Thursday 23 August 2012

Thursday's Thoughts

Vault scores in the new CoP

With the Olympics now over for another four years the rules and regulations are due a rethink. The provisional Code of Points for 2013-2016 is now available to download and while it can be a bit wordy and long it always worth a flick through. Do bear in mind that this is still provisional at the moment and not all the changes may see it through to the final draft. After looking through, the main change stands out as being the scores on vault. While there are new requirements and connection values on the other apparatus, the scoring of vault looks set to have a complete overhaul.

The main changes will be to those gymnasts looking to qualify and compete in the vault final. For gymnasts just competing one vault (for the team final or all around final) it will be pretty much the same though some vaults have had their D score changed. For example, the highly difficult Amanar vault will be decreasing in difficulty from 6.5 to 6.3. If you are wanting to try for the vault final though you do of course have to compete two vaults. At the moment the gymnasts' two vaults are scored completely separately then averaged to give the final score: the D and E score of vault 1 are added together to give the score for vault 1, the D and E score of vault 2 are added together to give the score for vault two, then the scores for vault 1 and vault 2 are averaged. In the new Code of Points this scoring system will change and only one execution score will be given. Basically, the two D scores of the vaults will be averaged, then all the deductions (from both vaults) will be taken off a single E score. This will then be added to the average of the D scores to give a final score.

Sound complicated? I was really unsure at first quite how it would look in practice and whether I liked the idea, but the more I got used to it the more I like it. So how does it work in practice? Here are a few vaults with the difference between the old and the new scoring system:

Sandra Izbasa, London 2012 VT Final
Old scoring system:
VT1: D (6.1) + E (9.233) = 15.383
VT2: D (5.8) + E (9.200) = 15.000
(15.383 + 15.000) / 2 = 15.191
New scoring system
D: (VT1 (6.1) + VT2 (5.8)) / 2 = 5.95
E: 10.000 - VT1 deductions (0.767) - VT2 deductions (0.800) = 8.433
5.95 + 8.433 = 14.383
As you can see, Sandra's score would come out much lower in the new scoring system than it does in the current one, but the same will be said for all the gymnasts. Sandra had good execution on both of her vaults as well as moderate difficulty, meaning her score will still be fairly high compared to others.

Yamilet Pena Abreu, London 2012 VT qualifying
Old scoring system 
VT1: D (7.1) + E (7.833) = 14.933
VT2: D (5.8) + E (8.666) = 14.466
(14.933 + 14.466) / 2 = 14.699
New scoring system 
D: (VT1 (7.1) + VT2 (5.8)) / 2 = 6.45
E: 10.000 - VT1 deductions (2.167) - VT2 deductions (1.334) = 6.499
6.45 + 6.499 = 12.949
You can see that Yamilet, who fell on her first and very difficult vault, would score very low under the new code with all the deductions coming from the single E score. Until now she has relied on her extremely high difficulty to get her into vault finals but you can see that this will no longer be an option under the new scoring system.

McKayla Maroney, London 2012 VT qualifying
Old scoring system 
VT1: D (6.5) + E (9.400) = 15.900
VT2: D (6.1) + E (9.600) = 15.700
(15.900 + 15.700) / 2 = 15.800
New scoring system
D: (VT1 (6.5) + VT2 (6.1) / 2 = 6.3
E: 10.000 - VT1 deductions (0.600) - VT2 deductions (0.400) = 9.000
6.3 + 9.000 = 15.300 
Although McKayla had that unexpected error in the vault final, you can see that her excellent vaulting in qualification would still be rewarded in the new scoring system. Because she has high difficulty as well as excellent execution there are very few deductions to take.

Overall, I think I like the new system. There will be no more cases of gymnasts making the final or taking a medal if they have had a fall, both of which happened in this year's Olympics. Instead, the focus will have to be on good quality vaulting and after all, is that not what it should be about?

1 comment:

  1. They're really decreasing the Amanar? I hadn't heard that! Thanks for the new info!