This is the second part of Bernard Vella’s in-depth explanation of the changes made to the FIG Code of Points for the coming quad. See Part One, if you have not read it yet. This section explains changes on floor. The third part will deal with vault and beam.
What changes will we see on Floor?
1. Higher difficulty ratings
2. More interesting connections
3. Higher execution scores
Floor is traditionally the lowest scoring event, meaning team and individual all around performances are not as well reflected for those who are strong on floor. This code has brought some obvious attempts to mitigate this.
-The FIG has given gymnasts two new opportunities to increase their difficulty score on floor. Every individual somersault is given a numerical rating according to its difficulty in the code of points. Somersaults deemed the most difficult have been assigned an ‘H’ value (Worth 0.8). These H elements are worth .1 more than the previous maximum difficulty somersaults were given on floor – a G worth 0.7. The elements in question being upgraded are the double back tuck with a double twist and the double back laid out with a full twist.
There has also been some extra connection bonuses added, for A+D tumbles directly linked (think – Svetlana Khorkina’s whip to double pike she dismounted with in 2004). What can we expect? I think this should be a good change for fans and gymnasts alike, we’ll see more power tumbles, interesting connections, while gymnasts get higher D scores. Sounds like a win-win situation, providing there isn’t too much chucking of elements with insufficient training.
-Lunges allowed – sort of!
Remember those (mostly) beautiful lunges gymnasts used to do on floor after they landed a big somersault? This became a deduction in the last code. Possibly because of an outcry over lessened floor artistry, lunges have made a comeback. Well, almost; the FIG has allowed one lunge per routine in. What can we expect? As most would predict, difficult to stick passes will probably benefit from this – Double arabians and two-and-a-half twist somersaults, will likely all be flourished with lunges this quad, and they really can be beautiful when pulled off correctly, instead of when used as a cover-up.
-Leaps out of tumbling passes
So what happened to the rumor of no more D somersault + A jump (leaping at the end of a tumbling pass) connection bonus? Turns out it will live on into the next code.
While I wholeheartedly agree these leaps have the ability to detract from routines artistry, I think it was a good idea by the FIG to allow the bonus to stay. The leaps increase difficulty and execution scores on the traditionally low scoring floor exercise, which is why I believe the FIG has kept them (and is a small leap really less artistic than a gymnast trying to stick her landing, then using all unsightly manner of cover-ups when she can’t?)
The leaps can also help to differentiate between tumblers who are chucking their skills, versus those who demonstrate control over it (Yao Jinnan and Sandra Izbasa’s triple twists, versus, say, Catalina Ponor and Aliya Mustafina’s), rewarding those who have mastered their difficult somersaults on floor exercise. Additionally, gymnasts’, coaches and choreographers may not want to add leaps into a routine, but if many other gymnasts are competing them, they may risk being left with lower scores than their competitors.
If gymnasts have another quad to master these leaps and jumps, they could really start to become more beautiful too. Sandra Izbasa’s triple twist-to-stag, Gabby Douglas’s double tuck to split (at the American Cup), and Aly Raisman’s double pike to split jump were all performed beautifully, and enhanced their fantastic tumbling.
We hope this helps! Trust us, the changes on bars, floor and beam are far less complicated and require far less maths to understand!
Look out for Part Three soon!
Read more from the Decoding the Code Series!
Read about how the D and E Score is constructed
Read about Beam mounts.
Read about the Press and Planche move
Article: Bernard Vella
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