Judges to use replay if scoring decision protested

Updated: May 10, 2005, 5:48 PM ET
Associated Press

MOUTIER, Switzerland -- Video replays will be tested at the European gymnastics championships next month, the sport's latest attempt to avoid scoring errors like the one that plagued the Athens Olympics.

Replay would allow judges to go back and watch a routine if there's a scoring protest during a competition. If an error is found, it could quickly be corrected.

USA Gymnastics successfully has used a similar review system for several years. The International Gymnastics Federation, known as the FIG, said Tuesday that replay also was tested at the World Cup final in December, with "positive results."

Had video replay been available at the Athens Games, the debacle following the men's all-around might have been avoided.

Two days after Paul Hamm won the gold medal, the FIG announced that South Korean gymnast Yang Tae-young was wrongly docked a tenth of a point from the start value of his parallel bars routine. Yang won the bronze medal, finishing 0.049 points behind Hamm.

Yang protested the results, and it wasn't until two months later that the Court of Arbitration for Sport declared Hamm the rightful winner.

The FIG also said it was moving forward with a controversial proposal that would replace the traditional 10.0 scoring system with an open-ended format. Several former Olympic champions have publicly opposed the change, and USA Gymnastics expressed its concern to FIG officials.

But the FIG said Tuesday that its men's and women's technical committees are continuing to work on the new code, including suggestions made at a symposium last month, and have an Aug. 31 deadline to complete it. The FIG's executive committee is scheduled to vote on the proposal at its Oct. 10 meeting.


Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press