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Gymnastics 101: Your guide to Clemson gymnastics

Toby Corriston
Redshirt junior Eve Jackson performs a pass between the bars against Pitt, earning a score of 9.825.

With the addition of head coach Amy Smith and her elite squad, gymnastics officially became the 11th varsity women’s sport at Clemson. Although the competition has exploded in popularity, many students are left scratching their heads as to how points are awarded.
It’s not quite as simple as scoring a basket or running to the endzone and is instead made up of four main events — balance beam, uneven bars, vault and floor — with specific requirements that determine the score.

Starting in no particular order, the beam requires an insane amount of balance at the risk of falling off and seeing points heavily docked. In their routine, a gymnast must perform a leap or jump, a 180-degree split in the air, an acrobatic series, a dance or a dance with acrobatic elements and a C difficulty dismount.

Next, during their uneven bar routine, a gymnast must switch between the low and high bars twice, release and catch the same bar or a different bar at least twice and perform a skill that turns and a C difficulty dismount.

Typically, the most popular component for fans to watch is the floor. On the mat, a gymnast must have at least two tumbling passes in their routine in addition to a dance series with a jump involving a 180-degree split. Between the two tumbling passes, she must have three different flips, while at least one tumbling pass has to contain two flips and the last pass must have a C difficulty for the final flip.

Vault is scored differently because it is essentially a single skill. There are two common vaults seen in NCAA gymnastics, known as Yurchenko one and a half or Yurchenko full. The one and a half has a 10.0 start value; points are deducted from there based on rotation and landing, while the full has a 9.95 start value.

Not all routines start from a 10.0, and each depends on the level of difficulty. The most common deductions in gymnastics include small or large steps on landing, flexed feet, bent knees and falling. These all result in a varying number of points deducted, with a fall being the most significant deduction of -.50 points.

Clemson is currently ranked No. 24 in the Road to Nationals standings, and the girls are not slowing down any time soon. Their score of 196.325 against William & Mary was the highest of any team’s opening meet of their inaugural season, according to Inside Gymnastics — just another way this team is making history.

The Tigers will hit the road to take on North Carolina in Chapel Hill this Friday and will be back in action at Littlejohn Coliseum next Friday, Feb. 2, against NC State at 7:30 p.m.

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About the Contributors
Olivia Redix
Olivia Redix, Senior Reporter
Toby Corriston, Asst. Photo Editor
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