always worth more, why bother learning the others?

  21. From reading the posts it sounds like many people have been overwhelmed by the media hype surrounding Simone Biles and lost track of how WAG values back and forward tumbling and Yurchenko and front handsprings entries. Simply put, the Produnova vault should always be more difficult than a Yurchenko double back pike. The 6.6 given to Simone Biles’ new vault already makes no sense relative to the Produnova’s 6.4.

    On FX a double front tuck is worth E, a double back pike is worth D. On BB a double front tuck dismount is worth F (though it really should be G as long as the Patterson is G) while a double back pike dismount is worth E. In other words, back tumbling is always considered easier than front tumbling, mostly because back saltos make it easier to generate height whereas front saltos propel the body forward making it harder to fit in additional saltos and twists.

    Further, in WAG a Yurchenko entry is always considered easier than a front handspring entry as it allows women to generate power and height despite the relative lack of upper body strength and power. For example, as pointed out on this website, a front handspring layout full is worth the same as a DTY. MAG is of course totally different since men have much more upper body strength and power relative to their lower body.

    1. It’s harder to land front tumbling, front vaults, front dismounts…thus higher difficulty value. The front also contains blind landings… again higher difficulty value. Any front skill is also high risk. Not saying Simone DYP is not difficult but the blind landing is not part of the skill. Her training videos however show her working on the landing wherein her head leans forward = high risk if landing on her head and injuring herself. I don’t think FIG is against Simone, only against safety, especially the head/neck.

      1. Gosh, Biles should never have posted a single training video showing anything but flawlessness. It’s such a relief to have ignorant trolls like you posting yet again how the bitches of the WTC and FIG have nothing but the milk of human kindness in their veins and how they ‘only care about safeteeeeeeeeee!!!’ Is that why they countenanced and lionized abusive scum like the Karolyis and their imitators, for decades? LOL!

    2. Thank you, this is what I was getting at. I think all non-Yurchenko or non- Yurchenko w/twist entry vaults are undervalued, so of course I would think this. Then…when you consider that Biles herself has said she feels safer doing Y2P than the triple twisting Yurchecko (TTY), these issues complicate the valuation. Honestly, I never need to see another Prod vault in my life. They scare the crap outta me. And I don’t need to see anyone other than Simone do double salto vaults.

  22. Curious what Nelli Kim has said that is negative about Simone? Not your feelings about what she said, but what she actually did say? I’m late. lol

  23. Vault D scores aside… Was anyone else horrified by the top contenders dance on floor? It was trash. Simone had more sass during podium, but of course it was just a dance through, and her other skills tumbling wise are beyond fab. You really can’t have someone with all parts, power, dance, flexibility can ya!. Its so rare. Simone during the aa was so step 1 2 3. No passion boring, it was a long beam routine with no flow on the floor. Of course her tumbling beyond the fall was fab. And Chiles. My god, go watch her before the third pass, it’s like she walks into it, doesnt care hands become fully relaxed. It was baad. Kara Eaker had a nice floor routine, Morgan Hurd was better than most, though her choreographed facial ticks are a bit much. But the top tier girls are horrible at the dance aspect. I guess Grace is decent enough. Why cant we have it all? 🙂 lol

    1. Although it is worse now, American gymnasts’ dance has been terrible for decades. Their coaches can’t be arsed to make the girls take even regular ballet classes–much less jazz, tap, or any other movement class which might help–or to get ‘choreographers’ who *give* gymnasts anything but Step, 1, 2, 3! Simone’s dance could be quite good if a) she had a good choreographer and b) she cared enough to put in the time, which I don’t really think she does. That’s understandable for her; for the other gymnasts…!

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