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?

39 thoughts on “Pandemics Are Happening – March 11, 2020”

    1. Except in the crazy possibility that the US ends up with an all around World Cup spot and a Pan Am spot before the individual world cups are fully completed

      1. This is one complication that I actually kind of hope happens, because I want to see the aftermath.

      2. That could actually be Jade’s ticket to the team of 4…though regardless of her placement I’m pretty sure Tom would find a spot for her.

        This ain’t the USAG of yore. Nothing weird is going to happen re: selection decisions.

  1. Also…Bridgeport?

    I imagine the likes of UCLA, when scheduling senior day, have tons of teams clamoring for that sweet sweet crack. Utah State last year made sense because Amy Smith is a Val protégée….how’d Bridgeport pull this off?

  2. UCLA tweeted an hour ago that they are figuring out the situation for this weekend. It would really be good news for Utah and Michigan if UCLA’s meet is cancelled and can’t improve their RQS but it’s also very unfair. Also I’m so upset about regionals, I live in San Diego and was going to go. But I knew this could happen and didn’t get a hotel room fortunately.

    1. Stanford isn’t scheduled to compete at all.

      Makes sense for the Cardinal to add a meet of crack scoring and do their Pac-12 sisters a favour for Senior Meet day.

      1. Aside from post season championships, Stanford never competes during the week before finals (this week). As much as I would love a Stanford vs. UCLA dual meet for the seniors (Stanford’s NQS), I highly doubt it would happen.

  3. The Ivy League has cancelled all winter post season competition and all spring sports – practice and competition. Competing without fans is better than not having the opportunity to compete at all.

  4. The Olympic qualification is becoming a clusterf**k. Perhaps they should have just stuck with the test event near the time of the Olympics. Perhaps they should hold a pre qualification a week before the Olympics i.e. A test event 🙄

    1. FIG is always a mess, but you can’t very well blame them for not being able to anticipate a pandemic. Surely it would have messed up a test event. Last time it was held in the spring.

      1. I would expect them to have a contingency in place for situations like this. A pandemic isn’t unheard of, it happened 10 years ago. They’ve already had situations where athletes from certain countries have had to miss qualification events.

  5. Ok I know we talk about UCLA… but this senior class!! Kyla and Madison! Gracie and Fish and the Glenn twins and Macie and everyone! Yes I have already been crying as we are never going to see gymnastics from them after this year and now we don’t get to say goodbye! Yes I know Spencer your feelings don’t work, yet there has to be a tweek of say nothing… What is going to happening? Have a senior meet in October?

  6. The NCAA President has just announced: “I have made the decision to conduct our upcoming championship events with only essential staff and limited family attendance.”

    So, here is how “limited family attendance” might work for gymnastics…

    Just say any of these lines to get in to the gymnastics meet as a “UCLA FAMILY MEMBER” / RELATIVE…

    “I’m DNA related to Kyla Ross. You’ve heard of “23 and Me” DNA matching, right? Well, Kyla is ’23’ and I’m the ‘Me’. ”

    “We are from Mars. Our relative from UCLA uses the Marz spelling.”

    “Our favorite tennis player is Andre Agassi…Our relative UCLA’s Emma uses the plural spelling Andres.”

    “I grew up watching ‘Dennis the Menace’ so I’m here for my relative Nia from UCLA.”

    “I’m related to the great American-Irish dancer Michael Flatley…You know–Riverdance, Lord of the Dance, Feet of Flames, and Celtic Tiger Live. So, I’m here for my relative Norah of UCLA.”

    “I once sat in the audience for a taping of the 1990s TV show ‘Frazier’ so I’m sort of related to Margzetta of UCLA.”

    “We are proud to be Chinese Americans directly related to UCLA’s Glenn Twins. Proof? Well…uhhh…it is rather secret because the adoption papers were sealed and all…you know.”

    “We’re from Minnesota, home of the Twins…so the Glenn Twins are like our family”

    “We are the Salmon family. Of course, we are related to UCLA’s Fish.”

    “I use Ben Hogan Golf equipment, so UCLA’s Paige Hogan is like family to me.”

    “We are ‘The Hogan Family’ from the 1980s TV show of the same name, remember? So we are UCLA Paige Hogan’s relatives.”

    “We flew in from Madison Wisconsin, so we are related to UCLA’s Madison Kocian”

    “We’re from Savannah Georgia….related to UCLA’s Savannah Kooyman.”

    “We are the Kramer family from the 1979 movie ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’, so we’re part of UCLA’s Gracie Kramer’s family.”

    “I’m Khloe Kardashian…My relative UCLA’s Lashbrooke uses the Chloe spelling.”

    “We use Kendall High Performance Oil with Liquid Titanium. Our relative UCLA’s Poston uses the Kendal spelling.”

    “Kyla and I both are direct descendants of the famous U.S. flag maker Betsy Ross. If you don’t let me in, then that would be a direct slap in the face not only to Kyla, but to the memory of Betsy Ross and the founders of our great country.”

    “My name is Samantha…So I’m related to UCLA’s Sakti…and to Peszek too if that will help me get into this gymnastics meet.”

    “We drove here in our Mercedes. Our relative UCLA’s Sanchez uses the Mercedez spelling.”

    “Our favorite song is Darling Nikki by Prince. Our relative UCLA’s Shapiro uses the Nicki spelling.”

    “I am Superman, the Man of Steel…UCLA’s Kalyany uses the Steele spelling, but we are related.”

    “We have…or used to have… ‘Abs of Steel’ so we are here for our relative Kalyany Steele of UCLA”

    “We were born in Tokyo like our relative Sara Taubman of UCLA.”

    “We are all from Toronto. Our relative UCLA’s Macy uses the Toronjo spelling.”

    “We are from Southwest Germany…you know…very close relatives of UCLA’s Pauline Tratz.”

    “We have every relative (w)right to be here…you know, UCLA’s Sekai Wright?”

    “We believe in strong borders so we are Wallers…related to UCLA’s Chris of course.”

    “Our being here provides ‘comfort’ to the UCLA team…uhhh…our UCLA relative Kristina uses the Comforte spelling.”

    1. “I’m Maria Caire. Having that name gets you in just about anywhere.”

    2. I know you’re joking, but fans trying to get around the bans or attempting to sneak in would definitely lead to the NCAA just ending the season early.

      Let’s all enjoy whatever meets we can this year from the comfort and safety of home. Plus, you can yell at the judges or throw a pillow at the TV when someone gets a 9.9 on beam with several breaks.

      1. Why… did you write all this? There’s absolutely no reason to think that the NCAA won’t be strict about family attendance, and the jokes are not very funny.

        Except the Maria Caire joke. That was extremely funny.

    3. I’m not a UCLA fan but I laughed my ass off at this. Best thing I’ve read all week. Nice work.

  7. Just cancel the Olympics. The G7 countries can just mail each other medals instead of spending their money on sending the athletes.

    1. That would work, except then I won’t be able to throw stupid themed Olympics-viewing parties 🙁 🙁 🙁 🙁

      Gymnastics is great and all but I’ve also been looking forward to all the other sports too (except swimming… I’ll watch it but omg somehow more boring than even the weird sports).

  8. USAG’s home page is promoting ticket sales for Pan Ams… Like maybe address the public of what gym owners should be doing to help combat this virus or like mention it. My daughter didn’t go to her gym class today as we live in an area with a lot of cases and schools are closed. Not one communication from the gym (a USAG certified gym).
    Thinking of all the gymnasts especially the seniors who won’t have full arenas for their senior nights. And to the World Cup gymnasts who earned their spots at these comps. We support you!

  9. Like everyone here I am upset about the UCLA v. Bridgeport meeting being cancelled. Sadly, this doesn’t surprise me. I live in CT and there have been a few confirmed cases of the Corona Virus here, one case confirmed close to Bridgeport. Yesterday, the governor declared a State of Emergency over this. Many public schools are closing down for cleaning and colleges, like Bridgeport, have been moving their classes online until the beginning of April. Yes, I know it sucks the meet got cancelled, I just hope this adds insight into why Bridgeport, might have had no option but to cancel the meet.

    1. I don’t think anyone is upset with Bridgeport. They likely don’t have the private plane access of some of the power 5 conference teams. Flying across the country on a domestic flight isn’t encouraged and no school wants to put their athletes at risk. It was the right call by Bridgeport.

      1. Yeah, I get that now. It was the right call. Its just a shock over all. I feel for the seniors who just got their career cut short by a month.

  10. I always read the rule for reassigning the AA WC spots as the top 3 teams from worlds meaning USA, RUS, ITA.

    1. And I have read it as USA, CHN, RUS (WAG), because of Qualifications is literally mentioned.

  11. There was a scare tonight with the Nebraska men’s basketball team where the coach was taken to the hospital with flu symptoms and the team was quarantined in the arena for a while before they got the all-clear.

    I’m not sure the NCAA gymnastics postseason will happen at all if this keeps up. The NBA decision was a real game-changer.

    1. >I’m not sure the NCAA gymnastics postseason will happen


      It looks more and more likely that Oklahoma will be named NCAA Champions solely based on their regular season Qualifying Score ranking…with no post-season competitions. So much for the old adage that the regular season isn’t critical and what matters is peaking at post-season…Well, maybe not this year.

      With no post-season, would individual national event champions be similarly named solely based on regular season Qualifying Score?

      And what an odd way for the seniors to finish their gymnastics careers without a post-season (and in some cases, without a senior night/recognition final home meet).

      1. Is there some rule that says they have to name a national champion? I assume it’ll be like MLB in 1994 and there will be no titles awarded.

      2. With no more 2020 NCAA Gymnastics competitions….

        Congratulations to the 2020 NCAA Gymnastics Champions:
        TEAM: Oklahoma, 198.080
        AA: Maggie Nichols, Oklahoma, 39.775
        VAULT: Maggie Nichols, Oklahoma, 9.985
        BARS: Kyla Ross, UCLA, 9.975
        BEAM: Lexy Ramler, Minnesota, 9.975
        FLOOR: Trinity Thomas, Florida, 9.965

  12. NCAA should just cancel it all – all sports, give every senior the option of another year of eligibility for winter/spring sports without any impact on head count. Competing with no fans so changes the dynamic, its almost sadder than getting cancelled. Flattening the curve on this virus with the general non-compliance/self centered ( me included) American mindset will be hard. But the difference is huge in fatality rate. We so assume our medical system can handle it – but while the majority of cases are mild, still 20% need hospitalization and 5% end up in the ICU- Not enough hospital capacity unless you slow down exposure and give some time for vaccines, etc to come online.

    1. I support your idea of giving the seniors a blanket option for another season, no strings attached. I’m a senior college student (not athlete) who just had the rest of my final semester cancelled and it was gutting. I can’t imagine what it would be like for the senior athletes just not to have post seasons or even senior nights.

      (Disclaimer that of course we have to do the best thing to stop the spread, yada yada)

    2. I get the sentiment from a “yay, feelings!” perspective but there’s the slight problem of scholarships — those seniors’ scholarships have been earmarked for incoming freshman. And even if scholarship caps were not a thing, schools can’t just spin extra money out of thin air.

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