Rhythmic Gymnastics is quite possibly the most beautiful of all competitive sports. Unlike Artistic Gymnastics, Rhythmic Gymnastics is currently performed in official competition by women only. Competitors use small pieces of hand apparatus – Rope, Hoop, Ball, Clubs and Ribbon as an extension of their bodies in routines always accompanied by music. The performance takes place on a carpeted mat that is 13m. x 13m. It is slightly cushioned, but certainly not to the extent of a ‘spring’ floor used in Artistic Gymnastics.
There are two different types of competition in Rhythmic Gymnastics: Individual and Group. In the Group Competition 5 athletes work together as one. They use one of the hand apparatus or a combination of two different pieces (i.e. Ribbons and Hoops). To watch the combination of 5 different personalities meld together to perform intricate compositions involving highflying throws and exchanges is truly thrilling. The element of cooperation among the athletes is essential resulting in a breathtaking, harmonious unit.