World Vault Final Clarification
Remember when Russia protested Aliya Mustafina and Tatiana Nabieva’s scores, saying that their vaults should have been credited as layout because the FIG had stated in January 2010 that all piked vaults with a forward entry more than a half twist were “impossible” and would be credited as their layout counterpart with deductions taken accordingly?
The January 2010 newsletter said the following
The execution of handspring forward on – piked salto forward off with greater than 180° turn is unrealistic from the standpoint of biomechanics. Therefore it makes sense to consider all vaults with progressive complexity (360°, 540° etc) as stretched salto forward off. The insufficient stretched body position in the second flight phase is considered as an execution fault and the E-panel judges deduct in accordance with the Code of Points.
But this, from the same newsletter, may have been missed by the coaches who protested
A “snap” (hollow or slightly piked body position) immediately following the repulsion is biomechanically acceptable however, if the pike position is maintained past the vertical line (in the head -up vertical position), the vault will be considered piked.
So even though they consider it unrealistic that somebody could complete the vault piked, they mention that if somebody does do it, it will be credited accordingly. I don’t think anybody could argue that Nabieva and Mustafina’s vaults did not remain piked throughout, past the “head-up vertical position.” Therefore, I believe that according to the rules it was fair to downgrade the vaults.
The February 2011 newsletter changes that rule. The first statement was kept the same, but the second statement has been changed.
Delete: however, if the pike position is maintained past the vertical line (in the head -up vertical position), the vault will be considered piked.
Now to read: A “snap” (hollow or slightly piked body position) immediately following the repulsion is biomechanically acceptable.
Now, there is no reason that a vault like Mustafina or Nabieva’s would be downgraded, even though they were both clearly piked. Hopefully this does not lead to more gymnasts competing “layout” vaults and not getting deducted enough for holding a piked position.