NCAA Code Modifications: 2016 and 2017


On vault, the big news is the fact that the Yurchenko layout full (a round-off onto the board, back handspring onto the table and a layout with a full twist) and Yurchenko layout-half have been devalued to start from a 9.95 …

… vaults that are still valued at a 10.0 start value. For example:

Front handspring pike-front half

Tsukahara (cartwheel or half turn entry directly onto the table) layout full or layout half (or Phelps, 1/2 turn to Front Layout)

Yurchenko or Tsukahara tuck 1 1/2

Omelianchik (round-off half turn to front pike) and Podkapaeva (round-off half turn to front tuck 1/2)

Tuck or pike Luconi (round-off backhandspring with a full twist on, back tuck/pike off)

Pike Ilg (front handpring onto board, front pike off)

Handspring 2/1 twist

Click through to College Gym Fans for more.

Originally I’d heard Y 1/1 would not be devalued until 2017. But this document states it will begin January 2016.

Nothing is ratified, as yet. There could be clarifications yet to come.

In my opinion Handspring pike 1/2 is the easiest of the remaining 10.0 vaults.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

(via College Gymnastics Board)

Bars – Shushunova release

I’ve liked this skill since I saw Yelena compete it at the 1985 Worlds.

It’s weird and interesting.

Click PLAY or watch Shushunova’s original and a variation on YouTube.

Of course finishing the Blind Change before doing the release makes the variation far easier. Neither should or could be called “full twisting Tkachev”. (Ask a gymnast who can actually do a full twisting Tkachev their opinion on Shushunova release.)

Click PLAY or watch the easier version on YouTube. In slow motion.

Note that Yelena’s name is often spelled Shushunova or Schuschunova.

related – Bars: Shushunova vs Monckton

(via Region 5 Insider)

history of artistry in Artistic Gymnastics

Dance educator, Circus and Gymnastics choreographer Chris Houston put together a research paper for an undergraduate degree titled The Art of the Sport.

Here’s an excerpt:

… A significant area of research that merits further investigation is the exclusion of the women’s compulsory program. This program demanded that the gymnast perform fundamental skills with the highest form of precision possible. These routines distinguished the technically proficient gymnast from the gymnast with poor form and substandard artistry.

The floor routine required exquisite dance technique, superior flexibility, and exceptional acrobatic execution. Each nation brought their own ‘flavor’ in the presentation of these exercises; they tried to stylize the movements to look different from other countries.

The interpretation of the routine allowed each gymnast to demonstrate their unique personality – it encouraged the individual’s artistry.

In 1996, the compulsory program was cut. Since its removal, there has been a gradual decline in the execution of dance …

Download The Art of the Sport as a PDF.

What is artistry?

Click PLAY or watch some of Chris’ work on Vimeo.

FIG Men – 8 counting skills?

The number of skills required in a Men’s Artistic Gymnastics routine may shrink from 10 to eight after the 2016 Olympic Games, FIG Men’s Technical Committee President Steve Butcher (USA) has confirmed.

Difficulty scores in Men’s Gymnastics are currently calculated based on the 10 most difficult skills shown in an exercise. …

“Regarding safety of the gymnasts, this potential change would reduce every exercise by 20 percent. This could result in fewer overuse injuries,” Butcher said. “Improving the safety of the gymnasts is always my primary concern. Reducing the amount of elements also brings the D-scores of the top gymnasts even closer, requiring even better execution in order to reach the finals and award podium.” …

The MTC is expected to make its decision regarding the number of elements for the next Olympic cycle during its September meeting in Krakow (POL). Any definitive change would also need to be approved by the FIG Executive Committee, however.



Grandi has always wanted MAG and WAG to require the same number of skills.

My gut feeling is that both Floor and Horizontal Bar would be instantly better with fewer counting skills. But those two could hardly be worse with any Code change.

Pommel Horse and P Bars are amazing now. They might be less amazing counting 8 skills.

Rings might be slightly better with eight. And safer. Gymnasts who cannot do multiple major strength holds would be more competitive on that apparatus.

Vault would not change, I assume. But right now there is far too much reward for difficulty, not enough credit for execution.

Lyn Heward on Artistry

The former Artistic Director of Cirque du Soleil, who has spent the better part of two decades helping create the spectacle of one of the world-renowned circus, has teamed with music specialist Lasse Nettum of the Norwegian College of Sports Science in Oslo to re-infuse artistry into Women’s Artistic Gymnastics.

Through a series of Artistry Workshops, given at FIG World Championship events beginning in 2013, Heward and Nettum have attempted to guide judges and coaches in the creation of original, artistic works, particularly on Balance Beam and Floor Exercise …

Interview: Lyn Heward

That’s an excellent read. I agree with Lyn Heward, of course.

And I’ve seen some of the material from those presentations. Very interesting. But I’ve not yet seen any of them posted online.

The problem is evaluating artistry in Artistic Gymnastics. I’m not convinced it’s possible. No panel of judges will be consistently able to arrive at the same “Artistry deductions” from meet-to-meet. :-(

Brenna Dowell
Brenna Dowell

Since it’s impossible, my proposal is not to include artistry in the Code of Points. Instead the judges or – better – a computer video program – deduct only those things that can be reliably evaluated: height, distance, line, leg position, elbows, etc.

Brenna Dowell can keep her feet stretched on Tkachevs. The great majority who cannot should be deducted.

related – The artistry question

Brenna Dowell – Bars

Brenna’s was the most exciting Bar routine at Championships. Highest start score (6.7) over Gowey (6.6).

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

15.150 (6.7, 8.450)

Valeri Liukin – Flyaway 1/1

Why we miss Olympic compulsories.

Easier skills done with maximum amplitude. One example from Compulsory Horizontal Bar.

Casey485 likes Kim Zmeskal competing the same skill.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.