Hooray, DirectTV finally picked up Universal Sports, so I actually got to watch the Covergirl Classic! On a shallow note, I recall the last time I saw a meet sponsored by Covergirl I was left wondering why they didn't make up the girls a bit. It's national television, we've got HDTV these days, somebody needs to tell these girls to slap on some lipstick because they'll thank you for it later. Anyway, I noticed more effort this time around. Bravo, Shawn Johnson with your smoky eye. Although listen girls, Covergirl makes this lipstick that lasts ALL DAY till you have to scrape it off in the shower. Look into it.
As far as general impressions, here are a few:
Let's devalue side somis on beam because they are so ugly. OR reward someone who can figure out how to make it look good (is that possible in the scoring system? I'm still not sure).
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 routines. A score of 15.4 means about as much as an amp that goes to 11.
I found a lot of the beam routines to be lacking in fluidity. I know you're trying to cram a lot of skills in, but there sure were a whole lot of clunky steps, choppy movements, and flat foot pivots--can I get a high toe please? Please? It's such a cop-out for an elite gymnast to work flat-footed just because she's scared of a random bobble. Also, a side aerial is a basic skill for an elite gymnast--that's one skill that should always be stuck solid.
My current favorite gymnast is McKayla Maroney. She's a bit like a 1980's era Soviet total-package gymnast: lots of power with a natural, balletic quality of movement--think Natalia Laschenova or Tatiana Groshkova--and refreshingly, she's cute but not given to cutesy-ness. She's still a bit all over the place, so I really, really hope everything will click in to place in time for next year's Olympics. (I also hope someone will tell her to point her toes instead of digging in with her heels when she runs for leaps.)
Here she is, all stumbles but so full of potential!
Here's her vault from last year that I like so much: