FIXING College Bars Judging

Bars is not at all the worst evaluated apparatus in College gymnastics.

But it could be better. In 2014 there’s too much emphasis on stuck landings.

Possible rules changes:

• deduct 0.05 for high to low bar transfers not finishing in handstand

• deduct more for lack of height on dismounts

• require same bar somersault release (as in FIG rules)

• start deducting 0.05 each time for flexed feet past the low bar on Giants. And on Tkachev.

• placing judges so they could see feet apart on double layout dismount

Our 2014 Bars Champion Bridget Sloan has always had flexed feet on Tkachev skills.


Bridget’s feet are less flexed now than in the past (2008 VIDEO), happily.

If those rules are in place now, it’s obvious they are not being enforced. :-( Start enforcing them to better separate the best of the best routines.

Leave a comment if you have additional ideas for improving Bars judging.

Published by

coach Rick

Career gymnastics coach from Calgary, Canada.

9 thoughts on “FIXING College Bars Judging”

  1. The thing that really got me this year was leg separation on the DLO dismounts! I understand the judges are seeing the routine from a different angle than we are, but some of these girls have a 12-18″ leg separation. I can’t believe the judges aren’t seeing it. Also, landing with the feet so far apart. That has been a major trend on all events this year.

  2. All of these deductions are in place including leg separation up to.2. The only deduction not listed is salto on one bar. This is not a special requirement. If added that would certainaly separate the bars start values. Some judges feel need not apply on D and E skills.
    I do not agree.
    SJ Clifford
    National Judge

    1. As a judge, how many of these “missed deductions” that we see on tv do you think are unable to be seen by the judges because of their limited view from the judges table?

        1. I would think even from the judges table you would be able to see legs apart during a dismount or landing with the feet shoulder width apart, so can the judges really not see that or are they just choosing not to take the deductions?

  3. Well, I watched one NCAA during the season where a gymnast missed every handstand on bars, and even arched over badly and brought herself back to handstand. Her score was a 9.95. I couldn’t believe it! In JO Level 10, that routine would have scored at most an 8.9 (four missed handstands=.8 deduction, arching in handstand=.3). That score was beyond generous. NCAA scoring needs to be a little more realistic. I like Coach Rick’s suggestions.

  4. These suggestions are useless — they are all already in place except the same-bar release requirement, which is not needed. The judges just need to use their own damn rules. Simple.

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