Simone Biles Penalized for Elevating Gymnastics
‘I Don’t Think That’s Fair’: Simone Biles Is Being Penalized for Elevating Gymnastics With Difficult Routines
You might have heard that Simone Biles did her double-twisting double dismount off beam in the qualifying round of 2019 Worlds on Oct. 5. If you haven’t, know that it’s two flips and two twists in a tucked position. In simple terms, it’s very hard to do and no one has ever done it in competition — until Simone, of course. It’s now officially dubbed “The Biles” and will soon be in the gymnastics rule books forever.
To go over the basics quickly, in order to get a gymnastics skill named after you, you have to submit it to the FIG Women’s Technical Committee, then proceed to land it at a major competition such as a World Championships. It’s given a value — these range from A (one-tenth of a point) to J (one full point, thanks to Simone’s triple-double on floor, now called “The Biles II”) — and added to the FIG Code of Points bearing your name. Those are the basics, but since FIG released the value for Simone’s new dismount, it has stirred up controversy.
The FIG Women’s Technical Committee gave the double-double dismount an H value, meaning eight-tenths of a point. Right away, Simone took to social media to say it was “bullsh*t.” One reason is because her dismount is only worth one-tenth higher than a full-in on beam, or a double tuck with a full twist. As one Twitter user whom Simone has retweeted a number of times accurately explained, a double tuck off of the beam is worth a D, or four-tenths of a point. The full-twisting double tuck is worth seven-tenths, or a G. Following that pattern, Simone’s dismount should be three-tenths higher, or a J, because it adds another full twist. Instead, it was given a value one-tenth higher. That may not seem like a huge deal, but it’s about being rewarded for the risks you take. In fact, the National Women’s Technical Committee gave Simone’s double-double dismount an I value, or nine-tenths of a point, when she performed it at Nationals this year.