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NFHS Girls Gymnastics Rules Changes 2012-14

1: Adds definitions for back-to-back superior, bar change, and high level back-to-back superior and low level back-to-back superior.

Rationale:  Adds definitions for clarification.

1: Modifies the definition of balk, direction change, medium, superior, and high superior.

Rationale: Updates the definitions for consistency with rules.

1: Changes the name of Bonus High Superior to Advanced High Superior.

Rationale:  Bonus High Superior is changed to Advanced High Superior for clarification purposes.

1: Deletes the definition for combinations and routine.

Rationale: The term is not currently used as a descriptor in gymnastics terminology.  Routine is an unnecessary definition.

2-2-1b: Revises the conditions for repeating an exercise.

Rationale:  Repeating an exercise is based on the conditions surrounding the interference of the exercise and not because the participant believes she can receive a higher score.

2-4-11: The meet referee’s clerical authority over the contest extends through the completion of any reports including imposing disqualifications which occurred during the meet.  State associations may intercede in the event of unusual incidents before, during or after the referee’s jurisdiction has ended or in the event that contest is terminated prior to the conclusion of the meet.

Rationale:  Administrative duties for meet officials may need to continue after the contest to document actions which occur during the competition. This revision illustrates the difference between the meet officials’ jurisdiction during the competition and other administrative responsibilities such as submitting specific reports after the competition is completed. In addition, clarifies that State Associations may continue to develop and implement policies that allow for review of unusual incidents that occur while the meet officials have jurisdiction or after the competition is completed.

3-1-3a: Clarifies that matting for the working and landing area shall be a minimum thickness of 4 ¾ inches (12 cm).

Rationale:  The correction in the measurement reflects the actual thickness of the manufactured mat.

3-1-3b: Specifies that the maximum matting including a sting mat shall not exceed 19 inches in thickness.

Rationale:  The change to the maximum matting allows the gymnast to use any configuration of manufactured mats and not exceed the maximum total matting permitted.

4-1-2E, 7-3-5, 8-3-5, 9-3-5: Deletes specific Bonus requirements and replaces them with revised requirements.

Rationale:  The revision of the Bonus category is for ease of understanding and for objective application. 

4-4-1, 2 & 3: Specifies that the range shall be determined by the average score.

Rationale:  The use of the average score to determine the range is a more objective method than the use of a single judge’s score.

5-1-4: Clarifies the categories for an inquiry.

Rationale: Back-to-back superiors are already included in Bonus, letter d.

5-1-6a: Clarifies when a deduction for exceeding warm-up time or warming-up in the competitive area is taken.

Rationale: The revision in wording will maintain consistent language throughout the book.

5-1-6b: Specifies that mathematical errors are an exception to the inquiry process.

Rationale: The revision eliminates mathematical errors from the inquiry process that previously may have resulted in a deduction.

5-1-6c: Deletes the deduction for inquiries involving judgment.

Rationale: Deleting the reference to inquiries involving judgment clarifies that only legal inquires may be accepted by the meet referee.

 6-2-5b new NOTE 3: Adds a NOTE clarifying that a vault performed without the signal does not count as one of the 3 authorized attempts.

Rationale: This revision specifies the mechanics of deducting for vaulting without the signal from the chief judge.

6-4-2a: Adds a deduction for alternate repulsion, up to 0.2, in the repulsion phase.

Rationale: Specifies the deduction for alternate repulsion.

6-5-1 new c: Specifies that there is no deduction for the coach standing between the board and vault table on a round-off entry vault.

6-5-2g, 7-3-7h, 8-3-7h, 9-3-7i: Deletes signaling as a deduction.

Rationale:  Specifies that signaling is not a violation of rules.

6-5-2h(1): Permits the use of Velcro strips, tape or small chalk marks on the vault runway provided they are removed at the end of the rotation.

Rationale:  Permits the use of velcro strips, athletic tape or small chalk marks on the vault runway and that they must be removed at the end of the rotation.

6-6: Adds new elements to vault:  ½ - 2/1; ¼ - ¼ Front salto; ¼ - ¾ Front salto; RO – FF 1/1 on – Repulsion off; and RO – FF 1/1 on – ½ off.

Rationale:  Specifies a value for each new vault.

6-6-2 (2.207), 6-6-2 (2.301): Changes the value of a ¼ - ¾ vault to 9.0 and clarifies that a ¼ - ¾ vault may end facing toward or away from the vault table.

Rationale:  Realigns the value of a ¼ - ¾ to be consistent with a ½ - ½ in vault.

7-3-3a, 8-3-3a, 9-3-3a: Changes category name to “variety in choice of elements and connections” in Composition and provides additional guidelines for deductions.

 Rationale:  Specifies that the category name includes “connections.”  Additional guidelines for deductions are provided.

7-3-4c(8) NOTES 1 and 2: Specifies how to deduct for an extra swing.

Rationale:  Specifies when an extra swing deduction is taken and the maximum deduction for extra swings.

7-4 Fig. 1: Revises the Figure to reflect the lack of a deduction from 0° - 10°.

Rationale:  Specifies the angle range and the corresponding amplitude deduction.

7-6: Adds new elements to uneven bars:  each type of kip is a different element; hang on HB-uprise backward to clear support on HB, also with ½ turn or with flank vault over HB; clear underswing on LB, release and counter movement forward in flight to hang on HB, facing inward-stalder backward with release and counter movement forward in flight to hang on HB (Ray); underswing (toe-on) with ½ turn to clear support on same bar.

Rationale:  Specifies that each type of kip is a different element.  Specifies the value of an uprise with a flank vault over the high bar.  Accommodates new elements and for consistency of progression within a structure group.  Specifies the value of a Ray.  Specifies the value of this element.

8-2-3, 9-2-3: Clarifies the exception regarding using a single element twice to fulfill two series requirements.

Rationale:  Adds clarifying language regarding the use of a single element within a series.

8-2-5: Clarifies that two medium elements maybe be awarded superior credit if they are acro elements.  Also deletes the word attain.

Rationale:  Clarifies that a handstand does not pass through the vertical and cannot be used to receive superior credit if combined with another medium.

8-6: Adds the following elements to balance beam:  swtch leg lep/jp 135° w/wo ¼; ring/stag-ring lp/jp at waist height; switch leg lp/jp 180°; side split jp 180°; side split jp 180° w/ ½; switch leg lp/jp 180° w/ ¼ to side split; switch leg lp/jp 180° w/ ¼ to straddle pike; switch leg lp/jp to ring at head height; ring/stag/ring lp/jp at head height; forward shoulder roll, backward shoulder roll; jump backward with ½ twist to walkover forward (Onodi).

Rationale:  Specifies the value of these new elements.

8-6-8 (8.301a): Deletes a series of walkovers forward.

Rationale:  Clarifies that a series of forward walkovers is not an exception to the method of awarding Value Part credit.

9-1-1: Revises required area for placement of the floor exercise mat to specify that the padded competitive area should be centered in an area of 42 feet x 42 feet.

Rationale:  The revised dimensions of the floor exercise mat are more appropriate for high school gymnastics programs and facilities.  The chief judge will continue to measure and verify the dimensions of the padded competitive area. The placement of the competitive area is the responsibility of the host school and not the chief judge.

9-3-5b: Clarifies floor exercise, superiors, high superiors and advanced high superiors may be included in one connected pass without being directly connected.

Rationale:  Clarifies how to receive credit for back-to-back superiors.

9-3-7o new 1: Clarifies that music may have human sounds but no words may be spoken or sung.

Rationale:  Clarifies that the use of human sounds in floor exercise music is allowed.

9-6: Adds the following elements to floor exercise:  ring/stag ring lp/jp at waist height; ring/stag ring lp/jp w/wo ½ at head height; ring/stag ring w 1/1 at head height; split jp 180° with 1 ½; lp 1 ½ twist in horizontal to prone (Khorkina); all saltos to prone; a series of saltos, one forward and one backward; a series of saltos backward; a series of saltos backward tucked, piked or stretched with 1/1 twist in both saltos; a series of whip saltos backward; from take-off forward from one or both legs-salto sideward tucked, piked or stretched.

Rationale:  Specifies the value of new elements.


2-2-1a(2): Describes chief judge’s responsibility in measuring floor exercise area.

Rationale:  Clarifies how the chief judge measures the padded competitive area of the floor exercise mat.

3-1-3a-d, 6-1, 7-1, 8-1, 9-1: Reformatting of all event equipment specifications to an easier to read format.

Rationale:  Reformats the equipment specifications section for all events for ease of use.

3-3 new NOTE, 3-3-5, 3-3-8: Clarifies the authority and criteria for the state association to authorize exceptions to the competitive rules to provide a reasonable accommodation to individual participants.

Rationale: Clarifies that an individual state association may authorize exceptions to the playing rules to provide reasonable accommodations to individual participants with disabilities and/or special needs or other unique and extenuating circumstances. Such exceptions are not considered rules modifications since they are not general in nature; rather, they are limited to the circumstances of specific individual participants.

6-5-2 new d: Clarifies the deduction for failure to use the board safety mat and have a spotter present on the vault.

Rationale:  Clarifies the deduction for failure to use the safety board mat and have a spotter present on vault.

9-6-8, 9-6-9, 9-6 new 10: Element illustrations are rearranged for new elements.

Rationale:  Rearranges elements and description in floor exercise to accommodate new elements.    


1, 3 new NOTE, 6-3-4h-o, 6-4-3, 6-4-4h-p, 6-5-1a-f, 7-3-3b, 7-6-8 (8.302), 8-2-3c, 8-3-3b, 8-5b(2), 8-6-1 (1.201), 8-6-11 (11.203a, 11.303a, 11.403a, 11.407), 9-2-3a(1), 9-3-5b, 9-5b(2), 9-6-1, 9-6-8 (8.203, 8.303, 8.403), 9-6-9 (9.202, 9.302, 9.304, 9.402, New 9.204, 9.405), 9-6 new 10 (New 10.201, New 10.301, New 10.401)


1.  Extra swings

2.  Tap swing

3.  Uncharacteristic elements on bars

4.  Bar change

5.  Handstands on beam and floor

6.  Direction of specific elements on beam and floor


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