Tuesday, September 3, 2013

2006 and beyond: The Margins of Victory in MAG



For a statistician, the open-ended scoring system tuckin' tsuks.

With a rule book that changed every four years, it was already difficult to compare scores from one quad to the next. Now, it's almost impossible to compare scores from the 10.0 era with the post-2006 era. The margins of victory have changed too much.

In the past, many World champions outscored their opponents by hundredths of a point. Now, gymnasts typically win by several tenths. Here's a little comparison:



Event
Average Margin of Victory:
1999, 2001-3, 2005

(The last 5 Worlds under the 10.0)
Average Margin of Victory:
2006-7, 2009-11

(The first 5 Worlds under the new system)
All-Around
0.412
2.132
Floor
0.050
0.125
Pommels
0.052
0.333
Rings
0.050
0.155
Vault
0.110
0.142
P-Bars
0.043
0.155
High Bar
0.027
0.237
For the math nerds, I checked for outliers using 1.5•IQR.

With the exception of vault, there's a noticeable difference. Yes, winning by hundredths still happens in the world of men's artistic gymnastics, but without a finite number of points and without a 0.05 deduction, it's no longer the norm. So, perhaps it's time to reset the record books for the World Championships. Below you'll find the largest margins of victory and the smallest margins of victory under the new scoring system.




For those of you who like to watch total domination occur…



The Largest Margins of Victory at the World Championships since 2006


EventYear1st Place2nd PlaceDifference
Team2007ChinaJapan4.875
All-Around2011Kohei UchimuraPhilipp Boy3.101
Floor2007Diego HypolitoGervasio Deferr0.200
Pommels2007Xiao QinKrisztian Berki0.600
Rings2006Chen YibingYordan Yovchev0.200
Rings2010Chen YibingYan Mingyong0.200
Rings2011Chen YibingArthur Zanetti0.200
Vault2009Marian DragulescuFlavius Koczi0.238
P-Bars2010Feng ZheTeng Haibin0.350
High Bar2007Fabian HambuechenAljaz Pegan0.425
Yes, those are links to the routines.

Okay, so, total domination is a relative term. Winning by 0.200 isn't necessarily total domination. In fact, on some events (e.g. pommel horse), winning by 0.200 would be considered one of the smaller margins of victory.


The Smallest Margins of Victory at the World Championships since 2006


EventYear1st Place2nd PlaceDifference
Team2010ChinaJapan1.228
All-Around2006Yang WeiHiroyuki Tomita 1.225
Floor2009Marian DragulescuZou Kai0.025
Pommels2010Krisztian Berki Louis Smith0.100
Rings2007Chen YibingYuri van Gelder0.075
Vault2007Leszek BlanikIlie Daniel Popescu0.012
P-Bars2007Mitja Petkovsek
Kim Dae-Eun
Anton Fokin (3rd)0.050
High Bar2011Zou KaiZhang Chenglong0.075

When the margin of victory is less than a tenth, the difference boils down to a few judges taking a tenth where other judges did not. In other words, gymnasts, if you are reading this, POINT YOUR BLOODY TOES!

…Unless you're the clear favorite to win the all-around… In that case, maybe point your toes a little less so that we can see a close all-around final?

Until now, the World all-around champions have won by over a point. I guess the new scoring system has done something right. It has allowed us to see just how good guys like Yang Wei and Kohei Uchimura are in comparison to their fellow competitors.

Personally, however, I prefer close match-ups. So, here's a list of the 10 closest battles for gold and silver since 2006.

EventYear1st Place2nd PlaceDifference
Floor2006Marian DragulescuDiego Hypolito0.100
Pommels2010Krisztian BerkiLouis Smith0.100
Rings2009Yan MingyongYordan Yovchev0.100
Parallel Bars2011Danell LeyvaVasileios Tsolakidis0.100
Vault2010Thomas BouhailAnton Golotsutskov0.083
High Bar2011Zou KaiZhang Chenglong0.075
Rings2007Chen YibingYuri van Gelder0.075
P-Bars2007Mitja Petkovsek
Kim Dae-Eun
Anton Fokin (3rd)0.050
Floor2009Marian DragulescuZou Kai0.025
Vault2007Leszek BlanikIlie Daniel Popescu0.012


If you can't tell, these tables are a great procrastination tool for me, and I hope that they are for you, as well. I know that you rewatched all those old videos. So, what was your favorite final listed above? Or are there any that you found particularly problematic?


Then again, maybe you just want some more numbers.

Event
Average Point Spread
of the Podium

(Difference between 1st and 3rd)
Average Point Spread
of an Event Final

(Difference between 1st and 8th)
All-Around
2.529

Floor
0.335
1.245
Pommels
0.612
1.618
Rings
0.202
0.979
Vault
0.297
1.021
P-Bars
0.243
0.868
High Bar
0.327
3.025

Conclusions: If you like falls, watch a high bar final. If you like close competitions, watch a rings or p-bar final.

The Closest Event Finals since 2006
Year
Event
Tenths Separating
1st and 8th
2007
Parallel Bars
0.900
2011
0.883
2010
0.800
2007
0.775
2009
0.750
2010
0.699
2010
0.634
2006
Parallel Bars
0.625
2011
0.500
2011
0.367

Yes, you read that correctly. In 2011, only 0.367 separated Danell Leyva (1st) from Kazuhito Tanaka (8th). As I said earlier, POINT YOUR BLOODY TOES!


Related Posts:

2006 and beyond: The Top Nations in WAG
2006 and beyond: The Top Nations in MAG
2006 and beyond: The Best WAG Gymnasts
2006 and beyond: The Best MAG Gymnasts

4 comments:

  1. I <3 Uncle Tim's Sexy Statistics. Woof.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Kohei,

    Please do not follow Uncle Tim's advice and stop pointing your toes! If anyone wants to catch you they better be darn sure their toes are pointed.

    ReplyDelete