Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Current State of NCAA Scoring

During the first weekend of full schedule NCAA Gymnastics, we have already seen a 10.0.  Many members of the gymternet are outraged that Bridget Sloan of Florida received this illusive score, and rightly so.  Anyone who has followed my Twitter knows I am a huge Florida athletics fan, however I agree that it is ridiculous that we have seen a 10 in the first regular week of NCAA gymnastics.  However, I am more outraged the bias that many fans have towards Florida.

After Sloan's score was announced, Twitter and Tumblr were disgusted about her score.  However,
University of Florida
many people screaming about how over scored Florida is, were not even watching the meet.  I don't understand how someone can voice their opinion without knowing what they are talking about.  Some fans see that a Gator got a 10, and scream "She was over scored!" without bothering to look at the vault in question.  Just because it is Florida, people get outraged.

I am not trying to make everyone love Florida, or even say that Florida always gets the scores they deserve.  I believe Florida is a victim of over scoring.  I also believe that most other top schools are victims of over scoring.  Who could forget the Florida at Utah meet (that Bekah wrote about) in 2013 in which Georgia Dabritz nearly fell and still received a 9.8 on beam.  The "Zam Bonus" followed Vanessa Zamarippa at her years at UCLA.  I could go on and on, but the facts are the facts.  The top teams are over scored.  However, I do not believe fans should be able to call over scoring at a 9.9+ vault with out seeing the vault.  My point is, the stigma following Florida Gymnastics causes fans to write off a very good vault.  Bridget Sloan's vault was great, but it was not a 10.0 vault.

Instead of sitting around and complaining about over scoring for great-but-not-perfect vaults, why not complain about the NCAA Code of Points?  At NCAA competitions, we see the same skills performed over and over, which leads to a direct comparison.  What likely happened today at Ball State, after seeing six Ball State athletes compete equal or lesser vaults, and watching Florida's first, second, and third, compete the exact same vault, the judges saw Sloan's, which was much better compared to the other Full Twisting Yurchencko's.

So how do we go about making a change that will actually fix the problem, instead of disguising it?  I believe we need to devalue the Full Twisting Yurchenko.  Many of the gymnasts that receive 10's on this event are former elites or standout level tens who have been competing this or a harder Yurchenko for years.  A Full Twisting Yurchenko is an easy way to have a 10.0 vault.  If we devaulte it, I believe we will see more variety in NCAA vaults, which has been a problem in the sport for a long time.  I believe that until something is done to the code, we will always see over scored, great-but-not-perfect vaults receiving a 10.0.

Double Double Gym Blog would like to wish Bridget Sloan all the best with her ankle and hope that her injury is nothing too serious.  Feel better soon!

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