The No. 1 Gymnastics Podcast in the Galaxy

247: Progress? Plus NCAA Regionals, British, Jesolo



In the news, Spencer, Lauren, and Jessica chat about:

  • Progress is being made at the top of the elite program
  • Regionals Recap (5:00)
    • Session I: Oklahoma, UCLA, Utah, Washington, Oregon State, Denver. Session II: LSU, Alabama, Florida, Michigan, Georgia, Nebraska
    • Denelle Pedrick, Central Michigan, vault with a DTTTYYYYYY
    • Answer to criteria for the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year vote? There was no criteria. The coaches simply did not vote for MyKayla Skinner.
    • Leotards: OSU and Oklahoma’s lehenga choli style
    • Kentucky gymnast Shelby HIlton update
  • Jesolo (44:30)
    • Results
    • Ermine’s Nabieva, Victoria Nguyen’s Chinese beam
    • Riley McCusker = E score heaven 
    • Trinity Thomas just being fantastic 
    • Nina Derwael, Elisa Iorio, Ana Padurariu, Abby Paulson, 
    • Everyone needs to do choreographed warmups to music like the French!
    • Will Brazil beat the Russians in the future? We think so.
    • 10 minutes just about Varvara from planet Zubova

USA Gymnastics Sexual Abuse Investigation (1:17:10)

  • Rachael Denhollander won her IX case against Larry Nassar
  • The new judge in the Nassar case is an adjunct professor at MSU College of Law. MSU is a defendant in the case along with John Geddart and USA Gymnastics. 
  • Attorneys challenge ‘gag order’ in Nassar case
  • USA Gymnastics Blasted for Skipping Senate Hearing on Sex Abuse
  • Statement from USA Gymnastics in response to our questions about how soon they are requiring themselves to report suspected criminal conduct:
    • GymCastic: “Does USAG report possible criminal misconduct  (sexual or non-sexual) to law enforcement immediately (within 24 hours of receipt)? If not, why?”
    •  USAG: USA Gymnastics makes reports to law enforcement/child protection services consistent with its legal obligations, as well as to the U.S. Center for SafeSport.  To be clear, if USA Gymnastics receives a complaint or report of alleged sexual abuse from anyone, a report must be filed with both law enforcement/child protection services and the U.S. Center for Safe Sport.
    • GymCastic follow up: Can you please clarify what the time frame is for your legal obligation?
    • USA Gymnastics response: “The timing for the legal reporting obligation varies by state. As noted previously, if USA Gymnastics receives a complaint or report of alleged sexual abuse from anyone, a report must be filed with both law enforcement/child protection services, consistent with legal obligations, and the U.S. Center for Safe Sport.”


  • Body Hair and Male Hugs
  • Double Don’t Square the E Score:  Hey guys, this is Evan the engineer. I just wanted to comment on the mathematical implications of the notion Jessica has suggested several times in the past about E-score deductions being squared. I agree that something needs to be done to increase the impact the execution score has on the final score relative to that of the D score; especially on vault, I think a fall should be something like a 3-point deduction, but that’s just me editorializing. I absolutely appreciate Jessica’s sentiment here, but I think a more mathematically-sound approach would be for deductions to be scaled geometrically, i.e., multiplied by some common factor across the board, like doubling all deductions (incidentally, halving the D score and keeping the deductions the same would have the same effect mathematically, which if I’m not mistaken I believe Bruno Grandi actually suggested doing himself), or multiplying by some other specified factor. The problem with squaring E-score deductions is that the increase in a gymnast’s deductions becomes de-linearized relative to the scores of other gymnasts; that is, the amount the deductions are increased varies relative to the magnitude of the deductions themselves, rather than by some fixed factor, which would be more fair. For instance, consider a geometric scaling up of deductions (what I think is fair) by a factor of 2. Gymnast A originally receives an E score of 8.5 (1.5 in deductions) while gymnast B receives an E score of 8.0 (2.0 in deductions); if these deductions were each scaled upward by a factor of 2 gymnast A would receive an E score of 7.0 (3.0 in deductions) while gymnast B would receive an E score of 6.0 (4.0 in deductions). Relative fairness is preserved because though both gymnasts are deducted more harshly, Gymnast B still receives 133% the deductions of gymnast A in each case (2/1.5=4/3=1.33), and ultimately because of this the weight of the D-scores would be reduced. However, squaring deductions sacrifices this deduction-increase relativity; using this approach gymnast A would receive an E score of 7.75 (1.5^2=2.25 in deductions), while gymnast B would receive an E score of 6.0 (2.0^2=4.0 in deductions). Here gymnast B receives 178% of the deductions of gymnast A [note gymnast A’s score increases under this system while gymnast B’s remains the same]; effectively, gymnast B is deducted more for being deducted more in the first place. Perhaps paradoxically, because power series converge with a base value below 1, if a gymnast C originally receives an E-score of 9.3 (0.7 in deductions), under the squaring system their E-score would actually increase to 9.51 (0.7^2=0.49 in deductions). For these reasons, I think elevating the importance of execution could be best achieved by scaling the E-score deductions up by some factor geometrically rather than squaring, or, novel concept, if judges actually took the deductions they could/should/need to at all times. Because, math. Thanks for reading.


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7 years ago

The fact that the judge in the Nassar case is an adjunct professor at MSU, as opposed to a full tenured professor, makes it even more troubling. Tenured professors have a lifetime appointment, meaning they have the academic freedom to say and publish what they wish, and the university administration cannot interfere or have them fired. Adjunct professors generally have short-term contracts, meaning that the university can generally just choose to not re-hire them if they’re not working out (or ruling against them in a court court of law). According to the judge’s bio at her elected term as judge of the 30th Circuit is up in 2020. She may very well have a vested interest in keeping her job at MSU, especially given the fact she could be voted out as judge in the coming years. Also, she’s received awards from MSU and is an alumni. How can she open her mouth and claim this is not a conflict of interest?

7 years ago

Interestingly, that feedback about squaring the deductions actually makes me more in favor of the squaring method than the geometric method because it seems that method would do a better job of differentiating the scores of the best gymnasts from the not as good ones. Though if that was implemented, I might like to see the deduction values lowered. (I personally am a believer that having the best gymnasts only scoring in the mid-8s, and so then especially in the 7s, is not good for the sport. To me, the more-deductions-make-better-scores approach clearly hasn\’t worked and we just have little differentiation between the best and the rest.)

7 years ago

ok but can we talk about Adeline Kenlin’s front handspring to double front half out tumbling pass? I almost screamed when I saw her doing it in warmups

7 years ago

The podcast said that information/details about the federal lawsuit against the judge would be on the gymcastic webpage, but I can\’t find it anywhere? Am I just dumb or what? I also tried Googling it and couldn\’t find anything…

Hattie Cutcliffe
Hattie Cutcliffe
7 years ago

Regarding the \”warmup nonsense\” — I believe Chellsie Memmel did the same thing. I think she also did her best vault when it was her very first one so she warmed up timers and only did her full difficulty vault in competition.

PS Love you guys and LOVE the show! Also last week\’s podcast was INCREDIBLE and I was over the moon to hear Kathy Johnson Clarke talk about so many things!! GREAT JOB!!

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