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Women's Events


In the vaulting events gymnasts: sprint down a 25 meter (about 82 feet) runway, jump onto a beatboard (a kind of springboard), (run/ take-off segment), land momentarily, generally inverted on the hands, on the vaulting horse or vaulting table, (pre flight segment), then spring or block off of this platform to a two footed landing (post flight segment). The post flight segment may include one or more multiple saltos or somersaults, and or twisting movements.

In 2001, the traditional vaulting horse was replaced with a new apparatus, sometimes known as a tongue or table. The new apparatus is more stable, wider, and longer than the older vaulting horse—approximately 1m in length and 1m in width—gives gymnasts a larger blocking surface, and is therefore safer than the old vaulting horse. With the addition of this new, safer vaulting table, gymnasts are attempting more difficult and dangerous vaults.

Uneven Bars

On the uneven bars (also known as asymmetric bars, UK), the gymnast navigates two horizontal bars set at different heights. The width and height may be adjusted. Gymnasts perform swinging, circling, transitional, and release moves,that may pass over, under, and between the two bars. Movements may pass through the handstand. Gymnasts often mount the Uneven Bars using a beatboard (springboard).

Balance Beam

The gymnast performs a choreographed routine from 60 to 80 seconds in length consisting of leaps, acrobatic skills, somersaults, turns and dance elements on a padded sprung beam. Apparatus norms set by the International Gymnastics Federation (used for Olympic and most elite competitions) specify the beam must be 125 cm (4' 1") high, 500 cm (16' 5") long, and 10 cm (4") wide. The event requires in particular, balance, flexibility and strength.


The floor event occurs on a carpeted 12m × 12m square, usually consisting of hard foam over a layer of plywood, which is supported by springs or foam blocks generally called a "sprung" floor. This provides a firm surface that will respond with force when compressed, allowing gymnasts to achieve extra height and a softer landing than would be possible on a regular floor. Female gymnasts perform a choreographed exercise 70 to 90 seconds long. In levels 7 and up, they can choose an accompanying music piece, which must be instrumental and cannot include vocals. In the United States, the other levels must perform a routine that is choreographed for them by USAG and these routines come with music. The routines of a female gymnast consist of tumbling passes, series of jumps, dance elements, acrobatic skills, and turns. A gymnast usually performs three or four tumbling passes that include three or more skills or "tricks". Elite gymnasts can have up to six or seven tumbling passes.

Levels and Scoring

At the compulsory levels (1-6) gymnasts are judged on a scale of 10, but as they reach the higher levels, particularly levels 9 and 10, the gymnasts' start-values may vary depending upon a number of different factors such as skill level and skill combinations. Also, every skill has a letter grade describing its difficulty. At level nine, to reach a start value of ten, the gymnast has to acquire bonus points, which she can achieve by connecting two or more skills of a certain high level of difficulty. Compulsory levels of gymnastics have choreographed routines, and all women competing at that level do the same routines. In the United States, compulsory levels go from 1–6; most gymnasts start at levels 1–4. In optional level competitions, however, all routines are different and have different floor music. Optional levels in the U.S. include levels 7–10 (elite). The Olympics, and college level gymnastics are also optional. In the Olympics, gymnasts are considered elite level gymnasts, which is higher level than the U.S. level 10.

Source: Wikipedia