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For Parents Question about judging favoritism?

Nicolle

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Apr 21, 2018
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We were at a meet this weekend. During our daughter's floor event the music failed about 8 seconds before the end of her routine. It also did this to her teammate's music and then again to another athlete's music from an opposing team. We were originally of the impression that the athletes simply have to continue through their routine without the music and that's that. However, we were confused when the athlete from the opposing team repeated her floor routine. When the meet was over, my husband and I asked one of the floor judges (whom we are friends with) why the other athlete had been permitted to repeat her floor routine and she said that the other judge had "felt bad" for the gymnast because she was sitting on the sideline crying after she'd finished her floor routine so the other judge actually went over and offered to allow the girl to repeat her floor routine!! The girl ended up getting 1st place on floor and essentially changed the trajectory of the entire meet. We've since learned that coaches can request a re-do when music fails. I'm still unsure why our coach didn't offer this option to our girls but we're a little upset that the judge offered this opportunity to the one athlete from the other team but not to our athletes. Thoughts??
 

GAgymmom

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Oct 25, 2010
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The coach is supposed to request a do-over and confer with the judges. I was at a regional meet with my ODD, and one of her opponents fell on 2 of her 3 passes. Her music was stopped by mistake 3 seconds before her ending, so basically just the pose. Her coach conferred within the judges and she got to go again (of course, who wouldn’t jump for a second chance?). She repeated and won the event, bumping my daughter down to 4th.
If your dd’s coach didn’t ask, then she would not get to repeat.

I can’t answer to the situation you described, but be careful that maybe you weren’t given all the details?
 
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Nicolle

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Apr 21, 2018
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My husband has contacted the gym that sponsored the meet. It knocked my daughter out of first place, so I'm frustrated enough to dig a little deeper to understand why/how it happened. (And the music actually stopped only a couple seconds for the other girl, while my daughter's music stopped a good 8 seconds or more :(). I can understand the coach requesting a do-over, but what bothers me is that the actual judge offered it but didn't offer it to our girls. (I only know it wasn't the other team's coach that requested the do-over because we are friends with and actually asked the other floor judge why the girl was allowed the re-do).
 

3cats

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Nov 5, 2018
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Oh, eeek. Never contact the host gym. Not before the meet not after. Don't talk with the judges about scores. Let the coaches handle it, all of it. Your daughter will win some and lose some. And sometimes it will be a fluke or seem unfair. That's the general idea of sports. I guarantee your name is being talked about at the host gym and probably your gym (bc the gym world is a small world and everyone knows everything) and maybe your inquisition is being talked at all the gyms in your area. If I were you I'd tread lightly and apologize profusely if you get a talking to. That would be grounds for being tossed out of the gym at my daughter's old gym. That was lesson one at the parent meeting they had for the newbie level 3 parents.
 

Carly

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Jan 3, 2016
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I'm really sorry that this happened to your dd. I know it's frustrating.

I would be extremely cautious about contacting the gym. Both of the gyms that my dd has competed for have very strict policies about contacting host gyms about anything. One of the gyms actually kicked a girl off the team because of this.
 

Nicolle

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The host gym has been really helpful and understanding and is looking into it. We've been involved in gymnastics for years and have actually never had anything like this come up. She's won some, lost some, etc. etc. Our coaches are also very understanding and would never kick us out of the gym for something like this. And I'm honestly not worried about our names being bandied about at that gym or our gym. And if they are then that's hilarious to me. My daughter still got first all-around at the meet, but my concern is actually how seemingly preferential the judge acted in this situation and I want a better understanding of what is and isn't allowed when the music fails. Unfortunately, even our coaches aren't sure if a judge can do this.
 

Jazzjerz

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Aug 18, 2013
195
Wow. That’s pretty out of line to contact the host gym, especially to cast aspersions at a judge. If it is that big of a deal to you that your daughter didn’t win first place in an event (even though she won AA), then that is something you need to bring up to her coaches. Eight seconds at the end of the routine shouldn’t make that big of a difference (my daughter has had it happen to her twice, once in the middle of her song, and placed 1st and 2nd on floor without a redo). Your coaches should know the rules...and it’s their place to deal with it. Just because the host gym was professional and wasn’t rude to you over the phone, doesn’t make it okay. They likely just waited until you hung up to react.
 

FlippinLilysMom

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Oh my gosh....if anyone from our gym contacted the host gym about anything we would be on our coaches naughty list big time!! My daughter's music cut out about 15 seconds into her routine at an elite qualifier meet. She continued on without music. She would not have redone it even if it was offered (she would have been too exhausted to repeat it). Stuff happens. This sport will never be fair. I hope the judges don't get wind of your complaints, might not bode well for your daughter in future meets.
 

CanAmGymMum

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Sep 6, 2010
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If music fails, it's up to the coach to decide whether or not an athlete repeats her routine. If she decides to go again the second score counts. Perhaps your daughter had a good routine despite the music problem? Don't concern yourself with other athletes or placements It sounds like your daughter is doing well and that's what matters.
 

2G1B

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Jan 27, 2013
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I read your post to my DD and her eyes bugged out of her head. She said, "you just finish your routine. It isn't a big deal. Parents should never ask judges about scoring stuff at.a.meet". I'm sorry, but you come across as a sore loser and a CGM here. You shouldn't approach a judge about scores at a meet. You shouldn't contact a host gym about something like this (contact them because you left your sunglasses, sure. Not because you aren't happy with a judge's actions). If you are unhappy about something like that you go to your coach or gym. If your gym feels that it is warranted to escalate it THEY will deal with it. If you are annoyed that your DD didn't get to do her floor routine again then you need to tell your kid's coaches that in the future you want your kid to redo her routine in that situation. But know that you run the risk of your DD doing worse. Just accept that your kid got beat on floor. It happens. Learning to be a good loser and winner is the most important thing that kids can learn from sports.
 

ausnat83

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Mar 13, 2019
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It's upsetting when we feel like things have been unfair in someone else's favor, I get that. It's understandable that you're unhappy and frustrated. But that doesn't necessarily mean that acting on those feelings is productive. What's your ideal outcome here? This isn't about understanding the rules - you said in your original post that you now know that coaches can request a re-do. Even if it were, the best way to do that is to request the coaches research the rules, not contact the host gym. Are just you wanting someone to admit fault? For the other girl to be penalized? For your daughter's floor score to be increased? If you don't know what reasonable outcome you're requesting, then consider that you're possibly just venting and the venue (by which I mean the host gym AND your daughter's gym, not here) is inappropriate for that.

Asking one judge about it after the meet was not appropriate. It doesn't matter that she's your friend - approaching her for inside information wasn't fair, and she showed her own favoritism by discussing it with you. But this sport revolves around human beings, so it will never be perfectly fair. It's possible that your daughter and coaches just didn't seem rattled by what happened so the judges had zero reason to think they wanted a re-do (and probably assumed they knew that it was an option), but then the other gymnast was clearly upset and the judge realized that that gym may not know what a repeat could be requested. Perfectly fair? No. But there's also no good reason to assume it was malicious or anything but someone who is probably a coach or parent themselves having a human moment and wanting to make sure the girl and her coaches knew they could repeat. Let it go, and let your daughter do the same. Right now you're that little league parent who disagreed with an umpire's call and decided to wait for them in the parking lot to "discuss" it with them. Yikes. What are you modeling for your daughter?

It sounds like your daughter kept her cool and finished her routine. Praise her for her composure and focus. Focus your own excitement on her achievements at this meet. Have her discuss this contingency with her coaches so they're prepared next time.
 

Cmumgym

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It's upsetting when we feel like things have been unfair in someone else's favor, I get that. It's understandable that you're unhappy and frustrated. But that doesn't necessarily mean that acting on those feelings is productive. What's your ideal outcome here? This isn't about understanding the rules - you said in your original post that you now know that coaches can request a re-do. Even if it were, the best way to do that is to request the coaches research the rules, not contact the host gym. Are just you wanting someone to admit fault? For the other girl to be penalized? For your daughter's floor score to be increased? If you don't know what reasonable outcome you're requesting, then consider that you're possibly just venting and the venue (by which I mean the host gym AND your daughter's gym, not here) is inappropriate for that.

Asking one judge about it after the meet was not appropriate. It doesn't matter that she's your friend - approaching her for inside information wasn't fair, and she showed her own favoritism by discussing it with you. But this sport revolves around human beings, so it will never be perfectly fair. It's possible that your daughter and coaches just didn't seem rattled by what happened so the judges had zero reason to think they wanted a re-do (and probably assumed they knew that it was an option), but then the other gymnast was clearly upset and the judge realized that that gym may not know what a repeat could be requested. Perfectly fair? No. But there's also no good reason to assume it was malicious or anything but someone who is probably a coach or parent themselves having a human moment and wanting to make sure the girl and her coaches knew they could repeat. Let it go, and let your daughter do the same. Right now you're that little league parent who disagreed with an umpire's call and decided to wait for them in the parking lot to "discuss" it with them. Yikes. What are you modeling for your daughter?

It sounds like your daughter kept her cool and finished her routine. Praise her for her composure and focus. Focus your own excitement on her achievements at this meet. Have her discuss this contingency with her coaches so they're prepared next time.
This is absolutely amazingly written out and one hundred percent agree. Hand claps all around for the way you expressed this response.
 

NutterButter

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It is weird that the other girl was able to redo her routine. Or maybe it’s weird that your DDs coach didn’t request the same. Either way - your accusation of favoritism by the judges is extreme. Let it go. If you’ve been in this sport as long as you say you have, then you know that sometimes you don’t win when you should have and sometimes you win when you should not have. Also, I think you are being a tad dramatic by saying the other girl re-doing the floor routine changed the trajectory of the entire meet. Let it go. Chock it up as ‘one of those things’ and hope that if your DD is ever in this situation again that everyone involved knows what to do. It is not a good look for you to call the host gym even if you think it’s ok because you’ve been around for a long time, even if you know the judge. Think about the behavior you are modeling for your daughter.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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It is up to the coach to decide whether or not to request a re-do of the routine; since there's no deduction for equipment/music failure, the coach may have simply felt that the routine was already a good one, and wasn't worth repeating and risking getting a lower score.

Also..... with all due respect, I'm skeptical that the re-do of the routine ultimately changed the outcome of the meet. Generally the kid who has the cleanest routine for the last 8 seconds probably had the cleanest routine throughout. If she was capable of doing a first-place routine on the second try, there's a good chance she was capable of a first-place routine on the first try as well.
And even if not.... unless this specific meet has scholarships or national team membership on the line, the results stopped mattering the instant the award ceremony ended, so it's probably not worth stressing over after the fact.

It is, as I'm sure you've gathered from other responses, generally considered poor parent behavior to contact the host gym. They had no control over the scoring, and no ability to do anything about it after the fact. Complaining to the host gym because you don't like the actions of a judge makes about as much sense as complaining to a school principal because your child failed a test. Immediately after your husband got off the phone with the host gym, there is a 95% chance that your own gym received a phone call about you, and whomever picked up that phone at your own gym was absolutely mortified, and apologized profusely on your behalf.

And I'm honestly not worried about our names being bandied about at that gym or our gym. And if they are then that's hilarious to me.

This is 100% the wrong reaction. If you continue to reinforce a reputation as a crazy gym parent, it 100% will have a negative impact on your daughter's gymnastics experience. If you ever want to change gyms, a bad reputation can severely limit your options. When coaches get together and discuss who's moving up and who's not, parent behavior can factor into our choices. And there are a number of other ways. I urge you to reconsider your flippancy about this.
 
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langd0y

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I'm new here and DD is just level 3, but I feel like I already know the community and do/dont's. I think airing it out here to get your take on the situation was the way to go, but you didn't wait for feedback from the community before you took action. Some really good input was given but after the fact that you already contacted the host gym. You sound extremely worked up over this situation even thought your DD did well.

It really is best to just let the coaches handle it and/or just move on. These kids compete in 6-8+ meets a season and not getting 1st on one event is not the end of the world. There will be others, they will fail, they will succeed. Take about 10 steps back from where you are now. The best support parents can give is positive reinforcement and gym dues =P.
 

twinmomma

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Jun 13, 2013
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As a Meet Director, I get inquiries from parents prior to a meet and my immediate response is for them to go to their coaches. Being labeled "that parent" is sometimes worth it - when your child's safety or mental health is at risk. Don't get labeled that parent for this stuff. In a year she won't remember what place she got at that meet, but your indiscretion and "mountain out of a molehill" thinking might haunt her instead. This was a prime opportunity to talk to her about how sometimes things go her way and sometimes they don't. My son is in baseball and sometimes the umpire gets it wrong. You play the call, and sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Welcome to life, kiddo.
 

GymAir

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What jumps out at me is that you don’t mention how your daughter feels. If it were me and my mom and dad had done this, I would have been very embarrassed. Celebrate the AA win! Don’t overshadow it with the win she did NOT get.
 

gymyogimom

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Oh wow. It sounds like you're one of the parents they now call "lawn mower parents." You're not allowing your daughter to move on from a slightly unfortunate event. My advice: MOVE ON.
 
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