College Gym News Announces Recruit Rating System

College Gym News is thrilled to announce the launch of the College Gym News Recruit Ratings. The system is the first of its kind for collegiate gymnastics and uses a formula that combines competition scores with video analysis.

“This has been a long time coming,” Editor-in-Chief Elizabeth Grimsley said. “In an effort to continue to legitimize gymnastics as a ‘real’ sport, we wanted to create a rating system that evaluates recruits just like the big guns in football and basketball.”

The system combines “score points” from a recruit’s recent competition history with “video review points” based on analysis from available videos to come up with a final score out of 25 for each event for a total of 100 to determine a star rating. Elite gymnast ratings are calculated solely on video review. Gymnasts who earn a 5-star classification received at least 78 total points while 4-star recruits have between 63 and 77 points and 3-stars received at least 48.

“The points formula is intended to describe the current level of the gymnast rather than put a limit on her potential,” Data Editor Jenna King said. “A 5-star rating is the equivalent of saying that the gymnast could make multiple lineups at a top-10 program tomorrow. The ‘score points’ part of the equation is heavily weighted by consistency in USAG level 10 competition during the last two years, while the ‘video review points’ are based on qualitative categories that are important in NCAA scoring, including form, technique and difficulty level.”

The system will roughly follow standard recruiting timelines for updates and releases with ratings for the classes of 2021 and 2022 being released at the time of the system’s launch. The class of 2023 will be rated and released right before June 15, 2021, which is the date after which college coaches are allowed to begin contacting rising juniors. Recruits in the class of 2022 will also be re-rated after the 2021 level 10 national championships in May to reflect progress over the 2021 season. Those new ratings will be updated and released in June as well.

The announcement of the College Gym News Recruit Ratings comes in time for the start of the signing period for the class of 2021 on November 11, 2020, which is shaping up to have 14 5-star recruits. Follow College Gym News on Twitter and Instagram to be the first to see each part of this exciting launch as they occur. A full launch schedule is as follows:

    • Friday, October 2-Tuesday, October 6: Four to five 5-star recruits released daily for the classes of 2021 and 2022 leading up to launch day on October 8.
    • Wednesday, October 7: FAQ goes live, answering every question you could possibly have about the rating system, from “Is rating gymnasts mean?” to reasons why a gymnast may not have a rating. Plus, Instagram Q&A @collegegymnews.
    • Thursday, October 8: Launch day! The recruit ratings landing page, which includes our databases, goes live.
    • Friday, October 9: Finally, we put all our hard work to good use, analyzing everything from top-rated gymnasts in each class to underrated recruits to keep an eye on in a number of fun features.

Like what you see? Consider donating to support our efforts throughout the year!

20 comments

  1. This is the worst idea I have ever heard. Way to further damage and jeopardize these young women’s perception of themselves when they work so hard for things. Shame on you.

    1. Hi Ashley, Thanks for reaching out! We know on the very surface level the concept of “rating” people may seen harsh or even mean. More information on the whole system will be available starting next week, including an incredibly extensive list of FAQs that we think will help settle some of your concerns. However, in the meantime we’d like to share with you the answer to one of those FAQs, “Is rating gymnasts mean?”

      A: No. Any gymnast successful enough to be recruited is a strong athlete. We are not saying a gymnast is “bad” by giving them a lower rating, we’re simply assessing how successful they may be on the collegiate stage given their scores and routines right now. We are not attempting to define a gymnast’s potential; within our criteria it is entirely possible that a 3-star rating one year could turn into a 5-star rating the next. We believe that having an understanding of a recruit’s current status is beneficial to fans of the sport and the recruits themselves while they are marketing themselves to colleges. Creating this system illustrates how many strong recruits exist, and enables fans to get excited about incoming athletes before they commit. While recruiting coverage in other sports can often take a mean-spirited angle, we are committed to only producing positive content about recruits at CGN.

      Again, thanks for reaching out. Once you read over our FAQ next week, please don’t hesitate to reach back out if you still have questions or concerns!

      1. A: You clearly don’t get it or actually coach any of these incredible young ladies. You absolutely are telling them they are ‘bad’ in an inherently negative sport. They work so hard to go out ALONE (unlike the ‘real’ sports as you referred to them) to literally be judged and told all the reasons they aren’t perfect. They battle image issues, eating disorders, metal heath struggles etc. not just from gymnastics but from a world where social media and image determine their worth. As a coach who adores my girls, watches their progress on a daily basis and works hard to help them know that they are fantastic in their own right I refuse to support something that will be detrimental to their confidence. Elites know they’re elites. Level 10s know where they stand. That’s why we have level 10 Nationals. They don’t need someone who is ‘digging up’ videos (which by the way can be edited to suit needs) making them feel like there’s no chance for them. It’s amazing that you can get legitimate data when you don’t have every meet, practice or gymnast in front of you. I will not have another one of my kids who personally knows many elites come in with tears in her eyes because she doesn’t understand why there needs to be another reason to make her feel lesser than. This child has an incredibly strong ability to get an NCAA scholarship but things like this could destroy her effort and drive. I myself won’t let that happen. And again I say shame on you.

        1. Hi Ashley, We understand. We can’t expect every single gymnastics fan to be on board with the rating system, and that’s OK. A lot of members are our staff are former gymnasts, competed in college or are coaches themselves, but we realize everyone has different opinions. We’re sorry to lose your support for this exciting endeavor. Take care and have a great rest of your weekend!

      2. Please remember in football and basketball scores do not chance from state to state. Kids get scored higher or lower based on where they live. If I take my team to Some places parents freak out about high the scores are this is a flawed system and no one can say it is not!

        1. Hi Heather, Great reminder! We definitely noted how things work in football and basketball, too. However, even in those rating systems, the video review analysis is subjective. No system will be perfect. But we’re confident ours will produce as accurate results as possible. We tested the system extensively on previous recruiting classes, particularly the classes of 2019 and 2020, to refine our rating system and focus on the scores and technique that indicate a future NCAA star. In our final round of trials we identified gymnasts from the class of 2020 that we felt were archetypal 5-, 4- and 3-star athletes and rated them to see if they fell in the correct point ranges—and they did! For example, in testing Kiya Johnson and Sierra Brooks were assigned 5-star ratings, with 91 and 89 total points, respectively. We encourage you to check out the incredibly extensive list of FAQs that goes live next week, which will go into detail about the methodology and more. We think it will clear up a lot of your concerns. Once you read over that, please don’t hesitate to reach back out if you still have questions or concerns!

  2. This is a terrible idea, particularly in the middle of a pandemic when athletes haven’t been able to compete for over 6 months and may not have much of a season next year. Please do not publish this. Find a way to build these kids up instead of tearing them down. Colleges are cutting minor sports like gymnastics. 3 programs have already been cut this year. Think again about how you are helping to save this sport.

    1. Hi Jen, Thanks for reaching out. We of course took the pandemic into account with our ratings. For level 10 gymnasts, we took into account scores from 2018 and 2019, as well as if they did anything in 2020, so the pandemic should have no impact on their rating. Also, we encourage you to hold out on forming an opinion about the rating system without all the information. We’ll be publishing an incredibly extensive list of FAQs, which will go into detail about the methodology and more. We think it will clear up a lot of your concerns.

      In fact, we believe that creating this rating system will actually help increase the popularity of college gymnastics. Once you read over our FAQ next week, please don’t hesitate to reach back out if you still have questions or concerns!

    1. Hi Stephanie, We’re so happy you’re excited about the ratings! Once our full list and database go live next Thursday and you take a look at how your gymnasts are featured, please reach out to us at recruiting@collegegymnews.com if you have any questions or inquiries.

  3. “In an effort to continue to legitimize gymnastics as a ‘real’ sport,

    Are you kidding me? It’s always been a “real” sport and this is the most ridiculous and unprofessional statement. So, what you are saying to the all the gymnasts is that their sport isn’t “legitimate” without your rating system. You’ve got to be kidding me.

    1. Hi Tami, Thanks for reaching out! We hear your concerns. In fact, former Utah head coach Greg Marsden had the same qualms on Twitter. However, we chatted with him to explain ourselves a bit better and clear up any confusion. We’ll try to do the same here. You are of course welcome to interpret the quote how you wish, but to us, “continue to legitimize” doesn’t mean it wasn’t legitimate in the first place, but rather indicates the goal is to bring it up to the level of more mainstream sports, like football and basketball. We encourage you to hold out on forming an opinion about the rating system without all the information. We’ll be publishing an incredibly extensive list of FAQs, which will go into detail about the methodology and more. We think it will clear up a lot of your concerns. Once you read over our FAQ next week, please don’t hesitate to reach back out if you still have questions or concerns!

    1. Hi Maria, Since our website only covers women’s artistic gymnastics (for now), we will unfortunately only be rating female gymnasts.

  4. I see what you are trying to do w this program. However, u may want to delete that 2nd paragraph as it comes across as very offensive, but is really unnecessary.

    The purpose of the program parallels what football/basketball/baseball etc is doing to assist w recruiting for colleges.

    I believe over time this may help parents/gymnasts understand in a manner they may b missing at what college coaches see.

    I believe most experienced coaches, those that have 9’s & 10’s along w the college coaches understand how this whole process works. But it could b an interesting statistical point of view. Although, it will have an extremely difficult challenge trying to account for injured/returning injured athletes, let alone the severity of any given injury.

    1. Hi Ned, Thanks for reaching out and sharing your opinion about the structure and contents of the press release. If you fancy yourself a writer, we welcome you to reach out to us about contributing. As for the quote for the second paragraph, you are of course welcome to interpret the quote how you wish, but to us, “continue to legitimize” doesn’t mean it wasn’t legitimate in the first place, but rather indicates the goal is to bring it up to the level of more mainstream sports, like football and basketball.

      Emily Giambalvo of the Washington Post made a good point on Twitter: “Imagine a mid-tier program getting to say it has a five-star recruit. People understand that. The average human does not search YouTube for a 2017 beam routine recorded by a parent at Atlanta Crown. I might do that. But the average human does not. This helps so much.” As to your point about accounting for injury, we agree. it’s definitely hard to rate someone who hasn’t competed. However, in more general terms, we tested our formula extensively and believe it to be a good judgement of most recruits. Of course, there are always outliers.

      Thanks again for reaching out! We encourage you to check out our list of FAQs when it goes live next week.

    1. Thank you so much, Ramona! We’re so glad you’re excited about the ratings! Tune in next week for the full list to go live.

Comments are closed.