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Rules and Regulations

2020-2022 NFHS Rules Changes

Girls Gymnastics Rules Changes 2020-2022

By nfhs on May 28, 2020 


2020-22 Girls Gymnastics Rules Changes

3-3-1 — Clarifies the proper uniform.

5-1-5, 5-1-6b — Permits state associations to adopt their own inquiry procedures.

5-1-6— Standardizes the deduction for competing out of order.

6-1-1— Specifies that tape, chalk or other substances may not be used on the Vault Table.

6-1-2— Specifies the procedure for securing the top landing mat.

6-1-4 — Specifies that chalk may not be used on the runway and adds maximum length of tape.

6-2-6c(2) — Specifies that the safety zone must be present around the front and sides of the board and eliminates the requirement of a coach being present for a round-off entry/Yurchenko vault.

6-4-2a — Specifies a deduction for a vault that does not pass through the vertical.

7-3-3— Eliminates redundant language and streamlines the composition category for ease of use.

7-3-4c(8) NOTES — Standardizes the deduction for extra swings.

8-2-1 — Standardizes the fall time.

8-3-3 — Eliminates redundant language and streamlines the composition category for ease of use.


9-3-3— Eliminates redundant language and streamlines the composition category for ease of use.


2020-22 Girls Gymnastics Editorial Changes

4-1-2e NOTE 4, 7-4a-e, 7-6-7, 8-3-5 NOTE 4


2020-22 Girls Gymnastics Element Changes

7-6-1 (Box 1.104c), 7-6-5 (Box 5.101), 7-6-8 (Box 8.402), 7-6-8 (Box 8.201 and Box 8.203),

7-6-9 (Box 9.205, 9.305a, 9.305b, 9.405a, 9.405b, 9.405c, 9.306a, 9.406a), 8-6-2 (Box 2.109),

8-6-3 (Box 3.302), 9-6-1 (Box 1.109, 1.409c), 9-6-10 (Box 10.402)


Points of Emphasis

  1. Awarding Credit
  2. Composition
  3. Event Requirements on Floor
  4. Seven Ways to Break a Series



2020-2022 Points of Emphasis

2020-2022 Points of Emphasis

By NFHS on May 28, 2020 

1. Awarding Credit:

When an element is performed (M/S/HS/AHS), the judge must decide whether or not to award credit for that skill in the Difficulty category. If the technical criteria for that skill have been met, credit is awarded. If poor technique causes a fall after the landing of a skill, the skill is still considered complete for the purpose of awarding Difficulty. The fall is considered an error on that skill the same as any other Execution or amplitude error. A salto that does not land on the feet, a release element on bars in which the hands do not contact the bar, or an acro element that does not bear weight on the beam would not be considered complete and would receive no credit in the Difficulty category. These would then be considered void elements. Because it is void, it may not count as part of a series, pass, Event Requirement or Bonus.

When awarding credit in Bonus for an AHS, there must be no fall or spot. If there is a fall following the AHS, due to poor performance of that AHS, and weight is borne prior to the fall, the AHS is considered complete and credit may be awarded in Difficulty but is not awarded 0.2 in Bonus.

Examples: Standing back tuck on beam, front salto full on floor or double back salto flyaway on bars. If any of the above lands on the feet and then falls, each receives credit for Difficulty but no credit in Bonus for the AHS. Note that there is a difference in that awarding Difficulty credit requires only that the element be complete. Awarding AHS credit in Bonus requires the element be complete without a spot and without causing a fall.

2. Composition:

The intent of the composition category is to evaluate the structure of the routine. By reducing the number of deductions and combining similar deductions, the revised composition category will provide a more efficient method of evaluation. On the uneven bars, the choice of elements category in composition was redefined and is now worth up to 0.30. Guidelines for composition deductions will assist judges to identify deficiencies in composition and link them to the appropriate deduction. Balance beam and floor exercise composition requirements were adjusted to eliminate the redundant categories for ease of use and for better application of the rule.

3. Event Requirements on Floor:

Evaluating Acro Passes:

  1. A gymnast is required to have three acro passes in a floor routine. Each of the passes may be two or more directly connected acro elements. With the exception of the round-off, all elements in an acro pass must receive Value Part credit. The first two round-offs that are performed in a routine will receive medium credit. Any round-offs following the first two will not be eligible for difficulty credit. Although a third round-off (or any additional round-off) does not receive difficulty credit, if included in one of the three required acro passes, it may be used to fulfill the event requirement of three passes. A third isolated round-off, or a third round-off that is connected to a dance element, will receive no Value Part credit.

Sample Routine:

- round-off, back handspring, back tuck (M+M+S)

- round-off, straddle jump 1/1 (M+HS)

- front tuck, round-off, back handspring, back handspring (S+0+S)

- round-off, back handspring, full (0+M+HS)

- round-off, split jump (0+M)

All acro passes in the routine will count to fulfill the event requirement of three acro passes.

  1. All acro passes may consist of either backward, forward or sideward elements, including a pass of only two elements. A handstand with or without a turn has no direction unless it is completed as a front walkover or a handstand forward roll. A pass of only two elements must include a high superior, an advanced high superior or a back-to-back superior.

Examples of passes that meet the requirement:

1) round-off, double back (includes a AHS)

2) front tuck, front tuck (includes a BBS)

3) round-off, full (includes a HS)

Examples of passes that do not meet the requirement:

1) round-off, back tuck (M+S)

2) handspring, front tuck (M+S)

Evaluating the superior acro in the 3rd pass or as the last acro element:

  1. This event requirement requires that a gymnast either have a superior in her third acro pass or that her last acro element (may be isolated) is a superior. Credit may be awarded even if the first and/or second pass is broken.


1st pass - round-off, double full (M+AHS)

2nd pass - front tuck, 2 steps, round-off, back tuck (S / M+S = broken 2nd pass)

3rd pass - handspring, front layout, front tuck (M+S+S) - cartwheel to ending pose.

Comment: Gymnast would not receive credit for three passes but would receive credit for a superior in the third pass even though her second pass was broken due to extra steps. The third pass includes a superior and the ending cartwheel would not negate the credit.

  1.  Gymnast has two options to fulfill this event requirement:

1)      If the third pass qualifies as a pass and includes a superior acro, no deduction is taken

2)      If there is no superior in the third pass or if the third series does not qualify as a pass (according to the definition) proceed with the following:

a)       Determine the very last acro element in the routine. If it is a superior, no deduction is taken. The element could be an isolated superior or the last element of the third series that did not qualify as a pass.

Example: front tuck, takes a step, round-off, back tuck

This is not a pass but the superior back tuck qualifies if it is the last acro element in the routine.

b)      If the gymnast does not fulfill the requirement with either option, a 0.2 deduction is taken in Event Requirements.

4. Seventh Way to Break a Series:

Any deviation of body movement which is NOT in line with the beam breaks a series. For example, while attempting a back walkover-back walkover series on the beam, the gymnast leans sideways between the two back walkovers but keeps moving. If the torso/trunk deviates to the side, it is not in line with the beam and therefore breaks the series.

2021-2022 Rule Interpretations

Girls Gymnastics Rules Interpretations - 2021-22

By NFHS on July 28, 2021

Publisher’s Note: The National Federation of State High School Associations is the only source of official high school interpretations. They do not set aside nor modify any rule. They are made and published by the NFHS in response to situations presented.  Dr. Karissa L. Niehoff, Publisher, NFHS Publications © 2021

SITUATION 1: A gymnast uses a mounting block to mount the uneven bars. The chief judge does not take a deduction. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: A board/folded panel mat/mount trainer mat and a mounting block are all acceptable mounting apparatus and must be removed following the mount to avoid a 0.30 chief judge deduction for failure to remove the board. (7-1-3a, 7-3-7k)

SITUATION 2: A gymnast’s body passes around the side at approximately 60 degrees from the vertical plane during a handspring full vault. The judges deduct 0.30 for failure to pass through the vertical. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: Vaults must pass through the vertical plane to avoid an up to 0.30 deduction. (6-4-2a)

SITUATION 3: The judges deduct 0.05 in Composition for a routine that does not include a forward circling element. RULING: Correct procedure. COMMENT: A routine must include both forward and backward circling elements. [7-3-3(1)]

SITUATION 4: The judges deduct 0.30 for a routine that lacks a variety of acro elements. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: The maximum deduction for a routine that lacks a variety of acro elements is 0.15. [8-3-3(1)]

SITUATION 5: The judges deduct 0.15 for a lack of forward and backward tumbling in a routine. RULING: Incorrect procedure. COMMENT: The deduction in Composition for lack of acro elements in each of two different directions is 0.10. [9-3-3(7)]

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COVID-CLEANING OF EQUIPMENT - We wanted to share some documents USA gymnastic has recently uploaded to their website from manufacturers about cleaning equipment in the sport of gymnastics. The NFHS still recommends that you contact specific equipment manufacturers for specifics on proper cleaning protocols for their equipment, but below are from two different manufacturers. Additionally, you should follow their instructions directly as applying disinfectant chemicals improperly may have unintended results and place the gymnast at risk of injury.

1.  Spieth equipment:
2.  AAI Equipment:
     a.  Cleaning tips:
     b.  Vinyl Mats and shapes:\
     c.  Suede Beams and Vaults :