Saturday, 16 June 2012

Code-whoring and hypocrisy

We hear a lot about code-whoring, which basically means taking advantage of the current code for scoring purposes. And yet, why shouldn't gymnasts and their coaches do this? If the code allows for bonuses for certain connections which are easier than throwing hard skills, why wouldn't they be overused? It makes perfect sense. And yet, it's not really open-ended scoring and overused connections that annoy me, it's the selective response to this overuse, which to me IS hypocritical. The prime example in this code is, leaps out of passes, which absolutely are overused but are a quick and easy way to up SV on an event where scoring can be quite low (internationally, NOT in the US).

Lauren Mitchell is the scapegoat for this. She was definitely amongst the first to do it, and generally does it after every pass or almost every pass. Sometimes they appear quite forced, which ruins the flow, but it's moreso that they are low and don't have the 'wow' factor. Her artistry and sense of dance is so nonexistent that she needs all the help she can get from difficult tumbling and bonus connections. This is smart manipulation of the code, and not her fault everyone else jumped on the bandwagon. Here is her 2011 worlds AA floor, probably the best she has ever done her leaps. Lauren is far from the only one who gets the flak for this, but is the most obvious.


Aly Raisman has been criticised for it, but not near as much. Her leaps are much higher so tend to look better, but are arguably worse as the form on them is bad- particularly the last one with flexed feet.

They are quite similar as regards floor styles- no artistry or dance, HUGE tumbling. Lauren should take a lesson from Aly here, if your music is good and matches your power you can manipulate people into forgetting the lack of artistry.

But this is where the hypocrisy really comes in. When the leaps are done brilliantly as well as having great height, everyone keeps their mouths shut and gazes in awe at the exact same code-whoring they complain about when others attempt it. Here are two examples of great leaps


These leaps are high with great form. So nobody cares that it's the same code manipulation they criticise others for doing more sloppily! Very very annoying, either censure everyone for it or quit complaining about it full stop.

This isn't of course the only 'code-whoring'. Last quad, it was pirouettes on bars. Yang Yilin, He Kexin and Nastia Liukin showcased very beautiful turns in handstand, Onos and Healys and with their pencil bodyline it looked amazing. Yet it was done so much solely to boost difficulty in combination, Beth Tweddle needed a huge amount of releases and releases in combination to rival their D-scores. But you'll find very little about that manipulation and overuse- again, because it looked great.

The moral of the story seems to be- we don't mind code-whoring, once it's done well. But woe betide sloppy form- suddenly they face a barrage of criticism. Infuriating.

(It's interesting to note that FIG do not appreciate overuse and code-whoring. Next quad's code gets rid of pirouette combination connection bonuses AND leaps out of passes have to be at least a B leap- making it far more difficult to do. I'm sure there will be overuse of something else, and the same hypocritical opinions though!)


1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you!!
    I think the same goes with artistry. Remember Mustafina's floor? It looked totally rushed, no connection to the music at all, her legs were horrible and she looked real tired. And yet people say she should've won. Why? Because she's Russian and is"artistic". So apparently nowadays pretty music + pretty dance = artistic, even if they don't match each other.
    Ok I'm pretty much rambling here lol and this isn't my blog lol. Just saying that just because a Russian does something, doesn't mean that it's always beautiful.

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