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Ranting

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Kayleigh

Member
Oct 6, 2007
261
27
Pittsburgh, PA
I just need to rant about this really quick and get some opinions...

I had a meet yesterday morning. It was going rather well, and then came time for beam. I had a solid warmup and was the first one to go and compete. Let me tell you, I got up there and did a ROCK solid routine. I dismounted and was so excited... I thought for sure that I'd be getting a 9.0 at the least!

Well, up flashes the score at 8.725. What the heck? I wasn't missing any elements, and I didn't give much away in the way of form deductions... I did watch the tape of the routine, and the only thing I saw was a bent leg on a split jump and a step on the dismount. Wouldn't that be a grand total of about .4 tenths? How do you get an 8.7 out of that?

So I talked to my coach and asked her what had happened. She said she had a pretty good idea, but didn't really say anything. She DID say that she'd scored my routine at about a 9.2 or 9.3.

I found out from my mom later that my coach told her that this stupid judge evidently has a problem with you if you aren't stick thin and sickly looking. If you have ANY muscle or curves at all, you won't win. I've got news, I'm not a stick. Basically, if I were SKINNY, I would've won beam. I wound up with a silver, which I'm definitely not complaining about, but still... the girl who won, sure enough, was stick thin and from a gym notorious for both a)forcing their girls to be on a strict diet and b)sandbagging their girls like CRAZY (their prep-op team has about 18 girls :eek:). How is that fair? What kind of message does that send to us? Obviously, I'm now feeling like an idiot and that I need to go on some crash diet (not that I would. I like food too much. :p). It's just frustrating to know that just because I'm not skinny it's preventing me from winning things.

And this evidently isn't the first time this judge has done this; she's done it to another girl from our gym too. Urghh.

Sorry for such a long post, but I really wanted to rant about that for a bit. Other than that, it went REALLY well. :)

VT: 9.025 (3'd)
UB: 8.45 (2'd) (tough judge!)
BB: 8.725 (2'd)
FX: 9.05 (1st!)
AA: 35.275 (2'd)

So relatively happy with that one. We have our home meet this weekend, so I'm excited for that one! I'll keep you all posted. :D
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Honestly, it's difficult to say why a judge scores a routine the way they did. However, the vast majority of judges just take the deductions they see and don't editorialize anything. Obviously at the upper levels and NCAA levels, most female gymnasts aren't "sticks" and many don't tend towards that body type naturally. Sometimes judges and meets are just scoring lower than usual. I've seen pretty similar routines (as in, same gymnast) get a high 8 at one meet and a low 9 at another. It happens. Sometimes more amplitude or rhythm deductions are taken.

Even if I did suspect such a thing as a coach, I would never tell a gymnast or parent anyway - I don't think it's something a kid needs to know to be honest and I'm not a fan of a lot of the rumors that swirl around. If that is a constant issue and score inquiries haven't yielded acceptable information, complaints need to be addressed at a higher level. If a coach has a problem with a score and they really think a routine was not scored correctly, they need to fill out a score inquiry. I'm amazed at the reports I see on this board of coaches approaching judges hoping for a sufficient answer or coaches complaining about scores - without an inquiry, I really don't think you're generally going to get a sufficient answer about where deductions were taken on a routine (at least in USAG WAG).

As a coach and longtime gymnast, I have a general idea of the deductions (and I know what looks good to me), but I'm not a certified judge and I have to admit I really don't know where all the deductions come from or the extent to which they're taken - and in my experience, I'm no exception. There are a lot of deductions. I can more or less "eyeball" a routine but unless you're taking notes, calculating, and actively judging, it's difficult to say you saw everything, and I don't always know the protocol for things like rhythm, amplitude, or compositional deductions (not up to the level, etc).
 
N

NOG

Guest
If that is true that the judge is being biased and scoring girls lower because of size, THAT BITES! Hopefully that wasn't the reason. Judges are tough and sometimes unfair (we just had a very tough meet this weekend), but generally don't take off for the look of someone. I hope that the judge in question just thought that she saw deductions that we as parents/gymnasts can't see.

Hope that the next meet is a better one, don't let anyone tell you how you should look!
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
I wouldn't bother speculating or buying into hearsay when it comes to the mindset of the judges. Really it's just going to drive you nuts with all the possibilities that aren't based on fact. Ask your coach if they talk to the judges after the team is done with the event. I've asked judges at usag meets after all my girls were done with the event what mistakes stood out to them. They have always replied graciously, and it gives us something solid to work with when we hit the gym again.
 

Kayleigh

Member
Oct 6, 2007
261
27
Pittsburgh, PA
Thank you all for your replies... agh, it's just frustrating. My coach usually does talk to the judge after we've finished, but this judge just has a history of being nasty. :(

Oh well though, what are you going to do? It's done and overwith, all I can do now is cross my fingers and hope I never have to be judged by her again. >.<
 

I-Heart-Beam

Active Member
Sep 9, 2007
964
Scotland
Some judges are plain nasty. You have to ignore them, I'm not a stick either and if I quit the first time I heard "you're too big" I would have walked out a long time ago.

You just have to make sure the next time you get them they can't take any deductions and show them body type doesn't matter.
 

gymch34

Member
Aug 2, 2008
322
east coast
I am a judge- up through the collegiate level- and I'm telling you judges do not judge "bodies' Especailly at the JO level. What is judged are the skills- height, extension,form, etc. Sometimes its easier for the smaller, leaner athletes to make their gymnastics look dynamic- to put it bluntly. But I have also seen lots of athletes who are not so lean do great gymnastics, and they have obviously worked just as hard on their form, presentation etc- so they are rewarded for that.

Your coach really should have never told you that, its basically just an excuse, in my opinion. Dont believe it or buy into it! Get into the gym & bust you butt: work on your execution, height, extension- etc- all the little things that make a BIG difference! Do not give the judges anything to deduct- and you will be pleased with the results!
 

gymnomore

Member
Aug 3, 2007
208
After reading your post, I have to say that I love your spunk! If that happened to my dd, she would just shrug it off and move on, not even trying to figure it out. Of course the parents on our team would all have the wheels turning in our heads trying to understand what the judges were thinking. You did a great job describing how you performed that solid routine and you obviously felt good about yourself. All I can say is, keep it up; your day will come soon- though from the numbers you were still a standout! You have what it takes and it sounds like a bright future in gymnastics!
 
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