(Would Hatch have been on the 2004 Team? Pic: www.gymbox.com)
Hi guys, i just recently received an interesting email from a reader who asked me a question I couldn't actually answer. His question was to do with the introduction of the 3-up 3-count competition format. He wanted to know what exactly the rationale for that decision was.
Can anyone answer this?
All I know is that I hate it in a lot of ways, and that it has changed the face of the sport. On one level I love that there can be a specialist- otherwise we wouldn't have got to experience gymnasts like Annia Hatch, Olivia Vivian, Sam Peszek or even Cheng Fei.
On the other hand, we have lost a fiercely competitive team competition. The more gymnasts in either competition, the more left up to chance, and team's and individuals ability to sieze the moment.
I do wonder how much the decision was influenced by broadcasting needs for a quicker, more dramatic team competition?
Anyway, I leave you with this readers question, and hope you can help us....
I am writing you from Plano, Texas (and at the direct midpoint between Nastia's hometown to the east, Carly's to the north, and WOGA to the west...really!) with a question that I have been looking all over the internet for months trying to find the answer to. I am also writing as someone who has never been to a real gymnastics meet in his life, nor even seen any apparatus (or gymnast, for that matter) in person. Needless to say, I am not in touch with any insiders who could help me. The nagging question: what is the rationale for the 3-up, 3-count format?
The thing is, I learned everything I know about gymnastics through media: sports commentators, TV, YouTube, blogs, etc. I was exposed to the wide diversity of opinions regarding the sport. Yet, astoundingly, it seems like virtually all of these outlets have raised their voices in unison over one particular opinion: that the 3-up, 3-count format is ridiculous.
Intrigued by the amount of vitriol the format garnered in the media (and especially in other blogs and their comments), I decided to try to find out why, if the public hates it so much, it has become the mainstay of gymnastics competition formats. There have to be people more educated in the sport who could vouch for it and explain why it is the preferred format among the higher-ups who make the rules. But they don't show up on my Internet searches (it could, of course, be that I don't know the best search terms to use).