improving World Championships

Most people agree on these points:

  • Worlds should be shorter
  • Worlds should be less expensive
  • Worlds should not showcase dangerous skills from gymnasts not at the expected level of competition
  • Smaller, poorer nations should have a chance to compete against China
In 2019 we had medalists from Croatia, Ireland and Philippines, for example. We don’t want to reduce the chances of a future Carlos ‘Caloy’ Yulo having a chance to rise to medal contender.


I’m OK with lower level gymnasts competing Worlds so long as their routines are not dangerous. Recall Sri Lanka’s appearance at Worlds 2003? The audience loved them. Their routines were very basic.


In 2019 Milka Gehani just might qualify for the Tokyo Olympics through the tripartite rule. Worlds 2003 was a step on the long road to Tokyo.


Click PLAY or watch her Beam on YouTube.

To shorten Worlds I’d first cut the Team competition. It would be decided through the qualification round.

IOC and FIG have broad missions. Handing medals to the best of the best is one objective amongst many. Developing sport in Sri Lanka is another.

PROPOSAL – Elite Worlds 

In Canada we have always had two major competitions each year:

  1. Nationals (regional representation, regional development, etc.)
  2. Elite Canada

At Elite Canada only the best of the best qualify. We might have 12 gymnasts from Ontario and only 1 from Nova Scotia, for example.

I’d love to see an FIG sponsored Elite Worlds. Cash prizes. 15 American gymnasts competing Floor, for example.


Cairo World Cup 2020

I was last in Cairo December 2017, surprised at how quickly the sport has advanced for both WAG and MAG in that nation. Aside from the excellent National Training Centre, they have modern private clubs with great facilities.

As we heard much about during Worlds, one of the missions of IOC and FIG is to develop the sport worldwide.

Good move FIG.

Katelyn Ohashi – College athlete remuneration

Katelyn has been one of the most prominent athletes speaking in support of the new California rules to come into effect 2023.

Florida is considering similar legislation. But it might go into effect in 2020.

Click PLAY or watch it on Twitter.


a new award for DIFFICULTY ?!

Bad idea. 😕

I’m be OK with additional awards for Elegance. Or E-score. But rewarding difficulty for the sake of difficulty could be dangerous.

“The gymnast must never attempt to increase the difficulty or the “D” score at the expense of aesthetic and technical execution. …”

Fujitsu 3D computer video analysis UPDATE

Today at Worlds, Fujitsu held a press conference telling us where they are at with the technology.

Former FIG MTC Chair Steve Butcher is our liaison.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

It’s being used at Worlds 2019, but only in case of appeal or ‘blocked score’. Blocked score is when the Superior Jury disagree with the D-panel start score.

MAG Vault, Rings, Pommels and WAG Vault.

WAG Beam looks near ready but is not being used here.

Steve said it had been used on Rings already and that judges had found it valuable.

IOC has not approved it for use at the Tokyo Olympics but FIG and Fujitsu plan to roll it out increasingly through to the 2024 Olympics.

I’m most excited about it being used by coaches in the Gym. Fujitsu will offer it to National Training Centres (or equivalent) worldwide.


Gymnastics and negative social media

some FANS are FANatics.

Fans experience euphoria during moments when play is going well for their team, and stress when play is going against their team. This tension between the two emotions generates an unusual sense of pleasure or heightened sensations. …

The more fans a sport has, the greater the number of haters, people who mostly participate in negative ways.

The sport of Figure Skating, I believe, has more haters than Gymnastics. Hiking far fewer. 

We have a lot of young athletes, so it’s even more important to protect. 

Best strategy is to BLOCK trolls when you first encounter them. Don’t engage — that’s what they want. Live in a social media bubble of people you like and respect. Ask your athletes to do the same.

When I think of FANatics I recall the 1996 film where Robert De Niro (the fan) is obsessed with baseball player Wesley Snipes.

Fandom to the extreme.

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.

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SUPPORT these amazing gymnasts

FANS are FANatics. In every sport.

They are passionate. I get it.

And I want more Gymnastics FANS, not fewer.

That said, lets try to keep your comments on social media as positive as possible. This sport is incredibly difficult.

#respect athletes, coaches, parents and officials. 

Click PLAY or watch Nick Ruddock on YouTube.

Fujitsu video analysis at Worlds

For the first time, the system will be officially used in an FIG competition as an additional tool for confirming difficulty scores on four apparatus.

Specifically, the superior jury – the judges who oversee the competitions – will have the possibility of recourse to the judging support system to review gymnasts’ exercises in cases of inquiry or blocked scores on the Pommel Horse, Still Rings, men’s Vault and women’s Vault. …

The Fujitsu support system will be used by the superior jury in addition to the Instant Replay and Control System (IRCOS), the video replay system used by the FIG in Artistic Gymnastics since the 2005 World Championships. Both systems present significant benefits for the review of gymnasts’ exercises. …

The FIG sees significant potential in the technology developed by Fujitsu, not only in the matter of judging, but also in the future for education, coaching and training. The data provided might help to enhance gymnasts’ movements or correct body posture, and thus aid in lowering the risk of injuries.


A Press Conference is scheduled later in the week.

Steve Butcher confirms that the time-of-hold technology used several times in the past is part of the Rings software. Judges won’t see that data here unless a routine is appealed.

Fujitsu is scanning gymnasts in several poses in advance of the competition. This is being done in a public place with plenty of people around. No doubt they are worried about privacy and transparency.

Gymnasts can opt out, if they choose.