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So the gymnast and his/her coach will carefully create a routine with the highest possible start value. You can tell what the start value should be because they FIG (international giverning body for gymnastics) published what they call a code of points. That document (book really) has almost every imaginable skill listed and it's difficulty rating (A, B, C, D or E). It also has rules about how routines have to be constructed (# of skills of each difficulty level, other requirements like the 2-second hold on rings) and rules about how to judge (how much to deduct for certain mistakes, etc.). So in theory the gymnast and the coach know what the start value *should* be. Now it gets tricky.

Do you think it is getting *too* tricky? I don't remember all this confusion in the past. And I knew all this in the back of my head I suppose. I just couldn't understand why they would decide 2 days before the competition that the men's start values would be so different. I've been watching gymnastics for a long time but it seems to change much faster than I can keep up. I don't expect to be able to watch a routine and figure out what it should be scored out of (I know there are A, B, C, D and E moves, for example, but I don't know which move has which rating), but I think at least the commentators should be able to figure it out. And what is up with the tiebreaker? It appeared to be so complicated they didn't even attempt to explain it. What is wrong with ties, anyway?

I do want to hear why Brett McClure had such a low start value. I bet the American coaches protested that right away! I haven't heard if the judges saw a mistake that lowered his start value or if that was a mistake too.

Yes, I was wondering that too.

On a different note, I am so happy for Terin Humphrey and hope she actually goes on to compete for Bama!:)

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