Gymnastics Skills and Combos That Should Be Banned

Skills that are simple or uninspired should be removed from judging

Shawn Johnson on floor at the 2008 US Nationals. © Elsa / Getty Images

In the spirit of keeping gymnastics safe and continue the excitement for audiences watching the sport from all over the world, the International Federation of Gymnasts (FIG) banned roll out skills from men's floor exercises following the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Take a look at the other skills and combinations that should be considered for removal from the Code of Points by FIG. These are not safety risks as much as too simple, uninteresting or unflattering for viewing by spectators.

This banning of the roll-out move came following safety concerns that were raised after a gymnast was paralyzed and another who sustained a concussion. This decision has been considered controversial by elite gymnasts who would like to still accept that risk. The skill set was banned for women's floor exercise prior to Rio.

Double Pike Dismount (Women's Floor)

Though the compulsory exercises have been gone from Olympic-level competition since 1997, it sometimes feels like the double pike (or the double tuck) is the compulsory floor dismount for women. It is too simple of a dismount for elite gymnasts.

Examples of riskier, more exciting dismounts include 2008 Olympic champion Sandra Izbasa from Romania who performed a triple full and runner-up American gymnast Shawn Johnson who performed the more difficult full-in dismount.

Side Passes (Men's Floor)

A side pass on the men's floor, which is a tumbling pass performed anywhere on the floor besides the diagonal, is past its prime.

If a gymnast can do a high-difficulty side pass it should stay in, but you do not need to see another male gymnast do a front 1 3/4 roll-out.

For awhile for the women, back double fulls, which is a single (normally straight) back somersault with two full twists, and a front full, also known as a forward twisting layout, "on the side" dominated choreography, but that seems to have lessened in popularity in recent choreography over the years.

Full Turn with Leg at Horizontal (Women's Beam)

Along with the double pike on floor, the full turn with leg at horizontal (Hollie Dykes performed one nicely at 0:59) has become a staple in most elite routines.

When done well, the skill looks nice. But the vast majority of gymnasts seem to have trouble keeping the leg held up. When the leg is not up, it gives a gymnast an unpolished, unattractive look to the routine.

Shaposhnikova Overshot Handstand (Women's Bars)

The Shaposhnikova Overshot Handstand, or also known as the Shaposhnikova release, is impressive when it does not have an extra swing after it. It is usually combined with an immediate overshoot to handstand on the low bar, making it look like two extra swings. For an example, see U.S. gymnast Nicole Harris' bar routine from 2004 at 0:15.

Front to Back Beam Series (Women's Beam)

So many gymnasts do the front-aerial to back handspring layout step-out that it is practically expected. What is missing from gymnastics are the many interesting acrobatic series as seen in the 1990s such as the handspring layout-layout.