by Brina Dec. 5, 2018
For someone running a website about cold, hard gymnastics data, I have awfully strong opinions on leotards. Fortunately, I’m not the only one. Every year, TheGymternet puts out a new edition of the leo panel, ranking every single leotard at US Classics and/or Championships according to their “very scientific and very awesome Leotard Code of Points.”
So, just for shits and giggles, I thought I’d take a look at the numbers from this year's US Championships. Do gymnasts with better leos get higher scores?
This isn’t quite as ridiculous as it first seems. I can think of at least two reasons why gymnasts with better leos might score better.
The first reason is simple: looking great can give you the confidence to perform well.
The second is a confounding factor: gymnasts who’ve performed well in the past might get better leos start out with. Leotard suppliers often work directly with big-name gymnasts and provide them with custom-made leotards. If these companies know what they’re doing, we’d expect these leos worn by better-than-average-gymnasts to be better than average. (Of course, some very ugly leos worn at very high-profile competitions suggest that these companies don't actually know what they're doing.)
So is there any relationship?
In a word... no. The correlation between a gymnast's leo score and a gymnast's is a paltry 0.10, and it's nowhere close to being statistically significant (p=0.39).
I also ran the correlation for each five categories that the Leo Panel scores on: color, fabric, design, bling, and “the look.” Here are the results.
*** significant at p<0.01, ** significant at p<0.05, * significant at p<0.1
It looks like gymnasts wearing better colors and fabrics score a little higher - but the relationship is nowhere near strong enough to make a big deal about.
So if you see a gymnast getting unduly upset about an ugly leo, just tell her: really, it doesn't matter!