It was not so long ago that judges had to rely on their own precious reserve of videos, or on what they could find on YouTube, to study for their most important examination every four years, the brevet exam. Coaches, meanwhile, had virtually no access to official information that allowed them to see how judges applied deductions or evaluated difficulty.
But times have changed ! There is now an interactive programme for studying Gymnastics – the official FIG Gymnastics Interactive Programme – for Artistic, Rhythmic, Trampoline, Acrobatic and Aerobic Gymnastics. With this tool created by American Douglas Hills, judges worldwide have access to videos, practice quizzes and analysis, offering them common study materials to prepare for their test or to train before all competitions for which they are retained.
This programme has not only revolutionised the area of judges' education, benefitting brevet and national judges, but its pedagogical tools also hold great interest for coaches and gymnasts.
Coaches must know how judges apply the rules, and the programme contains technical analysis of video exercises and clips approved by their discipline's Technical Committee. Vast knowledge of the rules is one of a coach's greatest assets. Gymnasts too can also use the programme to see the correct technique for performing an element, or to find new elements for their exercises.
Gymnastics being a sport that is continually evolving, the programme is regularly updated as well. New videos and analyses are made available every month, allowing judges, coaches and those passionate about Gymnastics to train themselves in front of their screens at any time.