While there won’t be a separate day for event finals, individual champions will still be crowned. Gymnasts with the highest scores on each of the four events after combining scores from both sessions will be announced the winners after prelims along with the all around champion.
Doing away with a separate event finals day will most likely get rid of some of the fun that comes along with it. In 2015, UCLA senior Samantha Peszek threw her standing full on beam in the finals, which ultimately put her over the top and gave her the event win. In 2014 event finals, Alabama senior Diandra Milliner added a second E-level tumbling pass to her already difficult floor routine, giving the fans something to be excited about when she took the floor. With event titles now being given out after semifinals, gymnasts will be less likely to throw more difficult skills because their main goal will be hitting and sending their team to the Super Six the next day.
Typically shown as a live stream on NCAA.com or ESPN3, the semifinals and Super Six in 2016 will be aired live on ESPNU. However, many cable subscribers don’t get the channel due to the fact that it is not a part of the basic package whereas the live streams were available to everyone who wanted to watch.
One positive coming out of the ordeal will be the potential increase in score separation. With the new format, six judges will be stationed at each event with the high and low score being dropped and the remaining four being averaged to come up with the final total. This should help with ties in event competition. In the past, four judges were at each event with the middle two scores being averaged while six judged event finals.
Event champions and the all around winner will be named after the two preliminary subdivisions are completed. Winners will be determined by combining scores from the two sessions. All-America honors will we awarded with the same criteria as past years (top four on each event and the all around in each session, including ties are on the first-team while places five through eight with ties are second-team members). With a “four-ring circus” style of competition, there’s a strong likelyhood of a gymnast not being show on the live broadcast who eventually will go on to win an event. However, replay capabilities will prevent this from being a major issue.
See what others on the gymternet are saying about the change.