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Disability Judging

Judges discuss the scores and tariff sheet for a performance

Judges often say they must judge what they see, and this is no different in Disability Gymnastics.  Judges are not expected to evaluate the disabilities of any gymnast, only their gymnastics and all technical deductions. 

The only exception is where a deduction is impossible for the gymnast to correct i.e. a gymnast missing a foot and without a prosthetic cannot finish their floor routine by dismounting onto two feet.  The gymnast will incur all other penalties relevant to their landing, or other parts of their routine, even where the judge feels that the deduction is likely to be caused by their disability.  Judges do not deliberate what the gymnast may or may not be able to correct.  Disability competitions are organised so that gymnasts compete those with similar classifications under British Gymnastics rules. 

Currently, disability gymnastics codes of points are being reviewed in order to be more accessible to all judges, including those used to judging mainstream gymnasts.  As the inclusion of disabled gymnasts becomes more commonplace, judges should find additional Disability Codes of Points neither excessive or confusing.  Competition rules are available in or via links in the Scottish Disability Gymnastics Handbook. 

Disability gymnastics needs quality judges as much as all other gymnastic disciplines.  No additional judging courses or experience are needed to judge disability gymnastics.  Bring the same professional, accurate and efficient attitude that benefits all judging roles.  Judging courses are advertised on the Scottish Gymnastics website.  

Therefore, to reiterate – judging for disability gymnasts is the same as any artistic judging. The judges are judging the skills of the gymnasts – ie “judges should not judge on the technique used but on the result of the technique” as stated in the Code of Points.

There are some differences, for example a gymnast can use uncoded moves which have no value but can be included to avoid short routine penalties.

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