Height from the floor is 1.25 metres for women and 1.35 for the men. The vaulting table is placed with the sloping edge facing the runway and is the same for men and women. Each vault is awarded a value according to its difficulty. Judges assess the height, length and shape of the vault and also the exactness of the turns before and after the somersault and the controlled landing within a marked corridor down the centre of the landing mat. Gymnasts perform only one vault for Qualifications and Individual All-around finals, unless they are attempting to qualify for apparatus finals, which requires them to show two different vaults that must show different repulsion phases or take off position from the top of the vaulting table, either forwards or backwards. The top 8 scoring gymnasts then compete in the Vault Final, in which the scores of the 2 performed vaults are averaged.
Uneven Bars (UB)
Low bar is now measured from floor to top of low bar as 170cm and to high bar top at 250cm +/- 1cm. The maximum width allowed between the bars is 180cm. Swinging and continuous movements are required on this apparatus. The exercise should include movements in both directions, above and below the bars. Elements with twists and somersaults with multiple grip changes and high flight should be demonstrated to maximise scores. Often a spectacular dismount ends the routine.
Balance Beam (BB)
Height of the beam from the floor: 1.25 metres. The beam is five metres long and only 10 cm wide. A routine on the beam should be an artistic combination of a variety of acrobatic elements and gymnastic leaps, jumps and turns which all show the gymnasts working at different levels, both close to and leaving the beam. The gymnast should use the entire length of the beam, demonstrating elegance, flexibility, rhythm, balance, confidence and control. The routine is finished with a dismount that should be a series of acrobatic elements and can be very spectacular. The maximum length of a routine on beam is 90 seconds.
Floor Exercise (FX)
The floor measures 12 x 12 metres, with an additional safety border of 1 metre. The performance area must have a surface elasticity to allow for power during take-off and softness for landing. Women’s floor exercise is accompanied by music to enhance the performance. Music should not include words but may include vocals in an instrumental style. Routines should combine connections of dance movements with a variety of tumbling and acrobatic elements. The whole floor area should be used with the exercise being varied in mood, tempo and direction. Individuality, originality, maturity, mastery and artistry of presentation are key ingredients for a high score. The Maximum length of a floor routine is 90 seconds for women.
Floor Exercise (FX)
Men’s floor focuses more on tumbling, strength and balance; each routine must combine moves such as somersaults, twists and leaps. The whole floor area should be used and the routine should show a personal touch of expression and execution. The Maximum length of a floor routine is 70 seconds for men.
Pommel Horse (PH)
The dimensions of a competition pommel horse are specified as having a height of: 1.05 metres above the mat and Length at the top of 1.60 metres. The distance between pommels however may be chosen by the gymnast but must be between 40 and 45 cm apart. The pommel horse routine should be a smooth continuous chain of circular and pendulum type swings, double leg circles, scissor movements and undercuts using the full length of the horse.
The rings are positioned 2.60 metres above the mats, (including 20cm for the landing mats) and are suspended from a frame, which is 5.75 metres tall. They are hung 50 cm apart and prove a formidable challenge for all male competitors. Ring routines should include a variety of movements demonstrating strength, support and balance. The gymnast should perform a series of swings and holds with both forward and backward elements and the routine should finish with an acrobatic dismount.
Parallel Bars (PB)
The parallel bars are 1.80 metres above the mats however the distance between the two bars are variable according to the gymnast’s preferences. This is essential as gymnasts perform many handstand elements and swinging movements between the bars and so they must be able to be positioned differently because of the varied width of gymnast’s frames. Like the rings, the parallel bars require a combination of swinging movements with strength or hold parts. The gymnasts should travel along and work both above and below the bars. The exercise should be predominantly swinging. Many gymnasts will also perform release moves in-between the bars, which may include double somersaults. The routine is ended with a dismount and gymnasts must have a clean landing if they hope for a perfect score. The majority of routines feature a double pike dismount.
Horizontal (High) Bar (HB)
The bar is 240 cm long and 2.60 metres above the mats; the 28 mm thick bar is constructed from high tensile stainless steel. This piece completes a gymnasts All Around competition when competing in Olympic order, and is renowned for its spectacular highflying releases. Gymnast’s should perform continuous clean swinging movements and must not touch the bar with their body. They are required to demonstrate changes of grip, swinging movements both forward and backward, plus release and re-grasp of the bar. Dismounts are an important part of the total routine and are usually acrobatic and dynamic.