The Balance Beam Situation

Because gymnastics is a comedy, not a drama

Elite Skill and Routine Databases

What’s that skill that she performs?

You know…the twisty one, with the flippity-boo?

It’s called what? Named after who?

Remember that weird dismount? That what’s-her-name does? What’s her name?

Who was the one who did that not-ugly skill at the Olympics?

What the mother of crap is an Ono?

Important questions, all. Let this be your opportunity to answer them.

That’s right, it’s time to wake up, elite fans. Though we’re currently ensconced in the glory and wonder of the NCAA season, I have also added a couple new elite-specific features to the site. I’m basically da Vinci. The first is the Elite Skill Database, which contains links to individual pages for 250 skills currently being performed in elite gymnastics. You can check it out here:


Each skill has its own dedicated page including its code of points description, value (and recent value changes if applicable), example GIF, various names you’ll hear it called, and a brief biography of the skill regarding its odd naming conventions, current popularity or lack thereof, treatment by judges, tips for identification, or fundamental ugliness. Whatever is most relevant to the skill in question. So, if you’ve ever wondered about my specific feelings toward every single skill that exists in gymnastics (for some reason), you may now read them. For example, the Amanar.

The most exclusive skills will also contain a list of the elite gymnasts currently performing that skill, just in case you wake up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night and need to know who’s doing a Bhardwaj. This is just for the rarer skills, so something like a double tuck on floor won’t have a competitor list because that would just be a list of every living person. Don’t necessarily treat these lists as completely exhaustive, currently including the 150 or so elite gymnasts who have pages in the partner of the skill database, the Elite Routine Database.

The Elite Routine Database contains individual skill-by-skill routine-composition dossiers for current elites (for example, Simone Biles), an effort to keep a reference guide to what skills each gymnast performs. As of now, it includes routines from the 2016 season (and gymnasts who competed in major meets that year) but in the future will expand to include more senior elites, past gymnasts, and previous years. Consider it a perpetual work in progress.


Many gymnasts (cough, Mustafina, cough) have varying, evolving, and unpredictable routine compositions, but the focus here is on the final or top-level composition performed at that year’s big meet, rather than the watered-down routine from the random World Cup earlier in the year. So, for 2016, the skill dossiers reflect routines from the Olympics or the respective national championships in the case of gymnasts from the US, Russia, and China for whom I’ve already added pages but who didn’t go to the Olympics.

Also, I don’t include mounts on bars or beam unless they’re actually real or interesting as a sign of protest.

Links to these databases will permanently reside on the main page, and feel free to use the contact page for any feedback.

%d bloggers like this: