Never Rudi Ball Out, unless you absolutely have to.

When I say this, I’m talking about using the skill in competition. I fully support the use of the skill for the purposes of development, etc.

So, why shouldn’t you compete the Rudi Ball Out? Well, the skill is only worth 0.2 more Degree of Difficulty (DD) than a Barani Ball Out. And it is generally not worth the extra two-tenths because of how physically difficult it is to maintain good execution.

When I have seen a Rudi Ball Out in competition, it’s usually in the second routine and after the gymnast having already performed a Barani Ball Out in the first routine. Rarely do I give the Rudi Ball Out the same deduction or a lesser deduction than its half-twisting cousin.

The rationale is very simple… 

  • If it is not performed straight it will suffer – not strictly true, but usually an unorthodox tucked Rudi Ball Out (or God-forbid, a piked one), is usually the result of a gymnast who is incapable of performing the straight variety and it tends to look scrappy much more often than not.
  • If the the arms aren’t down by the sides it will suffer. The direct quote from the Code of Points (CoP) is “the arms should be straight and/or held close to the body whenever possible”. I often hear people mod-quote the CoP, claiming that in line with the body is acceptable ie straight and above the head. Wrong. It is possible to have the arms straight and close to the body. Any time they are not, there’s a deduction.
  • The Rudi Ball Out will continue to twist past the 3 o’clock point. Since the ‘completion of twist’ rule was first introduced, the trend has been to move away from twisting skills in the first routine. Gymnasts tend to opt for a Cody instead of Barani Ball Out, rarely is there a Rudi, sometimes not even a Full.
  • Any twisting skill allows the gymnast to be seen by the judges directly from either the front, back or both. This puts the gymnast under increased scrutiny with their arm position – if the arms aren’t pressed into the sides, they will stand out a mile!

So what do you think? Do you disagree? Or do you have additional reasons? Have you got any good examples of the Rudi Ball Out? Post links below if you have!