Rhythmic Gymnastics Apparatus
Within the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics there are 5 different apparatus that are used by athletes to create beautiful and powerful routines set to the backdrop of epic and moving music.
The five apparatus are Hoop, Ribbon, Ball, Clubs and Rope. We will explore each of these apparatus in coming blogs and discover how each can be manipulated differently and how they can affect the composition of a routine.
Whether you’ve crushed a three-pointer, curved one around the goal-keeper to score the game winning goal, shot a hole-in-one, spiked one over the net and past your opponents, or even soared it over the other teams heads to cash in a grand-slam – at one point or another in your life you’ve had an interaction with a ball. For many, a ball is the basis of the whole sport. For Rhythmic Gymnastics it is one fifth of apparatus used in our sport. And as with every sport there are specific dimensions that an athlete’s ball must measure up to.
(Edmonton Rhythmics Gabriella Carvalho)
Rhythmic gymnasts will toss, catch, bounce and roll the ball throughout their routines while adding extra difficulties like blind catches and tosses, rotations, different body parts all with perfect synchronicity to the chosen music.
When competing in a ball exercise, athletes must ensure the following parameters are met: the ball must be made of either rubber or synthetic material with a diameter of 18-20cm and a weight of 400grams. According to FIG (International Gymnastics Federation) routines often are elegant and lyrical, and lend themselves to flowing rather than fast-paced movements. During the performance, gripping of the ball is not allowed, the ball should rest in the gymnast’s hand and not against the wrist.
FIG - Discipline (gymnastics.sport)
Every apparatus has a group of four Fundamental Technical Movements and a group of Non-Fundamental Movements. At least one of these movements must be performed during Body Difficulties to make that BD valid – the same fundamental technical movement can not be performed identically during different Body Difficulties throughout the routine. These movements for ball are:
A minimum of one of each of the Fundamental Apparatus Technical Groups are required in each routine, if performing any of the movements multiple times they must vary in plane, level or area of the body to be counted.
Here is a video of NorGlen’s master’s group performing their double ball routine at the club’s 40th anniversary gala! The double ball routine that was inspired by the incredible group Malmoflickorna from Sweden starts at 33:20
Follow this link to find the video’s from this year’s virtual Elite Canada competition, our very own Edmonton Rhythmics had athletes entered into the event! You can take a look at routines featuring all the apparatus as well as the group routines!
Canada Gymnastics Events & Results | Gymnastics Canada (gymcan.org)
Here is an example of a 5 ball group routine from Alberta’s senior FIG group at Elite Canada 2020: