JESSICA: Those are. You need to catch your breath which is why you cant, you know even get your leg up to horizontal. So, dont even get me started on those.
JUSTIN: Wait, wait, wait, what did you say? Wait, wait, wait?
JOHN: Why are you trying to get the guys
JESSICA: The stag jumps!
JOHN: What are you looking at, by the way, when were out there competing? Thats just wrong.
JOHN: Ugh, Im uncomfortable right now.
JUSTIN: Hold on, wait, wait, wait,
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JESSICA: Today, John Roethlisberger and Justin Spring join us to talk about the FIGs new rules releases.
ALLISON TAYLOR: Hey gymnasts. Elite Sportz Band is a cutting edge compression back warmer that can protect your most valued asset, your back. Im Allison Taylor on behalf of Elite Sportz Band. Visit elitesportzband.com. Weve got your back.
JESSICA: This is episode 85 for April 1, 2014. Im Jessica from Masters-Gymnastics and this is the best gymnastics podcast ever, bringing you all the news from around the gymternet! Today were going to get started right away and talk about the new rules releases.
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JESSICA: So were going to talk to John Roethlisberger who is a three-time Olympian. Hes an eight-time national champion. He is the co-owner of a gymnastics camp that every kind and adult wish they could go to. Seriously, when are you going to open up for adults, because I totally want to go? Its called Flip-Fest in Tennessee. Hes also a television commentator who we all love, because of all the words he makes up. Youve heard him with Kelly Oh Boogers! Garrison on the Big 10 Network, and next week hell be hosting Mens NCAA Gymnastics Championships live on the Big 10 Network. Justin Spring is also joining us and he is an Olympic bronze medalist. Hes an NCAA Championship-winning coach, and a dare-devil extraordinaire.
JESSICA: So Im here with John Roethlisberger and Justin Spring. Thank you both so much for being on the show today.
JUSTIN: Glad to be here.
JOHN: Absolutely, absolutely.
JESSICA: So, were doing this because the FIG just released their new rules as they do every spring and once again there are things that are driving us nuts. Um, and I wanted to bring you guys on and get your thoughts on this. Some of the things are the things that fans will be really excited about and some of the things are worse! I mean weve already complained about this stuff and theyre just making it worse. So lets talk about the first thing- Im really interested in your thoughts on this- so the first rule is that theyre going to make mens routines just seven skills with a dismount. So how do you guys feel about this? Is this a positive move for the sport?
JUSTIN: Its the Kohei rule man.
JOHN: Go ahead Justin. Yeah I guess
JUSTIN: You got to stop the giant. I would love this. I mean this would make me this would make me a heavier contributor. Um, its a huge, I look at my guys and I guess yeah I mean its essentially theres these cool routines. You have these fluffer A skills that dont, arent really counted or used, its going to help bring down the giants like Kohei Uchimura and names like that. Hes, hes in a league of his own and its cause the rest of the world cant contend with his, um, his ability to handle ten incredibly challenging skills on every event.
JOHN: Look I think we take this a step further. I mean Im behind this 100%, going from ten to seven, but why not, why are they stopping there? Why not five? Why not three? Why not we just get out there, the guy raises his hand, chuck your best skill, and were done? I mean
JUSTIN: I mean thats
JOHN: Im all for it. Im all for it.
JUSTIN: Thats like the Pro Challenge. You could, you could still be in this John!
JOHN: Exactly! Exactly, Justin! The old guys like you. The old guys like me.
JUSTIN: Im coming back baby.
JOHN: If it was one skill Id be there!
JUSTIN: You could go down I mean think of the career. You would have blown everyones career by ten or twenty years almost maybe.
JOHN: Youre right. Seven skills- I like it. I like it. What else we got?
JESSICA: All right so the next um, rule that theyve come out with, which we have complained about since last year when they came out with this rule, and now its even worse. You know Kyla Ross was a victim of this rule just at Jesolo a couple of weeks ago in Italy. She ran for her vault, she balked, her steps were off, something happened, um and she was then docked a point. She got to vault again, but you know, she got a whole point off her score, which of course didnt matter because she still obliterated all of the competition, but now theyve made this one point for balking even worse by saying if you balk, youre disqualified! I mean what do you guys think are going to happen?
JUSTIN: You get a zero?
JOHN: I think its great.
JESSICA: Yeah you get a zero! Thats it.
JOHN: You know if its a team competition I think it shouldnt just be a zero. I think the team should take something off their team total after that point. I mean Im sorry if you lean forward, its like an offensive lineman in football, you cant move you know? Once you lean, once you go, I think thats this. Thats your vault. If you want to stop well judge the ten steps you took. I think, I think its a good rule. I dont think we should be [inaudible]
JUSTIN: No [inaudible]
JOHN: Its a tough world out there man.
JUSTIN: We are a sport based off perfection but this is like the death penalty. You know like, I dont know. Thats ridiculous to me.
JOHN: Right Johnny. So youre going to get your little warm-up run. You want your little warm-up run. You can just run down and jump to the side and then youre warm and then you can come back and do your vault. You think thats fair.
JUSTIN: With the point deduction where were at I think the level of competitiveness with the vaults that men are pursuing specifically I mean John were not doing double fulls on the long horse anymore. You know you got guys chucking Tsuk double pikes, risking life and limb. I want them to be allowed to balk. I dont want to see a broken neck.
JOHN: Why dont, why dont I hold your hand when you run down the vault runway and we can
JUSTIN: You want to skip and do a vault together?
JOHN: And we can
JUSTIN: John, you would say something like that.
JUSTIN: Youve been picking on me for years. We agreed, we agree
JOHN AND JUSTIN: to disagree. All right.
JESSICA: All right so just to play devils advocate on this one here, you know, in a perfect world the gymnasts would have no distractions and everything would be correct, but weve had situations where the FIG couldnt even be bothered to set the vault height correctly, or
JUSTIN: Oh yeah perfect example.
JESSICA: at the recent Chicago, Chicago Classic last year I think it was, there was a bat flying around the gym. So um, what about those kind of distractions? Like John, what if that happens? What are you supposed to, what would you do if that happens, if a bat flew in front of you?
JOHN: Youre bringing in- you know the bat was cool by the way. I like the bat. He was
JUSTIN: [LAUGHS] He likes the addition.
JOHN: Its apples to apples. Were talking about a distraction, you know, if stuff flashes in the crowd. We saw Trent Dimas, 1991, no ones old enough to remember that, saw a flash in his vault, he crashed
JOHN: and pretended to see a flash, and he got to do it again. So yeah thats different. You know if youre going to throw in distractions, unless you want to make it part of your vault
JUSTIN: Thats a slippery slope man. A distraction rule youre going to have debates and arguments out on the floor for missed vaults, like second chances.
JOHN: Yep. Thats a good point. I appreciate. Thats a good side comment there. Yeah, yeah, what else we got?
JESSICA: Okay lets go onto the next rule
JUSTIN: It is what it is I guess.
JESSICA: We, we can create this distraction where you have the vault and then you have like actually a haunted house, like things jump out at you from different sides.
JUSTIN: Oh like other teams can play defense on vault?
JUSTIN: Its just what we need.
JOHN: Yeah I used to see Justin Spring watching us compete when I was, when he was real young and it was like a haunted house trust me.
JOHN: Sitting there. Beady little eyes watching us. A haunted house for sure. All right. The FIGs two for two so what else do we got?
JESSICA: All right. So the next one I have to say I am a big fan of this one. I think that mens gymnastics has lost all artistry and it makes me mad when they do those like ridiculous non-stag jumps. I think those should be a huge deduction. Anyway, this rule
JOHN: Yeah I used to do one of those. You need those man. Those are
JESSICA: Yeah you need those!
JOHN: Those are serious transitions right there.
JESSICA: Those are. You need to catch your breath which is why you cant you know even get your leg up to horizontal. So, dont even get me started on those.
JUSTIN: Wait, wait, wait, what did you say? Wait, wait wait?
JOHN: Why are you trying to get the guys
JESSICA: The stag jumps!
JOHN: What are you looking at, by the way, when were out there competing? Thats just wrong.
JOHN: Im a little uncomfortable right now.
JUSTIN: Hold on, wait, wait, wait, I thought that the rule, which one was this? I didnt hear you.
JESSICA: This is a mandatory rule- I got distracted by the stag jumps. My own, my own little thing that [inaudible].
JUSTIN: Okay I was like those are here now.
JESSICA: The new rule is theyre bringing back the scale. So in order to encourage artistry men have to do a scale
JOHN: A scale?
JESSICA: and it has to be, and your leg has to be above shoulder height.
JOHN: Yes. Im going to let my buddy go on this one again.
JUSTIN: I mean I get it. I would have been murdered. I could barely touch my toes. I have no flexibility, but I can see some guys showing this off. I mean they want to get that direction of I mean floor of all events is the event where you have the option to show artistry more than any I think.
JOHN: Catch a breath is all I got to say. Go in the corner, pull out a good ole fashion Y-scale, hold it for two.
JUSTIN: You could do it.
JOHN: I mean it seems like it fits perfectly with the agenda of the FIG, which is complete and total animus, but I think
JOHN: but I think its a solid choice.
JUSTIN: Thats their mission statement. Were going to keep everyone on their toes.
JOHN: You just dont know what direction theyre coming from. Let me guess, you probably want the guys to go back to the extra short shorts too right?
JESSICA: Yes. Im a big fan of that. I think that would definitely help with the audience.
JUSTIN: Why dont we just wear like a wrestling onesie you know? You know, like just get in there.
JOHN: I like that.
JESSICA: Singlets. Im fine with that.
JOHN: Once we see the rest of the rules we might have that.
JUSTIN: A legit singlet.
JOHN: Lets keep going there. So far these rules are completely and totally spot on, amusing [inaudible]
JESSICA: So the next one, also going back to artistry, they have decided that you know women, since they brought in the difficulty score and gotten rid of the 10, that what theyve lost is artistry. So what theyre trying to bring back, incentivize people to do something artistic, something different, and now in addition to see the D score and the E score displayed, theyre going to bring back the ROV score. So therell be a separate panel of judges to judge ROV so for those who dont remember back in the day there was risk, originality, and virtuosity
JUSTIN: I loved that.
JESSICA: and so this will now be displayed as part of the score. How do you think this will affect our current team?
JUSTIN: I think, I do love this. This is, Id capitalize when I was a junior with this stuff. Um, I think were
JOHN: I think the more, yeah, the more subjectivity that you can bring into it, you know bring some judges in there, and I think they should add to this. I think the judges that come in should do the originality judging, and the virtuosity should actually have no knowledge of the sport of gymnastics. I think they should bring them in and it should be a fresh set of eyes. Theyre not, theyre unbiased. You know maybe
JUSTIN: Unbiased. Yep I couldnt have said it better.
JOHN: Yeah. Yeah! You know bring them from a country who hasnt actually had a gymnast. Yeah.
JUSTIN: I think its exactly where we need to go. Get rid of the cookie cutter routines. Start you know, pushing the danger level of the sport a little bit, but at least get bonus, you know, incentivize like you said Jessica. And I do like the first part. John you should be on this rules committee. I mean how else are you going to evaluate? Would you have like a separate judge? [inaudible]
JOHN: Yeah. I think it should be. Are they going to have like a D judge and an E judge, are they going to have an O judge and a V judge?
JESSICA: Its going to be an ROV judge. A panel just for ROV. So theyll be, it wont be one for risk, one for originality, but it will be a whole separate panel. Who do you think
JOHN: Lets just add that. [inaudible]
JESSICA: The scores are going to be. I mean I think its based out of a 10. So the scores now are going to be much higher. Um, this would put us
JUSTIN: So youll be like seeing 24s.
JOHN: I mean I think the victims are the people watching. Its a people watching sport. I think they dont understand it. I think the more they dont understand it the better, because lets be honest, if youre sitting there and youre trying to actually think you can figure out why they got the score its going to make spectators turn away. I think you got to watch gymnastics and be just utterly be dismayed by how the score came up, because then you just go, You know what? I dont know. Its a 20. So yeah you got to appreciate the sport, dont look at the numbers. Yeah exactly.
JUSTIN: Its about the artistry. Its a glorified cirque show basically.
JOHN: I think its fantastic. I can already see Bruno Grandi with his old Number 2 pencil and his abacus coming up with this scoring system. I think its fantastic.
JUSTIN: We lost the 10 a long time ago so you might as well bring in something that the fans can understand like originality, or just they like that goofy stuff they dont normally see. I get the buy in though. I do.
JOHN: I think that, I mean if were going originality, I mean
JUSTIN: You were the man of originality John! Thats another one that would have been [inaudible]
JOHN: I did. Whenever I couldnt do something Id make something up. But seriously what about what the gymnasts are wearing? If youre going to go there why were creating a show here, lets be honest, were creating a show out of our, why, what about what theyre wearing? Everybody talks about the uniforms and the outfits and their this their that. Figure skating does it. Why do they have to be cookie cutter uniforms? Why cant they make that part of the presentation? I mean Im just throwing it out there. Im just throwing it out there.
JESSICA: I mean they could do that you know. They could do, someone could just like wear their underwear and do full body paint and that could be part of their
JOHN: Right. See see. You just went there.
JUSTIN: Its a little ice skating for me guys. I want the no shirt. I want the no shirt. No top is good. I think we all agree on that.
JOHN: Yeah. She just went underwear and body paint.
JOHN: I mean thats just
JUSTIN: Oh for the females! Oh my God
JESSICA: I mean what if youre from like Poland and you want to be noticed you know you
JOHN: Youre very inappropriate. Very inappropriate.
JUSTIN: Kind of like the Hunger Games. You know you can pick your costume, set yourself on fire, if you want to go
JESSICA: Exactly, exactly.
JUSTIN: all in. You know it is, it is a component of our sport that I wish wasnt as important but it is. And hence the more sparkles for girls. More sparkles everywhere.
JOHN: I mean in all seriousness, these rules, I mean its amazing. Do we have more? Are you done?
JESSICA: Yes, so um, were talking about how the scores are going to change so theyve also introduced something that is not going to make the U.S. fans happy, but you know theyve really made an effort to start you know encouraging gymnastics from non-traditional countries. They do these FIG um, coaching camps around the world. They have these elite coaches that go out and theyve really made an effort to bring gymnastics to more countries. So, a way that they want to encourage other countries to have more of a shot at placing and medaling, is theyre going to introduce something that gymnastics fans might not be very familiar with, its a handicap scoring system, which they have in golf. And basically it means that if youre really good they kind of take away some points from you so that the people who arent as good can compete. So it kind of levels the playing field. So the U.S. is going to start from something like a five point deficit.
JESSICA: I think this is crazy. I, I mean, yeah, the U.S. is going to start from a deficit.
JOHN: So basically if you won the World Championships
JUSTIN: Its never going to fly.
JOHN: No I think that this is again, so youre saying that U.S. won the last Worlds so theyll look at the last Worlds, look at how much you won by, and then handicap you by that total as you head to the next Worlds. Is that ?
JESSICA: Exactly. Exactly.
JOHN: How can you not like this? Take from the rich and give to those in need.
JUSTIN: [LAUGHS] I mean I feel like were trying to balance the playing field a little much here. I dont know.
JOHN: That doesnt surprise me.
JUSTIN: It doesnt surprise me.
JOHN: I mean look at baseball
JUSTIN: I dont want to say that. It blows me away but it doesnt surprise me, sadly.
JOHN: No, but yeah, but, look they got rid of softball. Softball wasnt competitive enough. The U.S. women won. They just took it out of the Olympics. So lets just
JUSTIN: Thats a good point. You got to keep it fun. The IOC is very eh.
JESSICA: But I mean this could help on the mens side, right?
JOHN: Why you got to go there? Why would you? Why would you?
JUSTIN: Are you really going to throw us under the bus here?
JOHN: [LAUGHS] Thats, yeah thats just. You are not cool at all, you know.
JESSICA: Well lets move on to the final rule before I upset you too much.
JOHN: Im kind of sick of rules.
JUSTIN: That was a low blow.
JESSICA: This one
JESSICA: This ones going to make you happy. So, its going to make rhythmic fans really upset, but you know, finally the FIG just got really sick of all of the in-fighting and cheating that was going on in rhythmic gymnastics, and so they have decided that actually theyre going to take rhythmic out of the Olympics and theyre going to give those spots back to artistic gymnastics.
JESSICA: So were now going to have even more Yes its awesome! So were going to have ten person teams now, which means you can have an all around and a specialist, ten
JUSTIN: Counting how many scores? Or whats the format? Is it still three-up three-count?
JESSICA: No. Its actually going to be less. So now you only have two up per event, but you have ten people to choose from.
JUSTIN: This is a game changer, like on an unprecedented level. I mean, think of, I mean, think of the specialists
JUSTIN: Oh man its all specialists.
JOHN: Its all specialist. The all arounds over.
JUSTIN: Im coming back baby. I mean this, this with the seven skills, and this kind of opportunity, I love it. Im sorry for the rhythmic people. Thats brutal but
JOHN: Yeah I was going to say Justin way to have some compassion for the rhythmic people, you didnt even give them a second thought.
JUSTIN: Hey Im an artistic So are you man. I cant talk to you.
JOHN: The only way that I would support this is if they had a rhythmic gymnast on the mens team. If theyre going to get rid of them they can put one on the mens team.
JOHN: They put them in the lineup. Yeah, I mean, yeah how can you get rid of rhythmic gymnastics? Thats just not
JUSTIN: We can put them in during our scale. Y-scale tag, put them in.
JOHN: And the stag leap. Hang out while theyre doing the scale and the stag leap. I think thats, I think thats brilliant. I love what theyre doing. I think you know its great time to uh, bring these rules forward. Especially on this, a new month, beginning of the new month, and one of the most important days of the year, I think its time to put these rules forward and change the sport. Im all for it, Justin, Im all for it.
JUSTIN: Im all for most of them, but I agree, this is good stuff. Most of it. I got to go work out.
JESSICA: Thank you both so much. You guys were awesome.
JOHN: Yeah no problem, anytime.
ALLISON TAYLOR: This episode is brought to you by Elite Sportz Band. Elitesportzband.com. Weve got your back.
JESSICA: Visit elitesportzband.com, thats sportz with a z and save $5 on your next purchase with the code gymcast.
JESSICA: Tell us what you think of the new rules. You guys know how to get in touch with us. Gymcastic@gmail.com. You can always call us on Skype at Gymcastic Podcast. Thats our username. Were on Twitter. Were on Instagram, Facebook. Theres huge debates going on on Facebook right now about these new rules. And of course make sure to, if you love the show, support us, subscribe on Stitcher or iTunes. Stitcher of course works for Android devices. And you can support us by shopping at our Amazon store. Bookmark our Amazon store. And you guys asked for another way to support us so if youd like to you can always make a donation. And of course we also provide transcripts of every single show, free of charge, because our fabulous transcribers will put them up about a week or two after the show so make sure to check those out. And of course we have playlists that go with every single episode. So, let us know what you think of the rules. Im sure this is going to be outrageous. And thank you so much for listening and well see you back later this week at our regular time
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JESSIA: with all the news from the British Championships and the Doha World Cup. So, see you guys later at our regular time. Thanks for listening!