Technical Corner

Michael Ashe, NorCal Technical DirectorMichael Ashe is our honorable Northern California State Technical Director.

Coaches who have questions regarding judging, rules, interpretations or just have a bone to pick about some random meet protocol… HE’s the go to guy!

Q.: On P.Bar Level 7 routine, I have some gymnasts that do the pirouette bonus (we also want to be able to do one extra swing prior to the back tuck dismount). I’m confused about this routine and where the bonus falls; extra swings? Missing Parts?

A: From Nat Hammond (by way of Michael Ashe)

The key may be located in the Performance Criteria of part #10, the dismount.

SB#3 says to perform the pirouette in part #8 or #9, both are swings, with #9 required to nominal handstand.

Part #10 is written as “swing forward, salto backward tucked piked or stretched” or “swing forward, swing backward to salto forward tucked, piked, or streched.”

Under part #10, the dismount, it states in the Performance Criteria, “One full extra swing allowed prior to salto backward tucked.

Seeing as #10 does not include a “full swing”, I would defer to the Performance Criteria allowing 1 full extra swing prior to the salto backward tucked.

The only clarification possible needed is that the Performance Criteria should say, “One full extra swing allowed prior to #10.”


If the gymnast performs the pirouette in swing #8, he must still perform part #9 before the dismount.  He may perform up to 2x swings AFTER the pirouette in #8, the 1st should be to nominal handstand (part #9), the 2nd with no height requirement is allowed per the Performance Criteria.

If the gymnast performs the pirouette in swing #9, he can do up to 1 extra swing before the dismount, no height requirements.

Nat Hammond, JOTD Region 1


Q.: What’s with the level 7 pommel horse dismount description? How many circles is the kid supposed to do?

A: From Michael Ashe, Golden Bear

It was brought to my attention at State Championships that many athletes were performing the level 7 pommel horse routines incorrectly. On the pendular routine, many of the athletes were performing an extra circle before the dismount. The dismount should be performed as followed:

On the rear support pick-up, the legs come together in rear support, and half a circle is performed, finishing in front support. Next, a full circle is performed finishing in front support. Finally, a half circle is performed to rear support, followed by a quarter counter turn to dismount.

see the video here:

Feel free to contact me with any routine composition questions, or rules questions in general.

– Michael Ashe

Q.: Is a gymnast allowed to go from L to straddle L on rings?

A.: From Dean Schott

This “is” an empty swing and should be deducted accordingly. Moving from a Straddle L to a Regular L or visa versa incurs an Empty Swing Deduction of 0.3 deductions.

This has been confirmed by Dan Bachman (USA Still Rings NAL) and Steve Butcher.

Thank you,



Contact Mike: mike ashe judging

Michael Ashe,
NorCal Technical Director

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