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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
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.