Aside from the fact that the gymnasts and the coaches did a most inspiring job and the judges were also smiling and working together, we also did some ground breaking things (at least within BC) at BC’s Special Olympic games at Langley:
- Rotation and division – Used the AA scores from the qualifiers last year and assigned a pre-competition division to each athlete. We then generated the rotation order within each of the division to gather athletes with similar abilities closer together. The division process was applied again after competition using the All-Around scores from the Games. The conversations leading to this decision gave me a lot better understanding of what is required and opened up the possibilities of better methods in the future.
- Meaningful details – Used a big screen to show both the technical and execution breakdown. What was important was not the size of the display itself but the steps made to make informational available and skills/resources transportable between generic and Special Olympics. Furthermore, with more detailed and timely information available, coaches can assess what needs to be done for the athletes’ next routine.
- Timely results – Used live scores so that scores are available over the internet as if they are on location.
- Feedback and adjustments – Gave and asked for feedback after day one and made adjusted accordingly
- Returned actual scriptsReturned the judged scripts to the coaches – in the generic side, this has been done for many years. This is the first time it is ever done in BC, if not Canada. With an averaged score, it is difficult to know whether both judges decide that a difficulty agrees that it is right in the middle or that one judge thinks that an element should not even count. Given that there is a huge gap between two judges, it is important to understand what each judge is looking for. I appreciated very much the extra notes that some of the judges wrote on the sheets to support our goals for the purpose.
- Division and qualification plan for nationals.
- Evaluate new proposal(s) for division (and maybe for awards).
- Alignment of judges and sharing of that information with coaches within and outside of BC
- Scripting – while the level 4 scripting is WAY better than it was before, there are still lots of room for improvements.
- Training plan for those going to nationals
- Training plan for those not going to nationals and for the next cycle
- Two judges in a panel – on reviewing the gaps between judges, while the final scores and rounding up to within range, the judges are not really agreeing on some aspects. I think having a minimum of 2 judges per panel is important to capture this difference.
- Sharing and retention – Find more ways to keep the involvement and the inspiration up (from within as well as outside of Special Olympics). Rhythmic gymnastics is a very technical sport, we have to find ways to retain and share expertise.
- Digitize new resources – Videotape from the provincial games should be used as a reference point for judges / coaches education.