Four Observations on the Code of Points


Full Twist writer Anna Rose Johnson continues to observe the gymnastics world closely and shares her brilliant views in her latest post.

We’ve lived with the new Code of Points for three months now, and there have been many surprises for me. I thought I’d share four of my observations about the Code of Points that have struck me as highly intriguing.

The new beam combinations are beautiful:

We have seen some wonderful new balance beam combinations attempted by gymnasts such as Ksenia Afanasyeva, Katelyn Ohashi, Anastasia Grishina, Aliya Mustafina, and most notably, Vanessa Ferrari, with her split handstand, stepdown to flip flop, full-twist. I love these combinations, they’re just gorgeous! The only drawback is the fact that when Vanessa tried her new combination at the Jesolo Trophy, she hurt her foot and will be out for a few weeks. These connected skills seem fairly risky. But then again, that’s what the FIG said when Olga Korbut tried her backflips in Munich in 1972!

Artistry helps on balance beam:

Some high beam scores in the past couple of months have come from Larisa Iordache (ROM), Aliya Mustafina (RUS), and Katelyn Ohashi (USA). They were 15.500, 15.450, and 15.333. This is interesting, since all three gymnasts have been noted for their artistry.

Floor scores are lower:

Three very high scores for this Code on floor exercise have come from Diana Bulimar (ROM), Victoria Moors (CAN), and Simone Biles (USA), whose respective scores from various competitions have been 14.650, 14.800, and 14.900. I have noticed that very few floor scores have come close to these marks so far. Actually, the scores nowadays are typically about 14.200. Routines that would have scored about 14.500 under the 2009-2012 Code of Points are now receiving high 13.00s. I love the artistic emphasis, but sometimes I wonder where the deductions are coming from.

Uneven Bars appears the same:

Apparently, uneven bars has not undergone an extreme overhaul, since artistry on this apparatus (like vault) does not exist the way it does on beam and floor. In general, the Russians and Chinese have been scoring higher on this event than the Americans, just like in the last quadrennium. Personally, I am not familiar with how the uneven bars scoring has changed, although I read that this Code does not reward pirouetting connections as much as it did, thus increasing the likelihood of release combinations. (I will be very interested to see how Gabby Douglas scores on bars in her return to competition!)

If anyone has observations of their own on the new Code of Points, please leave a comment below!

Image via Getty Images.

Don’t forget to read more of Anna’s fantastic posts:

The USA Team for the Jesolo Trophy 2013

A Change in the All Around

10 minutes with Elizabeth Price

A potential USA rivalry

A history of the American Cup

Possible American Cup replacements for Price & Iordache



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