A wider beam?


A couple of months ago some bloggers addressed the issue of widening the beam over at The Gymnastics Examiner. Many shared their opinions on whether this would be a good thing, bad thing or safe thing. I  came across Coach Vladimir Zaglada’s opinion this week while reading his book “One Coaches Journey From East to West” and thought that it was very fitting and would share with you, the readers of Full Twist.

Coach Zaglada asks the reader to think about what would have to happen if a double salto was to be performed on the beam. He says this would require one of three things:

  1. The beam would have to be wider
  2. The beam would have to be constructed out of different materials with better shock absorbing properties to soften landings.
  3. The material out of which the base is constructed would have to be changed

He points out that if this was to happen, essentially the beam would be a long springboard:

“something more appropriate to the circus than artistic gymnastics”

Zaglada seems against changing the beam;
“Every gymnastics event has it’s own unique image, and in my opinion this image shouldn’t change – no matter what.  As I have stated before, the basic materials of the working components of equipment have to constantly be perfected to make them more elastic, reliable, and safe. The vaulting table was an exception. Given the increasing difficulty of modern vaults, the FIG was compelled to update the design for safety reasons.”
He also welcomes the FIG’s move to enhance the shock absorbing qualities of the floor apparatus with thousands of shock absorbers. In both this instance and the vaulting table, the FIG improved the safety of both events and made it possible to raise the difficulty.

  • What do you think?
  • Do you think we should have wide beams, like those in the tv show Make It or Break It?
  • Would you be as impressed  by beam World Champion Ana Porgras if you knew she was performing her World winning skills on a sprung beam?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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