Sunday intra-squad game should tell a lot about a possible lineup for January

Twenty gymnasts will compete for 12 available spots when the season begins.

Although Sunday’s intra-squad men’s gymnastics meet is just a scrimmage, head coach Mike Burns said the implications are critical for the season.

The squad has 20 gymnasts on the 2007 roster but only 12 will be available to compete in each meet.

With that in mind, Sunday’s meet should provide a great opportunity for the coaching staff to evaluate each gymnast in order to make the final cut to 12 come January.

“It’s a good indicator for us to see where our guys are at,” Burns said. “We’ve still got six weeks before our first real competition in mid-January, so we’ve still got a lot of room to grow and improve.”

Although one purpose of the event is evaluation, Burns said that Sunday’s meet, along with the all of the men’s gymnastics meets this season, will be a fun and engaging event for everyone in attendance.

“We’ve got 20 guys that are going to be exciting to watch,” Burns said. “We are trying to make the events as interactive as possible, in terms of getting the crowd involved.”

To make sure that the meets are worth attending and entertaining for the fans, Burns said that he went to Gophers football and Twins games in the offseason to see how they appeal to the crowd.

“When I go to a sporting event, the sport is the main attraction. But it’s not the only attraction,” Burns said. “It’s a competition, but it’s a show as well.”

Burns said that his attempts at keeping the crowd involved went over very well last season, which included group chanting and heavy involvement from the announcer.

“I’ve heard a lot of good comments from our fans that say, ‘Oh my gosh, your meets are so much fun,’ ” Burns said.

Because it’s an intra-squad scrimmage, Burns said that two teams of 10 gymnasts will be split up into maroon and gold, creating an intense competition.

“If you’re on the gold team you want to beat maroon, even though they’re your teammates,” Burns said. “But as soon as this meets over, it’s no more maroon and gold. It’s Minnesota gymnastics.”