The Gymnastics McLaughlin Group #7

This week it’s all about the balance beam, Katelyn Ohashi’s 6.9 D-Score, her piked full-in dismount and the question: How do you feel about modifying the balance beam (making the end wider)?

Apparently not everyone liked the idea. Here’s what I had to say.

First, it looks really strange and somehow malformed. Second, gymnasts could do harder tricks and that’s why they would have to do harder tricks — double backs would certainly be downgraded. Third, it would have to be forbidden to step or land on this part of the beam during a routine (except for the dismount). Fourth, maybe we would see triple backs or quadruple twists in competition. Fifth, vault, floor and the uneven bars all changed a lot in the past, only the good old beam is still the same — so, yeah, let’s give it a try, maybe starting the experiment after the 2012 Olympics?!

But there’s one thing I would like to add: The argument, it would be safer for gymnasts to have a wider end of the beam, is not very convincing. In the last years, I can think of only one gymnast who fell on the dismount because she didn’t get the feet on the beam – Anja Brinker (ECh 2007, AA). By the way, it would be also interesting to check, if gymnasts fall more often on the UB dismount, FX dismount or BB dismount. So, if the beam would be modified, it would be only because we want to see more difficult dismounts. Rethinking the whole thing, I’m not sure if that’s what I really want…

Read the whole discussion at Gymnastics Examiner!

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