How is the NCAA judging random when Linda Morton, the meet assigner for Michigan, assigned three pro-Michigan judges to last weekend's meet AND a Minnesota judge who is Bev Plocki's best friend (who only moved to Minnesota three years ago)? The scores were extremely questionable. Handstand misses went unaccounted for, as did composition deductions on floor. At NCAAs, a floor routine with a *less than refined* full in mount and a whip half+front full (with bent legs) will not be receiving a 9.90 or 9.95.
This is similar to judging at the University of Florida where Florida judges are continually assigned to boost the scores and reputation of the team. Florida has not scored nearly as high on the road as they have at home. This will make things interesting when Utah competes in Florida tonight.
In the end, it is a disservice to these teams to receive the scores they do at home. How is a team supposed to focus on cleaning up weaknesses and making effective lineup decisions if the scoring doesn't point them out? How many times have teams entered NCAAs with high rankings, only to receive rude awakenings during prelims?
It is a big shame that Trish Wilson has torn her ACL. Wilson displayed Michigan's cleanest execution and best handstands throughout the season. It is a shame that the rest of her team is not in the same peak condition physically or gymnastically.
This year's battle to reach the Super Six should be stiffer than ever. Details such as handstands, form, composition deductions and bent arms WILL be taken into account.
With parity continually increasing among the top 20 schools, execution is paramount for winning in the post season.