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Saturday, August 20, 2011


So I was happily watching all the gymnastics on TV the past two evenings, not always completely paying attention. Three kids and a husband often prevent, for various reasons, the viewing of gymnastics for more than two or three consecutive routines.

At some point the commentators agreed that 13.5 was too low for a particular routine. Was it? I don't know. Not because I didn't see it, but because I still have no idea if a 13.5 is good or bad. Or is it all relative?

So I'd like to reiterate my stance on the scoring system: Eliminating the 10.0 ceiling alienates the viewers. 
Let's review from a previous post:

I've been a gymnast, I've been a coach, I've been a fan for most of my life. Heck, I've even been a judge (albeit a mediocre compulsory level judge who couldn't seem to pass the level 7/8 written test). BUT STILL. I can claim to be a judge. And I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT A GOOD SCORE IS IN THIS CODE. Is a 14.9 good? Is a 16.0 good? I couldn't begin to tell you, but more importantly, I've given up trying. 
The ten-scale isn't just about achieving the elusive perfect score...it's pretty much the basis of mathematics. So when you remove the ten-scale, what you're taking away is the ability of the average person to associate the given score with the routine they have seen and to then compare that score and routine with subsequent routinesA score of 15.4 means about as much as an amp that goes to 11. 
At first I wasn't totally opposed to the new open-ended system. But the more I watch, the more it bothers me. Gymnastics as a sport is perpetually fighting for media attention and recognition. It would be in the best interest of the sport to be more viewer-friendly. Am I just too lazy or stubborn to go over the new system? I guess so. But there's got to be a better way. 

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