The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Pandemics Are Happening – March 11, 2020

So, lots has developed today, and I’m here to work through it. Or at least…list it. Most important is the realization that I care more about having gymnastics to watch than I do about the public health. I’m not saying that’s good or right, but still…

Item #1: Stuttgart World Cup is canceled

Stuttgart was scheduled for March 21-22 and was to be the 2nd of the 4 all-around world cups in that qualification series.

The FIG does have a note in the rules that if only 3 events in the series are held instead of 4, then everything goes on as planned with those 3 meets counting. But it’s realllly tough to imagine Birmingham and Tokyo going ahead at this point. So then we get into the weeds of what happens with those Olympic qualification spots if the all-around series doesn’t…exist.

Surprisingly, there’s actually a provision in the qualification procedures should something exactly like this happen and the all-around world cups get canceled.

Unsurprisingly, the provision is confusing and bizarre.

It says, “Should the 2020 Individual All-Around World Cup Series not be held, the unused quota places will be reallocated to the next highest ranked eligible NOC based on the team ranking results of qualifications of the 2019 World Championships.”

Uh…but wait. What does that…mean?

My initial reading of that would indicate that the teams ranked 13, 14, and 15 at worlds would suddenly get extra Olympic spots. That also makes semi-zero sense. Those countries weren’t even (really) competing to get spots from the all-around world cups to begin with. And then they just get them? OK?

For the women, that would give extra spots Australia, Brazil, and Ukraine (which would thankfully solve the problem of Rebeca Andrade and Anastasia Bachynska not qualifying to the Olympics), and for the men, that would give extra spots to Italy, France, and Turkey.

Those would be second Olympic spots for Australia, Brazil, and Ukraine WAGs, a third Olympic spot for Italy MAG (Edalli and Lodadio already in), and a fourth Olympic spot for France MAG (Frasca, Air Said, and Tommasone already in) and Turkey MAG (Onder, Arican, and Colak already in).

And no, teams qualifying four individuals are not eligible to get a team score even though they would have the same number of athletes as those nations with teams.

It seems weird, though, doesn’t it? There are going to be some countries PISSSSSSEDDDD at not having a +1 Olympic opportunity they were counting on.

I’m sure we’ll get clarification from the FIG about this in a timely BAHAHAHAHAHA.

Item #2: Doha World Cup is rescheduled to June 3-6

After previously announcing that the event would be held without fans, Doha has now announced that the final apparatus world cup in the series will be pushed to June (originally scheduled for March 18-21).

The original procedures stated that the Olympic qualification process had to be completed by the 5th of June, but this is…close? So theoretically the Doha event could still take place in June and influence apparatus world cup qualification for those spots that are still in doubt after Baku (which, as far as we know, is still taking place this week—I mean the athletes are already there and qualification is supposed to start in like 12 hours).

But because 6 apparatus events have already been held with a 7th to come, however, the FIG has more leeway here just to say “well, we held most of the series, so those are the spots bye.”

If Doha does happen and does remain part of the Olympic qualification procedure, it would really screw up the chronological awarding of spots though…

And all this after we finally got confirmation that the FIG is fully redistributing apparatus world cup points from all athletes who qualified to the Olympics from worlds.

Item #3: NCAA

Bridgeport will not be traveling to UCLA this weekend for what was supposed to be a senior day dual meet between the two. UCLA has also announced that sporting events will be held without spectators until April 10, which includes both this meet and the UCLA regional.

We’re still waiting to find out what’s going to happen with this weekend’s competition but…you have no opponent? How is this not going to be canceled?

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