Things Are Happening – November 2, 2021

A. Convoluted Swiss Nonsense

Even though we’ve entered the post-Olympics, post-worlds stupor, there’s actually still a fair amount of gymnastics happening over the next couple months what with the Voronin Cup and the junior Pan American Games and the usual competitions in France and Belgium. This week is marked by the annual Convoluted Swiss Nonsense meets, with the Arthur Gander Memorial on the 3rd and the Swiss Cup on the 7th.

For the uninitiated, these meets welcome mixed pair teams from around the world to compete select apparatuses in various rounds to try to crown a winner. At the Arthur Gander, the men and women compete individually. In the first round, the women select two events to compete and the men select three events, with the top 6 gymnasts in each division advancing to the final round. In the final round, they must compete an additional routine (not one of the apparatuses they already competed) to determine the overall winner. At least, that’s the usual format. Last time around, they all just competed all their intended routines on their chosen events at the same time. Whatever.

The Swiss Cup, meanwhile, is like, “That’s a dumb format, get a load of this multi-paragraph system.” At the Swiss Cup, the 10 mixed pairs compete as teams instead of individually. In the first round, everyone competes a single routine, and the two weakest teams are eliminated. In the next round, everyone on the remaining 8 teams competes another routine on a different apparatus. The scores from each of the first two rounds are combined, and the top 4 teams then advance to the semifinal bracket.

In the semifinals, the teams go head-to-head with everyone competing a routine on a third different event. For this round, all the scores are wiped, so only the semifinal results decide which teams advance to the final. In the final, the athletes on the two remaining teams compete a fourth routine, but this time, they are allowed to repeat an apparatus that they already competed, and only the final-round scores decide the winner. 

The key strategic consideration at the Swiss Cup is what event to save for the semifinals. You need to score well enough on your first two events combined to make sure you’re in the top 4, but then you also have to save a good enough event for the semifinals to get you into the final on that score alone. So, needless to say, this is weird and pointless and I love it.

The team of Melnikova/Nagornyy (because Melnikova doesn’t need a break or anything) will headline each event, with Giorgia Villa, Ilia Kovtun, Yul Moldauer, and Ahmet Onder also gracing us with their presence at both. Kim Bui will compete at the Swiss Cup, and Moldauer will be joined by Ciena Alipio at Arthur Gander and Olivia Greaves at the Swiss Cup.

The Swiss Cup will be broadcast on SRF Zwei starting at 12:45 CET on the 7th if you have a VPN set to Switzerland.

B. NCAA is coming

The season (I know it’s a college sports thing just to call it “season” instead of “the season,” but kill me please) starts in about two months, which counts as soon and means preview season is upon us. Deal with it.

We’re still waiting on some schedule stragglers, like Oklahoma cough cough cough, but enough teams have released their slates that I have made the 2022 master schedule and added it to the menu bar at the top. Here’s a quick look at the highlights, starting with opening day on Wednesday, January 5th and ending with the national championship on April 16th:

2022 NCAA Schedule Abridged

Wednesday, January 5
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT Kentucky @ Arizona State
Thursday, January 6
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT Georgia @ Michigan
Friday, January 7
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT BEST OF UTAH: Utah, BYU, Southern Utah, Utah State
Saturday, January 8
9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT COLLEGIATE CHALLENGE: Cal, UCLA, Arizona State, Oregon State, Arizona, Washington
Sunday, January 9
TBD Alabama @ Oklahoma
Friday, January 14
9:30pm ET/6:30pm PT Oklahoma @ Utah
Saturday, January 15
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT Arizona State @ Michigan
Sunday, January 16
3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT Alabama @ Florida
5:00pm ET/2:00pm PT Stanford @ Cal
Monday, January 17
3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT UCLA @ Minnesota
Friday, January 21
6:00pm ET/3:00pm PT Florida @ Georgia
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT Arizona State @ Utah
Monday, January 24
8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT Michigan @ Minnesota
Friday, January 28
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT LSU @ Georgia
8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT Arkansas @ Florida
TBD Alabama @ Auburn
Sunday, January 30
TBD Denver @ Oklahoma
Friday, February 4
10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT Utah @ UCLA
10:00pm ET/7:00pm PT Cal @ Stanford
Saturday, February 5
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT Auburn @ LSU
Friday, February 11
6:00pm ET/3:00pm PT LSU @ Florida
TBD Georgia @ Alabama
Saturday, February 12
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT Utah @ Cal
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT Arizona State @ Arizona
Friday, February 18
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT BIG FIVE: Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio State, Maryland
8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT Oregon State @ Utah
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT Alabama @ LSU
Saturday, February 19
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT BIG FIVE: Minnesota, Nebraska, Michigan State, Rutgers, Penn State
8:00pm ET/5:00pm PT METROPLEX: Oklahoma, Denver, Washington, Stanford
Sunday. February 20
5:00pm ET/2:00pm PT UCLA @ Arizona State
Friday, February 25
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT Oklahoma @ Florida
TBD Georgia @ Arkansas
Saturday, February 26
3:30pm ET/12:30pm PT Michigan @ Nebraska
Sunday, February 27
1:00pm ET/10:00am PT NC State, Temple @ George Washington
7:00pm ET/4:00pm PT Cal @ Arizona State
Friday, March 4
7:30pm ET/4:30pm PT Iowa @ Iowa State
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT Michigan @ Oklahoma
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT Minnesota @ Utah
TBD Arkansas @ Alabama
Sunday, March 6
2:00pm ET/11:00am PT Elevate the Stage: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Auburn
3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT Cal @ UCLA
Friday, March 11
8:30pm ET/5:30pm PT Utah @ LSU
9:00pm ET/6:00pm PT Oklahoma, Boise State @ Arizona State
Saturday, March 12
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT Auburn, West Virginia @ Michigan
Sunday, March 13
3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT Iowa @ Cal
4:00pm ET/1:00pm PT Arkansas, Oregon State, Nebraska @ Denver
Saturday, March 19
All Day Conference Championships
Wednesday, March 30
All Day Regional Play-Ins
Thursday, March 31
All Day Regional Semifinals
Saturday, April 2
All Day Regional Finals
Thursday, April 14
TBD National Semifinal #1
TBD National Semifinal #2
Saturday, April 16
TBD National Team Final