“Going for Gold” – Competition Advice
- Competitors are reminded that they will lose points if they touch their hair or clothing from the moment they step onto the competition area until the moment they leave it. Even once their routine is completed, wait until an exit is completed before adjusting leotards etc. The best way to prevent this is by preparing properly. Using hairspray and tying hair back securely, using tape or other techniques for holding leotards in place can help.
- Judges like confidence in performances. Smile and show pride in your attitude when you present to judges at the beginning and end of a routine or skill pass. Look them in the eye and act like your performance will be the best.
- Prepare properly. In trampolining, you are allowed up to a minute of bouncing before starting your first skill, at which point the judges will start scoring. Ensure you are taking off with a balanced and controlled jump to get the routine off to a good start. In gymnastics, judges start scoring when you step onto the competition area or start your run-up. The beginning steps or jumps can determine how powerful and impressive the routine or skill pass is likely to be. Make judges sit up and take notice of your ability by having good posture, focus and determination when you begin your best performance or all the practice you have put in.
- Be aware of the rules. We provide guidelines to all competitors about judging criteria and what judges are looking for when performing. See springfit.org/competitions and navigate to your specific discipline for more information.
- Judges are always looking for the “perfect shape” when performing a skill. In all disciplines, you start with a full mark and deductions are removed from the perfect score in line with how many deviations occur from this ideal. Class teachers will coach you in how to perform the skill the best. If you are aiming for a competition, you may need to spend more time working on moves to get them looking the best they can be, which is often harder work than getting them to an ability level which is a “Good” or “Pass” on the criteria in the proficiency syllabus. Remember, it is harder to put these moves into a routine when combining them with other elements! Deviations could include legs not being squeezed together, toes not being pointed, slightly bent legs or arms, twist being initiated from the body instead of the arms, movement away from the area of expected landing, stepping off the floor or touching a mat.
- Deep stretches in pike and straddle jumps are key to scoring high in these important moves. It is not enough to simply touch your legs. Judges want to see that gymnasts are stretching as far as they can physically manage when performing these skills. Shoulders should be as close to the knees as possible. Judges also look for straight legs and pointed toes. It is very easy to spot a gymnast displaying feet at right angles to their legs.
- Final landing faults can have a significant impact on your score. For example, did you know that if you do not stop completely still at the end of a routine or skill pass, judges deduct roughly the following: 0.1 for a small step or wobble, 0.2 for a large step or deep squat, 0.3 for a foot shuffle to regain balance and upwards of this for larger corrections needed to achieve control at the end of a routine. In advanced levels of trampoline competitions, judges will stop scoring, considering the routine as terminated, if you land on one foot for any move or touch a frame pad. For more information see our Final Landing Deductions document available on the website. In all disciplines, gymnasts are required to HOLD LANDINGS for a minimum of three seconds before presenting, to show control at the end of the performance. Don’t be rushed into wanting to finish!
- Judges are looking for a consistent height of all moves performed, not necessarily extremely high jumps. Most routines start to get lower towards the end as gymnasts get tired, and the later moves can incur more deductions as a result. Having said this, strong jumping at a good height will impress the judges more and be rewarded with a higher score. The “time of bounce” is taken into consideration in this respect, with the longer it takes to perform a routine achieving a bigger score since it shows power and control of high jumps.
- An “arm set” at the beginning of a routine will impress judges more and set the gymnast up for a stronger routine. Not doing an arm set does not mean they will lose points, but the benefits of performing this aspect of a trampoline routine are clearly visible to judges. Similarly, stretching high into the air before each move will show good control of take-offs, especially before shaped jumps, and is part of the “perfect shape” that judges are looking for.