The events – rope, hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon – are governed by rules regarding the size, weight, color and material. Junior Olympic level gymnasts also perform in the Floor Exercise event. This event is done without apparatus. Presently, national and international competition involves individual routines and group routines.
Rhythmic gymnastics involves body movements and dance of varying type and difficulty combined with the handling of small equipment. Certain acrobatic and pre-acrobatic elements are allowed, providing the gymnast shows no flight. No more than three acrobatic elements are permitted per routine. Handsprings and aerials are not allowed. Rhythmic gymnasts must demonstrate the coordination and control of a well-trained dancer, and convey a harmony of movement with the music. In the group exercise, there is a required minimum number of exchanges and formations.
The equipment must be handled harmoniously with the body and music throughout. The exercise is done with music.
Each routine contains difficulties either isolated or in combination with apparatus manipulation. The choreography must cover the entire floor area and contain a balanced choice of the groups of elements, including jumps, leaps, pivots, balances and flexibility movements.There are three panels of judges for each routine. One panel judges the Technical Value, or the composition of difficulty for the routine; the second panel judges the Artistic Value of the routine, the general choreography, choice of elements, and presentation of the routine; and the third panel judges the execution of the routine, which is how the gymnast performs.