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RG Rules: Waiting for the decision about music

21 Mar 2013 at 07:00
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This year International Gymnastics Federation Technical Committee has changed the Judgment Rules of Rhythmic Gymnastics. Marina Lobatch, Olympic Champion of Seoul, international RG judge, tells us how these new rules work.

-  Earlier 3 groups of judges estimated the gymnasts, now there are only 2 groups. Difficult and Executive grades will be determined by four arbiters, but 5 referees can judge Executive atthe European and World championships. Artistry and Executive is now estimated by 1 group of judges, though earlier 2 groups did it. For example, if a gymnast makes bad mistake and loses the apparatus, judge must deprive her of the points for the mistake and artistry, as she gets out of time and doesn’t follow the music.

Points for Difficult are also changed now. And again 2 groups worked earlier at it: D1 (difficulty of the elements) and D2 (work with the apparatus), so they are united in one quartet. Now each judge must watch the difficulty of the elements and mastery of grace. New rule concerning the road of dancing steps appeared. The road must take 8 seconds and be interesting, driving, corresponding with the music and the idea of the whole routine. Dancing roads can be difficult and beautiful or simple, but inviting bright emotions of fans.

Music with words is one more innovation of this year. But the final decision hasn’t taken yet. Nobody obliges the gymnasts to use songs. But they have this right. So, it’s a kind of trial now. Gymnasts are allowed to use music with words in 1 routine of 4. And of course, there are difficulties, as they have to think about the idea of the song and try to express its content. Technical Committee will take the final decision, whether gymnasts can use songs or not, at the RG World Championship, which will take place in Kiev this autumn.

Since this year seniors must do 9 elements at all the competitions, and juniors must do 7 elements which include balancing, rotations and jumps. We should wait a little bit in order we could see all the pluses and minuses of these changes. I like what the gymnasts are doing now, but I also see that not all the countries understand what they are wanted to do. If they understand, gymnastics will become more beautiful and interesting. Let’s wait till the World Championship. As a coach I can tell that it’s very difficult to shift to the new rules from the old ones.

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