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Gymnastics Terms Explained

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There could be an entire dictionary to assist you with the slang used in a gymnastics gym. Here are a few to get you started:

Code of Points

“The Code” is the rules determined by the National Governing Body. The Code outlines the difficulty of each skill, assigns bonus tenths in combining skills and sets the competitive rules. The Code of points is typically revised after each Olympic Games.


A gymnast will receive bonus points by competing back-to-back high- level elements in a row. The amount of bonus is determined by the skill ranking in the Code of Points.

Start Value (SV)

Is the starting score, or highest score a gymnast can earn. Levels 1-8 automatically have a 10.0 start value. Levels 9 and 10 the gymnast must earn bonus, and meet event requirements to bring their Start Value up to a 10.0.

All Around

An All-Around score is the added-up total from each event competed.

Chalk Bucket

Chalk is used to help the gymnast grip the equipment better. Most commonly used on their hands for bars and rings, the chalk bucket is the station where gymnasts will apply the chalk to their grips.


Caused by a repetitive swinging motion, callused skin can blister or ‘rip away’, leaving an open, exposed area of tender skin.


When a dismount, or skill is performed with no steps or wobbles after a successful completion.

The Pit

An area filled with foam blocks. The blocks will ensure a soft landing when practicing new skills.

8 Incher

A landing mat commonly used for dismounting. This mat is eight inches thick.


When a coach assists the gymnast through a skill.

March In

Introduction of the teams and gymnasts before the competition begins.

Olympic Order

The order of events in a competition. For Women that order is Vault, Bars, Beam, Floor. For Men it’s Floor, Pommel Horse, Rings, Vault, P. Bars, and High Bar.


Short for a springboard. The springboard is a wood platform with springs that a gymnast will use to propel themselves onto the equipment. It is always used on vault, and can be used to mount Bars, Beam, or P. Bars.

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