the Artistry dilemma


Artistry, or the lack thereof, is one the hottest topics in gymnastics.

Bemoaning the demise of artistry – in combination with the assurance that everything was much better in the 80s – is something of full-time job for a lot of gym fans. While fans have the luxury of sitting back and yelling “are the judges blind?!!! That routine should have been hammered for lack of artistry!” at their computer screens, the FIG has to come up with actual rules that can be applied by actual judges in actual competitions.

The FIG Academy Program organised two artistry and music workshops during the World Championships in Antwerp. One for the coaches and another one for the judges. The workshop was run under the title „It’s time to put the artistry back into gymnastics!“ and was the first of a number of workshops planned for the Olympic cycle. …

The All Around – All About Artistry

That’s a fascinating read. Thanks Nora.

Lasse Nettum of the Norwegian College of Sports Science and Lyn Heward from Cirque du Soleil presented.

Uncle Tim seems to be struggling to document the Evolution of Artistry in both Women’s and Men’s Gymnastics.

There’s no solution, so far as I can see.

You can’t consistently quantify “artistry”.

Final scores in competition should be valid, reliable and consistent competition-to-competition. They never will be if Artistry is factored.

 I propose a SOLUTION. In future judges should not consider artistry in scoring. Instead, simply applying the code as written. Deducting for poor form and line. Feet crossed during twisting would be deducted. Poor body position would be deducted.

IF judges did that, gymnasts I consider artistic would be rewarded in any case. Uchimura and Kyla Ross, for two.


Artistry, I propose, would be rewarded separately. Prizes like the Longine’s Elegance Award. “Best Choreography” on Beam. “Best Choreography” on Floor.

There’s no need for certified judges to pick those. For example, at the Mexico Open in Acapulco the Elegance award was chosen by Nadia Comaneci, Svetlana Boginskaya and others.


• Lauren Hopkins – The Development of Artistry (Aug 12, 2013)

• Examiner – The Corner Problem and its rather dubious solution on women’s floor (Mar 5, 2013)

• Unorthodox Gymnastics – Corner Flamingos (Mar 20, 2013)

The solution to the Artistry dilemma crystallized for me, in fact, during a Skype interview with Dvora of Unorthodox Gymnastics. It now seems obvious. And inevitable, in the long run.

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Rick Mc

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

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