Category Archives: Stuff and Nonsense

Things Are Happening – September 22, 2021

This was supposed to be about the nominative rosters for worlds, but since the FIG hasn’t released them yet following the September 20th deadline (tick tock, enemy), here are some notes on various things.

A. Worlds teams we do have

Following two worlds trials, the Dutch women’s team has been named as Vera Van Pol, Sanne Veerman, Naomi Visser, and Elze Geurts. While most of the team seemed straightforward based on the trials, there was some concern over whether Geurts—who posted the top AA score back at the first Olympic trial but didn’t make the team—would be named since she had to withdraw from the second worlds trial midway through, but she will appear at worlds. “So now you can all shut up about it,” said the Netherlands.

Canada’s women’s team will be Rose Woo, Cassie Lee, Laurie Denommee, and Audrey Rousseau. It’s nice to see Rose Woo on the team as she had a good argument for the Olympic team had Canada elected to focus on team score rather than event prospects. On the men’s team, look for Felix Dolci to do some actual things among this field at worlds.

France will send three women to worlds: Coline Devillard, Carolann Heduit, and Celia Serber. This is a prime opportunity for Devillard to challenge for a worlds medal on the one occasion each quad when she doesn’t get left off the squad because because she can’t contribute other events to a team score.

B. Chinese National Games

We’re currently in the midst of Chinese National Games. Qualification and team finals have been completed, with AA and event finals still to come later this week.

Returning to the all-around after not being able to compete floor (or successfully compete her DTY) at the Olympics, Ou Yushan won qualification, followed closely by Wei Xiaoyuan and Lu Yufei. Tang Xijing qualified in 5th—though did go on to have the highest AA score of anyone in the team final, so keep an eye on that. It was 2023 senior Qiu Qiyuan who qualified ahead of Tang in 4th, establishing herself as this fall’s exciting new junior who has never breathed pollution and hasn’t ruined your life yet.

Ou Yushan also featured on the Guangdong team that cruised to the title, though she struggled in the TF and it was down to Luo Rui to carry the province with her 55 in the all-around.

Both Wei Xiaoyuan and Luo Rui appear on China’s nominative roster for worlds, along with Li Shijia who qualified into the beam final in first place in her return from injury, and Qi Qi. So basically all the next gymnasts in line after the Olympic team.

The women’s AA will be at 3:00am ET/12:00am PT on Friday morning for those of us in the US, with event finals following the next two days and beginning at 2:30am ET/11:30pm PT. Streaming is here.

On the men’s side, Zhang Boheng has enjoyed a “leave THIS off the Olympic team, you turd-turtles” competition so far and is establishing himself as a medal favorite in the AA for worlds.

C. Romania

At Romanian Nationals, 2023 senior Amalia Puflea and 2022 senior Ana Maria Barbosu dominated proceedings with real competitive grown-up scores. Barbosu got a 14.000 on bars both days of competition. Bars. That is all.

D. NCAA changes

At its annual “let’s try to fix things, but not all of them, and not that well” meeting, the NCAA women’s committee resolved to add a rest day to the schedule for regionals and nationals. Now, the first and second rounds at regionals will be Wednesday-Thursday, with the regional final on Saturday. At nationals, the semifinals will be on Thursday, with the championship on Saturday.

This will lead to more stupid mid-week meets at terrible times that no one can watch even though it’s postseason elimination, but it’s a necessary change in the interest of athlete non-death. Next, we have to get them to hold the regional meets at better and staggered times instead of all at once (and establish that postseason meets can be held on Sundays, but don’t hold your breath for that one).

The committee has also added a new two-minute medical evaluation period if a gymnast gets injured mid-routine, after which they may still resume their routine if deemed able. Currently, athletes only have the fall-remount time on bars and beam to figure out if they still have a foot or not, and there is no mechanism to evaluate an injury on floor and still continue (if you stop and the trainer comes out, your routine is done). So this is better. Though I’m sure still full of problems. Is two minutes enough? Who’s getting the final word as to whether the two minutes can be invoked or not? How many minutes are you allowing for the inevitable music restart problems after you stop a floor routine?

Things Are Happening – September 7, 2021

A. Russian worlds teams

Today, Valentina stood atop a bell tower and yelled the names of the worlds team members. It appears some degree of sanity has prevailed with Dalaloyan (as well as Nagornyy and Belyavskiy) not in fact attempting to compete at worlds next month. Only Poliashov from the men’s Olympic squad will be competing, while Melnikova and Urazova from the women’s squad will be there.

Urazova is not slated to do the all-around and will compete only select events along with Yana Vorona. I assume you’d give Vorona a chance to do beam, while you’d want Urazova on bars. The other team members, Melnikova and Maria Minaeva, will go on all four, presenting another excellent chance for an all-around medal and possible victory for Melnikova here.

B. “Please don’t sue us about the Olympics, here you can go to worlds”

Only Becky Downie, Georgia-Mae Fenton, Taeja James, and Ruby Stacey competed at the British worlds trials, while Claudia Fragapane was in action winning the floor title at Koper. A number of competitions are taken into account for selection, so the Olympians didn’t have to compete here, though Kinsella has ruled herself out with an ankle injury and Amelie Morgan is at Utah.

Continue reading Things Are Happening – September 7, 2021

Things Are Happening — August 20, 2021

A. Touch Warmup

The FIG House of Burgesses met this week in its fortress at the bottom of the ocean to come to several conclusions, the most important of which was the restoration of a touch warmup for event finals after everyone pointed out again during the Olympics how stupid not having one was. Hooray for pointing out stupid things!

It’s honestly a shockingly prompt reaction. I mean, sure, we’ve been complaining about this for 20 years, but 20 years is also pretty prompt for the FIG. I expected a working committee to be created to discuss the possibility of discussing restoring a touch warmup for the 2028 quad.

The absence of a touch warmup for EF was an unsafe dumbsie that also curtailed innovation with no real purpose, advantage, or explanation that withstood even the most basic logic test. It was just one of those weird things gymnastics did where everyone was like, “Bwelp, that’s how we do it.” Like straddling each other’s butts in height order to receive awards, or the concept of pommel horse.

B. Qualification Complication: Part Deux

The FIG meeting also approved some meet locations. The 2022 Apparatus World Cups for February and March will be in Cottbus, Baku, Cairo, and Doha, with Challenge Cups in Varna, Mersin. Osijek, Paris, and Szombathely.

The Challenge Cups are just for getting prize money for doing gymnastics, but starting in 2022 the four Apparatus World Cups will have additional world championships qualification implications for individuals. The 8 best gymnasts on each apparatus who don’t ultimately qualify to the world championship through another means will get a spot at worlds based on their performances at those four Apparatus World Cups.

Re: qualifying to the world championship through another means. In 2022, teams and all-arounders will have to qualify to worlds via the continental championships. Each continent is allocated a specific number of teams and all-around individuals that can qualify to worlds based on the gymnastics strength of that particular continent. Gymnasts who don’t end up qualifying through the continental championships with a team or as all-arounders can lean on their Apparatus World Cup performances to try to get a spot at worlds. Because just when you thought we were done with that Olympic qualification process…

These are the qualification quotas for 2022:

Women’s TeamWomen’s AAMen’s TeamMen’s AA
Host Country0101

There are plenty of issues that will crop up with this system in terms of stronger teams not qualifying while weaker teams do because of the continent they’re from, so just…get ready to have a Twitter argument about that next year. But the idea here is to make the continental championships matter a bit more, which is a solid aim, especially in the Americas where the US has always treated Pan-American competitions as a real afterthought.

Ostensibly, having a qualification system is supposed to shorten worlds to make it a little more manageable, as well as establish a minimum standard in order to qualify. It’s unusual that current gymnastics world championships have no official qualification standard, which means I—me—would legitimately be allowed to enter as long as I had enough money to hoodwink a poor unsuspecting country with no gymnastics program to let me represent them. You should at least need to have…maybe done a scored routine before, right?

That’s why I like the idea of a qualification pipeline. You have fully open events like continental championships and world cups that serve the purpose of giving competition experience and opportunities to gymnasts from a whole variety of countries, and then the gymnasts who come out of this crucible qualify to the world championship. But I have my doubts about how all of this will actually work.

There are just so many quota places available that…how much would this even change? If you’re just shoving the same number of gymnasts into fewer days of qualification because you want the event to be shorter…is that better? Or is that worse? Because it seems like it might be worse?

C. Speaking of World Cups

Just after I said last time that no rosters had been released for the Koper and Mersin Challenge Cups even though the registration deadline had long since passed…rosters were released for Koper and Mersin!

The fields are actually pretty hearty, especially in Koper, with even some Olympians already planning to check back in—including Larisa Iordache, who is on the list for Mersin. There’s also a nice mix of gymnasts I’ve never heard of on these lists, as it should be for an event right after the Olympics. Let the next quad begin! Koper event finals begin on September 4th, which should be the next closest gymnastics-watching opportunity.

Things Are Happening – August 17, 2021

Are they though? Are they really happening? Not much.

A. Meets-ish

As things stand, we’re suddenly two months away from the start of competition at worlds, which are—I guess—still happening since there has been no word to the contrary. The nominative registration deadline is not until September 20th, and thus far only Spain’s women and the New Zealand delegation have withdrawn.

Japan is full steam ahead about it, having already named its teams because Japan and of course it has. The women’s squad will be Murakami, Hatakeda, Hiraiwa, and Ashikawa (so only Sugihara missing from the Olympic team), while the men’s team is Hashimoto, Kaya, Uchimura, Minami, Asato, and Yonekura. Operation All The Medals looks like it’s still on for the men. I’m pleased to see Minami in the group as he could have legitimately been Olympic floor champion had he been on the team.

In other alleged competition news, the Koper and Mersin World Cups remain on the official schedule for September, with Koper slated to start September 2nd and Mersin September 10th, but no information (i.e., registration list) has been published about them whatsoever. If you hold a world challenge cup, but Chusovitina is retired, does it make a sound?


NCAA news is beginning to rumble, but we’re still farrrr away from the season being a thing on the horizon.

First, Konnor McClain has verbally committed to LSU, which would be for the 2024 competition season. As for the very recent Olympians, Britain’s Amelie Morgan has been added to Utah’s team for this season to join McCallum and Eaker in their incoming class, while Marina Gonzalez of Spain will join the team at Barcelona West (Iowa State).

Meanwhile, Jordyn Wieber’s master plan to create UCLA South has entered Phase 3 with the addition of Kyla Ross to the Arkansas coaching staff for next season.

Lost among the Olympics was the news that Oklahoma will be joining the SEC, which is going to be a big old deal, but since it won’t happen until the 2026 gymnastics season, I don’t remotely care yet.

As rosters for the 2022 season start to trickle in, we’re being treated to the usual switchies and swapsies, most notably the news of the now-annual Nebraska exodus, with Chloe Lorange, Danielle Press, and Sarah Hargrove absent from the roster for next season.

In new-program developments, USAG is apparently helping to bring men’s and women’s college gymnastics teams to some 16th-century nunnery called Greenville University.

Yeah, it’s one of these: “The University, guided by the historic church’s understanding of sexuality and marriage as interpreted through Scripture and tradition, believes that God created male and female in God’s own image; that the gift of sex is reserved for marriage between one man and one woman; and members of our community should therefore abstain from premarital, extra marital and same-sex sexual relationships.” Yeesh. You seem full of grace and love.

Little Missy, the only thing you’ll be grinding against is the floor mat before your final pass AS JESUS INTENDED. I mostly feel for the men’s team because presumably they won’t be permitted to do flare work since that’s how the devil gets in.