should Men’s NCAA return to the perfect 10?

Mark Williams (Oklahoma): “No! I believe we must stay with the FIG scoring system to stay relevant.”

Thom Glielmi (Stanford): “Yes, but it would have to be initiated by FIG.”

Rustam Sharipov (Ohio State): “No. The majority of our guys want to make the national team, they want to go to the world championships, they want to represent the U.S. ….”

Justin Spring (Illinois): “No. The only reason the 10.0 worked, in my opinion, was because it was a score cap. Almost everyone in the competitive field had a 10.0 start value and the audience assumed that to be true for all competitors. If we go to a modified 10.0 using a scaled open-ended Code where only 5% of the competitive field is even close to a 10.0 start value, it will only confuse fans even more.”

Randy Jepson (Penn State): “Yes!!! It would be very easy to have judges determine a final score using the current FIG standards and use a multiplier on that score, which would equate to a 10. It would be a huge benefit for media and fans.”

Mike Burns (Minnesota): “As much as going back to a 10.0 might make our scoring easier to understand, I don’t feel that deviating from the FIG Code of Points is a wise decision. Because a large chunk of the Olympic developmental pipeline runs directly through the NCAA men’s program, I feel it’s imperative we stay aligned with the FIG.”

IG – Stretching Out: Oklahoma Dominance and the 10.0

Read Logan Bradley’s response to that article – The Popularity Issue in NCAA Men’s Gymnastics
perfect 10s

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Rick Mc

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

4 thoughts on “should Men’s NCAA return to the perfect 10?”

  1. Mike Jacki and Bill Roetzheim warned the NCAA coaches about tying their programs to the national teams and international competition over 30 years ago…..the message still goes unheard apparently…..

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    1. What’s your basis for this argument? Compare the number of men’s programs dropped since they went to straight FIG scoring vs the number dropped when they were on the 10.0. If that doesn’t convince you, how about the number of NCAA athletes on National, World and Olympic teams when they were using a “modified” system vs since they adopted FIG-scoring? There is no question which has been better, more successful, for NCAA men’s gymnastics.

      Men’s gymnastics has NEVER been popular in the U.S. outside limited nostalgia/enthusiasm for the men’s gold medal in ’84 which, frankly, would have been quickly ignored/eclipsed if the women hadn’t settled for silver behind Romania. And even with that short-lived popularity boom, it was the absolute nadir for college men’s gym, whose programs dropped like flies throughout the 1980s and early ’90s.

      Scoring isn’t now, and never has been, the issue with the sport, it’s that gymnastics is generally considered a “girl’s” sport in the U.S., and that’s unlikely to change anytime soon. Genuine solutions don’t involve making men’s gymnastics as popular as football, which will never happen, it’s leaning into their niche and doing more to appeal to their small, but avid, base.

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  2. Ridiculous counterfactual argument by IG. OU has a grand total of 1 National Team member, the same as most other top schools. (Stanford’s Akash Modi is more highly ranked than OU’s Yul Muldauer.) They also have walk-ons that compete with the FIG system, the same as most other top schools. Scoring isn’t the issue with popularity. Never has been. Never will be.

    And has Dwight Normille ever seen a women’s NCAA meet? A two point team scoring difference there is pretty equivalent to a 30-point difference on the men’s side. The separation there tends to be tenths, while on the men’s side it’s ten. Two points is “close” in women’s gym the same way my Honda is “close” to a Ferrari because they’re both cars.

    My take is that either Stanford or Ohio State could easily have beat OU last year on the men’s side. In fact, I went into the season thinking the Buckeyes were the favorites; they had the talent, the Start Values and the opportunity, and just didn’t perform as well as Oklahoma when it counted.

    Likewise, if Oklahoma wins a third-straight title it won’t be because of the scoring system, any more than if the Oklahoma women win a second-straight crown, it’s because of the 10.0. Maybe it’s because they’re the best teams, working their butts off in the gym every single day, never taking breaks and never making excuses like, ‘We don’t have enough Olympians’ or ‘The scoring system is too hard.’

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  3. Also, seriously IG, let the 10.0 die already. We know Nadia co-owns the place but, seriously, it’s been 12 years. It’s gone. It’s not coming back. And your 4-6 editorials per year bemoaning its loss hardly suit your audience of young gymnasts who were not even alive to witness a competition where the 10 was used.

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