Gymnastics Events

The four Women's events include:

A successful vault begins with a strong, accelerated run. The best vaulters explode off the board with tremendous quickness during the preflight phase of the vault. When the gymnast pushes off the vault table, the judges are looking for proper body position and an instantaneous repulsion. Watch for the height and distance traveled, as well. Gymnasts strive to stick their landings by taking no extra steps.

Uneven Bars
The most spectacular of the women's events, the uneven bars, demands strength as well as concentration, courage, coordination, and split-second timing. Watch for the big swings that begin in handstands on the high bar, incorporating multiple hand changes, pirouettes and release elements. The entire routine should flow from one skill to the next without pauses, extra swings or additional supports. Watch for the highflying dismount where the gymnast will attempt to stick her landing.

Balance Beam
The beam is only found inches wide and considered the most difficult event by many gymnasts. The gymnast must use acrobatic, tumbling, and dance movements in her routine. Watch for acrobatic series consisting of two or more elements performed in a row. The overall execution should give the impression that the gymnast is performing on the floor, not on a beam. Watch for variations in rhythm, changes in level, and the harmonious blend of dance and acrobatic elements.

Floor Exercise
Usually the most favorite event to the fans, the floor routine, must be choreographed to music and cover the entire floor area. The gymnast must use a variety of dance and tumbling that reflects her personality. Most gymnasts will do three of four tumbling passes, changing both the direction and level of movement throughout the routine. Watch for powerful, yet graceful, routines that are fun and exciting.

The six Men's events include:

Men's gymnastics requires an incredible amount of strength and power.

Floor Exercise
Floor routines consist of dynamic tumbling skills. The best gymnasts will incorporate tumbling passes with multiple twisting and flipping, both forward and backward, throughout their routine. A gymnast must show power and control on this event.

Pommel Horse
Considered by many to be the most difficult of all men's events, the pommel horse is also the most subtle. Each move is defined by complex hand placements. The gymnast must perform continuous circular movements interrupted only by the required scissors elements. The entire exercise should flow with controlled rhythm. A gymnast must show precise timing and balance throughout the routine.

Still Rings
Of all the men's events, rings are the least stable; therefore, require the greatest amount of strength. Just as its name suggests, the rings must be kept still while the gymnast is performing. There are two types of moves on the rings - strength positions and swinging movements. Those with the best command of the event will display extraordinary skill in arriving at all holds with absolute precision.

A good vault is sometimes described as a "big" vault. The height, the distance of travel, the overall acceleration into the vault and the sudden impact of a no-step "stuck" landing all create a good impression for the judges.

Parallel Bars
A parallel bar routine consists of predominantly swing and flight elements. Watch for the gymnast to execute swing elements and skills in which both hands release and regrasp the bars. Some of the better gymnasts move outside the two rails, performing handstands and kips on only one bar.

Horizontal Bar
This event is also known as high bar and routines consist exclusively of swinging parts without stops. The parts are generally call giant swings, with more specific terms applying to changes in grip, direction and boy position. Watch for the gymnast to execute release moves. Look for highflying dismounts with multiple flips and twists and, of course, the gymnast should try to land the dismount with no extra steps.

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