Are there any major changes to the judging panels?
There are now 4 panels (as compared to three panels in previous cycles). They are:
Has the emphasis changed from 2005-2008?
In the previous cycle, the final score is arrived by performing some math: (TV+AV)/2 + EX for a total value of 20 points. Therefore the weight of each of the panels are 25%+25%+50% with the execution panel taking the majority of the weight - this translates to an obvious emphasis towards very clean routines.
In this cycle, the final score is calcuated as: (D1+D2)/2 + A + EX for a total value of 30 points. Under this scheme, the weight of the various panels are roughly (16.65%+16.65%)+ 33.3% + 33.3%. Therefore, a 1.0 point difficulty is actually worth less in the final score.
This new system will gives one third of the final score to things like music interpretation, connections, choreograpy. In the last 8 years, so much emphasis has been put into countable items and criterias, it seems like while routines need increased artisty, I am not sure there is enough mechanics to facilitate objective assessment.
What is the biggest change in body difficulties?
Almost all static flexibilities poses are gone. Slow turns are no longer considered valid in flexibility body group. Almost all elements now require a transition, e.g. from ground to standing, from a walkover, from one relative body position into another, etc.
Most pivots have an upgrade of value. However, from a final score perspective, because of the lesser weight on body difficulty, the net effect may be less obvious.
In the past, the element repetition rule allows elements of different difficulty value being used within a routine. However, under the new code, repetition of the same shape is not allowed. This will force more variety into routines and make them more enjoyable.
Has the artistic value changed much?
If you think of what was measured under the old code, it includes both the now called D2 panel (apparatus difficulty) plus music and choreography. Now, music and choregraphy takes 33.3% weight in the final score without even taking into account apparatus handling (16.65%). Together, they now weigh 50% of the final score. This is a significant shift and may favor a whole different emphasis in the training of gymnasts.
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