A change in the All – Around

Victoria+Komova+Olympics+Day+6+Gymnastics+2-NYZomc3Cwl

Full Twist writer Anna Rose Johnson ponders making changes to the All-Around competition.

Suppose you were going to make a massive change in gymnastics—what would it be?

If I were going to make a change, I would make it so that in World and Olympic competition, the individual all-around score isn’t just based on one night. The score from the all-around final would be added to the qualification score to create a winner. Remember when the all-around totals combined compulsories and optionals? This would be the same idea, except that each gymnast would just perform her own optional routines twice. In fact, this would be more like going to back to another old gymnastics rule—before the introduction of the New Life rule in 1989. It was only after New Life came into effect that the all-around scores stopped being averaged with the team final scores, which resulted in the system we have now.

You may wonder why I think this change is necessary. It just occurred to me that it is a little short-sighted to base the all-around champion of a Worlds or Olympic Games off of just one competition night. Under our current system, if a terrific gymnast didn’t have the best night in an all-around final, she would be sunk! But if you add in qualifications, then she would have a much better chance of reaching the podium.

It would be even better if you could use three days of competition to achieve the final score. My first thought was to use the gymnasts’ scores from the team competition, the way they did before New Life. But in the top teams, typically only one gymnast performs on all four apparatus, and it’s standard that the U.S.A., Russia, Romania, and China always qualify two gymnasts to the all-around final, so this method wouldn’t work anymore. Also, gymnasts such as Jessica Lopez (VEN), Marta Pihan-Kulesza (POL), and Ana Sofia Gomez (GUA) competed in the 2012 Olympic all-around and their countries did not qualify a full team.

Imagine the new excitement this would add to the qualification rounds—gymnasts would have to be virtually perfect over two days of competition to claim the all-around title. They would have to hit all their routines twice.

This situation is already tried and true in the United States, because this is the system used in the national championships. Night one, the qualification, is added to night two, the final, to create the eventual score, which results in the most consistent gymnasts on the podium. Last summer, when Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, and Aly Raisman accounted for the top three slots at nationals, they also made up the second, third, and fourth slots in the Olympic qualification (although in reverse order).

I would love to see heightened drama and more consistency. I feel this system would truly define the all-around champion of a World Championships or Olympic Games. The procedure could also be used in the apparatus finals. I believe that using both scores would ensure that the most consistent gymnast wins the biggest prize!

However, there is a problem with this idea. Gymnasts who fall either in prelims or in the all-around final would have a better chance of medaling (or winning) than they would when you only count the all-around. A low score has a smaller effect on an eight-event competition than a four-event one. Probably the best way to eliminate medalists who fell would be to deduct 1.5 for a fall, or even 2.0, rather than just 1.0.

By combining qualifications with the all-around final, Viktoria Komova would have won both the 2012 Olympic Games and the 2011 World Championships. Aliya Mustafina would still have won the 2010 Worlds, but Rebecca Bross would have won in 2009—and Nastia Liukin would have been the 2008 Olympic champion by a much smaller margin!

For those curious, I have listed the results of the top ten gymnasts in the last three World Championships and the last two Olympic Games all-around finals, along with how they would have placed under my system.

Another advantage of this system is that there would be a much lower chance of gymnasts tying for medals, which was a sore spot at the London Olympics when Aliya Mustafina and Aly Raisman tied for the bronze (and there was a tiebreaker). There is only one tie under my system in these results.

 

THE 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES:

1. GABBY DOUGLAS: 62.232

2. VIKTORIA KOMOVA: 61.973

3. ALIYA MUSTAFINA: 59.566

4. ALY RAISMAN: 56.566

5. SANDRA IZBASA: 58.833

6. DENG LINLIN: 58.399

7. HUANG QIUSHUANG: 58.115

8. VANESSA FERRARI: 57.999

9. LARISA IORDACHE: 57.965

10. ELISABETH SEITZ: 57.365

 

THE 2012 OLYMPIC GAMES

(BY COMBINING PRELIMS AND THE AA)

1. VIKTORIA KOMOVA: 122.605

2. GABBY DOUGLAS: 122.497

3. ALY RAISMAN: 119.957

4. ALIYA MUSTAFINA: 116.532

5. SANDRA IZBASA: 116.365

6. TIED: DENG LINLIN: 115.931

6. TIED: VANESSA FERRARI: 115.931

8. HUANG QIUSHUANG: 115.822

9. LARISA IORDACHE: 115.765

10. ASUKA TERAMOTO: 115.197

 

THE 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS:

1. JORDYN WIEBER: 59.382

2. VIKTORIA KOMOVA: 59.349

3. YAO JINNAN: 58.598

4. ALEXANDRA RAISMAN: 57.558

5. HUANG QIUSHUANG: 57.432

6. ANA PORGRAS: 57.299

7. KSENIA AFANASYEVA: 56.732

8. LAUREN MITCHELL: 56.699

9. HANNAH WHELAN: 56.124

10. NADINE JAROSCH: 56.033

 

THE 2011 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

(COMBINING PRELIMS WITH THE AA)

1. VIKTORIA KOMOVA: 119.506

2. JORDYN WIEBER: 119.414

3. YAO JINNAN: 117.629

4. ALEXANDRA RAISMAN: 115.990

5. HUANG QIUSHUANG: 114.364

6. KSENIA AFANASYEVA: 113.673

7. LAUREN MITCHELL: 113.023

8. ELISABETH SEITZ: 112.555

9. ANA PORGRAS: 112.131

10. VANESSA FERRARI: 111.730

 

THE 2010 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS:

1. ALIYA MUSTAFINA: 61.032

2. JIANG YUYUAN: 59.998

3. REBECCA BROSS: 58.966

4. HUANG QIUSHUANG: 58.366

5. ANA PORGRAS: 58.165

6. LAUREN MITCHELL: 58.133

7. TATIANA NABIEVA: 57.298

8. ARIELLA KAESLIN: 56.900

9. RALUCA HAIDU: 56.332

10. JESSICA LOPEZ: 56.298

 

THE 2010 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

(COMBINING PRELIMS WITH THE AA)

1. ALIYA MUSTAFINA: 121.098

2. JIANG YUYUAN: 118.097

3. REBECCA BROSS: 118.047

4. HUANG QIUSHUANG: 116.431

5. ANA PORGRAS: 116.063

6. LAUREN MITCHELL: 115.998

7. TATIANA NABIEVA: 114.863

8. ALEXANDRA RAISMAN: 114.014

9. ARIELLA KAESLIN: 113.332

10. RALUCA HAIDU: 112.531

 

THE 2009 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

1. BRIDGET SLOAN: 57.825

2. REBECCA BROSS: 57.775

3. KOKO TSURUMI: 57.175

4. LAUREN MITCHELL: 57.150

5. YOUNA DUFOURNET: 56.650

6. YANG YILIN: 56.575

7. ANA PORGRAS: 56.500

8. ARIELLA KAESLIN: 55.925

9. ANAMARIA TAMIRJAN: 55.625

10. EKATERINA KURBATOVA: 55.475

 

THE 2009 WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS

(COMBINING PRELIMS WITH THE AA)

1. REBECCA BROSS: 115.225

2. BRIDGET SLOAN: 113.900

3. ANA PORGRAS: 113.800

4. LAUREN MITCHELL: 113.775

5. KOKO TSURUMI: 113.100

6. YANG YILIN: 112.075

7. DENG LINLIN: 111.575

8. EKATERINA KURBATOVA: 111.425

9. ARIELLA KAESLIN: 111.375

10. YOUNA DUFOURNET: 111.025

 

THE 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES:

1. NASTIA LIUKIN: 63.325

2. SHAWN JOHNSON: 62.725

3. YANG YILIN: 62.650

4. KSENIA SEMENOVA: 61.925

5. STELIANA NISTOR: 61.050

6. JIANG YUYUAN: 60.900

7. ANNA PAVLOVA: 60.825

8. SANDRA IZBASA: 60.750

9. OKSANA CHUSOVITINA: 60.125

10. JADE BARBOSA: 59.550

 

THE 2008 OLYMPIC GAMES:
(COMBINING PRELIMS WITH THE AA)

1. NASTIA LIUKIN: 125.700

2. SHAWN JOHNSON: 125.450

3. YANG YILIN: 125.000

4. KSENIA SEMENOVA: 123.400

5. ANNA PAVLOVA: 121.725

6. STELIANA NISTOR: 121.550

7. JIANG YUYUAN: 121.525

8. SANDRA IZBASA: 120.125

9. OKSANA CHUSOVITINA: 119.500

10. JADE BARBOSA: 119.050

 

If you have any thoughts or comments, please leave a comment below.

Article by Anna Rose Johnson

Read more of Anna’s articles:

10 minutes with Elizabeth Price

A potential USA rivalry

A History of the American Cup

Possible American Cup replacements for Price & Iordache

Image via Getty Images.

 

9 Comments

  1. Megan says:

    Interesting.

    My massive changes would be: Do away with the 2-per-country rule; get rid of the age limit to qualify for international competition (i.e. Worlds and Olys); get rid of the unfair tie-breakers we saw too many of in London (the injustice!); reward originality WAY more than is currently done so we can stop watching the same routines over and over and over. That is all.

  2. Richard Sabel says:

    One of the reasons for the new life rule was to put excitement back into the competition. Prior to new life, it was virtually impossible for any of the lower ranked qualifiers in event finals to medal, let alone win, the event unless the leaders had a really bad day. New life puts pressure on the top performers to do well (though they might get conservative) and encourages lower ranked qualifiers to go big in an attempt to get those additional tenths.

    However, I do see why you would want the All-Around champion to be the most consistent gymnast throughout the competition. But the same logic does apply. A big deficit early makes it nearly impossible to win. Look at the 1984 Olympics. With New Life, Ekaterina Szabó would have won AA. Mary Lou certainly didn’t have the best bars in the world, but at least she stayed on.

    I think the argument could go both ways. However, I think a larger detriment right now is that with open ended scoring, the highest start value basically wins. Look at both vault and floor. Maroney still received silver despite a fall. Raisman had a full 0.30 tenth margin over Ponor (though Mitchell did have a 16.4 SV). With the tight E-scoring, it was nearly impossible for anyone to beat her without a major error.

  3. Dee says:

    But this whole scoring system WAS made to reward originality and risk. It’s not FIG’s fault that nowadays we have so many mediocre gymnasts who code-whore their way to medals.

  4. kimia says:

    Don’t mean to be rude, but this doesn’t make much sense! you want the gymnast who hasn’t had “the best night” to still have a chance to win, therefor you want to count 2 nights, and at the same time you want gymnasts who fall to not have a chance of medal, therefor you want to deduct 2?? these two changes cancel each other out!!

  5. Kristi says:

    I am probably “old school”, but I remember disliking the New Life rules when they came out.

    After the 1992 Olympic Games, I sat down and determined the results had they stayed with the carryover method. I remember doing my own calculating and saw that Shannon Miller would have won the AA. I also remember the reasons the then Unified Team gave for putting Tatiana Gutsu into the AA competition and sort of wondered about those reasons.

  6. richard says:

    I think the system you propose is ridiculous.

  7. David says:

    I agree with using Qualifications and the All Around to determine the overall winner. More pressure and fairer results. Other changes I would make:

    1 – team finals – top 4 teams only (has a 5th or 6th place team ever challenged for a medal? if so correct me). 5 gymnasts per team compete on 4 apparatus. Team finals lack the depth they used to have, when you had to have 4 or 5 great gymnasts and not just 2 or 3. All scores count.

    2 – all around – 2 per country rule scrapped. We want to see the BEST gymansts in finals, so if it’s a Russia, USA, China, Romania final, then other countries have to up their game. It’s the Olympics/Worlds!

    3 – Vault – 2 different vaults for all competitions. Average score.

    4 – Touch time on apparatus. Good for gymnasts and better value for money for spectators. New system is such a rip-off!

    5 – Maximum 3 tumbles on floor, to discourage the use of round off black flip double back tuck, which was ok in 1988 but not by 1992!

Trackbacks for this post

  1. The USA Team for the Jesolo Trophy 2013 - Full Twist
  2. Four Observations on the Code of Points - Full Twist

Leave a Comment

Powered by WordPress | Deadline Theme : An AWESEM design

  • RSS
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Flickr
  • YouTube