Aerial: A maneuver in which the gymnast completes a full rotation in the air without touching the apparatus with her hands. A cartwheel without the use of the hands is an aerial cartwheel; a forward walkover without the use of the hands is an aerial walkover.
Amplitude: The height or degree of execution of a move (flight, distance or body angles). In general, the bigger or higher, the better the amplitude and the score.
Apparatus: One of the various pieces of equipment used during gymnastics competitions.
Balance: A static position in which the gymnast holds a distinct shape.
Block: A forceful thrust (shrug) of the shoulders intended to amplify the height/distance the gymnast will travel — most notably on vault.
Choreography: A complete program in floor or balance beam with all the necessary requirements (acrobatic and choreographic elements, pirouettes, jumps, etc.).
Code of points: The catalog of criteria by which judges evaluate gymnasts' routines in major international competitions, including World Championships and the Olympics. Separate codes for men and women are updated by International Federation of Gymnastics (F.I.G.) technical committees at least every four years.
Composition: The structure of a women's gymnastics routine (i.e., how each element is arranged to create a complete exercise). Referred to as "construction" in men's gymnastics.
Connection value: Bonus points or tenths of points awarded to gymnasts who incorporate difficult combinations of skills into their routines. The skills must be performed without pause or interruption to receive the connection value points.
Difficulty score (D-score): The cumulative amount of difficulty contained in the routine. For vaults, the D-score is predetermined depending on which type of vault the gymnast performs: all Amanar vaults are worth 5.8 difficulty points, for example. For all other gymnastics routines, the D-score is determined by two judges. The eight most difficult skills for women and 10 most difficult skills for men are counted. This includes the dismount. Any connection values are added as bonus points. The two judges compare scores following the completion of a routine and reach a consensus, which becomes the Difficulty Score.
The difficulty score is open-ended with no maximum value, while the execution score is out of a maximum of ten points. The difficulty score plus the execution score equals a total score.
Deduction: Points or parts of points taken off a gymnast's score for errors. Most deductions are predetermined, such as a 1.00 point deduction for a fall from an apparatus.
Dismount: To leave an apparatus at the end of a routine, usually done with an acrobatic element such as a twist or salto.
Element: A single move that has a recognized way of performance and technical value.
Execution: The performance of a routine, or the form, style, and technique used to complete the skills included in a routine. Bent knees, poor toe point and an arched or loosely-held body position are all examples of poor execution.
Execution score (E-score): Each routine starts with a maximum E-score of 10 points. Deductions are made for errors, such as taking steps or stumbling after a landing. The execution score is determined by a panel of five judges.
Exercise: The performance of a sequence of skills, also referred to as a routine.
FIG: Federation Internationale Gymnastique, the international governing body of gymnastics.
Grips: Leather hand guards worn during bar routines for protection from friction and aid with release moves.
Jump: A gymnastic element in a floor exercise or beam routine that takes off from both legs.
Mount: An element with which the gymnast starts his/her program, and, in most cases, gets onto the apparatus. On the floor exercise, the first tumbling pass is known as the mount.
Neutral deductions: Deductions that are not part of a gymnasts' E- or D-score, and are made after the gymnasts' total score is calculated. For example, an out-of-bounds deduction is a neutral deduction.
Pivot: A turn on the ball of the foot.
Pike position: Position in which legs that are kept straight but brought closer to the upper body, so the lower and upper body form an L shape. The elements performed in this position are more difficult than the ones in a tuck position.
Regrasp: The catch, with a swing through, after a release skill on the apparatus.
Release: The action of leaving the bar in order to perform a move before grasping it again. There are many releases, the most complicated include somersaults and twists.
Routine: A combination of movements or maneuvers on one apparatus displaying a full range of skills.
Static strength skill: Any move demonstrating strength that is held for three seconds. Some examples are v-sit, planche, maltese and Manna.
Stick: Completing a landing without taking any steps, and therefore receiving no landing deductions. "Sticking a landing" is every gymnast's hope at the end of a routine and can be very difficult, depending on the difficulty of the dismount.
Total Score: The gymnasts' D-score and E-score added together minus any deductions.
Turn: A rotation on the body's axis supported by one or both feet.
Twist: A move in acrobatic skills where a gymnast rotates around the body's longitudinal axis (the spine).