Friday, March 14, 2008

Random Judging

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.


Chuck said...

According to Troester, these were the judges for the Michigan-Georgia meet:

Christensen, Char Brevet OH
Morton, Linda Brevet MI
Porter, Alice National MI
Ruegg, Robin Brevet MN
Witten, Winifred Brevet SC

I'm not seeing where three of them come from Michigan. It makes me wonder how reliable the rest of your statements are. And before you ask, I'm not Bev Plocki or anyone from Michigan's athletic department or anything like that. At the time of the meet I looked to see where the judges were from, so when I read your opening statement, I knew it was inaccurate.

Jenny said...

It is worth considering that, prior to the Michigan-Georgia meet, Michigan's season-high score was 197.125 on the road (@ N.C. State). Michigan's highest vault totals (49.600 at State of Michigan Classic) and beam (49.400 at N.C. State) have also come on the road. So, I am not sure that it is fair to say that "Michigan...[has] not scored nearly as high on the road as they have at home."

In her book, UGA Coach Suzanne Yoculan compares the final RQS rankings with which teams make the Super Six and there is actually a strong correlation between the two. No, the final RQS is not perfect predictor of who will make Super Six, but I wouldn't be so quick to imply that Michigan and Florida will have rude awakenings during prelims.

I do agree, though, that it is a shame to lose Trish Wilson (and Courtney Kupets and many other gymnasts) to injury. Gymnastics is at its best to watch when all competitors are able to compete (at their best).

Chuck said...

I see you have changed this post without noting the change. Still, the initial mistaken assertion suggests that you are writing to represent the position of someone with an ax to grind without doing any research yourself.

Jenny said...

I would second that comment from Chuck - pretty much my reaction to the changes.