Rhythmic Gymnastics

Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport in which individuals or teams of 5 manipulate one or two pieces of apparatus: clubs, hoop, ball, ribbon Rope and Free (no apparatus). An individual athlete only manipulates 1 apparatus at a time. When multiple gymnasts are performing a routine together a maximum of two types of apparatus may be distributed through the group. An athlete can exchange apparatus with a team member at any time through the routine. Therefore, an athlete can manipulate up to two different pieces of apparatus through the duration of the routine. Rhythmic gymnastics is a sport that combines elements of ballet, gymnastics, dance, and apparatus manipulation. The victor is the participant who earns the most points, determined by a panel of judges, for leaps, balances, pirouettes (pivots), flexibilities, apparatus handling, execution, and artistic effect.

The governing body, the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), changed the Code of Points in 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2008 to emphasize technical elements and reduce the subjectivity of judging. Before 2001, judging was on a scale of 10 like that of artistic gymnastics. It was changed to a 30-point scale in 2003, a 20-point scale in 2005, and in 2008 was changed back to 30. There are three values adding up to be the final points—technical, artistic, and execution. The FIG also selects which apparatus will be used in competitions; only four out of the five possible apparatuses are sanctioned. Up to 2010, the clubs were not used at the Senior level. For 2011 rope will be dropped for senior national individual and group competition. In 2011, it will be dropped for junior national individual competition but return again in 2015. Rope appears in Junior National group competition in 2011-2012.

International competitions are split between Juniors, under sixteen by their year of birth; and Seniors, for women sixteen and over again by their year of birth. Gymnasts in Russia and Europe typically start training at a very young age and those at their peak are typically in their late teens (15–19) or early twenties. The largest events in the sport are the Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup and Grand-Prix Tournaments.

Read more about Rhythmic GymnasticsHistory, Olympic Participants, Men's Rhythmic Gymnastics

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