top of page

No Dumb Gymnastics Questions

No Dumb Gymnastics Questions - Episode 1

In our first episode of No Dumb Gymnastics Questions, we answer the questions you are too afraid to ask.

January 19, 2024

So I've been listening to this football podcast, as Jessica would call it, a sports ball podcast called New Heights, and they have this section called No Dumb Questions. And I thought that doing something similar for men's gymnastics would be really applicable because I'm sure that people have a lot of questions that they're afraid of being called dumb or stupid for not knowing the answer to. So I sent out a survey and I asked people, what questions do you have about men's artistic gymnastics? And because the NCAA season is starting this upcoming weekend, we're going to start with an NCAA question. And so someone asked...

How does scholarships work in NCAA men's artistic gymnastics? Are they partial scholarships or is that still really a thing?

So in men's artistic gymnastics, there are 6.3 scholarships. Women have 12 scholarships and in women's artistic gymnastics, each scholarship is a full scholarship for the year. It can't be broken up, but in men's artistic gymnastics, they can be split. So you have to be really judicious in how you're allocating the scholarships for the team because you want to be able to get.

As many good athletes on your team as possible, but also those real stars like Asher hung and Fred Richard, you're going to want to put them on a full scholarship. Otherwise they're going to go somewhere else. I know at my time in Michigan, there were several of the athletes who were on like one present scholarship.

So they were still considered scholarship athletes, but it really only covered. books for the semester while other high key level athletes like Sam McCoolick were on full scholarships and it's up to the each individual school how they choose to parse them out.

How does Stanford have so many good athletes?

Stanford is in a really unique position where they have a work around. Stanford has endowments because it's a private institution and any student who goes to Stanford whose family makes under 150, 000 and whose family has assets that are within the realm of someone who makes 150, 000 gets to go to school for free.

And similarly, for a family that makes 100, 000 or less, they get free tuition plus room and board. So, Stanford isn't really limited by the 6. 3 scholarships in the same way many of the other institutions are, and they're able to give more athletes full rides based on that. Now, other institutions can use like academic scholarships to give athletes full rides.

And now we're seeing with NIL deals, how schools are able to grab top athletes because they're able to promise a certain amount of money. And then of course there are the military institutions where students don't pay to go there either, but not everyone wants to go to the military. So for those athletes who are top level caliber, who aren't able to get one of those.

6. 3 full scholarships at another school may be able to get a full ride at Stanford university.

Why is it called men's artistic gymnastics when they literally don't do artistry and refuse to do artistic value skills like leaps? What other name could we propose?

I think this is really interesting. So back in the day, they did have more artistry included in their routines and they were more similar to what we would think of as. Women's routines and doing back walkovers and similar skills and you're right that Specifically for Florida has turned more into sort of a straight tumbling routine But to get the max amount of difficulty score value They they really can't put in a lot of artistry to compete with the best of the world.

So As far as another name, I'm not really sure what we would propose, but I would like to see it incentivized for athletes to do more artistic skills. So the FIG proposed a new set of regulations and the MTC, which is the men's technical committee going into the next Olympic cycle, the one going into Los Angeles.

And what they've proposed is that there are going to be, like, choreography elements that each athlete has to, or choreography sequences that each athlete has to include in their routines, and I hope that they do move forward with this, because I think that the people who are currently fans of women's gymnastics would be a lot more interested in men's gymnastics if they were able to see some familiarity and crossover between the two, other than just the tumbling.

What is a man wipe?

So a man wipe is when an athlete stands in the corner and they are really trying to catch their breath. Here is what's actually happening. And they reach with both arms down in front of their body and they bring their arms into a cross and back up. And you notice that they're typically breathing pretty heavily then before they go into a final tumbling pass.

Are there notorious or well known gyms that produce a ton of top mag athletes? Like WCC or Hills or Woga and WAG?

Yes. So the most famous gym in men's gymnastics for juniors would be Cypress Academy, which is in Houston It produced many Olympians like Chris Brooks Raj Bhavsar Jonathan Horton and Asher Hong and which he is not an Olympian yet, but I believe he will be and many other top athletes Athletes, national team athletes have come from Cyprus.

They have a really, really strong program with um, two particular coaches who lead the men's program. And Tom Meadows is the head coach there. So Cyprus is really well known Also, Roswell Gymnastics in Georgia is another one of those. Top gems and then 5280 in Colorado where Yul Moldauer trains as well.

What is Olympic order for men's artistic gymnastics?

So the men start on floor and then they move to pommel horse and then still rings, then vault, then parallel bars, and then high bar. And often in the arena it will be set up in Olympic order and you can just follow sort of whether it's going to be clockwise or counterclockwise, however they move when it's set up.

And, um, so they start on floor and they end on high bar. So for women's gymnastics, when you have a team final, you have someone starting on every apparatus, but for men's gymnastics, that's not the case. So the first two teams will start on floor. The second two teams start on pommel horse. The third, the next two teams start on still rings and then the final two teams start on vault.

So at the very start of the team competition, there's no one on parallel bars or high bar. And then of course the top gymnasts will end on high bar.

What is the deal with different events being weighted so differently in all around scores? Isn't that just super fixable?Like devalue every vault? When was this first switch to open code or did it evolve into this effery?

So this has been a huge problem for a long time. So the, the open ended codepoints was implemented. in 2006 after the big impetus and push was sort of some of the scandals that happened at the 2004 Athens Olympics, which we can definitely get into if anyone has questions about that.

But the big problem was that vault for the longest time was almost a point higher than every other event. Like we had seven, no difficulty vaults at one point, it may be even higher. I think it was last Olympic cycle. They got all devalued by about a point. And vault is honestly mostly in line with the top scoring other events.

The one that's really out of line right now is actually parallel bars. And the top gymnasts in the world are still able to score over 16 or get really close to that 16 mark. And that's not really a score that we see on any of the other events. So that's the one that would need to sort of come into line.

But the men's technical committee is aware of this and they have been working on it. So it'll be really interesting to see what they do with the next code of points. And I will definitely do a video of breaking down the 2025 to 2028 code of points when it comes out.


So if you have any other questions about men's gymnastics, specifically if you're a women's gymnastics fan, I'm going to leave the link to ask questions down below, or you can email me at

Latest Headlines

PODCAST: How Each U.S. Athlete Can Make the Olympic Gymnastics Team

PODCAST: Olympic Medalist, Sam Oldham, Interviews Kensley Behel about the U.S. Olympic Selection Procedures

Great Britain Announces Five Member Team for Paris Olympics

PODCAST: Episode 35 - Canadian and German National Championships

German Olympian, Lukas Dauser, Earns Fourth National All-Around Title

bottom of page