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Prediction: Gymnastics Will Warm Up to New Scoring System

2767258451_cb303f12c2_t.jpgIt was fascinating to watch the new scoring system at work in the Olympic gymnastics event. As expected, it was the topic of much controversy and debate throughout the Games. The scoring system is no longer based on a top mark of 10; just as skating has dropped the 6.0 perfect score. The perfect 10 scoring system that was used for 80 years was replaced a couple of years ago by a point system without a ceiling.

In this New York Times article, world-renowned gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi doesn’t hide his feelings about losing the perfect 10: “It’s crazy, terrible, the stupidest thing that ever happened to the sport of gymnastics. How could they take away this beautiful, this most perfect thing from us, the one thing that separated our sport from the others?” Famous American pixie gymnast, Mary Lou Retton, also “hates” the new system.

Here’s my prediction… they’ll like it in the end. I predict that just as the new scoring system in figure skating has pushed skaters to achieve both athletically and artistically, gymnastics will also experience a Renaissance. The new scoring system provides an opportunity to shake things up, to reward ingenuity and perhaps encourage better artistic work. It’s been a bumpy road in figure skating, but many coaches and skaters and fans (including myself) think that the new points-based scoring system is pushing the sport forward.

One Response to “Prediction: Gymnastics Will Warm Up to New Scoring System”

  1. gymnastics Says:

    The new scoring system has had a negative impact so far as far as artistry is concerned. It’s been in use since 2006. They have just issued the draft of changes for 2009-2012. The changes decrease the emphasis on difficulty and give more points for artistic types of skills. Some changes limit the ability of the athletes to get massive head starts on certain events.

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