judging breakdown – Yurchenko vault

Ashley Postell from Utah has the top average score in the NCAA on Vault.

The Salt Lake Tribune documented Postell’s March 7 vault against Oregon State. She received a 9.95 score, a combination of two judges’ scores – a 9.9 and a perfect 10.0.

Charity Greene, the judge who awarded the 10.0, was asked to analyze the vault frame-by-frame. (Every judge awarding a “perfect” score should be required to do so.)

The most interesting frame to me is this one, the point of contact on landing. Technique is very good.


Unfortunately, NCAA judges want the chest position vertical on landing. The gymnast must stop the rotation of the somersault and come to a stop, somehow. There are many ways to do this biomechanically. But the only acceptable way in College gymnastics rules is like a knife stuck into a plank.

Shannon Miller’s landing on her first vault from the 1992 Olympics is perfect — yet her torso is not vertical. (Was Shannon fantastic, or what? Apologies in advance for the antics of Steve Nunno. His retirement from coaching was a happy day for me.)

Click PLAY or watch Shannon on YouTube.

(via difficulty plus execution)

If you want to see Ashley’s vault analysis for yourself, download the PDF file linked from this article:

Gymnastics: Postell’s vault broken down by a judge

The best Yurchenko fulls I’ve ever seen were done by Chinese men (and probably Kyle Shewfelt) but I do not have the links at my finger tips. Leave a comment if you have a personal favourite. We can use it as a 10 standard when comparing with College women’s vaults.

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Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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