The following Questions & Answers section is based on feedback after our presentation at the World Championships in Denmark in May 2022. As we are working hard to get ready for publication in mid-August, any further questions/feedback will have to wait until after publication. A system to channel such feedback will be established during the autumn of 2022.
Development of the Code of Points 2023+
Who was involved in creating the new code of points?
The original concept behind the new Code of Points for Gym Wheel was developed by Alexander Müller and presented to the IRV in September 2017. Alexander is an internationally qualified judge in Wheel Gymnastics as well as in Mens’ Artistic Gymnastics. Over the past five years, a core IRV team consisting of Alexander Müller, Miriam Kaufmann and Katharina Heymann, has continued to work on the new Code of Points to bring it into its current form. During this time, the team has collaborated with other experts to discuss and review specific topics on the way to finalising the Code of Points 2023+ that will be introduced in IRV competitions from January 2023.
We would like to thank the following people for their contribution and support: Silje Bjørgeengen, Jasmin Braunwalder, Max Brinkmann, Brigitte Faber, Dagmar Henningsen, Shahin Kapadia, Elfi Reuther, Cheyenne Rechsteiner, Maria Sollohub
Will there be international judging seminars (eg. online) so the judges get a good overview?
Yes. The IRV will provide virtual courses and seminars for judges. We are planning to start training the first judges by the beginning of 2023. We are also working on a new strategy to establish a structured IRV judges’ training programme.
How far have the new competition regulations been worked out? The first qualifying competitions will take place in autumn, so the fine-tuning should already be published now.
As we mentioned in Sønderborg, the new regulations will be used for the Team World Championships in 2023. They are the official IRV competition regulations that are also available for member countries to use as they wish. However, this does not mean that the member countries have to use the new system for their qualifications. As qualification regulations and dates are different for all member countries, it is not possible to take this into account for the implementation process.
How will the Athletes’ Commission be involved in the reviewing process of the new CoP? After publication or before?
We are planning to include the Athletes Commission before publication. We will contact the members of the AC as soon as possible.
What is meant by “well balanced”? How is the current Code of Points not well balanced (enough)?
By “well balanced” we mean two things: The balance between execution and difficulty (and artistic impression) in the overall evaluation of a routine. We want the gymnasts to show difficult routines with a lot of variation in movements as well as proper technique and execution. The second thing we mean by well balanced is the balance between the scores of each discipline in the all around competition. We do not want any one discipline to count more or less for the all around score.
What are the best practices that can be used for wheel gymnastics?
We took inspiration from other gymnastics disciplines. This includes many aspects such as the overall structure of the Code of Points, the tasks of the judges, the evaluation of artistic impression or the codes of conduct, to name a few. Wheel gymnastics is unique and the rules/regulations for other disciplines cannot be fully applied to the gym wheel. However, certain ideas influenced our work on the Code of Points 2023+.
When will the new code of points be published?
The Code of Points 2023+ will be published in mid August 2022 and will be implemented by January 2023.
What will the member states be given to prepare themselves or to adapt their own regulations?
Most IRV member federations have different systems they designed for their specific needs. The IRV provides the CoP 2023+ as a framework that can be easily adapted by member federations according to their needs. Such adaptations to national requirements will have to be carried out by the member federations.
Will there be multiplier training courses?
Yes. We are planning to offer IRV courses (probably virtually) to everyone interested.
Really good concept! But the implementation is short notice. Creating new routines takes longer than a few months if you have to learn new elements first.
Thank you! We understand that concern. However, we have to decide to introduce the new Code of Points at some point and we believe that it is better to introduce the new system before the Team World Championships and not before the Individual World Championships, as fewer athletes will be immediately affected by it. We also want to mention one more time that the changes will affect all athletes equally.
Is it written somewhere already what will be a 0.1 or a 0.3 deduction?
We will provide lists with all relevant deductions for each discipline in the new code of points published in August 2022. Gymnasts, coaches and judges will find an overview of all possible deductions there.
What is the maximum of elements an athlete is allowed to show?
The maximum of elements will not change. The maximum length of a routine will be 6 lengths in STL, 3:15 minutes in STL-M and 12 moves in SPI.
Is the difficulty value also displayed in advance for the coach to check?
Yes. This will not change.
Can neutral deductions affect the difficulty if the execution score is 0.0?
In theory, yes. Neutral deductions are deducted by the head judge from the final score, so they can also affect the difficulty. In practice, however, it will be much more difficult to have an execution score of 0.0. In most cases the difficulty will not be affected.
Will it be possible to get the perfect 10 difficulty score in spiral and straight-line? – Is it possible to create a routine with 8 E skills all from different structure groups?
This will be possible! For the time being, however, it will not be possible in straight-line as we will be working with the existing difficulty catalogue where there are no E skills. Please remember that this is the same for all athletes and that in the future it will be possible (but not easy) to achieve maximum difficulty. This is intentional as we want to avoid upgrading and downgrading of elements as frequently as in the past. Please also keep in mind that not all 8 E skills will have to come from different structure groups. One E skill might represent more than one structure group. It will be possible to perform 2 or 3 E elements from the same structure group and fulfil the missing structure groups by performing easier elements.
Will there still be a 0.2 deduction and if NO, won’t there be bigger differences between the judges?
There will no longer be a 0.2 deduction. The deductions in execution will be categorised as 0.1, 0.3, 0.5 and 1.0. It will be clearly described when to apply which deduction to ensure that the differences between the execution judges are not too large. There will also be situations where two 0.1 deductions will be equivalent to what previously might have been one 0.2 deduction.
When a gymnast performs 12 difficulty skills and the 8 most difficult will count for the technical score, will the other 4 skills count for structure groups?
Yes, they will be counted for structure groups as long as the maximum number of three elements per structure group is not exceeded.
Do the structure groups need to be fulfilled by the difficulty skills or can they be fulfilled by additional easier elements?
The difficulty catalogue will include the structure groups and show them for each element listed. The structure groups do not have to be fulfilled by the 8 most difficult moves(which will count for the technical score) but with any difficulty element listed in the difficulty catalogue.
Will a fall be the same deduction in all disciplines?
Yes, the same deduction will apply in all disciplines.
When will the old difficulty catalogue (for straight-line) be combined with the new structure groups?
The difficulty catalogues, including the new structure groups, will be published together with the new Code of Points in mid-August 2022. Please note that the difficulty catalogue for straight-line will be a provisional version (linking current difficulty skills to the new structure groups) as the re-definition and re-structuring of the new straight-line difficulty catalogue needs some more time. We will inform you as soon as we have a publication date for the new STL catalogue and when it will be valid for competitions so that we facilitate preparation for world championships.
What is the estimated time for the publication of the new difficulty catalogue in STL?
The new difficulty catalogue for STL is not finished yet and will probably be published in 2023. We will make sure that there will be enough time to prepare new routines based on the new difficulty catalogue. The Team World Championships 2023 will still use the existing difficulty catalogue combined with the new structure groups.
Right now there are no E elements in straight-line. Do you have an example of an E element? Will it be combinations of D+D elements?
We are working on a list of E difficulty skills. Combinations of elements will be possible for the future difficulty catalogue that will be published at a later date. We do not have more information available at the moment, but we will publish an adapted version of the current STL difficulty catalogue together with the new Code of Points in August 2022. This will be in use until the new difficulty catalogue is finalised.
Will all elements fit in the structure groups?
All elements listed in the new difficulty catalogues will be assigned to a structure group. Element combinations might also fulfil more than one structure group. Elements not listed in the difficulty catalogues (e.g. creative elements in STL-M) will not be assigned a structure group.
What is the difference between OR and AND requirements in the structure groups? Is the structure group written with the exercises?
Difficulty skills can be moves or element combinations. Both can fulfil a structure group. There is therefore no difference between OR and AND. It refers to the possibility that a structure group can be fulfilled either by a move of that structure group and/or by an element combination of that structure group. The structure group will be added to the difficulty catalogue for each move or element combination.
Is it possible to combine two or three structure groups within one move?
Yes. It will be possible to perform element combinations that include two or three structure groups.
Will there be enough E elements in the difficulty catalogue to achieve a technical score of 8.0 points?
Use of space: Will the athlete be able to use more space than the currently defined competition area?
No. The competition area will remain as it is currently regulated in the Competition Rules.
The current difficulty catalogue does not contain any E elements. So how to get to the perfect 10 on difficulty?
The old difficulty catalogue in SPI already contains R elements which will be E elements in the future. In the transition phase from old to new Code of Points, a maximum difficulty will not be possible in STL and STL-M. As soon as the new difficulty catalogue for STL is published, a 10 point difficulty score will be possible for all disciplines.
Why do we go back to 8 elements in STL-M when we stopped it because the creativity went down?
We want the regulations to be consistent throughout all three disciplines. We understand that going back to 8 difficulty skills in STL-M might sound more challenging for many gymnasts, but the new scoring of difficulty comes along with a new method of evaluation for creativity and artistic impression in routines performed to music. We are confident that the sum of changes in the regulations will lead to more creative routines in STL-M.
Is the evaluation of artistic impression not too uncertain because it seems to be more subjective and based on the judges’ taste?
In Sønderborg we only showed the headlines for each category of evaluation. For each of the 7 evaluation categories there will be specific guiding questions and bullet points that the judges use as a base for their scoring. We have already tested the new regulations for artistic impression on many STL-M routines in our efforts to create an objective and easy to apply system. We are happy with the results so far and are still working on refinements to make sure we achieve our goal.
Is the content of the 7 evaluation categories for artistic impression already fixed somewhere?
It will be published with the new Code of Points in August 2022. The 7 categories are clearly described and we are now in a refinement phase to clarify the last details.
If you should do 8 elements in STL-M, will there be a different time limit?
No. The time limit will still be 3:15 but the new regulations for artistic impression will give the gymnast more freedom to balance difficulty and artistic impression within that time limit.
How will execution and artistic impression in STL-M be split up?
The score will not be split up. It will be the arithmetic mean of a maximum of 10 points for execution and a maximum of 10 points for artistic impression. The gymnast will then receive one score (max. of 10 points) which is the arithmetic mean of these two scores.
How do gymnasts in STL-M do creative elements in bindings if they are supposed to do a free-fly?
There is no requirement to perform a creative element in bindings, but you are welcome to do so. Some gymnasts might come up with creative ideas of how to adapt a free-fly to the music routine. Please also keep in mind that it will be possible in the future to perform just one element in bindings. There is also enough room to be creative without bindings.
Please give an example of a move in straight-line that has its difficulty in the lower phase
B38-B40, C18 and C19. D30 and D31 are special cases where a previous lower phase transition leads to a D in the subsequent upper phase.
Artistic Impression: What is the difference between evaluation categories 2 and 7?
The difference between the general concept of a routine and physical expression in artistic impression will be described in detail in the regulations for evaluating artistic impression in the new Code of Points.
In STL-M, will there be no judging of the technical quality of the execution of elements?
The execution of a straight-line routine to music will still apply according to the new catalogue of execution deductions and the evaluation of artistic impression will result in a score for artistic impression. The final score will consist of the difficulty value and the arithmetic mean of the execution and the artistic impression scores.
Is it possible to reform the rule about singing in music exercises?
We were discussing that point when thinking about the new regulations. We decided to stick to music without lyrics. Only vocals without lyrics will therefore be allowed. We want to ensure a fair competition that is not influenced by linguistic misunderstandings. In addition, some lyrics can be offensive and it is difficult to formulate regulations that define which lyrics should be allowed and which not.
Is the door opened to subjective assessment?
We have tried to describe the different categories in artistic impression in as much detail as possible to achieve an objective assessment. We are currently reviewing the regulations to make sure that the evaluation of music routines is as objective as possible. In our testing so far, we have found the new evaluation criteria to be more “positive” towards the gymnast, in that they involve giving points rather than deducting points. We have also had no reason to feel that the new regulations are less objective than the current regulations.
How is it avoided that music routines become freestyle dance routines outside the wheel?
If a gymnast performs a routine outside the wheel, he or she will get very low scores in difficulty and artistic impression. The new evaluation criteria for artistic impression mainly focus on evaluating the symbiosis of gymnast, wheel and music.
Will it still be possible to perform a difficulty element in the upper phase before a centralised element in STL? For example for achieving a D-D difficulty value?
The definition of possible combinations will be explained in the new STL difficulty catalogue. In general, combining elements will still be possible. Until the new STL difficulty catalogue is finished, the same regulations will apply as now.
Is contact to the wheel in straight-line with music still necessary?
We have discussed this question on a number of occasions and the answer is yes. One of the reasons for this is that we want to avoid gymnasts trying to “hide” a fall in STL-M.
When will the new regulations for artistic impression be presented to the public?
The new regulations for artistic impression will be published together with the CoP 2023+ in August. We are currently working on refinements of these regulations.
What is the maximum number of elements in straight-line?
There will not be a maximum number of elements in straight-line. The length of a routine in straight-line is defined by a maximum of 6 lengths or by the duration of the music in STL-M.
A STL routine performed to music is a long process and not that easy to change. So if there will be a new difficulty catalogue we have to build a new routine?
It is up to each gymnast whether they want to adapt their routines to the new difficulty catalogue. We know that it can be hard to change a music routine that has already been built, but we want to assure you that we will publish the new difficulty catalogue in good time before it will be valid in competition. Please also keep in mind that the changes affect all athletes equally.
What about 3 handstands or 3 pikes in spiral?
The order of the elements performed within a judging unit will no longer make it a new move or element combination. The only exception is, if the order is decisive for the recognition. These cases will be listed in the difficulty catalogue. Aside from that there will be no changes regarding pikes or handstands.
It is mentioned that changes in spiral will be counted as separate elements? Will deductions in execution then still include the next 2 rotations for the judging unit?
The change will upgrade the following element or move only once. The judging unit for execution will include the 2 subsequent rotations as has been the case in the past.
How do you count the small spiral?
Except for the new regulation of how to count a small spiral after an interruption (see presentation slides), the recognition of a small spiral will not change.
So the coach will no longer be allowed to lead the wheel into a small spiral?
The coach is still allowed to lead the athlete into a small spiral within one wheel rotation. The athlete has to show a small spiral (3 sec.), but this first small spiral will not be counted. After a change of position the next small spiral will be counted as it is then the next independently performed element.
If the coach helps you to get in the small spiral, the element will not count for your difficulty score. Will it be counted for the total number of elements?
No. The first small spiral will not be counted for the difficulty value, the structure groups and the total number of moves.
How low should the small spiral be?
The definition of a small spiral will not change. For the recognition, the circular path of the wheel is decisive. The perfect angle of inclination should be lower than 30°.
How will the previous modular system be transferred to the new system in vault?
There will be no modular system for difficulty in vault in the future. Every vault will be listed in the difficulty catalogue with its assigned difficulty value.
Vault: A new vault is not registered before the world championships. Will it then not be counted?
If a new vault is performed it must be listed in the difficulty catalogue first, otherwise it cannot be counted.