The code gives the US an unfair advantage. Etc etc. I am just a little tired of seeing such statements thrown around with abandon.
The code suits the US, for sure. Because they have adapted and made it so. I see no evidence that anyone in FIG really loves the US, in fact both Nellie Kim and Bruno Grandi have taken pot shots at them in the last year. Not to mention that when the new code was introduced, it actually most benefited China at the time. The fact is, there are a number of reasons why the code suits the Americans, which boil down to one overriding one.
They are awesome. And no other country is.
Which is sad by the way, it's not an ideal situation for a team to be 7 points ahead of their rivals. MAG has truly embraced the code and it's really working for them, with so many contenders for titles from all over the world.
The US has carefully developed their entire system over the years, beginning before the new code was born. The camps and developmental programmes have been of enormous benefit, as has the rise in popularity of gym. Consequently, they have depth. Oh, no McKayla Maroney, Brenna Dowell, Peyton Ernst, Maggie Nichols? No problem. There are always more, with the only real effect being a slightly lower margin of victory perhaps.
Russia, Romania and China are suffering badly from lack of depth. Russia cannot afford to lose long-term saviour Aliya Mustafina who has carried her team many times over. They have nobody rising through the ranks who looks able to emulate her in any way. Several of their juniors look to have fizzled out already. Romania are nothing without Larisa Iordache. Yes they have other strong routines, such as Andreea Munteanu on beam when she gets it together, but nobody anywhere near her league. Didi Bulimar is unlikely to be able to regain her former routines due to her chronic knee issues, and even then her difficulty was never that great. China have depth on two events, and barely anything on the others.
Notwithstanding depth, they have other problems too. Inconsistency plagues them all, particularly Russia and China. The US by contrast are extremely consistent. No falls in Nanning, London or Tokyo team finals. No falls in Nanning or Antwerp AA, quals (Goddamnit Maroney, why did you have to ruin that? Okay so one fall) and event finals. No falls in London quals and AA. No other team can boast half such an impressive record. Russia have issues with endurance and conditioning, Romania still have deplorable bars dragging down their scores all the time and China cannot balance out magnificent bars and beam scores with anaemic vaults and super-weak floors.
It's not as if the US are ravening beasts who bust out 7.0 floors and vaults and win by brute animalistic strength the whole time. You'd certainly get this impression from some people's comments. Simone Biles is at the top as regards power on floor and vault, but also displays fantastic execution, is THE top all-arounder and our reigning (albeit controversial) beam champion. Kyla Ross could never be described as particularly powerful, instead she contributes steadily on beam and bars, and the all-around, rather than racking up impressive d-scores. Ashton Locklear was a vital part of the team, and only did bars. I could go on. They essentially have depth to put up strong routines on each event, some with more depth and/or difficulty than other events, but nevertheless strong. It also needs to be mentioned that the US quite obviously does not filter for body type. Certainly Russia looks more relaxed with this these days than they have in the past, but China and Romania are sticking to it and it is beyond all comprehension. This code needs diverse body types, not just pixies.
And THAT is why the code works for them. Depth and versatility. They've got it in spades, and the others don't. Statements like the title of this rant have as much validity as saying the old code gave an unfair advantage to the Soviets, simply for just being outstanding. The code has problems for sure, but it is not up to the FIG to adapt it to make it 'fairer' for the other teams. It is up to them to change it for the better, and for everyone else to match the US.