USA Gymnastics changes Scoring System

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It has been announced by the U.S. WAG International Elite Committee that the scoring system for junior and senior gymnasts has changed for the summer domestic competitions. This affects the American Classic, U.S. Classic, U.S. Challenge, and P&G Championships. Taking an idea from U.S. men’s gymnastics, the women will now be awarded a 0.1 for sticking a landing.

After reading the minutes of the Committee’s meeting, here’s my understanding of how the changes will work: For vaults valued at 5.8 or higher, 0.1 will be awarded for a stick. (If a senior gymnast performs more than one vault, such as McKayla Maroney, she is eligible for the additional tenth on both vaults.) On uneven bars and balance beam, 0.1 can be awarded on for a stuck dismount. On floor exercise, tumbling passes that end in at least a D-valued acro skill can earn a 0.1 for a stick. (USA Gymnastics used a 2 ½ twist to punch front full as an example; this pass is not eligible for the 0.1 bonus since a punch front full is not a D acro skill.) There can only be one stick rewarded in any given floor routine. And in an unusual twist, the 0.1 will not be put into the Execution part of the score. Instead, it will be added to the Difficulty value.

Domestic competitions are nearly always scored higher than events such as a World Championships. Adding the 0.1 for a stuck landing in the U.S. will continue the trend, and may make it harder for fans to compare scores from a U.S. competition to a World Cup or World Challenge event. But the change does have its advantages. The new system increases the incentive to stick a landing, and could eventually lead to more consistent performances and higher E-scores for the U.S. women over time.

With the new stick bonus, a gymnast at the P&G Championships could potentially gain an extra 0.8 over the two days of competition. The winners of the last two Championships have been decided by only 0.2, so this could be quite the game changer in the long run! As we all know, tenths add up fast, so sticking dismounts will definitely become more important in the United States.

The International Elite Committee Minutes discussing the change can be viewed here.

Please share your thoughts on the scoring change in the comments below!

Article by Anna Rose Johnson.

Image  Source: Ronald Martinez/Getty Images Europe)

5 Comments

  1. Jennifer says:

    Really, a BONUS for sticking a landing? Isn’t that a requirement anyway? How about another bonus for actually staying on the equipment. Ridiculous!! The “dumbing down” of gymnastics.

  2. Sorator says:

    Trying to incentivize greater consistency: good.

    Intentionally making scores at home meets further differ from scores abroad: bad.

    I have very mixed feelings about this.

  3. Admin says:

    @Sorator I feel the same way in that respect – with different nations scoring differently.

  4. melody says:

    I don’t know about anyone else, but knowing I’m going to lose tenths by not sticking IS my incentive for sticking my landings. I’m not s fan of this ruling. One’s goal should always be to perform their best.

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