We have always tried to give parents an idea of how teams score compared to others. It is a pretty large complicated process, but we are going to try to give it to you in an easy to read, simple way.
There are guidelines on ranges, and how to score certain scores for each company. Some use similar/same scoresheets, and some are very different. We will be covering primarily what was referred to as the “unified” scoresheet (most common).
Tumbling, Jumps, Stunts are are judged on the number of athletes they have on the team and what percentages of those athletes are performing level appropriate skills (see USASF.NET for skill legalities). The larger the team, the more athletes need to perform level appropriate skills. It is all based on percentages.
For example, in the tumbling section, a team of 20 athletes needs to have 75% of those (15 total) perform level appropriate tumbling skills. In stunting the same principle applies. Judges want to see all of the athletes used in a stunt section. This means for a team of 16 you would need 5+ stunt groups and for a team of 20 you need 6+ stunt groups in a section.
Within the routine, you will be judged on stunts, pyramids, tumbling, jumps, dance and baskets (exception: no baskets in level 1 or prep routines).
Difficulty is out of a 9.0. Execution is out of a 1.0. This combines to 10 points per category generally.
Stunting needs at least four level appropriate skills to score an 8.5 or better in difficulty. The more and/or harder skills a team does within the level, the higher their score will be between 8.5 and 9.0. Just doing the minimum in level skills will generally get you an 8.5
Baskets require a full squad of a level appropriate basket and one additional basket to score a 9. If you have enough people standing around to throw another basket in this section, you will not score a 9.
Pyramids are connected stunts. Teams must do a minimum four different level appropriate skills, maintaining at least two structures (or “pictures” within the sequences). This will meet the requirement to score an 8.5. In order to score higher they need to do either more than four skills and/or skills that judges deem as the most difficult level appropriate skills within the division.
Standing and Running Tumbling are two different scores. Both out of a 9.0 for difficulty and a 1.0 for execution.
Standing – A minimum of 75% of the team must do two level appropriate standing passes, one of which must be connected to a jump. This will put you at an 8.5. Higher quantities and/or increased difficulty within range will determine where you fall between 8.5 and 9.0
Running – A minium of 75% must perform a level appropriate pass as well as specialty passes. For example in level 2, a round off back handspring is perceived as the “easiest pass”. To score higher than 8.5, you should have back handspring step-outs, multiple handsprings or another appropriate specialty pass.
To score well on jumps, a team will need to have a variety of four advanced jumps or three advanced jumps with one connected to a tumble skill (depending on the level). This will get you a 9 in difficulty. Majority of teams will score this, thus execution in this category is virtually the only part that sets one team apart from another.
How well you perform the skills above is the most important part. You have to have the difficulty to be in range to be competitive, however, generally most team are going to get into the range (8.5+). In order to score well in technique, you must perform the skills well! This is most often the score that causes teams to outscore another (if difficulties are similar and teams have no deductions). Standing Tumbling, Running Tumbling, Baskets, Pyramids, Stunts and Jumps all have technique scores of (0.0-1.0).
Jump technique – How high are the jumps? are the together? are their toes pointed? arms placed properly? timing?
Tumble technique – Do they land and take off together when synchronized? Are their feet together? Are their heads/arms/body positions in proper form?
Stunt technique- Do they go up and come down together? Are their body positions proper? Do they dismount with proper body/head/arm placement? Are they solid?
Creativity is 5 points per catagory. Judges want to see skills and transitions that are innovative, visual, different, unique, fun to watch, etc.. What sets you apart? Do you do the same thing as everyone else? Creativity is generally scored for both pyramids and stunts.
One of the most subjective scores that a team will score is overall impression/ performance. It can score up to 10 points. Judges want a high level of perfection and energy. Crowd support can often energize cheerleaders and give a better impression for these categories. If judges feel or perceive energy, they can often score better here! This is why we as everyone to support each team, because the team often carries over to more than just the athletes on the floor!
Often times the largest factor deciding between teams placements is the dreaded DEDUCTION. These are obvious mistakes in a routine. Tumbling touchdowns, stunt falls, etc. This can change a team from first place to last place even if their routine was harder than their competitors. Often you will may hear athletes say they “watered it down” or “took out my tumbling”. Simply put, if it isn’t clean or the coach isn’t positive it will hit on the competition mat, they will remove an element from the routine. It is better to perform clean as opposed to more difficult because these deductions will cost you huge points. Getting a ZERO in this category is the goal for EVERY one of our performances!
Often times parents or athletes think that if they hit a routine, they should win. This isn’t always the case. There are lots of subjective elements that go into scoring. We train our coaches to make the best decisions to put them in a place where they can win or do well considering the event and where the team is at that point in the season. Team performance isn’t the place to be selfish in doing certain skills for your own benefit. It’s a place to perform mastered skills to contribute to your awesome teams score and placements!
Coach, We are thinking about taking the year off to concentrate on tumbling. This way she will be ready to go next season with ALL the skills you want!
Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly how it works. See one of the major factors involved in learning tumbling is time. Many times, athletes (and parents) only perceive learning tumbling when they are be spotted on a skill beyond their capability at the time. This couldn’t be any further than reality. I think I speak for most gym owners that I’ve never seen this actually work out the way a parent wanted. In concept I suppose someone could work/enroll 5-7 hours of properly taught tumbling per week and this could be a reality but I’ve never seen that happen. (Maybe for the first month?) In reality it is difficult enough just to keep up.
The truth is, majority of skills are “learned” or “realized” in a few days or less… That is, when they are ready to learn them. When the body/mind is properly conditioned and certain skills are mastered with great form, progressing to new skills is a easy process. The actual process of learning is generally longer as it takes many progressions of both physical gain and other concepts such as air awareness, and muscle memory. Many people confuse skills being “learned” when the skill is actually just “realized”. The moment they are able to do them properly for the first time after much time spent mastering fundamental skills and strengthening core concepts that make learning new skills easy.
There is virtually no chance that an athlete who tumbles 1-2 hour a week could keep pace or par with an athlete who participates 4-6 hours a week, regardless of what they are working on. If the tumbling is being taught with strong technique, the athlete who tumbles 4-6 hours a week simply mastering what they already are able to do, strengthens and creates a better “canvas” if you will of fundamentals for learning. These athletes will learn new skills in what seems minutes and moments. Another athlete who goes to tumbling classes with the mindset “I need to learn my XYZ” will generally spend countless hours being spotted on repetitive skills with little progress where they would spend their time much better strengthening the skills they just learned over the past few months.
Perception and state of mind is a huge factor into learning tumbling! It’s a lot easier to learn when someone is a blank canvas. Not a tunnel visioned goal seeker.
Perception example>> Athlete A and Athlete B walk into the gym the same day. They are the same age and ability level. Athlete A comes in wanting to “learn how to tumble”. Athlete B comes in wanting to “get a backhandspring before August 8th for high school tryouts.” The vast majority of the time, Athlete A excels at a much faster rate because they put effort into every concept being learned. Where Athlete B generally says “why am I doing these dumb handstands, I need a backhandspring”.
Here are a few things that are said and the basic interpretation that tumbling coaches hear.
I’ve been working on a tuck for 2 years This means.. you probably weren’t ready to work on it in the first place. How are your basic skills?
I learned my full the first day at this other gym.. This means.. Someone previously taught them pretty well, and the new gym just told them to “do it”, they did, it was good (hopefully). Hopefully the form was as good as if they had finished it with the first coach.
I know my handsprings aren’t really strong but I want to be challenged more This means.. I’m not patient enough to want strong tumbling, and I’d rather take shortcuts and compromise my tumbling future by putting myself in a situation that makes me break form more often.
My child needs to be spotted more This means.. I think my daughter gets more out of tumbling by being spotted because I see her flipping and assume that it is the best way to do it. I feel like she is making progress even though she is probably no closer to learning/mastering the skill than the day before. Keep in mind that the hundreds of years gymnastics coaches trial and error has determined that spotting regularly and often is not the best way). Although I think there is room for spotting in modern tumbling coaching, it is few and far between. Spotting skills repetitively only teaches kids how to do skills spotted with a coach. If a coach spots a kid for long durations of time without incorporating drills/skills/concepts that help the athlete make progress on strengthening the fundamentals for a skill, something is probably wrong.
How is my child going to learn a tuck if all she does all day is backhandsprings and other easy things all practice This means.. I don’t realize that the constant correcting and fixing of form for my fundamental skills (including backhandsprings) are the key piece in learning new skills (i.e.. tucks). Most parents haven’t seen and/or can’t distinguish the quality of ones tumbling. The length of a backhandspring, head placement, body positioning, sitting angles, arm placement, rebound/punch and proper finishes.
If anyone has any questions or would like to relate something directly to their athlete, we can set up an appointment. Email the gym!
See your athlete doing the same thing over and over again?
Progressional Development.. Repetition
It seems so often now that the methods and progressions of tumbling training comes into question by parents. I came across this article by Tumbl Trak, one of the nationals leading suppliers of tumbling equipment that I believe will answer a lot of parents questions when it comes to how repetition is used for mastery of fundamental skills. Athletes and parents alike seem so eager to move towards skill goals without mastery of the fundamental skills that cause athletes to develop. The truth is that most skills don’t take a long time to learn, once the athletes are ready to learn them. Thus the shift from a parents perspective should be to spend your time and energy in the mastery phases of development and the rest will happen as expeditiously as possible.
See the below article, Parent Tip: Repetition, from Tumbl Traks March 2014 Newsletter!
Your child’s coach is having him or her repeat, what you consider, basic skills over and over and you may be wondering why this is useful when your child can do more advanced skills? The question really should be, can your child do more advanced skills…in a technically correct way…every time…with confidence? Most coaches agree that teaching basics is important, but a really good coach will ensure basic skills are dealt with daily in order for athletes to maximize their gymnastics achievements over the course of their careers. It is so important to not cut corners and focus only on preparing athletes for skills they will use in competition. So, the next time you see your child’s coach asking for repeats of basic skills, thank him or her for taking the time to focus on your child’s long-term growth and development in the sport.
For Tumbl Traks full March 2014 Newsletter, follow the link below
Share this blog!