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Artistic Gymnastics Rules of the Summer Olympics

Yahoo Contributor Network

The average American girl can probably tell you she's been subjected to dance or gymnastics lessons at one point in her life, most often it's ballet.

Anyone that knows anything about dance knows that there are different styles since they are apparent. Ballet is vastly different from hip-hop. But a lot of people don't realize that there are different types of gymnastics. One kind of gymnastics is artistic gymnastics, which has been a part of the Olympic Games since it's origin in 1896. This summer Olympics will be no different in London 2012.

But for those who don't know the first thing about artistic gymnastics, except that the American team wears red, white, and blue leotards, here are some basic rules to know:

RULES OF THE APPARATUS

Artistic gymnastics is performed on the vaulting table, the uneven bars, the beam, and on the floor.

VAULT

The vault is jumped over using a springboard. The gymnasts perform two vaults, the better score of which is chosen.

UNEVEN BARS

The uneven bars are made of fiberglass. The tallest one is 2.5 meters and the lower one is 1.7 meters. The gymnasts switch between the bars while doing the routine.

BEAM

The beam is probably the hardest of all of the apparatuses. It is ten centimeters wide and five meters long. The gymnasts must perform a routine of multiple jumps, leaps, turns, etc, in which they dismount at the end. The routine is supposed to last 90 seconds.

FLOOR

Finally, the floor is the place where the gymnast normally gets to individualize their routines the most. The routines are accompanied by music

THE FOUR PHASES OF COMPETITION

QUALIFYING

Gymnasts either compete as part of a team or as an individual. The scores from the qualifying round are used to qualify for the finals. However, the scores are not carried over into the final round.

ALL-AROUND FINALS

The top 24 men and women go on to the finals and perform on all apparatus. Those with the highest scores medal. The individual all-around is the highest achievement a gymnast can get.

TEAM FINALS

The top eight men's and women's teams from the qualifying round compete in this round. They compete again on all apparatus. The highest score of this round gets the title.

APPARATUS FINALS

The top eight men and women who place the highest in the qualifying round go on to this section of the finals. Those who win this round medal.

JUDGING

This style of judging is the most original of all competitive gymnastics. There is a "chair," which is the head judge, and a panel of eight judges who are broken down into two panels. The "A" panel calculates the start value, which is the highest that the gymnast can score. The "B" panel determines the deductions taken off of the start value based off the gymnast's execution of the routine.

PENALTIES, DISQUALIFICATIONS, AND PROTESTS

Penalties include going out of bounds, going over the given time limit, etc.

Disqualifications are a result of breaking a FIG rule or showing no regard for sports ethics and rules.

Protests are only allowed on the difficulty score on a gymnast of your own country.

The qualifying rounds of the 2012 Olympics begin on July 28, 2012. The final rounds will end on Aug. 7, 2012. To find out the full schedule, check out. www.london2012.com.

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