GYMN-L Digest - 26 May 1996 to 27 May 1996

There are 14 messages totalling 379 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Introduction
  2. Difficulty in scoring.
  3. Ukrainian Update (was Re: Bulkahova)
  5. FIG scoring changes- '97
  6. GYMN-L Digest - 24 May 1996 to 25 May 1996
  7. Olympic Teams
  8. Italian Gymnastics Federation Home Page:
  9. '97 Code changes
 10. More on '97 code changes
 11. GYMN-L Digest - 25 May 1996 to 26 May 1996
 12. full-out
 13. Knee pain
 14. "Gymnastics: The Art of Sport" Now Available in Canada


Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 13:06:10 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Introduction

Hello everyone!  I've just joined the list and so far my daughter and I are
both finding it very interesting.  My name is Janet and I'm the mother
of two children.  Kyle, 15, is into baseball and soccer.  Tara, 13, is a
Level 9 gymnast (I'm going to let her introduce herself).  As all of you well
know, once a member of the family becomes hooked on gymnastics it consumes
the entire family.  So I'm a gym-mom.  I'd like to hear from other gym-moms
on issues such as:  Training schedules, social pressures at school, balancing
school and gym, minor aches and pains, number of meets attended a year, etc.
etc.  I'm also an elementary school teacher and often have young gymnasts in
my class.  I think they love having a teacher who is as enthusiastic about
gymnastics as they are.  I love everything about the sport and we go to many
USAG meets as well as college meets.  We have tickets to the Olympic Trials
in Boston and are very EXCITED about that!!!!  I guess that's enough from me
so I'll let Tara have the computer.
Hi, my name is Tara Lynch.  I just finished my first year of Level 9 and am
now training for my second year.  I'm trying to add more difficult skills to
my routines.  I came back from the Region 6, Level 9 regionals in NY eager to
try new things.  Although I only medaled on beam I really got a lot out of
the experience of competing in such a big meet my first year as a Level 9.  I
like the challenge of gymnastics.  My favorite event is bars although my best
event is probably beam.  I like to travel and have been to AAU Junior
Olympics twice.  I'm just about to finish seventh grade where I'm an honor
student.  I play the trombone in the Jr. High band but my gymnastics training
doesn't give me much time to get involved in anything else.  I train 16-20
hours a week.  I'd like to hear from other gymnasts my age about their
gymnastics training.  I guess that's about it!  Janet and Tara


Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 13:13:24 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM=
Subject: Difficulty in scoring.

I'm one of those people who firmly believes the scoring system used in
gymnastics should be changed. When Nadia received 10's, that should have
been the signal that the system had serious limitations. An intelligent
public was thinking the ultimate had been achieved. No room for improvement?
Since that time the scoring system (in an understatment) is unmercifully
unjust. I firmly believe the difficulty of an optional routine should be
judged in a separate category and added to the outcome of the former
categories. Yes, then it would be possible to obtain a score relative to
your potential to perform more difficulty. As it stands, we are cramming
more and more difficulty into the span of those elusive final 2 tenths 9.8
It's not working folks...wake up!!!  More difficulty = higher score.
Smell the coffee!!!


Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 13:20:18 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Ukrainian Update (was Re: Bulkahova)

>This may be old news to some, but for those of us new guys, does anyone
>know what happened to Boulakhova?

Irina Bulkahova, a member of the 1994 & 1995 Ukrainian World Championships
teams, was forced into retirement with a back injury earlier this year.

In other Ukrainian news ...

- 1994 World team member Tatiana Malaya had knee surgery a little over a
month ago which will probably signal the end of her competitive career.

- Oksana Knizhnik recently broke her hand will training the uneven bars (her
nemisis event). Hopefully she will be recovered enough to compete in Atlanta.

- 1992 Olympic alternate and subsequent Ukrainian stalwart, Lyudmila
Stovbchataya, retired from gymnastics after the 1995 University Games and
married long time boyfriend, and fellow Ukrainan team member, Vladimir
Shamenko last November. They're expecting their first child in July (don't do
the math).

- Speaking of Shamenko, after spending the '96 season sidelined with a
chronic back injury he will return to competition at a June 1st meet in
Cardiff, Wales (Viktoria Burban will be Ukraine's female entrant). A meet
that will test his fitness for the Olympic squad.

-  Ukraine's Olympic women's team -- Lilya Podkopayeva, Viktoria Karpenko,
Lyubov Sheremeta, Anna Mirgorodskaya, Olga Tselenko, Elena Shapornaya,
Viktoria Burban & Oksana Knizhnik; with an alternate to be determined after
their pre-Olympic training camp in the U.S. (this list is, of course,
"barring injury") -- will take part in a tri-meet with France and Spain in
Bolougne (sp?) June 7th.



Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 10:28:52 -0700
From:    ***@EARTHLINK.NET
Subject: CHAINEY

I'm getting alot of e-mail about spelling Chainey Umphrey's name wrong.
I'm sorry. I still love you Chainey!


Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 14:42:54 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: FIG scoring changes- '97

Ilene writes:

>It seems to me that gymnastics scores ought to reflect a
>gymnast's difficulty level, form, choreography (where
>appropriate), originality, execution, etc.  I like the idea of
>making it harder for routines to start at a 10.0.  I'd rather
>see a larger range of scores distinguishing the very
>good routines from the great ones, and one way to do that is
>to reward more difficult routines more highly.  BUT, that's
>only one way.  I'd also like to see real deductions for form
>breaks, deductions for lack of amplitude, deductions for
>lack of stylistic interpretation on women's fx, etc.

>So, I'd like to see a beautifully executed, moderately difficult
>routine score as well as a highly difficult, adequately
>executed one.  Gymnasts like Pods, who combine difficulty
>and great execution, should be rewarded (although she shouldn't
>do quite as well on bars with that perpetual leg separation).
>Similarly, someone like Kerri Strug (who has good
>difficulty but, IMO, has way too many form breaks) shouldn't
>do as well.

In general, I agree with this post.  However, why make it impossible to get a
"10"?  To me, it's like moving backwards.  For example, have those gymnasts
who have bad form or choreography  but good difficulty (like Milo) get a 9.5,
but don't make the gymnasts with good form and difficulty (like Pods)  get a
9.575.  You may as well be giving them a 9.8 vs a 9.875.  There's no
difference.  This is what I think is wrong with the current scoring system.
Sure, it's harder to get a "10", but the point spread between these types of
gymnasts is virtually the same!  IMHO, there should be a bigger spread
between these gymnasts, for instance, a 9.5 verses a 9.9.  (no offense to any
Milo fans!) But don't make it impossible to get a 10!   Somehow, it takes
something away from watching the sport when you know it's virtually
impossible to get a "10".

Just my thoughts...



Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 13:39:16 -0600
Subject: Re: GYMN-L Digest - 24 May 1996 to 25 May 1996

I don't agree with changing scoring system to a two system method. What I
would rather see is actual, REAL deductions for execution errors
such as moves not going to complete handstand where the angle between
the hands and the feet is 180, not 160 or 200 degrees. I would alos
like to add that I would really like to see gymnasts get deductions
for things like cowboyed double backs. The legs are suppose to
be together, but seeming all gymnasts separate them. This is most
obvious on BB where gymnasts will pull-it-around. I can't see how these
gymnasts have recieved '10s' in the past. Even Nadia had a cowboyed
dismount on UB in her optional routines. All of which got 10s.

I wish that judges would reward more for proper execution than for th e
'big moves'. When gymnasts have to cowboy double tucks off beam, it just
makes me think they don't have enough strength to do it correctly. Similarly,
a triple off HB is often cowboyed. You see the judges take deductions for
spread leg double layouts, why not on other skills.

I, for one, will actually MISS compuslories. I really like them since you
get to see gymnastics to its fullest. The routines are all composed of
a sequence of elements which virtually everyone can do, but you do see
the little differences in the training of each gymnast. I have NEVER
been able to score compulsories on TV, but I can tell you, fairly close,
what the score will be for an optional routine, and that was before th e
current code was introduced. Watching compuslories is neat because you
see things like extension, amplitude, and control, somethings that are
usually missing in some optional routines.

I still don't see how it can be justified that a routine which is composed
of 10 - 15 elements can only have 0.05 to 0.1 deductions for execution
errors. But I don't write the code, now do I.


Dina, Dina, Dina.


Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 11:55:36 -0700
From:    ***@EFN.ORG
Subject: Olympic Teams

This is probably a question that has been answered before, but how mnay
gymnasts can make an Olympic Team?

I've heard conflicting stories:

1 - They are using the 7-6-5 rule where you have a seven member team with
no alternate.  Any gymnast can go on each event.

2 - They are using the standard 6 member team with an alternate.  The
alternate would only compete if one of the six were injured.

Which one is correct?  Or are neither correct?




Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 13:55:07 -0600
Subject: Italian Gymnastics Federation Home Page:

Anyone out there interested in the Italian Gymnastics scene should point
their WWW readers at:

and read, read, read. But, it is all in Italian now. There will be an
english version soon, but not yet!

Says the Grand Prix of Rome is set for: 29 and 30 the of May, if I read
Italian correctly (which I can't!)


P.S. They list a biography of Chechi, but it could not be reached by the


Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 15:00:45 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: '97 Code changes

In a message dated 96-05-26 06:05:14 EDT, Vanessa writes:

>What do you think about having the same scoring system as ice skating on
>beam and floor? Divide the scoring into technical and artistic? Just an
>idea. I still love gymnastics no matter which way it goes.

There was talk of going to a "degree of difficulty" system like diving. Under
that system the gymnast's score would be theoretically unlimited because it
would be determined by  multiplying the execution score by a degree of
difficulty determined by the elements in the routine.

That idea was rejected probably for the same reason that a figure skating
type scoring system would be. The "10.0" perfect score has been the standard
in gymnastics for it's entire modern history, so the FIG doesn't want give up
what it sees as the main factor of it's public recognition.


Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 15:00:58 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: More on '97 code changes

In a message dated 96-05-26 06:05:14 EDT, LeeAnn writes:

>I have to agree about disliking the fact that some skills are being vauled
>the same difficutly level even though to perform some is easier than to
>perform others. For example, to have a double pike and a full-in on floor
>have the same rating is ridiculous.
>One way to solve this would be to add new difficulty ratings. Why just have
>it go up to an E level skill. I think it would be more accurate to increase
>the number of skill levels, and have a more precise way of differentiating
>between the level of difficulty of the skills instead of clumping them all

In theory I agree with you, but in practice, I can tell you from experience
that the more you complicate the system and make the judges' job harder, the
more you hurt the accuracy of scores. A great example of this is in the mens'
Jr. program. Four years ago the JoPC decided to adopt a graduated base score
system.(class 7 starts at a 5.0....class 6 starts at a 6.0...and so on). The
theory was that it would prevent the gymnasts from dropping out of the sport
because their self-esteem was damaged by their scores dropping as they
advanced through the levels. Ignoring of course that that is NOT why they
drop out around the beginner optional levels. All the graduated base scores
did was make the judges job more difficult and increase mistakes in scoring.
Fortunately, the JoPC seems to have come around and are now going back to a
10.0 base for all levels.

The point is that careful thought should be given before making a sweeping
change in the Code.



Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 18:01:08 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: Re: GYMN-L Digest - 25 May 1996 to 26 May 1996



Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 20:51:07 -0400
From:    ***@AOL.COM
Subject: full-out

I'm working on full out on bars, but I just don't get it.  I can do a full-in
or a 1/2 in-1/2 out, but everytime I try to full out, I don't go anywhere.  I
know when I've finished the first flip and to twist on the second one, I turn
my head and pull my arms to twist, but I don't go anywhere.  The most I've
gotten is a 1/4.  Does anyone have any advice?
Please e-mail me privately.


Date:    Sun, 26 May 1996 20:14:02 -0600
Subject: Knee pain

In a recent post a gymnast mother was asking about patello-femoral pain and
Osgood Schlatter's disease. Both of these conditions are not uncommon in
gymnasts especially during their growing years. Patello-femoral syndrome is
often due to a tracking problem of the patella on the femur and a good
assessment by a Physical therapist may be able to identify if it is due to
weak quadriceps muscles or foot-knee alignment. The alignment problem may
only cause pain at a specific degree of knee flexion. Osgood Schlatters
disease is usually due to muscle pull on the tibial tubercle (the place
where the quadriceps attatch) especially prior to fusion of the growth
plate. The problem is painful but often stops being painful when the athlete
stops growing. Both problems may respond well to a period of rest and ice to
decrease the inflammation. Make sure you see a physician and physio that are
familiar with gymnastics. Your daughter may be well advised to switch to a
sport with less impact, especially since she is still quite young, in my
experience its usually gymnast in early adolescence that have most problems.


Date:    Mon, 27 May 1996 00:39:08 -0400
From:    ***@CAPITALNET.COM>
Subject: "Gymnastics: The Art of Sport" Now Available in Canada

Gymnastics Canada Gymnastique has received a shipment of the FIG photo
book, "Gymnastics: The Art of Sport", just in time for this week's National
Championships.  This book, which features Eileen Langsley's best work, will
be on sale in Sault Ste. Marie this week and from the GCG office
afterwards.  The price will be around $50 Cdn, and it is worth every penny,
loonie, & twoonie out of your piggy bank!

I've gone through it myself at least four times since I picked up my copy
on Friday.  It is wonderfully inspirational and a definite collector's
item.  She even explains the film that she uses -- prompting me to rush out
to try a roll of Kodak Ektachrome 320T for this week!

To anyone going to Sault:  See you!




End of GYMN-L Digest - 26 May 1996 to 27 May 1996