The FIG has been struggling to make the World Cup mean something. The latest attempt was some scheme to offer more prize money. Apparently, they haven’t been able to make that work. Coach Rick states “FIG is on the right track. But they need to have the money in hand before making promises.” I agree with the latter but not the former. If the FIG wants to make the World Cup important, the only thing they have to do is make it a qualifying event for worlds. Look what happened with the mid-quad worlds. When the FIG made it a qualifier to the pre-Olympic worlds it instantaneously became the most important world championships. No team can get to the Olympics if they are not at the mid-quad worlds and for many countries it became their only chance if they ever want to send a full team to worlds.
Currently, any country that pays their FIG dues can have gymnasts at worlds. I think this is awesome but I know not everybody does. If gymnasts had to qualify to worlds then only the best gymnast would be able to compete at worlds. It would also help the FIG keep worlds from getting too big which has been a concern of theirs. So far, they’ve managed to keep the numbers down by making the post-Olympic worlds an AA and EF only event with countries only allowed to send four gymnasts. The pre-Olympic worlds is somewhat controlled because only teams that qualified from the mid-quad worlds are allowed to send full teams. The mid-quad worlds has gotten gigantic.
I know some feel that there’s no way to accurately compare teams across different events. Since many judges are not quality, Sherg-type material and don’t simply judge what they see, this is probably true. However, so what. These same judges would be at worlds breaking the code with their poor ethics and/or crappy judging skills anyway. It would be great if the FIG would do something about their crappy judges but if they won’t, it makes no sense to let “crappy judges” be an excuse to not try new things. Of course, I know some folks will be like “WTF Sherg! That’s sooooo cold!” Okay, okay! Calm down over there. The FIG has about eight world cup meets per year. The first six or seven could include the main team qualifying competitions. The teams can compete once and the 12 highest scoring teams go to worlds. The next eight teams can compete against each other at the last World cup meet for the remaining four team spots. If anybody was going to get screwed out of a team spot, it would most likely be those teams on the bubble so it makes sense that only those teams have to go head to head again. Individuals could be qualified to worlds basically the same way through the same meets. No team could qualify from it’s own event. For example, the Swiss or Americans could have individuals competing at their World Cup meet but not teams.
I do still like the big, gigantic worlds. It just seems like such a great opportunity for the gymnasts. If the Mid quad worlds remained a come one, come all type of affair, that’d be fine by me.