INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — High school athletes participating in girls gymnastics now have additional uniform options beginning with the 2022-23 season is one of several changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations Girls Gymnastics Rules Committee at its meeting and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
Among the changes adopted were an expansion of acceptable uniforms, procedures for correcting scoring errors during a meet, athlete safety following a fall, revaluing leaps and jumps on balance beam that land in the side position, and the addition of a dance passage and a turn to event requirements on floor exercise.
“The Girls Gymnastics Rules Committee adopted the new uniform changes to reflect current uniform trends in the sport as well as accommodate cultural and religious norms,” said Julie Cochran, NFHS director of sports and liaison to the committee.
According to Rule 3-3-1, gymnasts will now have the option to wear black undergarments, unitards, ankle-length leggings, tights or fitted shorts that may be worn with the leotard provided the apparel meets color requirements. Additionally, head coverings worn for religious reasons were added as part of the acceptable uniform. Procedures for correcting clerical errors during a competition were added in Rule 5-1-5. The rule specifies the conditions when a Chief Judge is permitted to make score adjustments. Once the score is submitted to the scoring system, a score may not be changed unless there is an inquiry. The procedure also clarifies that any change to a gymnast’s score must be reported to the coach of the competitor affected.
Rules 6-2-1, 7-2-2 and 8-2-1b were amended to provide a clear procedure to follow when a fall occurs on vaults, bars and beam. The change clarifies the 45-second fall time begins when an athlete is standing on the feet. This risk minimization procedure also gives gymnasts the opportunity to assess their condition before continuing.
“The continued emphasis on athlete safety is a focal point of the rules committee,” Cochran said.
Leaps and jumps that land in the side position on Balance Beam were re-evaluated. Because of the added difficulty in landing sideways on the beam, specific leaps and jumps were given a higher value.
Finally, the dance event requirements on floor exercise were modified. A turn and a dance passage were added to reflect not only the current trends on floor but also to provide an expanded opportunity for a competitor to use dance as an interpretation of movement and music.
A complete listing of the girls gymnastics rules changes will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Gymnastics-Girls.”
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Written by NFHS Publications & Communications