INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 4, 2003) - Beginning in the 2005-06 season, the vaulting table replaced the long horse in high school boys gymnastics, according to the rules changes made during the NFHS Boys Gymnastics Rules Committee meeting February 23-24 in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Although the implementation of this rule will be difficult for some schools, it is necessary to keep up with the national trends of the sport, said Susan True, NFHS liaison to the Boys and Girls Gymnastics Rules Committees.
"This change provides a two-year grace period since there are serious financial implications to this change," True said. "However, all other gymnastics rules codes have already mandated the vaulting table. Therefore, the high school programs must find a way to fund this piece of equipment."
Other major changes focus on routine difficulty and risk minimization.
"All changes were made to minimize the inherent risk of the sport and make the rules even more reflective of the skill level of high school gymnasts while encouraging them to develop skills consistent with the trends of the sport," True said.
Rule 3-5-2 was changed to state that all exercises except vault may earn 2.6 points for difficulty, instead of 2.0. Similarly, Rule 4-2-1 increased the value of the B difficulty to 0.3 and C difficulty to 0.5 to increase recognition of the time and dedication required to learn many of these skills.
To minimize risk, the committee decided that a spotter should be permitted at the edge of the floor exercise mat for a D-value tumbling skill. Previously, Rule 4-5-2 allowed spotters on all events except pommel horse.
Rule 4 had many other changes regarding deductions, bonuses and procedures. Specifically, Rule 4-3-3d states that on swing skills that end in a strength-hold position or pass through or end in a handstand, deviations from correct entry to the final position shall receive the following deductions:
Small deduction - 16° to 30°.
Medium deduction - 31° to 44°.
Large deduction and non-recognition of the skill - 45° or more.
Previous rules already addressed similar deductions for hold skills, but not for swing skills to handstand or hold skills.