Advanced Search

NFHS Coaching Today
Ultimate Highschool Buyers Guide

NFHS Girls Gymnastics Supplemental Explanations 2012-14


1. Supplemental Explanations for the Definitions: 

a. LA Turn/Twist – Any type of turn or twist that goes around the longitudinal axis of the body. The

longitudinal axis is a line drawn down the middle of the body from head to toe.

b. LA Turns/Twists That Are Direction Changes – Only ½, 1½, and 2½ LA turns/twists are direction

changes. All other LA turns/twists, 1/1 and 2/1, finish facing and moving the same direction and

therefore do not constitute a change of direction.

c. Elements – Any movement with value is called an element.

d. Value Parts – Elements become Value Parts and can count for difficulty when they are performed

according to specific criteria on each event:

Criteria on each event: 

Bars: To receive Value Part credit, an element is almost completed and contact with the bar occurs. (7-2-6)

Beam: To receive Value Part credit, an element is almost completed and weight is borne. (8-2-7)

Floor: To receive Value Part credit, an element is almost completed and weight is borne. (9-2-5)

e. Difficulty – The sum of the Value Parts.

2. Description of Hand Grip Positions – Uneven Bars: 

NOTE: When a handstand or circling element to handstand is followed by a turn, the turn is considered

as part of that circle or handstand. Together, it is considered one element. (Example: clear hip handstand

1/2 turn is one advanced high superior element.)

a. Overgrip or Regular Grip – Used for kips, casts, hip circles, backward giants, etc. When in a front

support, knuckles are facing upward, palms down.

b. Undergrip or Reverse Grip – Used for front giants, forward stride (mill circles), etc. and is sometimes

attained by means of a “hop change” from overgrip. When in a front support, knuckles are facing

downward, palms upward or forward.

c. Mixed Grip – One hand is in overgrip and the other is in undergrip.

d. L-Grip or Eagle Grip – The arms are twisted 360 degrees from undergrip, through overgrip and

continuing. The arms are twisted with thumbs pointed away from the body. In an L-grip front giant,

elbows are pointing in the direction of the giant.

e. Mixed L-Grip – One hand is in L-grip and the other hand is almost always in an undergrip.

3. Description of Handstand Turn Techniques – Uneven Bars: 

a. Blind Change – A basic ½ turn typically performed as a back giant, back stalder, sole circle, or clear

hip to handstand nears completion. The gymnast’s chest leads or moves forward. When turning left,

the left hand remains on the bar and, if continuing through handstand, the right hand regrasps in an

undergrip. A blind change can include a second hand change to finish in an overgrip if connecting to

an underswing ½ over the low bar (bail ½ turn) rather than continuing through handstand.

b. Pirouette – This term is normally used for a ½ turn in handstand in which there are two hand changes,

one before the turn and one after the turn. When turning right, the left hand first changes from

overgrip to undergrip while pivoting around the left arm. As the turn is completed, the right hand

regrasps in overgrip and the left hand is again in overgrip as a result of the ½ turn.

c. Higgins Roll – This ½ turn occurs as the gymnast leaves the handstand, leading with the back. When

turning right, the left hand remains on the bar and twists to an L-grip as she turns. The right hand

regrasps in either a mixed L-grip or in an L-grip. (Looks like a ½ pirouette but the base hand doesn’t


d. Healy Technique: 360 degree turn on one arm – this is a full turn on one arm performed after the

handstand phase. The base (pivoting) hand begins in undergrip and pivots on one arm until a full turn

has been completed. It finishes in a mixed L-grip or L-grip.

4. Inquiries: A coach shall submit a written inquiry or a verbal intent to inquire with the meet referee within

five minutes after all scores are recorded for that team for that event. For example, if a coach wants to

submit a written inquiry on balance beam, but the team is immediately up on floor exercise, the coach

may verbally notify the meet referee of intent to inquire. At the next earliest opportunity, the coach shall

submit the written inquiry to the meet referee. Following the first inquiry submitted by the coach, any

subsequent inquiry, with the exception of inquiries concerning mathematical errors, that does not result

in a score correction shall result in a 0.5 team score deduction.

5. Description of Selected Jumps and Leaps: 

a. There are three leg positions that are the basis of the criteria for awarding credit for leaps and jumps

requiring a split. Split or stag-split leaps/jumps have a forward-backward split. Side split jumps have

a sideward split (straddle). In a straddle pike position, the body is piked at the hips with legs horizontal

and split to at least 135º.

b. To receive credit for a Schuschunova, the gymnast must show straddle-pike jump, legs horizontal,

then legs circle around to stretched position prior to landing in a front lying position on the floor.

c. The Khorkina is listed to draw attention to the fact that the twist is a horizontal, not a vertical twist and

it has no root jump/leap. A Khorkina is leap, 1½ horizontal twist to the prone position. All other jumps

and leaps have the same value to the prone position as to a stand.

d. A switch-leg leap to wolf position has the same value as a wolf jump. It is considered a different

element because the take-off is from one leg rather than from two. A switch-leg leap to wolf position

is a wolf shape.

e. A hitchkick and a cabriole do not have a shape and therefore may not be used in a series to satisfy the

event requirement of a dance series of different shapes on floor exercise.

6. Vaulting: Due to the 3º slant in the top of the vault table, a slight bend in the first arm to make contact

is acceptable technique on Tsukahara and quarter-on vaults, so there is no deduction taken.

Round-off entry vaults are legal provided a spotter is present before the gymnast vaults and there is a

board safety mat around the board. It is legal for a round-off entry vault to include a salto and a twist in

any flight phase.


Copyright ©2011 National Federation of State High School Associations. All Rights Reserved.

National Federation of State High School Associations
PO Box 690 • Indianapolis, IN 46206 • PHONE: 317.972.6900 • FAX: 317.822.5700


  Hall Of FameiHoopsLogo2     NIAAA   Let's Move In School