PARENT INFORMATION ON USA WOMEN'S GYMNASTICS
There are four events in Women’s Gymnastics — Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, and Floor Exercise. This discipline requires incredible strength and flexibility. Although most sports have seasons, gymnastics is a year-round commitment for athletes at the upper levels.
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. Gymnasts strive to “stick” their landings by taking no extra steps.
The most spectacular of the women’s events, the uneven bars demand strength, as well as concentration, courage, coordination, and split-second timing. The entire routine should flow from one skill to the next without pauses, extra swings, or additional supports. Watch for the high flying dismount where the gymnast will attempt to stick her landing.
The beam is only four inches wide and considered the most difficult event by many gymnasts. The gymnast must use acrobatic, tumbling, and dance movements in her routine. 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 a favorite event for the fans, the floor routine must be choreographed to music and cover the entire floor area. Watch for powerful, yet graceful, routines that are fun and exciting.