As a 20-something who can't wait to turn 65, retire, sit on his porch, drink Old Fashions, yell at the neighborhood kids, and write scathing letters to the editor about the ugly paint job on his neighbor's house, I can safely say that complaining is what I do best. And I want to teach you how to do it too!
Here's how to play "Credit/No Credit."
Background Information: In the men's Code of Points, a straddled Tkatchev is a C. If you add a half twist, it becomes a D. Similarly, a stretched Tkatchev is a D, and if you add a half twist, it becomes an E.
Easy peasy, right? But wait, there's a catch… (Get it? We're talking about releases, and I just said, "There's a catch." So punny, I know. Anyhoo…)
The catch: If the gymnast performs a straddled Tkatchev 1/2 "without sufficient turning," the gymnast does not receive credit for a D, but rather, for a C. Likewise, a stretched Tkatchev 1/2 can be downgraded one letter for insufficient turning.
Sneaky S.O.B.: Now, I want one thing to be clear: I didn't make up the inane phrase "without sufficient turning." It comes straight from the Code of Points. That's why it's in quotes. A certain member of the Men's Technical Committee carefully crafted the blissfully ambiguous wording of this section. I mean, what the heck does "without sufficient turning" mean anyway?
On floor, insufficient twisting is anything 90º or greater from the final position. So, a full that only goes around 270º (360-90=270) would not be credited as a full. But as you'll see, things are extra confusing up there on that pipe. It's not exactly clear what part of the body needs to turn 90º on high bar in order for the gymnast to receive credit for a Tkatchev 1/2. Are we talking shoulders, hips, and feet?
As you'll see in a hot second, that's expecting a lot from these chaps.
Your mission, if you should choose to accept it, is to decide what "insufficient turning" means. Then, look at the screenshots and determine whether the gymnast should receive credit or no credit for their Tkatchev 1/2. Make sense?
Oh, and if you are feeling up for it, share your judgments in the comments section below. If they are misanthropic enough, I might collect the best responses and put them in a separate blog post.
1. Jair Lynch, USA, 1992 Olympic Trials
Back in the day, before John Orozco was even born, Jair Lynch sent us down this Tkatchev 1/2 path. As you can see in the still above, we did not have high-definition television at the time, but I'm pretty sure you can see things well enough. We have feet that haven't really turned, hips that have turned maybe 45º, and shoulders that have turned 90º if you're feeling generous. Using today's Code, credit or no credit?
2. Oleg Verniaiev, Ukraine, European Championships, All-Around Finals
If you give Oleg credit for this, you're clearly just sucking up to me because you know that I love Oleg.
3. Lu Wentian, China, University Games, Team Finals
Pretty much a mirror image of Jair Lynch--just from another angle.
4. David Belyavskiy, Russia, University Games, Team Finals
I'm surprised his bicep didn't give him a bloody nose!
5. Emin Garibov, Russia, University Games, Event Finals
6. David Vecsernyes, Hungary, University Games, Event Finals
All right, who turned sufficiently? And who turned insufficiently? Who deserves credit? And who doesn't deserve credit? And heck, is it even possible to do a Tkatchev with a complete 180º turn before catching the bar?
Unleash your misanthropic rantings and make my 65-year-old heart squeal with joy!