Category Archives: Code of Points

The 2022 Code is Out!

The FIG has released the code of points for 2022-2024, which will go into effect on January 1, 2022 and (because of the everything) will last for just three years instead of the usual four—the triennium leading up to and including Paris 2024.

I did a side-by-side read of the 2017-2020 (2021…) code compared to the new code to account for all of the new rules, both big and small. Surprise, I already have strong opinions about all of them.

The Headlines

Maximum 1 wolf turn per routine – In typical FIG fashion, they looked at what everyone was talking about 8 years ago and said, “Check it out, we’ve just had a great idea.” But I’m not complaining. A new rule for 2022 prohibits gymnasts from performing more than one wolf turn in any single beam or floor routine. All subsequent wolf turns will not be counted.

It’s a wildly important development to eliminate all those insufferable back-to-back wolf doubles and wolf triples. Now, I would have also liked to see the wolf turns on floor downgraded by a tenth, but we can’t have everything.

Upgrade of clear-hip hecht 1/2 – This may seem like a random thing to list among the headlines, but changing the value of the clear-hip hecht 1/2 from C to D should help vary bars composition by introducing an element that can be connected out of a bail handstand and back tothe high bar for useful bonus.

After the elimination of the connection bonus for the bail handstand + stalder shoot, bails rapidly disintegrated from top elite routines as there wasn’t any real scoring incentive to doing them. The hope, at least, is that this will provide another viable transition option so that everything isn’t Pak + Shaposh.

The clear-hip hecht 1/2 has also been added to the list of exceptions for empty backswing deductions, like the Shaposhnikova skills.

Dismount Bonus – This is kind of a weird one. On bars, beam, and floor, a 0.2 bonus will now be awarded for (hit) dismounts rated D or higher. This isn’t necessarily bad thing—I’m in favor of encouraging difficult dismounts—but it’s going to take some getting used to and is strange because they JUST got rid of the composition requirement for D dismounts. This was presumably done to allow people who didn’t have a D dismount but had difficulty elsewhere to remain competitive. And then exactly what everyone knew would happen (slash the entire point?) happened and tons of gymnasts started dismounting beam with a 2/1 because they could. Now the FIG is like, “Oh wait never mind, do a double tuck please.”

Continue reading The 2022 Code is Out!

WTF Is College Gymnastics Scoring – Floor

Before the NCAA season begins, it’s time for the now-annual venture into the murky world of NCAA scoring for those who might want to know a little more about what’s actually going on behind that bonkers 9.950 that just got thrown. Fair warning: you’ll be happier if you don’t

For the full experience, be sure to check out the posts on vault, bars, and beam.


Composing a routine

Routine requirements
  • At minimum, an NCAA routine must include 3 A-valued elements, 3 B-valued elements, and 2 C-valued elements.

That is a very basic standard that college gymnasts are able to achieve quite comfortably. You don’t have to worry about it. Gymnasts must also fulfill a series of special composition requirements, each worth 0.2. On floor, those four requirements are

1 – One acrobatic combination, featuring 2 saltos. The 2 saltos can be directly connected to each other or indirectly connected to each other within a single tumbling pass, but they must appear in the same line of acrobatic skills.

2 – Three different saltos within the exercise. Because the majority of gymnasts perform three tumbling passes, one of which must be a combination pass, they tend to have four different saltos in their routines anyway, easily fulfilling the minimum requirement of three.

Some will not have four, either because they are performing a routine with just two passes, or because they are repeating a skill in one of the passes, but they must have at least three different salto elements.

Continue reading WTF Is College Gymnastics Scoring – Floor

WTF Is College Gymnastics Scoring – Beam

Before the NCAA season begins, it’s time for the now-annual venture into the murky world of NCAA scoring for those who might want to know a little more about what’s actually going on behind that bonkers 9.950 that just got thrown. Fair warning: you’ll be happier if you don’t.

For the full experience, be sure to check out the posts on vault, bars, and floor.


Composing a routine

Routine requirements
  • At minimum, an NCAA routine must include 3 A-valued elements, 3 B-valued elements, and 2 C-valued elements.

That is a very basic standard that college gymnasts are able to achieve quite comfortably. You don’t have to worry about it. Gymnasts must also fulfill a series of special composition requirements, each worth 0.2. On beam, those five requirements are

1 – One acrobatic series. This means two acrobatic flight elements, “directly connected,” with at least one of the elements being C value or higher.

By far the most common acrobatic flight series you’ll see is the back handspring + layout stepout (loso) series.

It’s the classic NCAA series, and you’re probably sick of it, or will be.

You’ll notice I put “directly connected” in quotes in the above rule because of snottiness. An acrobatic series should have to be directly connected and generate rebounding speed in one direction. But that is not actually required.

Rather, forward + backward series may also be used to fulfill this requirement, the most common of which is the front aerial + back handspring series. Everyone has decided to agree that this also counts as a directly connected acro series, despite being just two different acro elements performed in the vague vicinity of one another.

aerialbhs

Continue reading WTF Is College Gymnastics Scoring – Beam

WTF Is College Gymnastics Scoring – Bars

Before the NCAA season begins, it’s time for the now-annual venture into the murky world of NCAA scoring for those who might want to know a little more about what’s actually going on behind that bonkers 9.950 that just got thrown. Fair warning: you’ll be happier if you don’t.

For the full experience, be sure to check out the posts on vault, beam, and floor.


Composing a routine

Routine requirements
  • At minimum, an NCAA routine must include 3 A-value elements, 3 B-value elements, and 2 C-value elements.

That is a very basic standard that college gymnasts are able to achieve quite comfortably. You don’t have to worry about it. Gymnasts must also fulfill a series of special composition requirements, each worth 0.2. On bars, those four requirements are

1 – Two separate bar changes. This means that you can’t just start on the low bar, get up to the high bar, and then dismount. At some point in the routine, you have to transition from low to high, and from high to low.

2 – Two flight elements, not including the dismount. Flight elements include same-bar releases, as well as transition skills in which the body is not in contact with either bar at some point.

Gymnasts will typically fulfill this by using their two transitions (e.g., a bail handstand and a toe shoot; a Pak and a Shaposh), or by using one of those transitions skills along with a same-bar release. Gymnasts do not have to perform a same-bar release, and you’re supposed to have a really strong opinion about that one way or the other.

The two flight elements typically must be at least C-value skills, but one B-value skill can be used to meet the requirement as long as the other element is D- or E-value.

3 – A turning element, minimum C value. Turning elements normally make us think of pirouettes, but that does not have to be the case. Turning pirouettes do fulfill this requirement, but so does any skill including at least a 1/2 turn at any point. That means a skill like a bail handstand can be used to meet this requirement. It’s not the spirit of the rule, but it does count and is taken advantage of all the time.

4 – A dismount, minimum C value. This special requirement is a lie. NCAA gymnastics absolutely does not want you dismounting with an isolated C element, despite what the requirement says.

You can, but if the C-level dismount is preceded by two giant swings, as most dismounts are, you lose 0.1. Plus, if the C dismount is not performed in combination for bonus, you lose an additional 0.1. So basically, you can’t dismount with a lone C. (In 2020, this specification was extended to D dismounts as well, but the language reverted back to the old one in the 2021 rules update, just concerning Cs.)

The requirement should just say a dismount, minimum D value, or C-value in direct bonus combination. That’s what it boils down to anyway.

Missing any one of these four requirements is a 0.2 deduction from the start value. Every routine you watch will have been composed specifically to ensure that doesn’t happen. Any gymnast with a routine that includes 3 As, 3 Bs, and 2 Cs, and that fulfills the four requirements above will begin with a 9.40 start value.


Continue reading WTF Is College Gymnastics Scoring – Bars

WTF is College Gymnastics Scoring – Vault

Before the NCAA season begins, it’s time for the now-annual venture into the murky world of NCAA scoring for those who might want to know a little more about what’s actually going on behind that bonkers 9.950 that just got thrown. Fair warning: you’ll be happier if you don’t.

For the full experience, be sure to check out the posts on bars, beam, and floor as well.


Vault values

Unlike on the other events, where we have skills and letters values and composition requirements and bonus rules, on vault we have simply a set of predetermined start values.

You can check out the full list of vaults and their values if you’d like, but the most pressing issue on vault is the quest to have a 10.0 start value. Because the omnipresent Yurchenko full is valued at 9.95, having a 10.0 SV can provide a decisive advantage, and a lineup of all 10.0 vaults would begin with a margin of .250 over a lineup of all Yurchenko fulls.

Here is a list of the 10.0-value vaults that you might see in NCAA (some more likely than others), with links to their GIFs. The golden geese of vaulting.

NCAA 10.0 Vaults
Yurchenko 1.5
Yurchenko 2/1
Yurchenko 1.5 tucked
Round-off 1/2 on, front tuck 1/2
Round-off 1/2 on, front pike
Round-off 1/1 on, back tuck or pike
Tsukahara 1/2
Tsukahara 1/1
Handspring pike 1/2
Handspring tuck 1/1
FHS, Handspring front pike

Deductions

With the values set, all we have left to deal with are the deductions. Just those. The most important thing you need to know about NCAA deductions is ‾\_(ツ)_/‾. Keep that in mind at all times.

NCAA pretends that it follows the Level 10 code of points, except it obviously doesn’t. There is a tremendous amount of subjectivity remaining in NCAA scoring, including an unwritten understanding regarding which deductions from the Level 10 code actually count and which ones magically don’t for the purpose of scoring NCAA routines. The standard is, “We take the Level 10 code of points, and then just ignore all of it. The end. Here’s your score. Fetch.”

So, in these sections, I’m going to deviate from (deviate from = completely ignore) the actual code of points we’re supposed to follow and instead discuss the reality of what I see getting taken from meet to meet. Continue reading WTF is College Gymnastics Scoring – Vault