controversy over NCAA Championships

UPDATE: As expected, the outcry (see below) led to a sudden flip flop of NCAA policy. The training sessions will be open to spectators, as usual.

==== original post April 17th

Coaches, judges and fans agree that the gym should be open.

Why would NCAA officials want to lock down the gym before Women’s NCAA Championships?

Watching gymnasts go through their workouts the day before the NCAA Gymnastics Championships start is as much of a tradition for gymnastics fans as the public workout sessions are for college basketball fans who show up early to watch teams practice during the NCAA Tournament.

However, Utah officials learned Monday they might have to lock fans out of the Huntsman Center on April 25 when teams practice the day before the NCAA Championships start.

NCAA officials are worried judges might watch, too, and their observations could affect their scoring. NCAA officials told Utah coach Greg Marsden they would decide Wednesday, but just the thought of turning away fans has Marsden and others fuming. …

“Our sport has always been about encouraging fans to be involved, and this is anti-conducive to that,” said Marsden, who had arranged for youth groups and others to attend the free practices. “To do it is just plain wrong. There is no reason for it to be closed.”

… the president of the National Association of Women’s Gymnastics Judges, agreed with Marsden and bristled at the notion judges couldn’t be trusted to abide by rules.

“If they don’t want judges watching, they should just send an e-mail to the 17 judges involved and say don’t watch,” she said. “To be a judge, you have to be honest, ethical and trusted to begin with. We’re hired to enforce rules. It would be a shame to do this because it’s going to hurt fans.

Salt Lake Tribune – UTAH GYMNASTICS: Coaches supporting open final practices

you want that gym in PINK?

Many loved the red and white gym in the movie Stick It.

But check out the new South Durham Gymnastics Club facility in the UK:


… based at Spennymoor Leisure Centre – Co. Durham – Uk and is led by Nicola Preston, Rachael Wright and a great team of coaches who have progressively led the club through the ranks to become one of the most successful in Great Britain.

After a successful bid to Sport England and with the support and the additional funding from Sedgefield Borough Council and the private sector, a new facility has been built. The Club is proud to have one of the best training facilities in the country. The club has been training in their new facility since April 2006 and has gone from strength to strength. …

The club was voted North club of the year 2005 and was voted WTC club of the year 2006. The club has strong links through the PDM with all local schools in the area. Working in conjunction with the Sedgefield Sport Coordinators Programme, all Year 1 pupils in 30 Primary Schools are assessed annually to identify their natural aptitude for gymnastics. Support is offered to teachers with gymnastics delivery and top gymnasts from the club will also visit school assemblies to motivate and enthuse the youngsters.

South Durham Gymnastics

Thanks Wendy.

new video – Dive Rolls

It pains me to see gymnasts still piking on the preflight of vaults.

I always send them back to preflight drills. And dive rolls.

This skill is often well taught by boys coaches, neglected by those coaching girls.

Gymnastics_Dive-Rolls-TB-JW.jpgI was surprised and happy to see a dedicated video released. Especially by such distinguished clinicians as Tammy Biggs and Judy Wills Cline.

The dive roll is one of the most basic skills in gymnastics. It is also very complex and difficult to perform well with a tremendous amount of amplitude.

Building Better Dive Rolls, will teach all the important elements necessary to help you do a great dive roll. Tammy and Judy cover everything from the run, hurdle, punch, body positions on take off, in the air and during the roll. They explain how these elements all interrelate and will improve your ability to perform other skills on tumbling, vaulting and beam.

The DVD includes demonstrations of great drills and the complete dive roll.

Gym Smarts provides a preview video clip.

The Rise of Women’s College Gymnastics

I was very impressed with the Men’s NCAA Championships.

The women’s meet is going to be even crazier.

Some teams draw over 10,000 spectators to regular dual meets. What’s going to happen in Salt Lake City at Championships?

And why is gymnastics so popular in the USA?

To find out I need to read this new book:

Georgia gymnastics coach Suzanne Yoculan’s first book is on the shelves! “Perfect 10: The UGA Gym Dogs & the Rise of Women’s College Gymnastics in America” … chronicles the ascent of women’s college gymnastics from the first NCAA Championship in 1982 to the present.

Gymbrooke Sports News » Perfect 10: The UGA GymDogs and the Rise of Women’s College Gymnastics in America

Perfect 10

Perfect 10

Women’s NCAA Gymnastics Championships

Final qualifying meets finished this weekend.

The field is set! …

The championships will be held at the University of Utah on April 26-28.

Teams qualifying to the championships:

* Stanford
* Utah
* Nebraska
* Georgia
* Denver University
* Alabama
* Oklahoma
* Florida
* Michigan

Sports Girls Play » NCAA National Championships for Womens Gymnastics

Host UTAH qualified as a team, for the record 32nd time.

why parents drive to Rec gymnastics

I’ve mentioned before that Emma loves gymnastics. Since moving to Farmington, she’s been taking a gymnastics class at the local Y. Yesterday, I went to observe the last class of Rollers II–whatever that means–and snapped a few photos (many, many more here).

They started with stretches. Emma held her bridge for more than one minute–all the while staring at me.

Emma Loves Gymnastics « The Nino File


NCAA champions: Sender, Ebrahimi, McNeill, Horton

This is the final LIVE report from this terrific meet. Men’s NCAA is alive and thriving. I am impressed.

CONGRATULATIONS to David Sender tied with Pejman Ebrahimi (V), Tim McNeill (PB) and Jonathan Horton (HB),

Both Horton and McNeill are two event champions. Well deserved!


Parallel Bars
Horizontal Bar

Horizontal Bar was by far the weakest event. It was nice to see Horton do a routine with 3 big releases.

Horton photo – ESPN

host PENN STATE wins 2007 NCAA

We Are … Penn State.


It was an extremely competitive meet. Teams started shaky and gained momentum as the night progressed.

The Penn State men’s gymnastics team won its NCAA-record 12th national championship Friday evening at home in Rec Hall in epic, come-from-behind fashion, thrilling a partisan blue-and-white clad crowd of 2,409. The Nittany Lions posted a season high-score of 221.000 to secure 16-year head coach Randy Jepson’s third team title.

“…I am so thrilled for our guys,” said Jepson. “We had a goal at the beginning of the season and they came through with flying colors. They never let down. I am really proud of Matt Cohen and the rest of the group…”

Penn State edged out powerhouse Oklahoma (220.200) for the crown, depriving the Sooners of their third consecutive national championship and fourth in five years.

“…I am unbelievably happy to closeout my career at Penn State by winning a national title at home,” said senior captain and Nissen-Emery Award winner Matt Cohen. “So this is the sweetest way to go out. I am so proud of my coach Randy and my teammates.”

National Champions! Nittany Lions Capture 12th National Collegiate Men’s Gymnastics Championship – PSU