Whether the athletes are masculine or female, most sports—like basketball, soccer, tennis, and golf—are the same. However, there are so many distinctions between the men’s and women’s events in competitive gymnastics that you might as well be witnessing two distinct sports.
The apparatus on which the gymnasts fight is the main distinction between men’s and women’s gymnastics. Only the vault and floor occurrences are shared by both of them.
Vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise are the four events in which female gymnasts participate.
The six events that men compete in are floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars, and high bar. Each event is performed in a distinct order.
The Differences on Floor Exercise
On the same floor exercise mat, both male and female gymnasts participate, but the female gymnasts do so while the male gymnasts do not.
There are additional variants of the rules. Generally speaking, males are needed to perform more tumbling skills than women, and women’s floor requirements and scoring do not include dance moves like leaps and jumps. The tumbling passes that men typically execute require more strength.
Men’s routines prioritize showing strength, while women’s tend to be more artistic and dance-like, occasionally telling a tale. (Artisanship on the balance beam is given credit in the women’s total.)
Prior to the 2012 Code of Points, women were permitted to leap at the conclusion of a tumbling pass, but this is no longer allowed. This has always been expected of men.
The men’s competitions of high bar, parallel bars, and uneven bars are all distinct from one another.
The high bar is typically made out of metal and has a smaller diameter than the parallel and irregular bars, which are typically made out of fiberglass and have larger diameters. Gymnasts’ hand grips vary for each type of bar as a result, and using the incorrect grip can be risky.
Moreover, the lines are arranged differently. The solitary high bar is located approximately 9 feet above the ground. The uneven bars consist of two pairs of bars that are spaced roughly 6 feet apart and are respectively 5 1/2 feet and 8 feet high.
The parallel bars consist of two bars that are approximately 6 1/2 feet above the ground and only a foot and a half apart. Although some heights are standardized for Olympic sport, all heights are adjustable.
The Differences on Vault
On the same vaulting platform, both men and women compete, though the men typically have the table raised higher than the women do.
The executed vaults are comparable as well. Vaults are usually performed by men more expertly than by women. The best male vaulters frequently execute double-flipping vaults like the Tsukahara double-back and handspring double-front. These are done by fewer women.
Before the table was introduced in 2001, men and women competed on a vaulting horse, with men vaulting over it lengthwise and women vaulting over its middle. This change was made primarily for safety reasons. With less chance that the gymnast will miss the table (especially during Yurchenko vaults) and sustain a serious injury, the table is thought to be a safer option to the horse.
The Competition Format
The fundamental competition formats for men’s and women’s gymnastics—officially known as men’s artistic gymnastics and women’s artistic gymnastics—are the same in the Olympics. Each squad had seven gymnasts at one point. Five gymnasts were on a team from the 2000 Olympics to the 2016 Olympics, with four of them participating on each event in the preliminary rounds and three of them competing in the finals. There are now four gymnasts on the squad.
Based on their qualifying results, gymnasts are qualified for the individual all-around and event finals, where 24 gymnasts advance to the all-around and eight to each individual event. However, only two people from each nation can advance to each championship. Both the men’s and women’s contests must adhere to these regulations.