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Rhythmic Gymnastics Groups

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Rhythmic gymnastics is introduced not only in Individual All-Around Category, but also in Group Category at the tournaments of different levels. Everybody knows the winners of Individual competitions by sight, but hardly anyone knows well the names of the RG Teams’ participants. People say “Team Russia”, “Team Germany”, “Team Bulgaria” instead … and this seems to be unfair, as their less popularity doesn’t mean that they are less important. If we take into account the world level of the Olympiad, then the level of Rhythmic Gymnastics Groups performances and their wins are very important for every country; moreover, group competitions are more complicated than individual ones in technique, character of activity, energy. Besides, various and quite complicated interactions, especially, the way they throw the apparatus make group performances fabulous and bright. That’s why the viewers and fans appreciate group routines not less than individuals all-around and cheer with a great pleasure for their favorite teams.

Peculiarities of Group Routines

First Rhythmic Gymnastics Group Competitions were held at the World Championship 1967 in Copenhagen, where the USSR Team was awarded with golden medals. Since then, this kind of group competitions has been developing; it brings joy to RG fans by its spectacular, original, clear and pure technique, astonishing and exceeding the most unpredictable expectations.

Group performances are the amazing shows with the plot, which is perfectly understood by the gymnasts and performed with the smooth interaction between the participants. They are particularly different from the routines of Individuals. In individual performance the whole attention is captured by the one gymnast on the carpet and the result depends only on her, but the gymnasts of the team have to restrain their egos, as all of them are equal and they complete the tasks together. Girls should keep one tempo and rhythm in order to obtain the best result. They always share win and defeat, that makes their level of responsibility much higher and the mistake of one gymnast has a detrimental effect on the whole performance and general score. And if every gymnast makes a blot, the performance will suffer considerably.

At the same time Groups allows to create things impossible in Individual routines. Five talented sportsmen good at apparatus can play a technically great spectacle and brilliant show. Bearing in mind that throwing over the apparatus is obligatory element of the routine, viewers can enjoy beautiful and spectacular transfers of various apparatus along the carpet. Moreover, not only the same apparatus can be used, but different types can be combined, for example, 3 hoops and 2 pairs of clubs. It goes without saying, that complexity and dynamic increase in such compositions, and visual appeal only benefits. Though it’s not easy for girls to work with different apparatus, the pleasure of correctly done exercises raises.

Necessary qualities

Unfortunately, not every gymnast can effectively work in a group, as well as not every girl can become a good gymnast because of her personal qualities. For an effective group work gymnasts should develop the following qualities: ability to contact the partners and be the part of the group, responsibility, communication skills, self-control, determination, attention, discipline, purposefulness, aspiration to victory, wild hard-working skills.

Girls are required to be masters of their bodies and apparatus. If a gymnast is not so good at some kind of apparatus, she can let the team down.

More complicated ways of apparatus catch are especially valued, as the risk to lose apparatus increases. This raises the level of the visual appeal and affects the scores, so girls should constantly increase the clearness of apparatus throws and catches.

Complicated music used in the routines is also required to be various and many-sided, be expressive and transmit the plot of the performance, be deep, emotional and lyrical. Well developed flexibility, skills, musicality, emotions’ demonstration ability, sensitivity and artistry complete technically complicated performance.

Apparatus in RG Groups Routines

Group routines have their own rules. Apparatus must be of the same shape, weight and size; and they may have different color. If the floor area touched by the apparatus is out of borders, team can be punished by score decrease.

Routine duration can last from 2 min 15sec to 2min 30sec. Apparatus must constantly be in motion during this period of time. They can be rotated, thrown, caught by various body parts etc.

As a rule, routine in groups consist of 2 parts: first -  with one type of apparatus, second – with different types. Thus, 2012 Olympic Games involved first routine with 5 hoops, and the second with 3 ribbons and 2 ropes. Girls have to be attentive and careful in order not to twist together snaky ribbons and ropes.

The higher technical level the gymnasts have, the more complicated compositions they can do with the apparatus. Apparatus throws usually contain the following mistakes in group routines: nonsimultanious throw, different flight height of the apparatus, incorrect catch of the apparatus, loss of the apparatus, badly arranged compositions of the gymnasts, apparatus crash.

Mistakes made in group routines have more serious consequences, than in individuals, as they can’t be corrected in case one gymnast throw the apparatus and the other catches.

Gymnasts outfit

Just as individuals, groups also should take care about their outfit. Hair and cosmetics should be modest, neat and the same.

Leotards of the team must be of the same color and fashion, they also must meet the compulsory requirements. Though every girl has her favorite colors, in this case her choice is not considered. Leotards design plays an important role in the performance, helping to create bright artistic and aesthetic image. Choosing the design and model of the leotard, you should bear in mind that 5 girls will move simultaneously on the carpet, and maximum attractiveness should be achieved, their moving interactions should be expressive and beautiful in various compositions; it’s better to avoid fusion effects, excessive multicolor, gloom and absurdity. If the leotards emphasize and enhance the main idea of the performance and they’re in a perfect match for the technical elements, then the goal will be achieved.

Complexity, artistry, choreography, originality and mistakes – all of it is judged in total score by special formulae. Regularly changing judgment rules are additional problem for the gymnasts. Every time they should quickly change their performances according to the rules changes. From the one hand, it is an additional load, but from the other hand, it helps to constantly develop rhythmic gymnastics’ level and level of the gymnasts. Sport only benefits from it, and the viewers admire new rhythmic gymnasts’ achievements.

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