Is NCAA Gymnastics broken?

One article has been widely circulated recently ➙ College Gymnastics is broken: Virality, inflated scores and unwritten rules are the name of the game

I dismissed it instantly after reading one phrase:

A sport which had remarkably consistent scoring for two decades and established norms, is being demolished by a younger cadre of judges assessing scores based on the new, unspoken rules of the sport. TikTok has taken over the mats.

Scoring has been bad and not consistent over the past 2 decades.

But here’s the gist of the article:

  • overinflation of scores across the country favored teams with Olympians
  • scores are UP drastically even from last season
  • there is a push for routines to go viral (e.g. Katelyn Ohashi floor)

Steve Arkell and other coaches responded:

  • level of gymnastics has risen, therefore the scores have gone up as well, as they should.
  • level 9/10 developmental scores have risen as well over the last few years.
  • going away from the 10 scoring system would not solve the problem
  • going to the FIG system of scoring would close the door to many good level 10 athletes and greatly raise the injury rates due to pushing difficulty for a higher score.
  • fans love higher scores
  • attendance is higher than ever
  • TV ratings higher than ever
  • Championships tickets sold out

Objectively speaking NCAA Women’s Gymnastics has never been stronger.

Certainly judges should face more scrutiny over awarding impossible scores. And rules should continue to be tweaked ongoing to try to better separate the best of the best.

Published by

Rick Mc

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

One thought on “Is NCAA Gymnastics broken?”

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