2004-05 NFHS Rule Interpretations


Rules Clarifications:

Front Tumbling PassTwo directly-connected tumbling skills, one of which (or the series) is a high superior or bonus high superior.

Rule 6-1-1 Note 2 – Add, “in addition to the vault table.”

Rule 8-3-1The mount, dismount, dance balances and body waves may NOT be used to fulfill the dance series or dance-tumbling/tumbling to dance series event requirements on beam.

Rule 8-4-6 (2) – tinsica forward/backward

Back-to-back superiors in a tumbling pass on floor – If there are 4 superiors/high superiors/bonus high superiors in a continuous, uninterrupted tumbling pass, the gymnast shall be given credit for two back-to-back superiors.  Therefore the last sentence of the Comment for Situation 4.1.2E on page 16 must be deleted, and the Comment for Situation 9.3.3A on page 81 must be deleted.


The revised definition is "Two directly connected tumbling skills, one of which (OR THE SERIES) is a high superior or bonus high superior."  Therefore, a FLYSPRING, front salto would meet that definition because the series is a high superior.  A regular front handspring, front salto would not unless the front handspring had a two foot landing and the front salto was in layout position or something that made it a high superior.


Situation 1:  Team A competes in its first event.  The coach submits an inquiry 4 minutes after the team’s scores have been recorded for that event.  Ten minutes later the meet referee brings the inquiry to the judging panel for consideration.  The judging panel refuses to consider the inquiry based on amount of time that passed.  Ruling:  Incorrect procedure.   Comment:  The meet referee determines whether or not the inquiry is legal and was submitted on time.  (2-4-9, 5-1-4)


Situation 2:  A coach submits an incorrect line up to the superior judge on bars than the line up submitted to the official score table.  After the gymnasts compete, the superior judge goes to the score table to verify the bar results and discovers the difference in the lineups.   The meet referee takes 1.0 off the team’s score.  Ruling:  Correct procedure.  Comment: The correct line up must be given to the superior judge prior to competition.  (3-2-3, 5-1-6i)


Situation 3:  A gymnast is deducted .1 for improper attire for wearing skin colored briefs that are exposed during her performance.  Ruling:  Incorrect procedure.  Comment:  Gymnasts who have difficulty obtaining matching-colored briefs may use skin colored briefs. (3-3-1)


Situation 4:  On vault at a dual meet, a scorer averages together all 4 scores of 2 judges to determine the gymnast’s score for vault.  The superior judge does not discover the error when she checks and signs the sheets to verify the results.  A coach notices the error after the sheets are signed.  The score is not changed because the meet results are considered final.  Ruling:  While Rule 5-1-4 states the coach has up to 5 minutes to submit a written inquiry after all scores for the team are recorded for that event, Rule 3-4-4 states that procedures for dealing with verified clerical errors in scores shall be determined by the state association.  Therefore, this clerical error could be corrected if permitted by state association procedures.


Situation 5:  On vault, a gymnast attempts a handspring front 1½ in the tuck position and does not land feet first.  The judges void the vault.  The gymnast designates a handspring front 1 ½ in the pike position for her second vault.  The judge does not allow it.  Ruling:  Incorrect procedure.  Comment:  A skill or vault performed in a different body position is considered a different skill or vault. (6-2-4c5, 6-6 group 10)


Situation 6:  A gymnast performing a quarter on – one and three quarters off vault on the vault table has a slight bend in the first arm onto the table.  The judges take no deduction for bent arms.  Ruling:  Correct procedure.  Comment:  On quarter-on vaults performed on the vault table, a slight bend in the front arm (or the first arm onto the table) is acceptable technique. (6-4-2c)


Situation 7:  A gymnast performing a tuck Tsukahara on a vault table has pronounced bent in both arms.  The judge takes a 0.3 deduction for bent arms.  Ruling:  Correct procedure.  Comment:  Although a slight bend in the front arm is acceptable technique for all quarter-on vaults onto a vault table, a pronounced bend in the arms shall receive a deduction up to 1.0.  (6-4-2c)


Situation 8:  A gymnast performs a long hang kip to clear support immediately to a long hang swing forward, then backward to a long-hang uprise.  The judges deduct for an extra swing and do not award back-to-back superior credit.  Ruling:  Incorrect procedure.  Comment:  On skills where a forward swing is required first, but the difficult portion of the skill is performed on the backward swing following, such as a straddle back, a long uprise, or an inward salto, the forward swing performed prior to the backward swing IS considered as a part of the skill.  The forward swing may be performed as a long swing (as in a support on the HB,  cast off and swing forward), a clear underswing (like the start of a clear hip circle and shoot legs forward), or an underswing with feet on the bar (as in sole circle and shoot legs forward).  None of the above would break the back-to-back superior.


Situation 9:  On bars, a gymnast performs a handstand ½ turn on HB then releases the bar and lands on her feet on the floor, ending her routine.  The judges deduct 0.5 for a fall and 0.2 in event requirements for not having a superior dismount.  Ruling:  Incorrect procedure.  Comment: Because the skill ended her routine, it is considered her dismount.  Therefore, no deduction is taken for a fall.  There is a 0.2 deduction under Event Requirements not having a superior dismount. (7-2-2g, 7-2-3)  


Situation 10:  A gymnast includes the following in her bar routine:  cast handstand with 1/1 turn in the beginning of her routine and again prior to her dismount. The judges award 0.4 in Bonus for including two bonus high superior difficulties in her routine.  Ruling: Incorrect procedure.  Comment: To earn the full 0.4 for bonus high superiors, the routine must contain at least two different high superiors.  [7-3-5d, 7-4-7(4)]


Situation 11:  During her bar routine, a gymnast performs a clear back hip circle on the LB, clear back hip circle to handstand on HB and then a clear back hip circle on HB through handstand to back salto dismount.  The judges award a superior and 2 high superiors for these skills. Ruling: Correct procedure.  Comment:  All three skills are separately illustrated in the rules book.  [7-4-2(2), 7-4-2(3), 7-4-8(36)]


Situation 12:  On the uneven bars, a gymnast receives high superior difficulty credit for performing a layout flyaway dismount.  Ruling:  Incorrect procedure.  Comment:  A layout flyaway is a superior skill. [7-4-8(18)]


Situation 13: On the balance beam, a gymnast receives credit for a tumbling series for a back handspring directly connected to a back tuck salto dismount. Ruling: Correct procedure. Comment:  The mount and/or dismount may be used to fulfill the tumbling series event requirement. [8-2-3, 8-4-8(19)]


Situation 14:  Judges award a gymnast 2 high superiors on beam for directly connecting a superior jump to a high superior jump (one high superior for the series and one for the high superior jump in the series).  Ruling: Incorrect procedure.  Comment:  A gymnast cannot use the same skill twice for difficulty or back-to-back superior credit.  If a gymnast performs a superior jump connected to a high superior jump, she receives 1 superior and 1 high superior difficulty credit plus back-to-back superior credit.  If a gymnast performs a high superior jump/leap to a high superior jump/leap, she would receive credit for two high superiors, not three, plus back-to-back superior credit.   (8-3-3e Note, 8-4-4 Note 1)


Situation 15:  A gymnast performs a toe rise to an extreme body wave on the beam.  She receives back-to-back superior credit and event requirement credit for a dance series.  Ruling: Incorrect procedure.  Comment:  Although both skills are superior difficulty, the dance series event requirement may not include balances or body waves. (8-2-3 f)


Situation 16:  A gymnast includes two directly connected cartwheels and a cartwheel, back salto dismount in her balance beam routine.  The judges award a superior for the cartwheel series, a medium for the cartwheel prior to the dismount and a superior for the back salto dismount.  Ruling:  Correct procedure.  Comment:  Rule 8-2-5 states that two directly connected medium difficulties that both attain or pass through the vertical are performed on the beam, the series is awarded a superior, therefore the series of cartwheels is considered a different skill from a single cartwheel. 


Situation 17:  A Shuschunova to a back hip circle receives superior difficulty credit on beam.  Ruling: Correct procedure.  Comment:  All jumps to prone/back hip circle shall be evaluated according to the difficulty of the root jump; in this case, the straddle-pike jump, legs horizontal.  (8-4-4, 8-4-4 Note 2)


Situation 18:  A coach places an 8” skill cushion in one corner of the floor exercise mat.  The superior judge takes a 2.0 deduction for altering/exceeding equipment specifications from the gymnast’s average score.  Ruling:  Correct procedure.  Comment:  Only a 4” skill cushion may be placed on the floor exercise mat for landing a superior, high superior or bonus high superior tumbling skill.  (Rule 9-1-3)


Situation 19:  Judges are alerted prior to the start of the meet that a deaf gymnast will be competing on floor.  The judges do not take any deductions related to music and movement not in harmony or not ending with the music.  Ruling: Correct procedure.  Comment:  A deaf gymnast must compete to music.  Her coach may signal her when the music begins.  (9-3-4f)


Situation 20:  A gymnast is not given difficulty credit on floor for a front 1¼ salto to a prone position.  Ruling: Correct procedure.  Comment: The rules do not require aerials to be performed to feet-first landings.  (9-3-4h)


Situation 21:  A gymnast includes a pike jump, 90°, ¾ twist in her floor exercise routine.  The judges award a medium for this jump.  Ruling:  Correct procedure.  Comment:  Although not separately listed on the jump/leap chart under floor exercise, a pike jump, 90°, ¾ twist is a “legal” jump of medium difficulty. 


Situation 22:  A gymnast includes a 180° split leap, 1/1 twist to split sit in her floor exercise routine.  The judges award bonus high superior for this leap.  Ruling:  Correct procedure.  Comment:  The difficulty awarded is consistent with tour jete with 150-180° split receiving superior difficulty and a tour jete to split sit receiving high superior difficulty.  (9-4-1)


Situation 23: A gymnast on floor exercise performs a front handspring step out to front  handspring to two-foot landing.  The gymnast is awarded superior difficult credit for series of front handsprings.  Ruling: Correct procedure. [9-4-7 (10)]


Situation 24:  A gymnast on floor exercise receives high superior credit for each of the following series:  a series of butterflies and a series of whipbacks.  Ruling:  Incorrect procedure.  Comment:  A series of whipbacks must be followed directly by a difficulty to receive high superior difficulty credit.  [9-4-9 (11)]


Situation 25:  A gymnast performs the following tumbling pass on floor:  Front salto walkout, round off, back handspring series, back salto, punch front salto walkout, round off, back handspring.  The judges award two back-to-back superiors for this pass.  Ruling:  Correct procedure.


Meet Management Suggestion:  Since the rules now state that an inquiry must be submitted within 5 minutes after the scores for that team are recorded for the event, it would be helpful if the scorekeepers noted the time that the last score for each team is recorded on each event.  A possible form would look like –


Record of Time Last Score Is Recorded











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