General Question

shilolo's avatar

Why are "women" treated differently than men in gymnastics?

Asked by shilolo (18028points) August 14th, 2008

Watching the women’s all-around tonight, I noticed that in the uneven bars, when the women do a release move (let go of the bar), they all have a spotter in case they fall. In contrast, when the men do similar (even higher) moves on the high bar, there is no spotter. So, women need to be “protected” in gymnastics, but men don’t? What gives?
And if anyone wonders why “women” is in quotes, I will say that I don’t consider 14–15 year old girls as women.

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8 Answers

amandaafoote's avatar

It might be possible that you can choose if you would like a spotter or not, and the trainers of the girls think that they should have one rather than not? It might be the trainers rather than the sport, but i see your point

lefteh's avatar

I think it’s up to the athlete. I’ve seen several male high-bar routines performed with a spotter nearby. Namely, that of Kohei Uchimura.

crunchaweezy's avatar

They have to be 16 to participate.

sndfreQ's avatar

I think the difference is about 50 pounds…flying through the air at high velocity…um, yeah.

Get out of the way!

Mulot's avatar

It’s up to the athlete, like letteh said. Personal choice.

wundayatta's avatar

Boys and men have spotters, too. I suspect it has to do with the history of success with a skill. Usually, as someone gets better and better, the spotter kind of moves away and out of the picture.

You should see how they train for these “release” skills. You’ve got the apparatus with ropes attached to your waste, and you wrap them around the bar a couple of times the opposite way you start (so they unwind as you build up momentum). Your coach stands there with the other end of the rop in his hands. The rope is strung over a pulley in the gym ceiling.

Then the gymnast tries the skill, and the coach hangs onto the rope, and the gymnast does the release, and if they don’t “catch”, the coach leans into the rope, and breaks their fall to the mat. It’s kind of funny to watch this at the gym my son goes to, because the coach is about half the size of the gymnasts. I guess, on the women’s side, the gymnasts are usually half the size of the coach!

aisyna's avatar

they have that for the men also they just dont zoom out enough because they are on the one bar, but if u look the men have ppl who hold them when they jump up as to the women have to get up on their own or using the vault, i dont think thats fair

gymnastchick729's avatar

I would think that the guy/man chooses not to have a spotter…just some way of making him look tougher.

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