There are six events in men’s gymnastics — floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars and horizontal bar. This discipline requires an incredible amount of strength and power. Below is information on each of the six events.
Floor routines consist of dynamic tumbling skills. The best gymnasts will incorporate tumbling passes with multiple twisting and flipping, both forward and backward, throughout their routine. A gymnast must show power and control on this event.
Considered by many to be the most difficult of all men’s events, the pommel horse is also the most subtle. Each move is defined by complex hand placements. The gymnast must perform continuous circular movements interrupted only by the required scissors elements. The entire exercise should flow with controlled rhythm. A gymnast must show precise timing and balance throughout the routine.
Of all the men’s events, rings are the least stable, therefore requiring the greatest amount of strength. Just as its name suggests, the rings must be kept still while the gymnast is performing. There are two types of moves on the rings — strength positions and swing movements. Those with the best command of the event will display extraordinary skill in arriving at all holds with absolute precision.
Each vault is categorized in the Code of Points, the official rule book giving the relevant value of each skill performed. A good vault is sometimes described as a “big” vault. The height, the distance of travel, the overall acceleration into the vault and the sudden impact of a no-step, “stuck” landing all create a good impression for the judges.
A parallel bar routine consists of predominantly swing and flight elements. Watch for the gymnast to execute swing elements and skills in which both hands release and regrasp the bars. Some gymnasts move outside the two rails, performing handstands and kips on only one bar.
This event is also known as the high bar, and routines consist exclusively of swinging parts without stops. The parts are generally called giant swings, with more specific terms applying to changes in grip, direction and body position. Watch for the gymnast to execute release moves. Look for high-flying dismounts with multiple flips and twists and, of course, the gymnast aims to land the dismount with no extra steps.