GYMN-L Digest - 31 May 1995 to 1 Jun 1995

There are 4 messages totalling 169 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

  1. Trampoline
  2. litigation and stuff
  4. '95 NHK Cup


Date:    Thu, 1 Jun 1995 01:43:14 -0400
From:    ***@DELPHI.COM
Subject: Trampoline

>I suspect that one of the
>main causes of litigation within the US in the 70's and 80's was not due to
>the risks involved (otherwise how could gymnastics or any other of the above
>mentioned sports gotten off the ground?), but poor coaching applied to
>those risks. It should be remembered that a coach can only be sued on the
>grounds of negligence, where the onus of proof lies firmly with the
>prosecution. Disregarding whether people are more or less likely to initiate
>proceedings against a trampoline coach rather than, say, a gymnastics coach,
>or football coach, in all cases negligence must be proven. If this cannot be
>done the coach cannot be held liable for any accident, however damaging.

I have not been a part of any lawsuits involving gymnastics but have had a
number of friends who have, and I feel that the above statement is a bit of
over simplification. The negligence lawsuits I have been aware of were all
jury trials and the outcomes were far more influenced by the juries emotional
reaction to the accident and concern for the plantiff's ability to recieve
SOME kind of compensation ( to help eleviate the horrendous medical costs,
etc.,) from ANYONE no matter if the charge of negligence was proved or not.
This is why the lawsuits typically go after many people ( the manufacturer's
of the equipment, the University, etc. ) so that some one named will have
the 'deep pocket' of money to award the often substantial amount requested.
In other words, the judgement of guilty or no often depends not on the fact
of negligence, but on the ability to compensate. Such is the way of trial by
jury. To state that the coaches or anyone for that matter will not be found
guilty unless it is proven so is a bit naive. Nissen was destroyed by
lawsuits, were they guilty of such total negligence in the contruction of
their equipment? I think any of us who used their equipment would take issue
with that.

>(b) Trampolining is a sport for crazies. This is the sort of attitude which
>affects all risk involving sports. Understandably, most people are fearfull
>of that which they have no experience, and therefore tend to characterise
>those doing the 'fearfull' thing as crazy (to a greater or lesser degree).
>This is as true for a person watching a trampolinist, as it is for the
>trampolinist. The difference is not in the cognitive evaluations leading to
>the causation of fear, but the in the initiating factors and knowledge that
>those evaluations are based upon. The trampolinist, or gymnast, will feel as
>much fear as the onlooker when confronted with something novel, it is simple
>that what is novel is not the same, both from performer to performer, and
>onlooker to onlooker. Just as gymnastics was viewed rather sceptically in

<snip, snip, snip>

I think the point was missed here. I believe that trampolineist's reputation
as being 'crazy' came not from the novelty of the event to the spectators, but
from the 'devil-may-care' attitude that most of them wore like a badge of
honor on their sleeves. I remember the '70's well, and most trampolineist's
took great pride in the daredevil reputation the sport had, and encouraged
it ( as did many gymnasts ). The stories of unnecesary risk taking in and out
of the gym are numerous and legendary. This particular wound to the sport was
self inflicted.


Date:    Thu, 1 Jun 1995 13:17:00 BST
From:    ***@CS.BHAM.AC.UK
Subject: litigation and stuff

Dear all,

I stand corrected by a number of people who have pointed out the weaknesses in
my litigation argument, but then the email was meant as a discussion
initiator :-). Although I cannot comment for the US (having never coached
there), in England, while the risk of a lawsuit is very real and all coaches
must have insurance, participants appear to accept that sports involve risks
(to varying degrees), and as willing participants they must accept that
accidents may happen. Obviously where they feel, or an adviser feels, that the
accident was possibly caused by negligence court cases do result. The
important point though, is that in many cases participants generally accept
that these things are going to happen at some point in their sporting career,
however well trained they are, and however safe their coach is/was. This
appears to be a fundamental philosophical difference between English (and
maybe other European) participants and American ones. Once things get to court
I would like to believe that the same holds with the juries, but I'm not too
sure about this. It may be that, as in the States, juries favour the plantiff
simply because they have an injury. To me though, this is not justice, it is
using the courts as a personal health insurance policy. What do people think?

Ben, you are probably right about dare-devil trampolinists in the 70s, I don't
know, I wasn't at an age to remember, but I think things have improved quite a
lot. However, as with all sports there is still an element of one-up-manship,
Kind of 'well if she can do a full twisting front somersault, I can do a 1 1/2
twisting one'. This is normally a good thing so long as the participants know
their limits and aren't daft enough to try new skills without a coaches say
so. It is definitely a catch-22 situation for a club. Good performers give
those who aren't so good something to aim at, and in turn these become good
and start 'pushing' the original good people to be better. But of course this
sort of 'rivalry' can cause some performers to overstep their limits. One of
(the many) tasks a coach should do is control this. Indeed, in the BTF
handbook it clearly states as a rule for performers that they should never get
into games of 'dare', but these real games (if you like) are different from the
psychological ones. May suspicion is that most trampolining (and gymnastics)
clubs no longer experience much of the 'bet you can't do this' direct games of
dare, but do experience (and foster) the 'well if she can do it so can I'
attitude, indirect psychological games of dare. This is good. The clubs who
consistently produce good performers are those with the best performers,
because the rest of the club has something to aim at. For instance the Heathrow
gymnastics club in London is one of the best in England and has been for some
time. This can't be all down to the coaches, nor down to amazingly talented
youngsters joining. One of the factors must be the 'good example' factor.

Anyway, I've rambled on for long enough. If anyone has any more comments
please do post.



Date:    Thu, 1 Jun 1995 10:58:52 -0400
From:    ***@GWIS2.CIRC.GWU.EDU

Hi, I can't check my mail on regular basis this summer and I cannot have
all these messages in my in box--- please  unsubscribe


Date:    Thu, 1 Jun 1995 22:19:00 UTC
From:    ***@GENIE.GEIS.COM
Subject: '95 NHK Cup

Results of the NHK Cup, held May 13-14 in Wakayama, Japan:


 1. Mari Kosuge (Chacott)                    74.725
 2. Risa Sugawara (Toda City Sports Center)  74.700
 3. Miho Hashiguchi (Tokai TV Club)          74.100
 4. Hanako Miura (Asia University)           73.825
 5. Masumi Okawa (Asahi Seimei Club)         73.525
 6. Naho Hoshiyama (Asahi Seimei Club)       73.500
 7. Kaori Iwata (Asahi Seimei Club)          72.700

Kosuge won by default (Sugawara put her hands down after her double layout
on FX, her final event).  Tsukahara coaches the girls from Asahi Seimei Club.


 1. Hikaru Tanaka (Kiyo Bank)               112.325
 2. Toshiharu Sato (Daiwa Bank)             111.750
 3. Daisuke Nishikawa (Nihon University)    111.250
 4. Masayuki Matsunaga (Kawai Gakki)        110.725
 5. Yoshiaki Hatakeda (Kiyo Bank)           110.675
 6. Hiromasa Maeda (Daiwa Bank)             109.700
 7. Shinya Watanabe (Kiyo Bank)             109.500
 8. Masayoshi Maeda (Kawai Gakki)           109.400
 9. Masanori Suzuki (Kiyo Bank)             109.225
 10.Naoki Iketani (Nippon PE College)       109.000

Naoki Iketani is Yukio's younger brother.



End of GYMN-L Digest - 31 May 1995 to 1 Jun 1995