Archive for June, 2013

Maybe The FIG Wants A Broken Neck Or Two.

June 26, 2013

Fadwa just won another gold with her dangerous Produnova attempt. Of course, Coach Rick is claiming the vault should be banned for women. How absurd. All the FIG needs to do is revise the meaning of “feet first” landing. I think if the gymnast shows no clear support on the feet before any other part of the body touches the mat, it should be zero. There should be no use of video replay to try and determine what hit the mat first. If the gymnast touches two body parts to the mat within less than a second of each other or does not show support before falling, it’s a zero. By this criteria, all of Pena’s Produnova attempts would score zeros. Maroney’s second vault in EF finals would score zero. That would be THE END of all these dangerous Produnovas.

There are also some good suggestions on Coach Rick’s post about Fadwa’s win.

If you want to be generous you can downgrade the difficulty. So turn it into a handspring single tuck. – Kate

I think they should just not credit the difficulty if there is a fall on vault. They can still get the execution score (with all appropriate deductions). – ber

Clinton posted an awesome link of John Macready landing the same way Fadwa did. Ass on the mat into a front headspring. His initial asslanding was much lighter than Fadwa’s.

So why won’t the FIG do some of these things? They just revised the requirements for the ring leap and the sheep jump, why can’t they do the same for the definition of “feet first” on landing for vault. Are they not paying attention to all these marginal gymnasts chucking one of the hardest skills in the code?

Maybe they’re concerned about a crashed vault knocking a gymnast out of the competition. If so, I think they need to get over that. Vault is one skill. If a gymnast crashes on their one skill, why should they still get a decent score?
Maybe they don’t want to kill the skill. Rather than being all lenient on gymnasts risking their lives, maybe they should have some of the men’s coaches who are good at teaching this skill give an FIG clinic to women’s coaches on how to teach the skill.

Or maybe they’re just waiting for somebody to break their neck so they can claim the sport is far too dangerous for children and finally raise the age limit to 18. Too late to keep Fadwa, Yamilet, etc from scaring us all to death, but whatever.

Jordyn’s Comeback Confusion

June 5, 2013

Today, I will be doing more Chicken Little-ing.

I’d really like to know how Jordyn went from definitely coming back in 2013 to maybe not coming back until 2014. What’s that about? Honestly, I wonder if it’s possible that Geddert, who prefers to stay home if he can’t win, put the squeeze on her. Such as, train like you mean it or don’t waste my time. But whoops, Jordyn chooses to keep doing the appearances and going to her sister’s wedding and her graduation and such.

The thing that I’m wondering about is maybe coming back in 2013 gets pushed back to 2014 and then maybe 2014 gets pushed back to 2015 at which point it gets pushed back to never. Geddert needs to be more flexible for this to work and if the reason Jordyn might not come back in 2013 is because John is being inflexible, then her comeback might never happen.

It’s annoying if the reason it’s less sure that she’ll come back for 2013 is because her coach decided to be a rigid asshole, but it could work out for the best in the long run. Jordyn stays in shape and then gives up doing appearences in 2014. As long as she keeps working on upgrades, she could come back in 2015 and it would be like she never left. A lot depends on if Geddert can figure out how to train a woman to win. Actually, forget figuring it out. All he really has to do is make some calls and get guidance from the right people. People who’ve done it.

So not the end of the world if she doesn’t come back until 2014 or 2015. Still, it would be so cool if instead of deciding it has to be one or the other, Jordyn comes back in 2013 without aiming to be on top. Maybe just do two events or maybe do all events but not full difficulty.

Whatever. I’m just gonna go wish upon a star now.

And Where Did the Others Go?

June 5, 2013

Double Double and Coach Rick are posting about the number of WAG gymnasts who competed at Nationals in 2012 that are coming back for 2013. Eight out of 23 gymnasts will probably return.

Elite Women’s Artistic Gymnastics is a difficult and dangerous sport. It’s not easy to compete Championships multiple years in series.

Yup. It’s tough to be elite. Also, in the US, senior elite careers get squeezed into about a three year time frame because of age limits and NCAA. I think US elites have to turn 16 in the year to compete at Nationals. I think a lot of them also do their last Elite Nationals in the fall and then drop back to level 10 for their last year of high school before starting college the next fall.

When you look at longer careers in US WAG, it tends to be the better gymnasts who are the ones that stick around. You’ll see things like a Liukin hanging in there until 19, or a Bhardwaj coming back after college, or a Borden trying again.

So what are the gymnasts from 2012 U.S. Nationals up to right now?

J. Wieber, G. Douglas, A. Raisman – Training.
K. Ross, M. Maroney – Training and have been to camp.

That’s the entire Olympic team. It remains to be seen how many of them will make it back to competition but it’s cool that they’re in the gym.

E. Price, S. Vega, K. Baker, B. Dowell, A. Milliet, M. Skinner – Returning

A. Jetter, M. Wofford, M. Brannan – Competing level 10 and will probably go to NCAA.

B. Jay, B. Sloan – Competing NCAA

S. Finnegan, G. McLaughlin, B. Brown – I don’t know what they’re doing.

R. Bross, A. Sacramone, A. Li, N. Liukin – Retired

The End of Worlds as We Know It?

June 4, 2013

Bruno is up to something again. He’s talking about a new system for qualifying to the Olympics which will be tested this quad and take effect in 2017 so athletes can qualify to the 2020 Olympics. I have to comment on this gem:

The new calendar and formats are then scheduled to come into force permanently from January 1, 2017.

Permanently!! For real? Since when has the FIG done anything permanently? They make rules and change them five seconds later.

Anyway, there’s something else about this whole thing.

The new system should allow athletes participating in continental competitions to qualify directly for the World Championships or the Olympic Games, the same as athletes competing at World Cup events, thus raising the status of these competitions. Lastly, we plan to adopt a competition calendar that is structured in such a way that recognises the universal importance of the Olympics.

He’s not just talking about qualifying to the Olympics. He’s talking about qualifying to World Championships. I’m not aware of any qualifying process to Worlds right now. So far as I know, Federations pay their FIG fees, choose their own athletes, and go. That’s it. The FIG has been bitching about Worlds being too large forever. This could be it. The end of the open worlds system.

And what’s this about structuring the calendar to recognise the universal importance of the Olympics? Doesn’t everybody already know that? Maybe it’s code for ‘Having Worlds three times per quad has got to stop’? Maybe that’s the underlying reason for increasing the qualifying opportunities from Continental and World Cup competitions. The FIG might be moving to chack Worlds. Possibly the mid quad worlds will go away. The FIG created a situation where this worlds has become gigantic. It’s the first step in qualifying for the Olympics and it’s now the only worlds that all FIG federations can send a team to. The post-Olympic Worlds has no team event and the pre-Olympic worlds is only open to teams that qualified at the mid-quad worlds.

What the fuck is Bruno up to?

Some folks are talking about how they hope more top gymnasts get a chance to go the Olympics, squeezing out those pesky non-top gymnasts who get to go instead. If that happens, I just see more scandal. The FIG can’t seem to bring itself to make the judges act right. Squeeze out all the second tier gymnasts and let the top gymnasts go head to head, that just means the judges will have more scores to box. You might as well decide the medals by shooting dice.

You also might as well just make a new compulsory and call it a day. One thing that those second tier gymnasts might bring to the competition is the fact that they’re less likely to be doing the same elements as the top gymnasts, thus bringing some variety to the competition.

Tired. Chicken Little-ing is very draining.

One Ad, One Back Hip Circle

June 2, 2013

AARP, the American Old Folks Union or whatever that really stands for, had a gymnastics themed ad. I want to know why they’re working out in the dark.

I also want to know why Coach Rick has declared that it’s impossible to do a back hip circle with straight arms on beam. He’s ticked because a gymnast showed a new combo in prelims of a meet but during finals left off the back hip circle at the end because she was told the enormous bend in her arms was a big deduction. In defense of the gymnast, and creativity in general, he declares the judges to be unreasonable since according to him the BHC is impossible to do with straight arms on beam. He wants to see some video of a gymnast doing it with straight arms. Well, I say just because something hasn’t been done, doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Any video of BHCs with bent arms is just proof that those gymnasts chose to do the skill with bent arms.

As far as whether it’s possible to do a Back Hip Circle on beam with straight arms or not. It seems like it should be possible since technically, you don’t have to circle around at the hip during a back hip circle. Those cray cray judges seem to be looking for something similar to what they see on bars. I don’t think this is wrong. I bet that Ariel Crawford could do a back hip circle on beam with much straighter arms – if that’s what her goal was. Same as with the Chinese gymnasts who do those crap toe catches solely because their coaches aren’t helping them to do better ones.

Edit: To add a comma to the title.