The USA sent teams for years and years and it ended once Marta took over.
IIRC, 1999 is the last year USA went.
Previously, NCAA athletes were invited to the Universiade trials based on their AA placement at NCAA Nationals.
So athletes either opted to attend or did not.
Another potential reason is the move to open ended code in 2006, while NCAA maintained level 10 rules.
Previously, these athletes used NCAA routines, while some started from a 10.0 if others did not they competed as is or upgraded to meet the rules for elite COP.
US was fairly successful as a team.
They won a bronze medal in 1979. Team was not contested mid 80s. Gymnastics was not in Universiade in 1989.
1991, 93, 95, 97 USA won silvers in each of the games four games in a row.
1999 they were 5th IIRC that was when RUS (Khorkina, Dolgopolova, Produnova), UKR (Karpenko, Tyryk, Teslenko, Shkarupa), CHN (Li Xuan, Bi Wenjing, sent several A teams to Universiade- Produnova did her double front vault for the first time).
USA just couldn’t compete with current FIG rules with their current NCAA routines as they had in the past. Moneymaker’s bars score was an 8.775 and the same routine went 9.800 at NCAA championships for example. Their vaults were also quite weak in comparison (NCAA only allowed yurchenko entry in NCAA starting in 1998) With RUS, UKR, CHN doing 9.8 -10.0 SVs.
I think not being able to be competitive due to FIG shifts with scoring is what ended up being the downfall and why US WAG have not gone back since 99. The men have, but the men are used to scoring system with NCAA using FIG COP.
I do think that now that NCAA has shifted and we see more elite Olympic and World team member join and with the emphasis on execution in FIG that we could potentially see NCAA athletes attend Universiade.
I hope that the High Performance Team amends their qualification procedures in the future, which could be written several ways.
- Any former national team member that competes in NCAA auto qualifies to US Classic.
- Any former world or Olympic team member auto qualifies to Nationals (it allows more time for athlete to train and also its a money maker for USAG. Imagine if Chiles, Carey, McCallum, Eaker, Wong, Lee, McCusker, Hurd, Malabuyo, Smith were able to attend 2022 Nationals?) Not only does it provide star names to sell tickets, but it also increases team USAs depth.
- The developmental lead can also invite NCAA athletes to attend US Classic or Nationals based on a USA team need. Who from NCAA has potential for elite?
- USAG can have a University Cup/ Universiade Games Team Trials. With prize money for placements/training. With NIL these athletes can accept the prize money to pay for their training expenses as they make up Universiade team.
There is so much untapped potential.