Articles by "Gym Skills Guide"
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Photo by Silvia Vatteroni

Three elements were submitted and successfully performed in 2016. Gymnasts need to submit and compete their skill at Olympics, Worlds or Youth Olympic Games in order to have it named after them. However, that year FIG made an exception and accepted to add a skill and have it named after a gymnast at the Test Event.

Gymnast: Dora Vulcan
Country: Romania 
Skill Split jump with 1/2 turn to the ring
Rating: C

Gymnast: Marisa Dick 
Country: Trinidad and Tobago
Skill Mount change leg leap to free cross split with half turn- diagonal approach to beam 
Rating: - (we could not find the rating of this skill, however the version of the skill without half turn is rated a C hence this might have received a D rating)

Gymnast: Houry Gebeshian
Country: Armenia 
Skill Hecht jump (legs together) with hand repulsion and 1/1 turn (360°) over LB to hang on HB
Rating: D

See skills added to the CoP in 2013, 2014 and 2015

By Gigi Farid

Photo by Silvia Vatteroni

This is our third understanding the 2017-2020 CoP article where we will explain the changes on floor exercise. If you missed out on our first two articles, you can click here for our first article which was on balance beam and here for our second one which was on uneven bars.

Before we explain to you the specific changes on floor exercise. We'd like to mention these two very important new rules.

Please note that these rules are a general one not on a certain event. However, we chose to mention it here since floor exercise will be the only apparatus to be affected by it.

First: The FIG has put a maximum number of turns:

for turns with leg below horizontal, the maximum number is four

any other turns with different leg positions, the maximum number is three (Like: Y turns, L turns, wolf turns)

Split/straddle leaps and jumps, the maximum number of turns is one and a half

Complex leaps, the maximum number of turns is one

If a gymnast competed a quintuple turn, the judges will consider it quadruple. Personally, I don't like this, the sky should always be the limit. The FIG does not like having gymnasts build up their difficulty score by doing dance skills. But the difficulty of dance elements is already capped at an E, hence, it doesn't make any sense for them to put a limit to it. The only reason for gymnasts to compete more difficult turns is to have it named after them, thanks to the FIG that would not be happening. 

Second: Gymnasts can a connect a turn to the same exact one and be awarded for double difficulty (leg below horizontal are excluded). For example: a double Y turn to a double Y turn.

Just like uneven bars and balance beam, the composition requirements is down by one which means gymnasts are not required to do a D or more rated dismount (last tumbling pass)

The changes made specifically on floor exercise:

One of the four composition requirements has been modified: gymnasts should do backward and forward/sideward salto (NO AERIALS) in an acro line.  So what does that mean exactly?

Gymnasts are required to do backward salto, like for example full in tuck:

and forward salto, like:

In past the quads, gymnasts who had difficulty in competing forward tumbling, included a simple forward aerial or a side somi in their floor routines to fulfill the requirement of doing a forward/sideward salto. 

However, the FIG is fed up with this and wants gymnast to include the forward salto in a tumbling pass, like:

The deduction of standing on two feet in the corner more than once is gone.

The switch leaps half 

is considered the same skill as Johnson 1/2 

which means that a gymnast cannot include those two skills in her routine and expect to receive difficulty value for each. The same goes with switch leap 1/1 and Johnson 1/1.

You can click here for more.

Arabian double salto stretched has been upgraded from a G to an H. 

 Written by Gigi Farid

There are nine elements which are named after USA gymnasts.

Photo by Sing Lo

Skill: Round‐off at end of beam ‐ salto bwd stretched with 1/1 twist (360۫) to cross stand on beam
Named After: Kelly Garisson
Difficulty rating: F

Skill: Press to side hstd ‐ walkover fwd to side stand on both legs
Named After:  Kristie Philips 
Difficulty rating: D

Skill: Leap fwd with leg change and 1/4 turn (90۫) to side split leap (180۫) or straddle pike position
Named After:  Kathy Johnson 
Difficulty rating: C

Skill: 2½ turn (900°) in tuck stand on one leg ‐ free leg optional
Named After:  Terin Humphrey
Difficulty rating: D

Skill: 3/1 turn (1080۫) on one leg ‐ free leg optional below horizontal
Named After:  Betty Okino 
Difficulty rating: E

Skill: “Valdez" swing over bwd through horizontal plane with support on one arm
Named After:  Kelly Garrison 
Difficulty rating: C

Skill: Salto fwd tucked, take‐off from one leg to stand on one or two feet
Named After:  Nastia Liukin 
Difficulty rating: C

Skill: Jump bwd with 180 turn handspring to land on two feet
Named After:  Shayla Worley 
Difficulty rating: E

Skill: Arabian double salto fwd tucked
Named After:  Carly Patterson 
Difficulty rating: G

Please note that all the difficulty ratings were written according to 2017-2020 CoP.

By Gigi Farid

See also Balance Beam Elements Named After Russian Gymnasts

This is our second understanding the 2017-2020 CoP article. Our first was on balance beam (see here in case you have not seen it), this one is on uneven bars. Unlike beam, bars did not have a lot of changes.

Photo by Silvia Vatteroni

A gymnast cannot compete more than three elements from the same root skill and expect to have them all counted for composition requirement, difficulty and connection value.

Root of the skill means the entry into the skill and the direction of rotation.

For example:

A clear hip circle to hstd

Clear underswing on LB, release and counter movement fwd in flight to hang on HB. 



are all from the same root skill, hence, a gymnast cannot do all these four skills and expect to get composition requirement, difficulty or connection value, only three will be counted.

Hence, gymnasts are expected to compete elements from DIFFERENT families of bars elements.


stalder circles 

Pike circles

and so on.

However this rule does not include:


Giant circles

Casts to handstand 

So according to our understanding, a gymnast can do a routine full of giants and get away with it.

US Lauren Hernandez will be affected by this rule, as you can see that most of her routine consists of stalder entry elements.

Another change: any kip performed after a Shaposhnikova type elements (which are transitions from low bar to high bar) with 

or without full turn 

will be considered an empty swing (extra swings that do not lead into another skill), hence, a 0,5 deduction will occur.

example of empty swing

Like this 

So FIG expects gymnasts to directly do a skill after Shaposh type elements (with/without full turn) like for example:


or this

But don't get confused, gymnasts are allowed to do a kip after a Shaposh half

Most gymnast I have seen do Shaposhs with/without full turn usually immediately connect it to another skill. So, I don't think this rule would affect many.

The downgraded skills

Basically a lot of transitions from low to high bar in counter movement forward have been downgraded from a C to a B.

See The Bars Skills Which Got Downgraded And Which Are No Longer In 2017-2020 CoP

The upgraded skills

Round-off in front of LB – tucked arabian salto over LB to hang on HB without touching the LB, upgraded from an E to an F. The FIG is hoping gymnasts would attempt to compete that skill, but who are they kidding.

Swing fwd and salto bwd with ½ turn (180°) stretched to hang on HB, upgraded from a D to an E

Jaeger Salto piked to hang on HB, upgraded from a D to an E. I really hate that one. It is not a rarely done skill for them to upgrade nor is it THAT more difficult than the straddled version. However, this is in the Russian's favor.

Jaeger Salto stretched to hang on HB, upgraded from an E to an F.

Swing bwd to double salto fwd tucked with ½ turn (180°) – also salto fwd with ½ turn (180°) into salto bwd tucked, upgraded from a D to an E.

Swing bwd to double salto fwd piked with ½ turn, upgraded from an E to an F.

And as we said before the five composition requirements is down to four. The omitted requirement is the D or more rated dismount. See here with Gif all four CR. 

This will greatly help gymnasts who are not so strong on bars. 

Written by Gigi Farid.