Welcome to Flipped Decisions!
This website was created to fill some gaps in gymnastics judging resources. Many of the available resources focus on the technical aspects of judging (i.e., identifying elements, knowledge, and application of the rules), and while there are many of these technical supports for judging women’s gymnastics, there is not much available for men’s, so I will provide MAG technical judging resources here. The technical aspects of judging are important groundwork skills, without which a judge has little chance of success, but rarely does judging education go beyond those technical elements for any gymnastics discipline.
A gymnast must have both technical ability and be able to perform under competition pressures. It is no different for the judges. It is not enough just to have the technical knowledge; a judge must have the capacity to apply that knowledge under the pressured circumstances they experience at competitions. And just as gymnasts can prepare themselves to more effectively handle the mental aspects of performing under pressure, so can judges. However, there are currently limited resources available to guide judges as to how to develop the less concrete mental skills of judging that lead to more accurate and less biased judgments on the competition floor. I seek to give judges better resources to help them understand the various judging biases and other causes of inaccurate scores so they may be better prepared to mitigate those conscious and subconscious influences.
One thing that became clear as I have been reading hundreds of research papers on officiating, bias, and decision-making, is that there is no place which brings it all together. There is no book, no website, no single source which takes in and accounts for the multiple perspectives of researchers, judging association leadership, coaches, gymnasts, and the judges themselves. Author Toni Morrison said: “If there is a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, you must be the one to write it.” So, I started writing... The book isn’t yet finished, and I don’t want to rush it just to get it done, but in the meantime, I wanted a space to share and develop thoughts, and create a forum to continue to gather the perspectives of my fellow judging colleagues. If there is a website you want to reference, but it doesn’t exist, you must be the one to create it... so here it is. Welcome.
Meet the Team
Kathi-Sue Rupp (she/her)
I'm Kathi-Sue Rupp. I'm an FIG Brevet Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG) judge and have been judging for nearly 20 years. I hold a Masters in Sports Psychology and am currently pursuing a PhD studying gymnastics judging biases (specifically calibration, conformity, and noise). I have extensive judging and coaching experience in the USA, Great Britain, and Belgium, bringing a diverse and international perspective to what I share with you here.
Danae Rupp (they/them), Critical Consultant
Danae Rupp has been a certified MAG judge for nearly a decade. In their first year of US National certification, they were the youngest MAG judge to hold that rating in the USA. They have judged competitions in both the USA and Great Britain during their judging career thus far.
Danae aspires to attain their FIG rating this coming cycle, which would make them one of the youngest MAG Brevet judges in the world.
Danae's insights, feedback, and artistic contributions have been invaluable and essential to the development of content for this website.
Darby Summers (she/her/they), Webmaster
Having no gymnastics background or credentials at all (besides being dragged to countless gymnastics meets throughout childhood), Darby does an excellent job of checking that content is understandable to a broad audience.
More than that, though, Darby works tirelessly behind the scenes to bring the thoughts from my brain to your screen in a coherent manner. She is the driving creative force behind this website; without her, this website would have remained an unrealized aspiration.