Girls Gymnastics Points of Emphasis - 2016-18

By on August 02, 2016 gymnastics-girls Print

1. Artistry:

A gymnast that shows artistry is able to combine her body movements and expression to transform her routine into an artistic performance. She should show movements that flow smoothly into the next with changes in speed and intensity, ease of performance of elements and correct technique. Artistry can be shown through creative choreography, the originality of elements and movements, using new ideas and interpretations and avoiding monotony. Floor music should highlight the individual style of the gymnast. Artistry is a connection between the gymnast, her music and/or movements, and the audience.

Expression can be exhibited by the gymnast with both her facial expressions and through her body. She can control this even through her most difficult movements in order to connect with the audience. The goal is to have showmanship; to be engaged in and enjoying the routine; to show confidence; to get the audience and judges to be impressed, to feel something special about the performance. Artistry is inner beauty, expression, focus, stretch, elegance, style, and gracefulness. It is not only “what” the gymnast performs but also “how” she performs her routine.

2. Evaluating Acro Passes:

A gymnast is required to have three acro passes in a floor routine. Each of the passes may be two or more directly connected acro elements. With the exception of the round-off, all elements in an acro pass must receive Value Part credit. The first two round-offs that are performed in a routine will receive medium credit. Any round-offs following the first two will not be eligible for difficulty credit. Although a third round-off (or any additional round-offs) does not receive difficulty credit, if included in one of the three required acro passes, it may be used to fulfill the event requirement of three passes. A third isolated round-off, or one that is connected to a dance element, will receive no Value Part credit.

Example: round-off, back handspring, back tuck (M+M+S); round-off, straddle jump 1/1 (M+HS); front tuck, round-off, back handspring, back handspring (S+0+S); round-off, back handspring, full (0+M+HS); round-off, split jump (0+M). All acro passes in the example will count and fulfill the event requirement of three acro passes.

 All acro passes may consist of either backward, forward, or sideward elements, including a pass of only two elements. A pass of only two elements must include a high superior, an advanced high superior, or a back-to-back superior. Examples of passes that meet the requirement: round-off, double back (includes a AHS), front tuck, front tuck (includes a BBS); round-off, full (includes a HS). Examples of passes that do not meet the requirement: round-off, back tuck (M+S), handspring, front tuck (M+S).

 Another event requirement requires that a gymnast either have a superior in her third acro pass or that her last acro element (may be isolated) is a superior. Credit may be awarded even if the first or second pass is broken. Example: round-off, double full (M+AHS); front tuck, 2 steps, round-off, back tuck (S / M+S – broken 2nd pass); handspring, front layout, front tuck (M+S+S); cartwheel to ending pose. Comment: Gymnast would not receive credit for three passes but would receive credit for a superior in the third pass even though her second pass was broken due to extra steps. The third pass includes a superior and the ending cartwheel would not negate the credit. 

3. Professionalism:

Being professional is more than just doing your job. Professionalism has to do with how you conduct yourself on the floor of a competition. Professionalism is a trait that we can learn by being aware of our actions and how what we say and do impacts and influences others.

Judges, as well as coaches, must have a specialized knowledge of gymnastics and maintain that knowledge by participating in continued training in order to stay current with the newest trends, rules, and clarifications. Doing so will develop competence, confidence and pride in their work.

Being a professional means being on time, reliable, neat in appearance, prepared, polite, positive, flexible, cooperative, respectful and courteous to others, and unbiased. Professionals are accountable for their actions at all times and must maintain poise even when facing a difficult situation. If you make a mistake, take responsibility, own up to it and work to resolve the issue.


Be prepared with judging materials

Review rules

Be on time and dressed appropriately

Be careful about socializing with gymnasts, coaches, or parents at a meet as our objectivity should not be in question.

Look and act alert

Be consistent and administer the rules the same at each meet

Don’t pre-judge gymnasts

Be fair and unbiased

Acknowledge each gymnast’s performance

Do your best at each and every meet


Prepare meet site according to specifications

Start on time and keep meet moving

Be a positive role model to gymnasts

Encourage and motivate gymnasts to be the best that they can be

Approach judges with respect. You may not always agree with their scores but know that they are doing their best

Judges and coaches represent our sport and are as much a part of the action as the gymnasts themselves. Professionalism is expected and will be noticed if it is not present.

4. Host Management Responsibilities:

It is critical for the host school management to properly prepare the venue and have all necessary supplies located in the proper areas to ensure a smooth start to the meet.  All equipment and padding should be prepared, checked and reassured.  Although the officials will double check, it is an expectation the school has all in good working order.  The availability of proper matting and landing mats should be on site and located with the appropriate apparatus.  Scoresheets should be provided by the host school. Judges should not have to copy just before the meet.  All timing devices should be checked to be certain in good working order.  All scoreboards to be used in the meet should be checked and located in the proper position to start the meet.  Fluids for the judges should be available to keep hydrated through the meet.  Plan of posting scores and where inquiries are filed should be covered with the chief judge.  With proper meet management, the athletes, coaches and judges will all have a rewarding experience.