Monday, March 2, 2009

And While We're on the Subject...

Of College Gymnastics





I have some questions about this NCAA business and I am hoping you guys will help.

So here goes.

1. What does it mean to get an 'All-American' or be an "All-American" on something?

2. What does a being described as a walk-on gymnast mean, as in "she was the only walk on gymnast competing in the all-around in her freshman year"?
A completely uneducated guess would be that the 'she' was a gymnast who was going to go to the college already, without a scholarship, then joined the team? 

3. Also, Do the teams have captains?  Like proper, official captains?  If so, do they vote on them or does the coach pick them? 

4. And is there a limit to how many international competitors can be recruited onto a team?  Like, could LSU start importing the entire Romanian team after each quad as their freshman recruits?   I mean, not that they would- just asking!

5. Now, this isn't strictly NCAA related, and is totally going to show off my lack of gymnastics technical know-how, but I have some questions and concerns about Corey Hartung's tuck position.  



I noticed that at the 2006 Super six that Hartung was doing a 1.5 twist tucked Yurchenko, as well as doing a bit of tucking in her floor routine tumbling and that her tuck position is very open.  Is it a requirement of a tuck that it be very closed, as in knees to chest, or do the legs just have to be bent to be rated as a tucked trick?
I mean I think the girl has devilishly good form usually and it is really just that I am curious, seeing as I am sure being more open bodied as you flip would make it more difficult to turn quickly anyway.


 
So basically, it is considered bad form to have your knees spread out, is being spread out the other way considered that too? 

I think that's it.  For now.  Thanks to anyone willing to answer these probably very stoopid questions, but i am neither college nor technically savvy and would be ever so grateful for your answers!

19 comments:

  1. "All American" is kind of like just saying somebody's American, but I guess it also means that the person also has American parents.

    They could get some exports if they wanted too. They could entice them with sports scholarships. I know that the team with the best streak in NCAA history, Trinity College's (in Hartford, Connecticut) squash team, uses a lot of foreign squash players. And they're a Division III school so they can't even give out sports scholarships. Many of their players from poorer countries use financial aid.

    I've never read the NCAA code of points, but there's no way that could have been a well performed tuck.

    I hope that answers some questions.

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  2. All-American is an honors team. It spans across sports and is awarded to amateur athletes in high school and college. They select outstanding athletes to be on a honorary team consisting of athletes in their sport. The number of people selected to an All-American team depends on the sport. It also exists on smaller levels, as in All-State and All-region, so All-American is a big honor.

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  3. I don't know the answers to most of the questions, but I might be able to help with the last one.
    You can go to the FIG website and download the code of points, which has the current rules for various body positions. Of course, the NCAA rules may be different.

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  4. 1. idk..sorry
    2. the gymnast was not offered a scholarship to the team so they pay their own tution. The gymnast tried out for the team, made it and may earn a scholarship in the future
    3. i dont think all team have captains, i think the team or the coaches choose captains, Georgia has no captains
    4...im not sure about this one
    5....idk

    i hoped that helped a little, hopefully someone with more knowledge can help out some more

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  5. 1. Being All-American for an individual event means qualifying for an event final at Nationals on that event. For the AA, it means placing top 8 or 12 or something like that in prelims at Nationals.
    2. You got it pretty much right. A gymnast who can't quite earn a scholarship can pay for her own schooling and still compete if the coach agrees. Some walk-ons earn a scholarship eventually if they do well enough.
    3. Some teams have captains, but some don't believe in them (UGA, for example). It just varies from school to school I guess.
    4. I have no idea. Some teams (UCLA comes to mind) typically have more international athletes, but I don't know if there's a limit. I doubt it.
    5. I think a tuck should show a clearer tuck position. Yang Yilin's rudi was a similar issue in her Biejing AA floor I believe. I don't know how judges typically react to that though.

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  6. no kidding, i'm also wondering about this all-american thing for a long time.

    to your other questions:

    a walk-on, indeed means somebody joining the team with no scholarship.

    teams do have captains. for example i know that corey hartung is named as a "tri-captain", meaning sharing the captain title with two others i guess (the other two are melanie sinclair and amanda castillo).

    i don't think there is a limit on international competitors. however i guess it's more expensive to import international players since they wouldn't qualify for in-state tuition. just my guess. and those gymnasts have to pass english tests, which i don't think any romanians or chinese are capable of.

    now about the tucked position, FIG defines it as "·< (less than) 90° hip and knee angle in salto & dance elements." hartung seems to be right on the 90 degree.

    that's all i can answer. no idea about the knee situation.

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  7. 1) All American status for a student athlete is equivalent of say your Aussie Football All Stars. It's a way of saying that this athlete is one of the top in the NCAA in that sport.

    2) Walk on athletes don't have scholarships and were not recruited. They showed up presented whatever credentials they had and fought for a spot on the team in the training camp. I'm not certain what the size limits are for NCAA teams as they seem to vary in size from school to school.

    3) I believe the teams do have captains. Not sure how they are picked.

    4) There are qualifications to which athletes can compete. The athlete must maintain an amateur status and the NCAA will verify that status. It can take a while for foreign students which is what makes this year somewhat of a headache for Olivia Vivian as the NCAA didn't certify her eligibility in a timely fashion and she got a late start. As to an upper limit I don't think there is but I could be very wrong on that.

    5) You'd have to look that up in the NCAA's Code of Points. Try this PDF from the NCAA judges site: http://www.nawgj.org/NCAA_2009_Modifications_final.pdf

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  8. Here's all I know, though I am no NCAA expert, just a big gymn fan.

    "All-American" means a top-8 finish at nationals (The NCAA championships). There is also "Academic All-American" which recognizes a certain high grade point average for an athlete and not usually athletic achievement.

    Walk-on is, in fact, a non-scholarship athlete. They usually end up getting scholarships for their junior & senior years if they prove to be a contributor to the team.

    Coaches will typically elect the captain, though a team vote may be considered.

    Tuck just means bent knees, knees & ankles together, toes pointed. Obviously, the tighter the tuck to your chest, the more efficiently you spin.

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  9. 2. you're right! a walk-on got no scholarship and wasn't recruited, she just got into the school and talked to the coach and got a spot on the team.

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  10. Okay, I know the answers to all of the questions, butsome are a bit difficult for me to explain at the moment so I will start with #2 ant come back with the ones I didn't answer.

    2. A walk-on is a gymnast who joins a collegiate team, despite not having a scholarship. A walk-on still has to try out to make the team, but if they make it, they get none of the financial benefits. In NCAA collegiate gymnastics, there can only be 12 scholarships per team, so any team who has more than 12 gymnasts on the roster are also composed of walk-ons. UCLA has tons of walk-ons this year, and UGA has walk-ons in Lauren Sessler and Lauren Johnson.

    3. Some teams have official captains, but it is not mandated or required. It totally depends on the team. For instance, Utah typically had a tradition on picking a team captain, but for the past 2 years they decided against it. They gymnasts decided that everybody on the team will be leaders, and lead in some way in order to not have too much pressure on one person. It seems to be working for them.
    When a team does decide to have a captain, the method they choose is totally up to them. Often you hear the team voting, or everyone unanimously agreeing that someone should be a captain. Florida is a team that typically have captains.

    4. I don't think there is a limit on how many international gymnast can be on a team. However, NCAA rules mandates that a gymnast must remain an "amateur" athlete and not turn pro. That means that a gymnast during her elite career can not accept money for events she competes in or accept gift or even endorsements. Clearly, this takes out a lot of international athletes. But also, they of course they need to speak english as well.

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  11. 1. All American = you advance to event finals at NCAAs or place top 10 in the AA

    2. Walk-on = Without scholarship

    3. Teams can have captains, but aren't required to, who is captain depends on the school. There can be multiple captains, and they don't have to be seniors.

    4. As long as their credits are in line and they haven't accepted money for gymnastics, a school can recruit whoever they want.

    5. Hartung's tuck position on vault is alright, I don't know what tuck you're talking about on floor, maybe you mean the bent knees in her twists, that's a form deduction

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  12. 1. What does it mean to get an 'All-American' or be an "All-American" on something?

    -All-American is an award you can get, I think they do it fairly often, like weekly perhaps. It is fairly prestigious as it means you're one of the best at whatever they award it to you for.

    2. What does a being described as a walk-on gymnast mean, as in "she was the only walk on gymnast competing in the all-around in her freshman year"?
    A completely uneducated guess would be that the 'she' was a gymnast who was going to go to the college already, without a scholarship, then joined the team?
    -I'm pretty sure your uneducated guess is correct.

    3. Also, Do the teams have captains? Like proper, official captains? If so, do they vote on them or does the coach pick them?
    -I think they have unofficial captains. Not sure about "official" business though!

    4. No clue, I know OU had Stephanie LoPiccolo before (an Aussie! do you know anything about her? Like was she decent in Australia or what? I cant find any youtube vids of her that aren't mine from OU gymnastics meets, haha!)

    5. If I was a judge, I'm not sure I'd give her credit for "tuck" - to me the legs need to be much higher towards the chest. You wouldn't do a tuck jump on the beam in that 'shape', you shouldnt do it on vault either!


    PS. That pic of Sandra Izbasa and the reflection in the mirror is awesome! I was ssooooooo lucky and got to meet her after the Nadia Comaneci meet last weekend - I was on cloud 9 the rest of the night!! I put my vids of her up at http://www.youtube.com/amygym

    PPS. Here are some more submissions for the ugly leotard contest! Sorry they arent great quality, I totally screencapped them off youtube! Zamo's is great because of the polka dots, lol, and the Koreans is just atrocious mixture of red and rainbow!!

    Elena Zamolodchikova, Russia 1999 Worlds TF

    http://xb3.xanga.com/5f6f3aeb39532235275571/m185807829.jpg

    Son Un Hui, 2000 Olympics

    http://x2e.xanga.com/9e7f35f162732235275573/m185807831.jpg

    PPPS. Sorry this is a freaking essay!!

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  13. 1. What does it mean to get an 'All-American' or be an "All-American" on something?
    All American (as I understand it) means that based on scores girls are chosen (usually NCAA finals scores are mostly counted) to be "All American" mean they're on the first or second team


    2. What does a being described as a walk-on gymnast mean, as in "she was the only walk on gymnast competing in the all-around in her freshman year"?

    This means that she wasn't signed by the coach/university until she got to College

    3. Also, Do the teams have captains? Like proper, official captains? If so, do they vote on them or does the coach pick them?

    They're not official but yes, they do have them. Whether they vote or how they're chosen varies from team to team

    4. And is there a limit to how many international competitors can be recruited onto a team? Like, could LSU start importing the entire Romanian team after each quad as their freshman recruits?

    I don't know for sure. In NCAA you can't compete if you've taken money from prizes or from endorsement deals (though not sure on the last party, I know you can't compete if you've taken prize money). I'm not exactly sure how foreigner's get signed.

    Hoped this helped!

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  14. Hey Amy, I don't know much about Stephanie Lo Piccolo except that she was one of those great gymnasts who was constantly injured. She didn't compete much outside of Australia and only came 11th at the 2004 Olympic trials. Glad she got to go on and have a college career, cos her elite one sounds like not much fun!

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  15. Thank you every! Some of the answers contradicted each other but i get the gist now! You guys rock!

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  16. You're right that a tighter tuck position makes it easier to rotate. But I think a more open tuck makes it easier to twist. I don't think hers would be a deduction in NCAA unless they thought it was supposed to be a layout. I think her knees are bent enough that it doesn't look like a layout. If it is a deduction it's a small one because she scores 9.8+ in almost every meet.

    P.S. I like the Zamo leo that was suggested for ugly leos in one of the comments. It's not the best but I don't think it's ugly. The other one I didn't like.

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  17. Oh this is really important! I forgot to tell you this:

    If you want all the information and relate with people about college gymnastics, these 2 sites are a must. Trust me you will love them:

    1. www.collegegymnasticsboard.yuku.com

    This site is a message board where fans, coaches, gym parents and other people can post and share information. Almost every day there is an interesting discussion going on, links to articles and videos and tons more!

    2. www.collegegymfans.com

    This site has tons of info too. Every meet day (which is usually Fri Sat and Sun) they make a list of who all is competing with links to live stats, free video, and commentary if they have it. The also post the results of each meet later on with the official article to go with it. It also has recruiting info and compiles a list to all the new recruits who are going to each school. Check it out!

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  18. Wow, this shows how much I know about NCAA!

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  19. Anonymous,

    Yeah Zamo's leo isn't too bad, it's just so 90s, and made me laugh! The other one is atrocious though!

    And I had to giggle at Cidlover's description of "All-American"!

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