I try VERY hard to site any anywhere I get information from. I gathered this information from a number of sources. Gymnasticszone.com, Gymnastike and American Gymnast.
There is probably no more controversial topic in International Gymnastics today than the 10.0 or Lack of 10.0. The 10.0 was the very trademark and most recognizable symbol of our sport.
That being said, it did have its limitations. Is it time to bring it back? What are your thoughts? Post your comments below
Here’s a short list of the way the code has created trends in men’s and women’s gymnastics during the past several quads:
1988-1992: The perfect 10 system endures, meaning elite-level routines that meet all difficulty requirements start from a 10 and are devalued from there. Notable trends: The period of the greatest emphasis on “perfection” and making routines and skills look flawless.
1992-1996: Routines start at a base 9.4 start value in women’s gymnastics, and 9.0 in men’s gymnastics, meaning the gymnast has to earn bonus points by performing difficult combinations. Notable trends: The blind to Jaeger on uneven bars and back handsprings followed by multiple layout stepouts on beam.
1996-2000: The FIG does away with compulsory routines, lowers the base start value in both men’s and women’s gymanstics and devalues combinations like back handsprings followed by multiple layout stepouts on beam. Notable trends: This is the era of the punch front to wolf jump mount on beam, double layouts to punch fronts on floor, and lots of forward swinging combinations on rings. Sans compulsories, many top gymnasts have a slightly different presentation, less balletic than in past years.
2000-2004: The new code forces more difficult combinations in order to attain greater bonus. The first generation of gymnasts not to grow up with compulsories are less elegant but a greater number seem capable of greater difficulty than before. Notable trends: Lesser-seen combinations from past years like the front aerial, back handspring, layout stepout on beam gain popularity. The punch front to sheep jump is also seen often.
2004-2008: After an Olympic marred by judging scandals in the men’s all-around, rings, parallel bars and high bar, the FIG abandons the perfect 10 in favor of an open-ended code that in theory rewards execution as much as difficulty. Gymnasts are required to do 10 difficult elements in each routine, and bonus is given for extremely difficult combinations. But gymnasts and coaches quickly figure out that since there is no limit to the amount of D-score one can get, that is the thing to focus on. Notable trends: The double full side pass on floor.
2008-present: More of the same, with slight modifications, namely that the number of elements is reduced from 10 to eight in women’s gymnastics. Notable trends: Bail to toe hecht transitions on uneven bars, sissones or stag jumps out of all imaginable tumbling passes on women’s floor, Takamoto skills to Yamawaki or Kovacs on high bar, 1.5 to full twisting front 1 3/4 rolls on men’s floor.
“Originally created to serve the development of our sport, the Code has mutated into a time bomb that we are wholly unable to contain,” Grandi wrote. “Worse, it is a pitfall to judges and gymnasts alike, and creates situations that are often impossible to navigate. Remember Athens!”
Letter From Bruno Grandi
Oh, that Code!
The more seasoned among us remember back to the first Code. A twelve-page opus crafted by Gander, Lapalu and Hentges, it gave structure to Men’s Artistic Gymnastics and mapped out judging in three distinct categories: difficulty, combination and execution. That was back in 1949.
Today, the Code reaches out to cover all FIG disciplines; it governs everything, infiltrating gymnastics like a metastasis that spreads and traps the sport in its deadly net. Originally created to serve the development of our sport, the Code has mutated into a time bomb that we are wholly unable to contain. Worse, it is a pitfall to judges and gymnasts alike, and creates situations that are often impossible to navigate. Remember Athens!
The time has come for us, the technicians, judges and leaders in sport, to gather round a single table and revisit the Code; to re-equip our discipline with the structure and spirit originally inherent to it. This is the endgame of the FIG Symposiums for Rhythmic Gymnastics in Zurich (SUI) at the end of April, for Artistic and Trampoline in mid-June and for Aerobic and Acrobatic in September.
Simplify the Codes; we all agree on this point. Keep in mind the essence of Roman law, the first legal system in the history of Man and which is still active today. According to our predecessors, excessive detail is what dilutes and suffocates justice. Too many laws annihilate law itself!
Starting in 2005, we took successful steps toward standardising our Codes; a commendable action, to be sure, but a far cry from being enough. What we need is complete and unequivocal reform if we hope to have a Code that serves to further develop our sport. We must simplify, not complicate. What is the essential reason for the Code? What is it made to do? What is the meaning of its existence? The answer is found in history, whose most basic message is that in order to move forward into the future, one often needs to take a brief look into the past.
At the 1948 Olympic Games in London, judging in gymnastics was scandalous! Judges were using criteria to evaluate exercises specific only to their own countries. It was a free for all. Such chaos! A Code was then created to clarify and classify criteria to maintain a standardized approach to judging. Unity was finally re-established.
A mere twelve pages in 1949 compared to hundreds today, not counting the thousands of symbols that go with them! How can a judge effectively react, evaluate and decide in mere seconds and under the pressure that goes hand in hand with, say, an Olympic Final? Impossible; it is beyond human capacity.
We need a Code, a point of reference, which will bring structure to the evaluations brought by our judges and allow us to employ the Fairbrother system. Only by doing this will we be able to avoid situations such as were experienced in Athens and London. We have the tools, IRCOS for one, which can aid in attributing an accurate technical score if used properly. But we must accept the fact that the Artistic score is largely a product of a more subjective, and certainly human, evaluation. That is the variable in our equation; fallible but not unjust. And if we are to lose ourselves in the nimbus of objectivity, we have reference judges in the wings to set our course straight.
Thank you for your attention.
FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE GYMNASTIQUE
Prof Bruno Grandi, President