The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Things Are Happening – December 30, 2016

A. Life is starting

We’re exactly seven days away from the beginning of the NCAA season, meaning that in one week’s time I will have to remember how to live blog things again. Those muscles are really atrophied. I’ll be back doing the normal daily live blogs each weekend of the season, and I’m going to add a running results page for meet week with all the final scores in one place so there’s not so much clicking back and forth and hither and thither and yon.

The first weekend is pretty solid this year, with the very first day giving us Oklahoma/Alabama and Georgia/LSU. Some years, the first day is just like the North Miami School of Chinese Medicine vs. a ditch. So this is better. The full season schedule is here.

The team previews are almost done. 17 down, 4 to go. And then we get to stop previewing things and start reviewing things, stop being optimistic about people’s potential and start being pessimistic about their actual, horrible actions. The whole gaggle of previews is available in the drop-down menu.

Training videos have tapered off with the Christmas break and the season coming so soon, though UCLA did want us to remember Macy Toronjo and that she’s a person who is doing an acro series on beam.

B. Voronin Cup

Russia hasn’t stopped competing for a single second since the end of the Olympics (why are the gymnasts always injured???), but in the shock of all shocks, no one forced Seda Tutkhalyan to pour herself into the Voronin Cup last week and slop around the beam for a second. Instead, the competition acted as an opportunity for Daria Elizarova to pop out of a jack-in-the-box and go, “SURPRISE! Remember this piece?”

Obviously, she’s never going to hit another routine as long as she lives (we’ve met Russia before), but she won the Voronin Cup and good for her. Polina Fedorova finished second with Lilia Akhaimova in third. Gymnasts wearing big-girl pants didn’t attend this meet, but how many of them are actually healthy and still competing right now anyway? One and a half?

Sadly for Elizarova, her thunder was stolen by Elena Eremina, who accrued 10 bonus points in her junior-with-promise duel against Ilyankova by performing a Nabieva + Pak combination.

It’s not bad. The G-valued Nabieva is worth two tenths more than the piked version, so if she continues performing it at about this level, it might actually be close to worth it. The bigger concern may be her commitment to taking after Nabieva in other areas as well, like leg form.

The remaining significant news coming out of the meet concerns Anastasia Sidorova and the fact that she is from Georgia, starting recently. Well, she wasn’t making any teams when she was Russian, so…

C. Fantasy Gym

Drafts are due today. Don’t forget.

D. Season survival kit

Here is the NCAA scoring system in two easy pages. PAGE ONE. PAGE TWO.

Now, just forget everything you read and throw that into a fire, and you’ll be ready for the season.

Here are the 2017 vault values:

And if you’re brand new to NCAA gym, I’m here for you. Welcome to the club. You’ll enjoy yourself.

E. OK, so, who’s winning?

F. Beam routine of the week

In honor of the start of the NCAA season next week, let’s remember Miss Casey Jo’s 2010 routine, taking full advantage of the opportunity for originality in the NCAA code.


%d bloggers like this: