There has been a lot of news from the FIG over the May bank holiday weekend. So here is a brief catch up:
Many gymnastics blogs have reported the big news of FIG President Bruno Grandi’s recognition that the current Code Of Points (CoP) is a “ticking time bomb”. I’m delighted that he has finally acknowledged that something must be done with the CoP, nothing will change until after the London 2012 Olympics. The Gymnastics Examiner has the best review and explanation of the announcement. See the full text of Grandi’s letter below.
Oh, that Code!
The more seasoned among us remember back to the first Code. A twelve-page opus crafted by Gander, Lapalu and Hentges, it gave structure to Men’s Artistic Gymnastics and mapped out judging in three distinct categories: difficulty, combination and execution. That was back in 1949.
Today, the Code reaches out to cover all FIG disciplines; it governs everything, infiltrating gymnastics like a metastasis that spreads and traps the sport in its deadly net. Originally created to serve the development of our sport, the Code has mutated into a time bomb that we are wholly unable to contain. Worse, it is a pitfall to judges and gymnasts alike, and creates situations that are often impossible to navigate. Remember Athens!
The time has come for us, the technicians, judges and leaders in sport, to gather round a single table and revisit the Code; to re-equip our discipline with the structure and spirit originally inherent to it. This is the endgame of the FIG Symposiums for Rhythmic Gymnastics in Zurich (SUI) at the end of April, for Artistic and Trampoline in mid-June and for Aerobic and Acrobatic in September.
Simplify the Codes; we all agree on this point. Keep in mind the essence of Roman law, the first legal system in the history of Man and which is still active today. According to our predecessors, excessive detail is what dilutes and suffocates justice. Too many laws annihilate law itself!
Starting in 2005, we took successful steps toward standardising our Codes; a commendable action, to be sure, but a far cry from being enough. What we need is complete and unequivocal reform if we hope to have a Code that serves to further develop our sport. We must simplify, not complicate. What is the essential reason for the Code? What is it made to do? What is the meaning of its existence? The answer is found in history, whose most basic message is that in order to move forward into the future, one often needs to take a brief look into the past.
At the 1948 Olympic Games in London, judging in gymnastics was scandalous! Judges were using criteria to evaluate exercises specific only to their own countries. It was a free for all. Such chaos! A Code was then created to clarify and classify criteria to maintain a standardised approach to judging. Unity was finally re-established.
A mere twelve pages in 1949 compared to hundreds today, not counting the thousands of symbols that go with them! How can a judge effectively react, evaluate and decide in mere seconds and under the pressure that goes hand in hand with, say, an Olympic Final? Impossible; it is beyond human capacity.
We need a Code, a point of reference, which will bring structure to the evaluations brought by our judges and allow us to employ the Fairbrother system. Only by doing this will we be able to avoid situations such as were experienced in Athens and London. We have the tools, IRCOS for one, which can aid in attributing an accurate technical score if used properly. But we must accept the fact that the Artistic score is largely a product of a more subjective, and certainly human, evaluation. That is the variable in our equation; fallible but not unjust. And if we are to lose ourselves in the nimbus of objectivity, we have reference judges in the wings to set our course straight.
Thank you for your attention.
FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE GYMNASTIQUE
Prof Bruno Grandi, President
Lausanne (SUI) / FIG Office, May 1, 2011. BGR/phs/az
The FIG issued a fine to Gymnova, the suppliers of equipment to the 2010 World Trampolining Championships for violation of gymnastic apparatus norms. Gymnova are also suppliers of equipment for the London 2012 Olympics.
Lausanne (SUI) / FIG Office, April 30, 2011:
The Commission pronounced the company in violation of norms specified in the Disciplinary Code and Procedures, Chapter IV, for having supplied a FIG event with equipment bearing defective springs – the 2010 Trampoline World Championships in Metz, France – which significantly decreased the level of quality in affected apparatus.
Pursuant to the corresponding articles of the Disciplinary Code and Procedures (Chapter IV) and article 10 of the Disciplinary Code, the Commission issued the company a 2,000 € fine. The decision will be made public on the FIG website and via all other standard channels of communication. All costs related to the suit will be paid by the Company, a total amount of 8,500 CHF.
It is Gymnova’s right to appeal to the FIG Appeal Tribunal within 21 days of notification of this decision.
The FIG Disciplinary Commission has rendered a verdict in the disciplinary proceedings involving Gymnova, which were lodged in response to an incidence at the 2011 Trampoline World Championships in Metz in 2010.
And finally, to top it all off, Mexican gymnast Rut Castillo Galindo tested positive for sibutramine, a stimulant specified on the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Prohibited Substance List at the Pan American Rhythmic and Trampoline Gymnastics Championships in Guadalajara in December 2010.
The FIG Disciplinary Commission has ruled to suspend Ms Rut Castillo Galindo for a period of 6 (six) months from the date of notification of the decision, to deduct any provisional period of suspension already served and to cancel all results obtained at the Pan American Rhythmic and Trampoline Gymnastics Championships, medals, points and prize money included. First instance procedure fees of 6,500 CHF will be charged to the gymnast.
The gymnast may appeal to the FIG Appeal Tribunal within 21 days following notification of the decision.