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International Gymnast Magazine—November 1999


Brevet judge Doug Hills has done it again. In the January 1999 IG we included a product review of his Men's Gymnastics Study Guide, Hills' computer software that helps educate men s judges.
Now he has completed the women's version, which includes pertinent information on more than1,380 skills (with symbols and illustrations), more than 1,100 questions and answers about the rules for Elite, Levels 10, 9, 8 and 7, over 250 sequence videos and much more…

International Gymnast Magazine - January 1999


In the past, there really was only one way to learn the Code of Points if you wanted to become a judge. You basically had to memorize the lengthy list of skills on each event, plus all the special requirements for each apparatus. It was like studying for a biology test. Groups of judging candidates would sit around quizzing each other on the eve of the big test.
Once (or if) you passed the judging course, the real challenge came every time you were assigned to judge a meet. Basically, you were on your own. Most judges developed handy cheat-sheets to keep with them at all times, while others “crammed” on the way to a meet.  Let’s face it. Today’s gymnastics judges not only need to know an encyclopedia of rules, but they must also be able to recall and interpret them within seconds of a completed routine.
To improve the overall learning process, former San Jose State gymnast Doug Hills developed “Men’s Gymnastics Study Guide,” a computer program that would help him prepare for judging assignments. Hills, a Brevet judge since 1980 who earned an M.S. in Applied Information Management from the University of Oregon in 1995, designed a program that will teach you more than you ever thought you could know about the Code of Points for Men.
Here are some of the program’s features:
  • 1,443 skill displays (sequence illustrations)
  • 553 questions and answers covering all rules in the Code of Points (FIG interpretations and NGJA interpretations)
  • More than 300 videos of skills, which can be played in real time or slow motion
  • Note pad to save personal comments
  • Pie charts for learned skills
  • Shorthand symbols (developed by Mike Cook) for each skill
  • Screen saver that can be used to test yourself
It doesn’t take long to figure out how to navigate through the program, and since everything is only a mouse-click away you can bounce around as often as
you like. Each time you view a particular skill, you receive a wealth of information: skill illustration; Code ID; value; eponym (if it’s named after a person); skill description from the Code; skill structure group; whether the skill fulfills a special requirement; whether it fulfills a second special requirement; video (not available for every skill); shorthand symbol.
To save time later, you can record and chart your knowledge as you go. You simply click “Mark as Learned.” A pie chart shows how much you know about each event. You can also make your own comments on a special note pad.
Hills believes the program is not only for judges. “Once I had built the first designs it became clear that it could also be a terrific analysis tool for coaches,” Hills says. “The videos really make a big difference.”
The best part, however, is that it turns a tedious job of research into a stimulating educational experience. Now, learning t o become a judge can be as fun as training to become a gymnast.






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