Tuesday 19 November 2013

China's New Bonus System/COP and Superhuman Simone

China are set to introduce a new bonus system and COP changes for all of their internal competitions. This system aims to boost innovation and difficulty, particularly in areas where they are weak as a country. The source is here- unsurprisingly, it doesn't translate well in google, but luckily I had a perfect translation of it :)


- F skill +0.1 G skill +0.2 H skill +0.3 (no super unrealistic provision for I skills I see. G and H are very optimistic already. G is the Dos Santos 2, H are the double double tucked and full twisting double layout).

- Max +0.5 for good artistry

- + 0.1 for E dismount or above

- Bonus for D+B turn combination (not sure amount)


- Female junior gymnasts cannot choose basic front tuck/pike vaults.

- +1.0 for vaults worth 6.3 or more (*coughamanar*)

- +0.3 for DTY, DTT etc, +0.5 for Rudi


-  +0.3 Pak full (Bhardwaj) or Shap full (Seitz). Extra 0.1 if either are connected to another skill.

- -0.2 deduction for each extra kip-cast-handstand for more than three kip-cast-handstands.

- +0.1 for E bars dismount, +0.3 for F (Example- Fabrichnova. Presumably if someone does a G rated dismount they'll get this bonus too).

-0.1 for flight series of D+D, 0.2 for D+E or more.


- +0.2 triple twist dismount, +0.4 full twisting double back dismount. (The latter is almost funny but Chinese gymnast Jiang Wei invented it in 1980).


- +0.1 stick bonus.

- -0.3 Double front salto cowboying, except on vault. Not sure of the correct term- knee and leg separation?

- -0.2 Crossed legs in twisting.

- Female juniors in their last year before turning senior may not compete at Junior Nationals or the Intercity Games. This is a great move, discourages peaking at the wrong time and lessens the risk of burnout and inopprtune injuries. aids burnout and. For instance, as an old China hand pointed out to me, Zeng Siqi has never fully bounced back from an ankle injury she sustained at the 2011 Intercity Games, her last year as a junior.

- Female senior gymnasts must compete at least two events to qualify for event finals on any one event. Their 2 event total must be higher than the total of 85% of the rest of the gymnasts. Juniors must compete three, and their total must be higher than the total of 80% of the rest of the field. Essentially, MOAR all-arounders please.

- The format of team finals is changing to 6-4-4 for senior nationals and 4-4-3 for junior nationals. Each team should have 4 all-arounders.

So China says death to the one-event specialist, the ubiquitous double pike beam dismount and double layout bars dismount. What do you think of this system? I like the sound of it, in parts it's fairly unrealistic, but it should hopefully encourage innovation as well as drag them up in power events. I do think it's expecting quite a lot, particularly ambitious with dismounts, vault and tumbling. That just won't happen overnight, though I trust they're fully aware of that. The Bhardwaj and Seitz are strange skills to pick out. They are both so rare, and while I love both of them, I think I would have preferred if it was more general in terms of transitions. China are not ones to bring out half-arsed skills so I'm not afraid of that, but I am afraid of greater risk of injury, especially when you have girls with frames that are quite frail and injury-prone, in comparison to for instance the American gymnasts who ARE throwing the hardest tumbles and dismounts that China want to reward.

Speaking of superhuman Americans, a video of Simone Biles throwing a double double off beam emerged last night. It's here. You think her current skill set is exciting enough, until you're blown away by the skills she has thrown/is throwing in training. These include, but are undoubtedly not limited to: the above, triple twisting Yurchenko, triple twisting double back, double arabian full out, standing double tuck and double double laidout. Not to mention the more mundane Cheng, Bhwardwaj, double arabian piked and double arabian tucked. I know I have recently written a post complaining about extreme difficulty, but in this case I have faith in Simone's coaches not to overload her. She only does what she is capable of truly mastering. Check the landing on that double double though, her chest is fully upright. There are issues of course, 1) stamina to do it after a full routine and 2) In this video it's not into a pit but it is lower than the floor. Still, I think she could include at least one of her madder skills in the future. I fully understand how and why a good portion of people do not favour her gymnastics, but wow is she exciting.


  1. WOW...Simone's double-double off beam is so close to being landed perfectly! But don't you think all these hard skills are a bit much? The full-in dismount is a G element, right? Won't the double-double dismount be worth the same as a full-in unless she breaks the code like Moors did with her double-double layout? The same thing goes for all her other superhuman skills...I don't know. I think it's too much unnecessary pounding. What do you think, Catherine? I saw Simone at Worlds, and though all her difficult skills look effortless, I can't help but feel she's going to either get injured or tire herself out too soon. In theory, can't she get the same difficulty doing a bunch of connection passes with easier skills instead of all these insane skills? She may be doing superhuman things, but she is still human...

    1. I don't think we will see any of those super hard skills, though I do believe it's possible she could do them. Maybe as a once-off but even with her almost freakish power, I'd be concerned with for instance a dismount like that remaining in her routine for a good period of time. I don't mean the TTY though.

  2. I love that for Simone, a Cheng is mundane :p Hers is lovely though, she gets such massive block off the horse, much more dynamic than Mckayla's Mustafina. Simone is awesome, her skill set is amazing and she seems like such a happy person in and out the gym. I don't love power gymnastics but I do love her. I'm completely with you about not worrying about her, her coaches are very careful and all the videos we've seen of her throwing crazy tricks look more like they are for fun and not trained competitively. I wouldn't worry about her ability to throw single tricks even if they're crazy, but of course as you point out it's different in a routine, with concerns over stamina.

    I think the new Chinese changes are interesting, though they really seem like they would only really show effects with the next Olympic cycle rather than Rio.. then again, Russia did something similar by imposing an internal COP when Alexandrov took the helm and that did show results quickly within a short period of time. Still, China really suffers with vault and floor and I think it's more of an issue with how they pick the girls from a young age - those with a lot of power may be getting rejected at the early levels of the system because they lack the perfect precision China loves (landings etc) while those who stick tumbling passes as children might not have enough power to upgrade. I also wonder if more intense conditioning would help, as flexibility and strength are usually direct opposites so the more flexible you are, the more strength you need to develop to keep pace with the flexibility and also to prevent injury.

    1. McKayla's half on block has deteriorated so much, it's really wonky now. Sheer determination and her powerful run gets her through. And the knowledge of what happened last year. To be that messed up it mustn't have been great technically to begin with. But Simone's is just textbook, looking forward to that vault :) Her personality is so endearing, in interviews and in Beyond the Routine episodes.

      I agree, I think it could be a little chaotic in the short term. I think a lot of Russia's at that time would be directly attributable to Alexandrov himself, but hard to know exactly. And yes, I want body type filtering scrapped country-wide. National team and provincial teams. They don't all do it but enough that it has a big impact, and it's just so..against what the current code wants and needs. A good example is Zhang Yelinzi, Her body type is just not what they look for, out of proportion limb length etc. She never got beyond the B team despite having a 6.7 beam routine.

      Conditioning for sure. Zeng Siqi springs to mind straight away!

    2. Zhang Yelinzi is definitely not on my list of favourite Chinese beamers but I would say any day that she had more of a chance staying on beam in Antwerp than Zeng Siqi ever did. She's actually in surprisingly good shape still, given how long she's been around. But yes they never cared about her even with a 6.7 so they certainly aren't going to now. Sure, her form isn't the usual Chinese standard but it's not really all that bad either.

      Yeah.. rather hoping McKayla will fix that half on block. Simone is amazing but I do think a growth spurt is going to hit soon, it may not really have that big an impact in the long run but she might be a bit off for a couple months.

      Going to do a Massilia post? Or Massilia-Glasgow-Stuttgart combined post?

    3. Also, seen Mai's double double layout? Her form on it is so much prettier than either Moors' or Skinner's, though I think the landing is still too low for it to be competition ready.

    4. But Mai is doing it in some sort of spring floor, not the regular one. It's weird how she starts the rotation only in the second flip. I don't think she's capable of it on the regular floor, at least not with such good form.

      And btw, if anyone knows the answer, why does the double double layout seems easier than the full twisting one, I mean neither moors or mykala have ever done one but have double doubles, mykayla has never even competed a double layout. I don't know, in my head, it should be a progression from the regular double layout, then tu full twisting, and the the double double layout.

    5. I only recently saw Mai's Moors (sounds funny!). It was gloriously refreshing to see it done with pencil-like form..amazing how different it makes the skill look. I'd like Mai to focus on issues like leaps etc. rather than crazy skills I do not believe she is capable of, though I think she would have been at one time.

      Anon, I think they are using the progression from the tucked double double instead. Both gymnasts had one to begin with, so I'd imagine they would progress from that, to looser tucks, to (almost!) straight.

      Rachel, I get the impression Simone is pretty much done with height? She just pretty much looks mature and 'done'. I wouldn't be surprised if, if she does grow, it's only an inch or so.

      Glasgow and Stuttgart are at the wrong time college-wise, but I will be posting about them for sure. And maybe add in Massillia as you say, good idea!

  3. It's a really interesting idea what China is doing. I really wish FIG would offer some bonus to difficult beam and bars mounts. God I cannot stand the glide kips anymores.

    1. But the bars final was so exciting! Which way will each of the 8 glide kips face? :p I would love that to happen but it goes against the code..the gymnasts need all the time and all of their energy conserved for the interior of their routines, unfortunately.

    2. I so agree with you on the mounts. There is so much untapped potential for creativity and originality there.

      Catherine, can you tell us more about this body proportion thing? I never knew they were doing this? What do they consider perfect proportions?

    3. I do see your point catherine, but some gymnasts have shown that it's possible to do a great routine with a difficult mount, Asac, Hypolito. I get that it's not for everyone, but I think it would be nice to give a .1 or .2 bonus for gymnast performing D or E and higher mounts on beam an bars, it would make things more interesting.

    4. I don't think there are hard and rules for body proportions. The impression I get is that they prefer shorter torso, longer legs. Zhang is more equal. There are other issues with her, her form is very good but compared to others it was that bit sloppier.

      I think being able to do a hard and/or time-consuming mount when you want your difficulty in the mid 6's is still going to be an exception, rather than the rule. Sadly!

  4. Catherine, now that Simone is around, is Daiane dos Santos still your favorite tumbler?

    1. We'll see what Simone can do...but DDS still has the edge. Not landings certainly, but the height, lightness and craziness of her passes.

  5. I just saw a video on gymnastike with Mykayla Skinner and she said she's training a half on two and a half. Does that mean she's attempting Li Xiaopeng's vault?

    1. Yes it does. The video is here

      She looks upright on landing, though of course it's hard to tell. HOW CAN SHE DO THAT off one hand. Seriously, the power she has on half-on (half-on hands wise too!) blocks is incredible.

    2. OMFG, can't believe this video. Any idea how much it would be worth? I think it would be rated higher than the produnova. God Mykayla is such an exciting gymnast to watch. I just hope her coaches realise it's about damn time they polish her execution.

      Her half on vaults are insane, remember her cheng at fiesta bowl, she landed it perfectly upright and it was so high. She doesn't seem to block properly, she sort of twists onto the horse. I get the feeling she wouldn't be able to do it if she blocked the right way.

      I really really hope she makes worlds someday, since it's severely unlikely she'll be in Rio. But I just can't see her making it with Mckayla and Simone around for vault and Lexie, Brenna and Simone for floor.

    3. She also says in the video she's working on a lyout full stepout on beam. I've always wanted to see that, it must look so beautiful, i just hope her bent knees and lack of toe point ruin it for me.

      What a fantastic gymnast this girl is!!

    4. Yes, it would be higher. In mens I have heard it's higher than that and the Dragulescu..not sure what their TTY and crazy Yang Hak Seon vaults are worth by comparison though. It is a CRAZY vault, especially when you consider that the version with a full twist less has only been done by a handful of people.

      Yes, her block goes beyond bad. It's just..wrong. Very strange. I'd like her to at least do Pac Rims. At least.

      Ooo that would be interesting. Unfortunately yes I think her form would ruin that. If she can that vault safely then I'm all for it. I hope the block has some miracles performed on it first. But focus should be on her basics and flexibility...difficulty, not so much.

    5. Just looked it up, it's worth a 6.2 in MAG, the piked dragulescu and Ri se gwan's and Seon's vault are a 6.4. the Roche (produnova) is rated a 5.6 the same as their amanar. Obviously the men's code works differently, but stilll WOW. If I had to guess, FIG would rate it a 7.2-7.4 since the double twisting one would be worth close to the TTY which is a 6.8.

    6. I'd imagine they'd have to give it over a 7, definitely. Mens vaults were really reduced too low..a full point was madness. There's another mens vault I'd like to see and that's the Yurchenko double back :)

    7. Ariana Agrapides said her dream is to one day compete the yurchenko double back.