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Apparatus & Attire Regulations


Rhythmic Program

Rules & Policies


 Part II




A.   All apparatus must meet USA Gymnastics/FIG specifications. This is the responsibility of the coach and the gymnast. Refer to FIG "Measurements, Dimensions and Forms" booklet and the FIG Code of Points.

B.   An equipment check can be conducted for all USA Gymnastics sanctioned meets.



A.   Material: The rope may be of hemp, or synthetic material provided that it posses the identical qualities of lightness, suppleness as does rope made of hemp.

B.   Length: the length is in proportion to the size of the gymnast.

C.   Ends: Handles of any kind are not allowed but one or two knots are permitted at each end. At the ends (to the exclusion of all other parts of the rope) an anti-slip material, either colored or neutral may cover a maximum of 10 cm.

D.   Shape: The rope may be either of a uniform diameter or be progressively thicker in the center provided that this thickening is of the same material as the rope.

E.    Color: The rope must be colored (all or partially).



A.   Material: The hoop may be of wood or plastic, provided that the latter retains its shape during the movement.
Note: Foreign particles should be removed from inside the hoop before use.

B.   Diameter: The interior diameter of the hoop is from 80 to 90 centimeters.
Weight: A minimum of 300 grams

1.     Children and Hope age group weight: a minimum of 225 grams.

C.   Shape: The cross section of the hoop may be in several different shapes; circular, square, rectangular, oval, etc. The hoop may be smooth or ridged, and it may be all or partially covered with adhesive tape (not fluorescent) either of the same color as the hoop or of a different color.

D.   Color: The hoop may be a natural color or may be (all or partially) covered by one or several colors.

E.    The diameter of the hoop may be in proportion to the size of the gymnast for the Children and Hope Age-Group Divisions.



A.   Material: The ball may be made of rubber or synthetic material (pliable plastic) provided that the latter possesses the same elasticity as rubber.

B.   Diameter: 18 to 20 centimeters

C.   Weight: a minimum of 400 grams for Level 9/10. Minimum weight for Levels 5-8 is 330 grams.

D.   Color: The ball may be of any color.

E.    The diameter of the ball may be between 14 and 20 cm for the Children's Age-Group Division.

F.    The ball may weigh a minimum of 200 grams for the Children's Age-Group Division.



A.   Material: The clubs may be made of wood or synthetic material.

B.   Length: 40 to 50 centimeters from one end to the other.

C.   Weight: a minimum of 150 grams for each club.

D.   Shape: A shape similar to that of a bottle. The wider part is called the body. The narrow part, the neck, ends in a small sphere, the head. The head has a maximum diameter of 3 cm. The head may be replaced by an enlargement of the end of the neck. An anti-slip material may cover the head provided that the diameter for this part remains at the regulatory of 3 cm. The neck and the body of the club can also be covered with adhesive tape.

E.    Color: The clubs may be of a neutral color or may be colored (all or partially) with one or several colors.

F.    The length of each club must be a minimum of 25cm and appropriate to the size of the athlete.

G.   Each club may weigh a minimum of 75 grams for the Children and Hope Age-Group Division.



A.   Stick

1.     Material: wood, bamboo, plastic, fiberglass

2.     Diameter: a maximum of 1 cm at its widest part

3.     Shape: cylindrical or conical, or even a combination of the two shapes.

4.     Length: 50 to 60 cm including the ring that permits the fastening of the ribbon to the stick. The bottom end of the stick may be covered by an adhesive, anti-slip tape or may have a rubber handle for a maximum length of 10 cm at the level of the grip. The top of the stick where the ribbon will be attached may consist of:

a.            a supple strap (string or nylon) held in place by a nylon thread wound round the stick for a maximum of 5 cm.

b.           a metal ring fixed directly onto the stick.

c.            a metal ring (vertical, horizontal or oblique) fixed to the stick by two metal pins held in place by nylon or metallic thread wound round the stick for a maximum of 5 cm.

d.           a metal ring (fixed, mobile or pivoting) or a supple strap fixed to a metal tip or no more than 3 cm.

e.            a metal ring fixed by two metal pins held by a metal tip of 3 cm long which is lengthened by nylon or metallic thread wound round the stick adding up to a maximum length of 5 cm.

f.      color: any choice.

B.   Ribbon

1.     Material: satin or other similar non-starched material

2.     Color: any choice; a single color, two colors or multicolored.

3.     Weight: (without the stick or the attachment) a minimum of 35 grams.

4.     Width: 4 to 6 cm.

5.     Length: from one end to the other, the finished length of the ribbon is a minimum of 6 meters; this part must be in one piece.

a.           The end that is attached to the stick, is doubled for a maximum length of 1 meter. This is stitched down both sides. At the top, a very thin reinforcement or rows of machine stitching for a maximum length of 5 cm is authorized.

b.           This extremity may end in a strap, or have an eyelet (a small hole, edged with buttonhole stitch or a metal circle), to permit attaching the ribbon.

C.   Attachment of the Ribbon to the Stick

1.     The ribbon is fixed to the stick by means of a supple attachment such as thread, nylon cord, or a series of articulated rings.

2.     The length of this attachment: a maximum of 7 cm (not counting the strap or metal ring at the end of the stick where it will be fastened).

D.   Hope/Junior Division (All Levels): The finished length of the ribbon may be a minimum of 5 meters for the Junior Age Division. The ribbon may weigh a minimum of 30 grams without attachments.

E.    Children's Division: The finished length of the ribbon may be a minimum of 4 1/2 meters for the Children's Age Division. The ribbon may weigh a minimum of 20 grams without attachments for the Children's Age Division.



A.   All apparatus used by a group must be identical (weight, dimension and shape); only the colors may be different.

B.   Novice Division: The finished length of the ribbon may be a minimum of 4 meters.



A.   Levels 3 through 8 – Junior Olympic "Dress of Gymnasts" will be applied:

1.     Leotard

a.           Skirts are allowed in the J.O. program according to FIG specifications. Clarification: Skirts should be no longer than upper thigh.

b.           A correct gymnastic leotard in non-transparent material: therefore, leotards which have some part in lace will have to be lined (in the area of the trunk).

c.            The neckline of the front and back of the leotard must be proper (no more than half of the sternum, no more than at the lower line of the shoulder blades).

d.           Leotards may be with or without sleeves but dance leotards with narrow straps are not allowed.

e.            The cut of the leotard at the top of the legs must not go beyond the fold of the crotch (maximum)

f.      Leotards may be of any color.

g.           Any decoration or trim added to the leotard, either loose or stuck to the garment (flowers, ribbons, etc.) must adhere to the leotard.

2.     It is allowed to wear:

a.           long tights down to the ankles, over the leotard

b.           a full-length one-piece leotard (unitard), provided that it adheres to the body and the legs.

c.            all the norms set for leotards are also required.

3.     Leotards for group gymnasts must be identical in shape and color. All the norms set for leotards are also required.

4.     Level 3/4 gymnasts are required to wear the same leotard for all exercises (with regard to color and style) throughout a meet. Level 5 - 8 gymnasts may wear a different leotard for all optional routines, but are not required to have a different leotard for each event.

B.   At the Junior Olympic level it is inappropriate for leotards to give the appearance of excessive nudity. (Clarification of excessive nudity: bikini lines, plunging necklines, lingerie/underwear, the base color of a leotard should not be nude.)

1.     Recommendation to coaches to have their athlete properly attired for audience appeal and overall safety of the athlete and surrounding athletes.

C.   Additional Attire Regulations for all Gymnasts

1.     Footwear will be gymnastics slippers or bare feet.

2.     Hairstyle must be neat and trim. Scintillating objects (rhinestones), feathers, large flowers are not permitted in hair.

3.     For the safety of the gymnast, no jewelry is allowed.

D.   Penalties-taken by the head judge

1.     0.30 point each time one of these rules is not met.

2.     0.50 point if the fault is made by the whole group.

3.     The first time a leotard deduction is taken in a competition, the meet referee must send a note to inform the gymnast’s coach of the deduction.


Note: Leotards should be checked before the gymnast enters the competition area.


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