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FIG President Wants Scoring Overhaul
(7 votes, average 2.71 out of 5)



International Gymnastics Federation President Bruno Grandi is calling for an overhaul of the sport's scoring system – again.

International Gymnastics Federation President Bruno Grandi is calling for an overhaul of the sport's scoring system – again.

Grandi, who famously lobbied for the current open-ended system to reward more difficulty, now says difficulty needs to take a backseat to artistry. Grandi made the comments Sunday following the conclusion of the 2014 World Championships in Nanning, China.

The gymnastics he saw in Nanning was "too much of its acrobatic part and not too much artistry," he said. "Gymnastics is artistic gymnastics, the definition I don't want to lose."

The sport lost its iconic "Perfect 10" with the introduction of the current scoring system in 2006. Each mark consists of the sum of the Difficulty (D) score (including required components) and the Execution (E) score (out of 10.00). In FIG competition, separate judging panels evaluate Difficulty and Execution. The highest score in Nanning was Dutch gymnast Epke Zonderland's winning 16.225 (7.7 D/8.525 E) for his high bar routine in apparatus finals.

Grandi championed the new scoring system following the judging scandal at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. In the men's all-around final in Athens, U.S. gymnast Paul Hamm won the all-around title over Korean gymnast Yang Tae-Young after Yang's parallel bars routine was evaluated out of a maximum 9.9 instead of the correct 10.0. However, the incident stemmed not from the judging system in place, but from the judges failing to correctly calculate Yang's start score.

The new scoring system was put into place despite significant criticism and backlash from members of the gymnastics community and the sport's fans. The FIG countered that the "Perfect 10.0" could still be achieved through the Execution mark — although few gymnasts have scored anywhere close to 10 in Execution since 2006 — and that fans would find new excitement as gymnasts achieved "world records" in Difficulty.

The latter concept was quickly dropped, and the Code of Points and routine requirements have been tweaked and evaluated several times.

Eight years after it was introduced, the open-ended scoring system has produced less-pleasing gymnastics, Grandi said.

"At this moment, we have noted that the difficulty increased too much," said Grandi, who was elected in 1996. "Very, very much. And the execution of the athlete doesn't follow the same criteria. We need to change the mentality."

Grandi, who suggested that the Difficulty points be cut in half, was backed up by FIG Secretary-General André Gueisbuhler. Gueisbuhler said gymnasts "do difficult exercises in order to win" under the current system.

"The weight should be, as the president said, on artistry and beauty and perfect execution as you have in diving," he said.

In Nanning, the Chinese men won a controversial gold medal over Japan in the team final, coming from behind to take the title by .1 after a jam-packed routine on high bar from Zhang Chenglong. Chinese coach Wang Hongwei acknowledged that his gymnasts were not as polished as their Japanese rivals.

"When it comes to the Execution score, we are not as good as the Japanese gymnasts," he said.

In the women's competition, the U.S. team and top gymnast Simone Biles defended their titles. Biles, who racks up points for her difficulty, added titles on balance beam and floor exercise.

Said Marta Karolyi, the U.S. women's team coordinator, "Artistry is nice. We always like artistry."

Should the scoring system be overhauled to reward artistry and execution over difficulty? Leave a comment below!

Comments (25)add comment

Nils Valkenborgh said:

0
Keep the current system, but...
The whole reason China won wasn't because of the flaws in the current scoring system. It was mainly due to the fact that the competition was held in China and for some reason the "impartial" judges alsways tend to be more lenient towards the guest country. The same thing happened in Athens during the ring final when the gold didn't go to Jordan Jovtchev but rather to his Greek rival Tampakos. Jovtchev deserved that gold. The same thing happened 4 years later durin the high bar final with Zou Kai and Jonathan Horton. The faults of the judges shouldn't come at the expense of the gumnasts hard work. So the only valid option to fix these anomalies in big competitions is to send the judges back to school.
 
October 15, 2014 | url
Votes: +10

marco said:

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...
oh please shut up grandi, you already ruined our sport..... bring back the 10 code of points
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +12

Dave Hardy said:

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Here is my thought
Is there any reason why the D score can't be directly linked to the E score while having the focus on the E.
What I am thinking is if you want to get your full D score then you need to achieve a "perfect 10". This will give you 100% of your D score.
If you get an E score of 7 then you get 70% of the D score.
The way I see it this would encourage the Gymnast to aim for better execution while still trying to achieve more difficult routines.
I am by no means versed in the ins and outs of scoring so please feel free to pick this apart it just seemed to make sense to me.
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +22

ernesto aragon said:

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...
The only overhaul needed is to have Grandi impeached and replaced with someone who actually understands and loves gymnastics.
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +21

Kattie said:

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...
I think the artistry does need to be brought back.
Although I love watching the tough skills, we have to remember these gymnasts (the Women at least) are young girls.
There are a lot of injuries due to the difficult skills needed to win, maybe it is a good idea to change it up.
One thing I find funny is you talk about the artistry, however the women must land tumbling passes on the floor without taking a step (like the men). To me that is not artistry or in fact feminine.
Maybe you could re-think that rule.
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +15

Abe said:

0
Overhaul FIG Leadership Instead
Enough already.. How about an overhaul of FIG leadership. Grandi has done enough and needs to retired or BE retired.. I find it hard to believe that there is not someone else whom actually grasps what needs to be done..
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +15

Kelly Suncan said:

0
scoring+
It should be based on all 3..Artistry, execution and difficulty.The way it is now, is too focused on what they're doing instead of how they're doing it.
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +9

Karla qzv said:

0
It should change ...
I think the adjustment should be made, otherwise there will come a time when the medals be only for the strongest, capable of the most difficult routines, regardless of the errors that might be committed. The gymnastics should be beautiful, well executed in the first instance, both men and women.
It must be a balance, between difficulty, artistry and execution. smilies/smiley.gif
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +13

GymCrazyGal said:

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Give me a break
I know I'll get flamed for this, but I honestly feel that anytime the Americans become dominant, Grandi calls for sweeping changes. Just my opinion.

Yes, artistry is greatly lacking and the amount of difficulty required is beyond insane. As for Grandi - he is the one that made these changes in the first place, and now he is paying for it. He has no one to blame but himself.

What Grandi really needs to focus on is fixing the judging system. The Chinese continued their cheating ways in Nanning, particularly in the men's competition. We need stronger penalties for countries that falsify ages or fix the results.
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: -4

Millskelly1 said:

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Women having to stick on floor
I honestly think that women being asked to stick their tumbling passes on floor is part of why there is less artistry, which is why I loved almost all gymnasts connecting leaps to their passes. The lunge back was what separated men's and women's floor exercise.
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +2

Vincent said:

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Duh
Grandi is an idiot, who created the very situation he is now critiquing. That the new judging system would result in the multiplication of tricks over artistry was clear from the outset. The recent competitions I have seen have merely confirmed this grim inevitability. But equally problematic has been the criteria whereby the second mark (for artistry) has been determined. The scoring here has often been quite ridiculous and without any real attempt (by the individual judges or the gymnastic federation) to justify the marks.

Can I also add I find rather hilarious the quote from Marta at the end. I'm sure she finds artistry "nice." This is probably why it comes third or fourth in her criteria for what makes a good gymnast. Artistry is, for the most part, what US gymnastics (and not only US gymnastics) lacks.
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +3

Flip10 said:

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Code for "Stop the Powerful Americans"
Simone Biles has rocked the power base off its Euro-superiority foundation! Serena and Venus Williams did the same thing to the royal tennis establishment. While Venessa Ferrari and coordinators received bad press for their inappropriate racially charged comments – much of Bruno Grandi’s sudden need for an overhaul of the scoring system and love for artistry is just CODE for “how do we stop the powerful Americans”?
Remember the Olympic creed of “higher, faster, stronger”? Grandi can not stop the advancement of athletic excellence. While I love the artistic nature of the sport – it is still a sport – an athletic competition. “Determining what is Artistic” – is very subjective and will make cheating all the more prevalent.
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +6

Nelson T said:

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...
Flip10 your comment is really out of touch. This has little to do with Simone Biles or the US women as much as it does with gymnastics as a whole, the overall quality of routines and unhappiness with things as a whole. Biles was hardly the worst gymnast artistically though she's not great. The big problem at worlds was the men's team final. You obviously don't understand how upset people were about the results of the men's team competition and how overscored the Chinese were. And how does Zonderland equal Uchimura in execution score in the HB final? It was a joke. This is outrage for JAPAN and not Europe. How many of the women's routines did you bother to watch? I watched as much as I could and was appalled. Some I had to just stop watching because they were so bad, from European countries too. You really need to pay attention to what is going on.
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +0

Rachel T said:

0
Sorry, but I agree with Grandi
The sport has been going in the wrong direction. I have been saying that the lack of artistry is killing this beautiful sport for years now. My biggest regret of Worlds? Ksenia A wasnt well enough to go. She is the amomoly who shows incredible artistry in her hand movements and dance but yet still manages to sneak in some incredible difficult moves. People fail to realize how hard the mechanics of dance is and can be just as difficult. Many of the female gymnasts today pack in so many difficult moves yet they lack the foundation of good dance training. They tend to look very stiff with robotic and forced movements.

There is no question the United States is the world leader and well deserved, but this is a wake up call to the US program. These girls need strong foundations in ballet, hip hop, jazz etc. In order to pull off creative and beautifully choreographed routines. A raised arm gesture just doesn't cut it anymore.

An extra bonus needs to be awarded for creative mounts on beam and bars. Everyone always seems to be doing the same thing and following the same trends. Why do bar mounts like Kim Kelly's and O. Dudnik's always stick in my head? Because they were innovative yet risky and no one does anything like them even today.

I hope this sheds a whole new light on how important it is to be original and to try and create movements that are out of the box and have never been done before. I can't think of another artistic sport that has so much freedom with endless possibilities. The coaches need to be more imaginative and perhaps should consult artists from Cirque du Soleil etc. I grow tired of watching the same skills time after time.
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +7

hfranklin said:

0
Agreed big time
Actually... I don't think overhauling this hurts Simone at all (on floor at least). Shes the only one who enjoys herself and actually dances with a genuine love for being out there and her choreo suits her personality perfectly. What this system has done is KILLED the Russian school. They were always so concerned with bringing ballet and dance into gymnastics and now they're literally KILLING all their girls to try and do Amanars when they cant even do a clean 2&1/2 on floor. I think the only apparatus this has actually made better is bars, although I am so annoyed with the obsessions with handstands and deductions for tap swings into dismounts which I think is actually beautiful and a really exciting and dramatic way to lead up to a dismount. BRING BACK THE 10.0!!! Let Simone score a 9.90 on floor. Then let her take a ballet class and score a 10.0. Let the Russians go back to the basics and allow Mustafina to grow into the mature and artistic beauty she is. Let Yao Jinan score a 9.3 on bars when she falls and a 10 when she hits. That's what I want! That's what the world wants! That's what the gymnasts want. Juss sayin.
 
October 15, 2014
Votes: +11

Vincent said:

0
To be Clear…
Just to add to my first comment: I agree with Grandi that an alteration needs to take place in the judging system. I agree too that this change should focus on the difficulty score; which seems easily corrected if the number of elements that count to make up this overall score are reduced. (Floor exercise, for both women and men, has become particularly egregious in the way the gymnast now crams in endless tumbling passes.) But what still needs to be addressed are the artistry marks. So, to be clear: I'm OK with having two sets of scores, for difficulty and artistry (even though, like everyone else, I liked having 10.0 as ultimate achievement/goal). But reduce the former, and provide clear guidelines for the latter. There will, of course, always be a subjective element in regards artistry, but this doesn't mean there shouldn't be more accountability. Performing a difficult skill poorly should also receive a harsher deduction. Right now, messy/sloppy execution on elements has been made acceptable b/c the (relatively small) deduction in the artistry score is offset by the points racked up for difficulty. This must not be allowed to continue. It has resulted in a lot of really ugly gymnastics.
 
October 16, 2014
Votes: +6

Earl said:

0
Owner
It's pretty bad when someone who has done gymnastics for 38 years is confused by the scoring system. I love difficulty but not at the expense of artistry. We have always held ourselves to a higher execution standard. This system of scoring does not relate to the public( too difficult to explain) therefore we will continue to lose public's support. Marketability is the key. If it's hard for the professionals to grasp how do you expect support from the public and corporations.
 
October 16, 2014 | url
Votes: +2

James Delanty said:

0
...
I support the open-ended scoring system and do not want to see a return to the 10.0 maximum system. To say that the current scoring system merely rewards difficulty while artistry counts for nothing is ridiculous. Look at how Mustafina was able to edge out Skinner for the bronze on floor with her superior artistry and execution while having far less difficult tumbling. If they want to place a greater emphasis on artistry than what the current code provides, they can do so simply by modifying the code of points and the basic required elements making up the D-score to place a greater emphasis on dance, choreography, and presentation.
 
October 16, 2014
Votes: +3

Melissa said:

0
...
I would think that the best thing to do in this case is to reintroduce compulsories!!
Leave the scoring system as it is for optionals, and bring back compulsories out of 10.0

PLEASE!
 
October 16, 2014
Votes: +13

Rachel T said:

0
I agree! Bring back Compulsaries!
Eliminating Compulsories was the biggest travesty of this entire sport. Whoever ultimately made that horrible decision should resign. It was easy to see who the superior gymnasts were and make definitive comparisons watching gymnasts perform the same skills...not just the skills they capitalize on and do well.

I don't think there should be a new life rule either. The compulsory score should be included in the gymnast's AA score. If that was the case, Shannon Miller should have rightfully won the AA back in 1992 as she was the queen of compulsaries.

Bring back compulsaries!!!!

Also, have World events in cities that will support a strong audience and supportive crowd. This clearly generates unbelievable excitement and adds to the competition. The lack of audience and enormous amount of empty seats in the Nanning Arena was embarassing. Every single ticket should be sold out for an event like this...so either move these events to cities that will completely sell out and fill the building or at least make the tickets affordable in these developing countries. My bet was the tickets were too costly for the majority of Chinese fans...so then what is the point? Seeing such a small turnout and large amount of empty seats certainly doesn't help with marketing this sport. In addition, I agree with most posters that the perfect 10 needs to be brought back! It's not all about the gymnasts, it is what the public wants as well and they love to see when a gymnasts achieves a perfect 10. For the fan, it is much easier to understand as well and much more exciting. We still need to remember gymnastics like all other sports is a business franchise and without huge corporate sponsors etc., the sport will continue to shrink and lose popularity. Bring back the things the public get excited about. Gymnastics gained enormous public popularity because of Nadia's famous perfect 10 and was plastered all over the media, The front cover of Time Magazine etc.
Prior to that, you can see interview from past gymnasts on YouTube, saying major gymnastic completions for held in high school gymnasiums as they couldn't get enough interest to fill in anything more. People would ask...what is that? Tumbling? Something to do with the circus? It was a competely unknown sport. I say bring common sense back with the 10 and ither things to excite the world again.
 
October 17, 2014
Votes: +5

Dana Kling said:

0
Dear Bruno,
Your timing is uncouth and un-sportsman-like. Seriously, immediately after the championships, you decry the very type of gymnastics you codified and therefore claimed to value? While I have never been a fan of frantic men's floor routines and artistically dry women's floor routines (nothing says grace like a drilled landing), you DEMANDED it. You can't change the rules once the athletes responded and showed that it could be done... or perhaps it's because certain athletes responded. This announcement seems calculated and sadly transparent.



 
October 17, 2014 | url
Votes: +2

Sandy said:

0
3 Issues - Grandi, Scoring & Judging
1. Grandi is an idiot and has proven it many times. Eliminate him.

2. Return to 10.0. Marketability demands it.

3. Select qualified, impartial judges, not award judge positions as political favors to the uneducated. There needs to be much more rigor in judging to make whatever scoring system that is used fair and meaningful.

 
October 17, 2014
Votes: +4

Josh Levin said:

0
...
All you need to do is make each element group worth 1.0 instead of 0.5. Then you can claim that difficulty is out of 10.0. Then you just take the average of the execution score and difficulty score. Walla! 10.0 is back nothing changed.
 
October 18, 2014
Votes: +2

AmandaWeb said:

0
...
This guy is TERRIBLE. I am disgusted that someone with so little knowledge of our sport has so much power over it. Did he really just compare gymnastics to diving?? Why are we allowing this person to make the rules that are ruining our sport? What we need is to see a perfect 10 again. Make it achievable. Period.
 
October 19, 2014
Votes: +4

ScottCU said:

0
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Bring back compulsories, the 10 point system, and 6-6-5 team competition. The 3 up 3 count system is annoying. I want to see all gymnasts on the team compete every event.
 
October 21, 2014
Votes: +6

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