Report on Technical Sequence Evaluation

JE Division – 2013 JO National Championships

Compiled and Condensed by Dusty Ritter from JONAL Reports


            Following months of preparation by our officials and several competitions at the invitational, state and regional level we assembled six very capable panels of four judges each for the Technical Sequence portion of the JO National Championships. The JONAL leaders from each event were asked to submit a report noting the common deductions and areas of concern from each of the age group’s performances. This report summarizes the comments and deductions on each of the routines. The information contained in this document should be helpful to coaches and athletes in preparing and improving their performance for the 2014 season.


Technical Director Report: (Schott)


JONAL / JORTD Conference Calls:

         JONAL / JORTD Conference Calls were held to enable collaboration and continuity among the Regions during the competitive season. This being the first year of the cycle there were monthly and bi-monthly calls to discuss the multiple issues across the country. There were multiple updates to the JO Program and Technical Sequences, so there were multiple calls reviewing updates as well as questions and concerns throughout the year. This was an excellent communication and training tool for everyone involved. The new program format at JO Nationals was successful and allowed judges time between sessions on all days.

            Floor Exercise: (Scanlan-JONAL)


            Overview: Our athletes generally have a good level of technical ability.  It can, of course, still be improved.  No one scored over a 9.2 on his technical sequence, so there’s room to grow. Content issues were almost non-existent. Most errors appeared to be caused by rushing from one position to the next (not completing finished positions).  From the snap-through in the round off through the takeoff in the back handspring, for example. I think that the technical sequences have already done a spectacular job with the athletes.  Our judging panel agreed that if we had judged these routines nine months earlier, the technical errors would have been a nightmare. The technical sequence on Floor Exercise does a good job at complimenting or exposing technical prowess. There were some athletes who showed great ability to meet their full athletic potential by improving to their technical performance.


            Comprehensive Routine comments:



1. Hurdle

Knee lift was done very well.  Arm lift to a fully extended shoulder angle was a problem.  The arms tended to lift to horizontal with the athlete leaning very far forward in the hurdle.


     Round off

Following from a hurdle with an angle in the shoulders, the round-off began with the shoulders in a somewhat closed position and remained there.  Few of the athletes pulled their arms down in the 2nd phase.  Alternatively, the shoulders were already closed so no shortening of the body occurred.  At the landing, the feet tended to be in front of the hips, but the hips were not tucked under.  Many athletes had begun to transition into the bwd handspring before fully completing the round-off.

     Bwd Handspring

The distance on the 1st phase of the back handspring tended to be rather short.  The athletes tended to not fully complete the landing phase of the back handspring prior to beginning their transition to the takeoff, meaning that the landing didn’t show a chest in, head neutral position, shorting the length of the 1st phase.

     Arabian – piked

     [ tucked ]

The athletes did a good job of keeping their feet square in the takeoff.  In the takeoff, a high number of athletes did not swing their arms upward, but lifted them to only around horizontal.  The 90 degree turn was generally not shown.  Rather an abbreviated set with a quick 180 turn occurred.  Completing the turn prior to piking (tucking) was a difficulty, I think due to the abbreviated set.  Tucked positions were much better than piked positions which tended to remain open.

2. Single leg prone

Most of the athletes had no problem with this skill.  Just a few didn’t show sufficient flexibility.


The athletes tended to use the Sissone for distance to get into the corner.  Those who had gone a bit crooked in their first pass, tended to do a Sissone with a sideways angle to reach the corner.

     Lunge and turn

The lunge and turn had rhythm issues.  The athletes tended to stop in the lunge rather than move smoothly through the turn.

3. Hurdle – Round off

See above.

     Back Handspring

See above.

     (2) Tempo saltos

Many of the athletes did not extend through the 1st phase so the 1st phase tended to be rather short.  Many had loose lower backs during the flight of the 1st phase.  Many athletes did not complete the 1st phase prior to beginning the 2nd phase.  In other words, they landed the 1st phase with their arms already swinging into the 2nd, with the head back, and without their hips rolled under.  Many finished the pass by snapping through rather to going to a takeoff position with their feet behind the hips.  Few coaches spotted the rebound, so the final whipback slowed down, apparently to create a safer rebound.

     [ (3) Bwd Handsprings ]

See tempo saltos above, plus:  The athletes tended to do the back handsprings very quickly rather showing the positions requested.  At the conclusion of the pass many athletes snapped through rather than going to a takeoff position.  One particular coach stood about ten feet behind his athlete to spot him.  Many of the back handsprings lacked full extension in the first phase.  Most athletes did not pull their arms down.  Some pulled their arms down almost to their hips creating a pause in their transition from the 2nd phase of one handspring into the 1st phase of the next.  Few coaches spotted the rebound, so the 3rd back handspring slowed down, apparently to create a safer rebound.


The rebound tended to move backward too much due to snapping through on the back handspring.  There were no deductions taken on the rebound no matter what it looked like.  Few coaches spotted.  Many athletes stuck or attempted to stick their landing requiring that they lessen the power and extension in their final skill of the pass.

4. Jump 1/2 turn

Throughout this skill there tended to be rhythm issues.  Many athletes did not the jump and smoothly transition to the step, but rather showed a stopped stick position.

     Hitch kick

Most of the athletes did a good job of finishing the hitch kick, but some turned their hips in the hitch kick, starting the step and turn.

     Lunge and turn

See above.

5. Hurdle

See above.

     Front Handspring

Following a hurdle without full extension of the shoulders, the shoulders tended to not be fully extended through the blocking phase.  Most athletes did not fully complete the landing phase of the handspring prior beginning the bounder.  The hips tending to be a bit piked with the eyes looking down at the floor.


Because the handspring was not fully completed there was little transition from the open, extended position to a hollow position to begin the 1st phase of the bounder.  The athletes’ hips tended to be slightly piked during the transition from the handspring to the bounder and the shoulders were slightly closed during the blocking phase.  The 1st phase of the bounder tended, therefore, be rather short.  In some cases, the arms did not swing over the top, but around the side.  For the most part, the athletes landed with their feet slightly in front of the hips although some landed with their feet significantly in front of their hips.

     Dive roll

Most of the athletes started the dive roll by looking down, pulling their shoulders and chest in.  I have to believe there is still some fear of the dive roll.  Even when ending position from the bounder was correct, the athletes tended not to lift their arms and chest upward into the dive roll.  Piking was not a significant problem, but being overly rounded in the chest was.  The rollout was generally smooth and through a rounded position.  Only when there were significant errors in the pass did the athlete bounce on the landing.

6. Step and assemble

Again, this transition tended to be used for distance to get to the corner and the landing came to a stopped stick rather smoothly moving to a stand.

7. Hurdle – Round off

See above.

     Back Handspring

See above.

     Back Salto – Pike-open

A reasonable number of athletes did not reach their arms dynamically overhead, but only to horizontal.  Most took off setting rotation with the head and shoulders (leaning back).  This caused lack of height, late compression, and necessarily late opening.  Sticking of this landing was very good.



Pommel Horse: (Ritter-JOPD)


Overview: The improvement over the course of the year was significant in terms of body position and overall extension of the double leg circle. The 11-14 routine overall was improved. There is still room for improvement in the area of counterturn at the ¼ position which results in hip rollover in the front of the circle as well as piking in the back of the circle if not well done. These areas are deductions. Establishing early counter-turn during the transition from the back to the front is the primary area that needs to be addressed.


Increased speed or acceleration of the circle is also an area that shows room for improvement. Slower circles tend to have uneven rhythm and inadequate lean amplitude with the shoulders. There was very little problem with hand placement or traveling during the routine as was a concern earlier in the year. This problem seems to have been ironed out. Skewing is still an issue but to a lesser extent. Gymnasts who scored in the higher ranges performed within the required angles for the most part. Gymnasts who had a significant skew scored much lower.


In the 15-18 year old routine the modifications that were made were beneficial in two areas: (1) The routine was easier to evaluate for the judges (2) Most gymnasts could execute the routine with fewer falls. The biggest problem with this routine is the application of correct circle technique to the turning skills. Few gymnasts showed good technique even on the opening sequence of 3 circles. The basic errors translated to larger errors on the turning skills. The flairs were not well done in general. This is probably because many gymnasts have not worked flairs in quite a while so it was new. Optional routines have tended to veer more and more towards Russian type skills (which depend more on strength than circle technique) while getting farther away from flops, spindles and flairs (which require better circle technique).


The biggest issue was the dismount sequence where almost all of the gymnasts did one less circle than required in writing. This is attributable to the ‘newness’ of the program and the fact that they had been doing it this way all season without the judges catching it. It did not impact the final outcome as the deduction was the same for everyone. However, this problem must be corrected and clarified. The dismount in general suffers from extreme rollover resulting in the hip placement being way out-of-position on the uphill circle and making the tapping movement for the circle to handstand inefficient.


9.0 + routines: Nice extension on circle with good rhythm and only minor errors. Some bonus was awarded.


8.5-9.0: Similar to above with slightly uneven rhythm or pike on a couple parts resulting in a few more medium deductions.


8.0-8.5: Slightly piked circles and obvious lack of counter-turn. Skew deductions on parts of travel at least medium. Significant rollover going into and coming out of turning skills.


7.0– 8.0: Major break on routine or Significant pike, skew, or out of position hips (rollover) resulting in medium or large deductions throughout.

Conclusions: Definite improvement and understanding of better circle techniques was gradually assimilated over the course of the season. We have a long way to go. Greater counter-turn, wider shoulder lean, increased speed and more extension in the circle are still goals that need to be met to increase optional potential and diversity of skill repertoire. This is being seen in the youngest age groups where a high level of skill mastery is already being noticed because they have better circle technique. Less emphasis on strength at the expense of good circle technique is necessary because optional routines are continuing to get much longer now and poor technique expends energy much too fast to be effective.


The application of the rules was difficult to get a handle on for both the coaches and the judges in the first year of seeing these routines in application. The judging was in the beginning too difficult possibly as the judges wrestled with learning the requirements to be evaluated. In the end, it may have been too easy as we bent over backwards to simplify the process in order to achieve a level of consistency. In order to continue to see improvement in technique we must work to apply the rules in a more comprehensive manner whereby good athletes can be separated sufficiently from lesser athletes as the quality of the event


Rings: (Monaco-JONAL)


Overview:  The 15-18 routine had much more differentiation than the 11-14 routine.  There a still many similarities however, namely the middle part of the routine separating the gymnasts.  Proper turnover of the swing is still an issue with some of the lower level gymnasts. There were some very strong gymnasts with some great planches; but that skill also was a large separator between gymnasts.


Basics skill performances:  As mentioned in other areas, the backward uprise is often overlooked and can result in multiple deductions and lead to more if the athlete is going to another skill.  Also performing a handstand with the rings turned in is still prevalent when either performing a press or a swing.


Areas of Concern:  The backward swing (reverse candlestick) was the skill given the least amount of bonus. Press to handstand for the 11 to 14 age athletes is still an issue and many are still be deducted due to poor technique. Pressing with the arms touching the straps throughout the press is the most common technical flaw. Often the arms remain touching the straps even after the athlete achieves the handstand due to lack of ring turn. This is a recurring issue for many gymnasts throughout the exercise.


Many athletes showed poor technique in turnover swings even when they achieved the height requirement. Many seem to assume that if the swing is high, they are complying with the technical requirements of the turnover swing.  The backward uprise is a skill often overlooked and many gymnasts had medium to large deductions due to arm bend before reaching the L Seat.  Also many gymnasts received multiple deductions for arms bent and/or rings turned in on the L Seat, the Press to Handstand and the Handstand Quite a few gymnasts suffered from these deductions throughout 2 to 3 skills.


The basic conclusion of this routine is that some gymnasts are training the right way for the press and some are not and that separated many athletes in score. The swings have improved, even though some gymnasts still are performing with the swings with technical flaws.  The bail from handstand is probably the next weakest part of the routine.


Conclusion: This routine is fairly straightforward, so it is not very difficult to be on the same page with other judges.  The only place where there may be differentiation would be the angles on the swings. The areas of evaluation are obvious in these routines with handstand body position, turnover technique, ring position, and locked arm positions being the most obvious separators in scoring.


Vault: (Johnson – JONAL)


Overview: The larger emphasis being placed on the hurdle and loading of the board have apparently increased the overall performances of the vaults. It was also surprising to note how few gymnasts had deductions in these categories The majority of the deductions in this are were for being past the vertical on the board. Although there were many vaults receiving the past vertical deduction, I believe the overall emphasis has also improved vertical blocks on the table.  It also appears that the focus on board and entry technique has increased the velocity of the gymnasts as a whole.


Score Ranges:


10.0 – 9.5 Vaults scoring within this range qualified for the +.2 for rise and for the most part had their small deductions taken only in the hurdle to board entry.


9.5 – 9.0 These vaults typically kept to small execution deductions, but did not show enough power or amplitude to qualify for the + .2.


8.0 -8.9 Vaults within this range typically had execution deductions throughout every phase of the vaults with a heavier weight towards medium deductions during the board entry.


7.0-7.9 These Vaults had medium to large deductions throughout every phase of the vault with multiple form deductions that amplified the technical deductions.


Conclusions: While the vault happens very fast the areas where the most noticeable faults occur come from the entry positions from the hurdle and the vertical block angle leaving the table. Gymnasts who do not perform the hurdle correctly, including proper knee lift, arm mechanics, body position and having the feet in front do not effectively ‘load’ the board or depress the board fully. Gross errors also have a damaging effect on the preflight resulting in a weak block.


Parallel Bars: (Griffin – JONAL)


8.5 – 9.5 routines: Parts were performed to desired criteria with clean form and good rhythm. Peaches and giants had only small deductions for body position, very little travel, straight arms, and unnecessary shifting of the hands. Good early drop technique as required on the peach and good hollow bail and hang position on the giant were demonstrated.


7.5 – 8.5 routines: These were generally well done with heavier deductions for travel on the peach and giant. Typically routines in this range had heavier deductions for poor head position through the giant and basket.


Below 7.5 routines: These routines failed to meet the standards set in the points of emphasis on most skills. Giants were performed poorly with bad head position, traveling on the giant and angle in catching the giants. Peaches traveled and caught with bent arms. Swings showed poor body position and dismounts did not rise and with no preparation for landing.


Common errors resulting in medium or large deductions (11-14):


1.      Use of strength and arch position on glide swing to handstand

2.      Head position not neutral and excessive travel on the giant

3.      Incorrect early drop technique (too close to hands, late drop)

4.      Travel on peach (losing pressure on circular basket swing, bent arms)

5.      Lack of extension on front uprise, weak upper arm position

6.      Lack of early pirouette technique

7.      In adequate lift from front swing on dismount and preparation for landing


Common errors resulting in medium or large deductions (15-18):


1.      Lack of tap and use of strength on back uprise (poor upper arm position)

2.      Head position not neutral and excessive travel on the giant

3.      Incorrect early drop technique (too close to hands, late drop)

4.      Travel on peach, bent arms (losing pressure on circular basket swing)

5.      Lack of extension on front uprise, weak upper arm position

6.      Lack of amplitude from swing to hop handstand

7.      In adequate lift from front swing on dismount and preparation for landing




Overall the basic swings were very well done and many gymnasts stuck the dismount with good landing position. Round body position and neutral head position through the basket and hang need to be accentuated and more refined. Upper arm swing is weak and the timing of the tap as well as overall strength in the correct position should be improved. This would result in eliminating errors on the front uprise and back uprise skills. The dismount was generally performed without much lift. Closer attention should be paid to this swing. While handstands were generally good, continued refinement of body position will help define the finishing positions and rhythm throughout the routine.



High Bar: (Muenz – JONAL)


Overview: After looking back on the two sessions we judged, I feel the level 10’s were judged slightly harder then the level 8’s and level 9’s but consistently within each age group. Basic giant technique is getting better and good extension, wrist turn, and hollow was demonstrated by many of the athletes and specifically by the Level 8’s and level 9’s.  The ability to stick the dismount was also exhibited by over 85% of the field.  The hecht tap showed promise as more gymnasts were able to utilize the technique properly with positive skill results.


Areas of Concern: Gymnasts were playing it safe and not attempting to go to handstand on most turn skills.  While the pirouette is getting better, most gymnasts are still performing the turn late and/or on the way down. Most deductions came on the early pirouette to undergrip giant.  No gymnast was able to perform that skill without a deduction for body position.  The other skill that many gymnasts had trouble with was the Endo. It also appeared that athletes were playing it safe on the free hip as there were very few that were completed to handstand. A small percentage of the athletes did not use the hecht technique for the back uprise or back uprise pirouette skill and were deducted a full .5 (1/2 value of skill)


Score ranges and performance results:


Senior TS (15-18)

Frequent deductions for scores between 8.5 and 9.5:

*  Freehip to handstand  - angle deductions (.1, .2)

*  Early pirouette to undergrip - angle, form, axis (.1, .2, .3)

*  Pirouette to hand - angle, axis (.1, .2) 

*  Endo - angle, rhythm, form (.1, .2)

*  Toe on/off - form, late come on (.1, .2)

*  No bonus


Frequent deductions for scores between 7.5 and 8.45:

*  Hecht Tap - no tap, early hip release, form (.1, .2, .3, .5) 

*  Back up rise Pirouette - angle, bent arms (.1, .2) 

*  Freehip to handstand  - angle deductions (.1, .2) 

*  Early pirouette to undergrip - angle, form, axis (.1, .2, .3) 

*  Pirouette to hand - angle, axis (.1, .2) 

*  Endo - angle, rhythm, form, hitting bar, fall (.1, .2, .3)

*  Toe on/off - form, late come on, angle, wrist position (.1, .2)

*  Extra giants  (.3)

*  Giants - poor extension, wrist, head position (.1) 

*  Blind Change - not finishing in handstand (.1) 

*  No Bonus


Frequent deductions for scores below 7.5:

*  Hecht Tap - no tap, early hip release, form (.1, .2, .3, .5) 

*  Back up rise Pirouette - angle, bent arms (.1, .2) 

*  Freehip to handstand - angle deductions, fall over (.1, .2, .3) 

*  Early pirouette to undergrip - angle, form, axis (.1, .2, .3) 

*  Pirouette to hand - angle, axis, form (.1, .2) 

*  Endo - angle, rhythm, form, hitting bar, fall (.1, .2, .3)

*  Toe on/off  - form, late come on, angle, wrist position (.1, .2)

*  Extra Giants - (.3)

*  Giants -  poor extension, wrist, head position (.1) 

*  Blind Change - not finishing in handstand, form, axis (.1) 

*  No Bonus


Juniors (11-14)

Frequent deductions for scores between 8.5 and 9.5:

*  Hecht Tap -  form(.1) 

*  Hop ½ - angle, form (.1, .2) 

*  Swing ½ - angle, form (.1)

*  Blind Change - finishing past handstand (.1) 

*  Pirouette -  angle(.1, .2) 

*  Toe on/off - form, timing of come on and off (.1, .2)

*  Dismount - body shape, step (.1) 


Frequent deductions for scores between 7.5 and 8.45:

*  Hecht Tap - form, early release, no tap (.1, .2, .3, .5) 

*  Hop ½ - angle, form, no hopping action (.1, .2, .3) 

*  Giants - form, hand walks, lack of extension, wrist position, head out (.1, .2) 

*  Swing ½ - angle, form (.1, .2)

*  Blind Change - finishing past handstand (.1) 

*  Pirouette - angle, axis, form (.1, .2, .3) 

*  Toe on/off - arm bend, leg bend, timing (.1, .2) 

*  Added giants  -(.3)

*  Dismount (.1) - Body shape, step


Frequent deductions for scores below 7.5:

*  Hecht Tap -  form, early release, no tap (.1, .2, .3, .5) 

*  Hop ½ - angle, form, no hopping action (.1, .2, .3) 

*  Giants - form, hand walks, lack of extension, wrist position, head out (.1, .2) 

*  Swing ½ - angle, form (.1, .2)

*  Blind Change - finishing past handstand (.1) 

*  Pirouette - angle, axis, form (.1, .2, .3) 

*  Toe on/off - arm bend, leg bend, timing (.1, .2) 

*  Dismount - body Shape, step, falls (.1, .2, .5) 

*  Added giants - (.3)



It was clearly a different kind of atmosphere using the technical sequence routines for the 2nd day of competition for the newly developed Junior Elite division.  It appears the gymnasts have developed better technique from the beginning of the year to the JO championships and I hope the administrations continue to use this format for the remaining quadrennium.  (JONAL)



2012 Future Star National Panels - Event Observations:


FX: Summary of Staff Evaluator Comments:


1.        Performance execution and technical mastery was moderately good on this event as shown by the scores of the top ½ of the field. The routines were very manageable for the field. Lack of attention to detail on technical positions accounted for the variance in score from those who scored higher vs. substantially lower. A key separating factor was weakness on a particular skill or area such as vertical take-off or forward/backward turnover.

2.        Primary deductions – Turnover could be stronger on forward and backward tumbling. Most gymnasts did not pull the arms down below head level. Leading with the arms and head resulted in buckling the knees forward.

3.        Athletes used transitions to ‘cover distance to corners’ indicating a lack of turnover to lengthen the tumbling as designed. This resulted in deductions for form, technique, and rhythm on the transitions.

4.        Head down position (chin on chest) on forward handsprings was common resulting in lack of flight and weak body position on dive roll.

5.        Pike opens were mostly done fairly well with main error being lack of vertical take-off position. Most opened at horizontal. Few opened above 45 degrees.

6.        Arabian showed lack of set position as required and tucking early.

7.        Hurdles suffered from reach down with the arms too early and not stretching forward enough to gain power.


PH: Summary of Staff Evaluator Comments:


1.        There was a wide range of ability levels on this event. Very few gymnasts met the three main requirements of the circle (pike, counter turn, skew).

2.        Doing the correct number of circles and determining when to travel tended to lower scores. Many gymnasts did more than the required number of circles resulting in more deductions. (Some gymnasts did not adjust their position on the horse (loops) and ended up taking more circles to travel to the next section.)

3.        Very few gymnasts executed without skewing. This could easily be corrected for many gymnasts.

4.        The counter turn concept was executed better than expected. Although the ‘rollover’ effect on the second half of the circle was present in some routines, it was tied mostly to those gymnasts who executed with a substantial pike, predictably.

5.        Piking was a major separator. Those who executed with a full body extension stood out from those who executed with a pike or pronounced hollowed chest position.

6.        The majority of gymnasts had pretty good form. This enabled the evaluation to focus on technique, however those gymnasts who had sloppy form dropped down in the field because they also had the typical technical errors.


SR: Summary of Staff Evaluator Comments:


1.        Staff commented basic swing technique and amplitude is much improved. The 10 year old group had trouble generating enough turnover due to lack of power in general, however older groups showed improved performance. There was an FIG deduction applied for deliberately starting the routine with swing prior to inverted hang.

2.        The primary area of weakness throughout was the Press and Handstand both for technical deductions and also use of strength with poor technique. Even in the 12-13 group the average deduction was (0.5) on the Press and (0.3-0.4) on the Handstand. This area was focused on in the workshop and needs more attention to detail. In addition, poor handstands tend to compound the deductions when they result in poor bail position and following swings. The Press and the Handstand were the elements that separated the gymnasts in score.

3.        Typically the dislocate was performed below average. Poor head position was common. The gymnasts appeared they were rushing to get to the end of the routine after the bail rather than focusing on a good swing prior to turning over the dislocate. In any case, the execution of the required swing mechanics was generally overlooked and resulted in deductions.

4.        In all age groups only a couple gymnasts scored above 9.0. There was a drop off to the low 8’s dominated by poor press and handstand position. The average scores were low 7’s with errors on all of the above.


V: Summary of Staff Evaluator Comments:


1.        The staff evaluators reported there was poor execution across the board on the focused areas of the approach, hurdle, board strike and pre-flight. The observation is the athletes are placing too much emphasis on the piking action while ignoring the approach mechanics. In addition, this is resulting in ineffective vertical block. Only 2 athletes received a bonus for vertical blocking action.

2.        Increased focus on the approach, hurdle and board strike positions by the evaluators will result in more deductions. In addition, they reported very few athletes actually effected any change in mechanics during the clinic instruction. While scores may trend downward with more focus on the first half of the vault, athletes who performed correct mechanics as described in the text and the resulting increase in vertical rise will separate themselves from the field on this event.



PB: Summary of Staff Evaluator Comments:


1.        The staff evaluators commented the front uprise technique or upper arm swing was inadequately executed at all levels. Too many gymnasts elected to swing to handstand and lower to shoulder stand before layaway to the front uprise. This resulted in deductions for poor shoulder position, body position and early release of the tap swing. The routine specifies the swing to 45 degrees and hollow layaway to extended upper arm position is optimal for the proper upper arm swing to the front uprise.

2.        The giant and peach basket were generally attempted with good technique but execution was generally weak. Loss of body position and travel on the second half of the skill resulted in an average of -0.4 on both these skills. The giant execution improved to the -0.2 range in the 12-13 age group.

3.        The staff also commented that basic swings were generally not performed with power. They would like to see more effort and power in the basic swings to exhibit swing technique rather than strength in the development of this skill.

4.        The staff focused on the front uprise in the clinic as the most misunderstood technique. “This was the skill in the routine we had the most deduction on.  Mike pointed out that in the new code, there are more higher difficulty skills coming from upper arm position than support or hang.  We worked on 3 topic points: arm position, tap swing and finish position.  We ask the gymnasts to perform a simple drill (front uprise from overextended pushup position).  This made it easier for the gymnasts to start the tap swing in a proper hollow position while at the same time practically forcing them to keep their shoulders behind their elbows.”



HB: Summary of Staff Evaluator Comments:


1.        Giants are still not being performed without error. Only 2 gymnasts received bonus. Technique refinement as described in the manual text is somewhat improved but clearly not executed at the desired level.

2.        Athletes do not shift the wrists early enough. This is a deducted error. Free hip was performed poorly in general as a result. This is true for back giant as well.

3.        Early wrist shift to support is lacking in forward giants and hitting handstand. This error is resulting in poor execution on the early pirouette. More attention to detail is necessary on this aspect. Multiple execution deductions throughout the routine can be traced to this error.

4.        More attention to a fully extended hang position through the bottom and kicking through a hollow position on the upward phase of the backward giant can improve the layout flyaway and giants as a whole.