What’s Your Bar Angle?



At the Compulsory and Optional Levels in the JO Program there are angle requirements that must be met for particular skills when casting into and/or coming out of these skills on bars.

Evaluating casting angles and angles of completion on bars takes a sharp eye in order to ensure that the required angles for each skill is being met based on the requirements at each particular level in the JO Program.

According to USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics Code of Points (Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, 2013-2017, 1st Edition);

      Bar angles are measured…

  • When there is a shoulder angle, look at the line from the shoulders through the mid-point of the lowest body part
Measuring Cast Angle (Shoulder Angle)
  • When there is no shoulder angle, look at the line from the hands through the mid-point of the lowest body part (end of a clear hip circle nearing handstand)
Measuring Cast Angle With No Shoulder Angle Photo: YouTube
Measuring Cast Angle With No Shoulder Angle
Photo: YouTube
  • Casts with straddled legs: the angle of completion is determined when the hips are extended and/or legs are joinedAt Compulsory Levels 1-3, there are no angle requirements for any of the skills performed on Bars.

It is not until you reach Level 4 do angle requirements and deductions begin to apply for particular skills on Bars.  At Level 4 through Level 10 there are specific angle requirements and deductions for particular skills at each of the levels.

As an athlete progresses through the JO levels, deductions and requirements for the same particular skill become more difficult.

If you refer to the chart below, the angle requirement for a “Cast” becomes higher and the deductions for not meeting this angle requirement becomes more severe as an athlete advances through the Compulsory levels.

Cast Requirements & Deductions By Compulsory Level


Once you reach the Optional Levels (Levels 6-10) of the JO Program the deductions for cast angles & angles of completion become standard no matter what level you compete.  The only difference is the cast angle requirement for Levels 6 & 7 and Levels 8 – 10.

At Levels 6 and 7, there is a requirement to cast to a particular angle at each of these levels; Level 6 – one cast to a minimum of horizontal and Level 7 – one cast to a minimum of 45 degrees from vertical.  See chart below.

Cast Requirements & Deductions By Optional Level


Even though Levels 6 & 7 are not being asked to cast to a handstand, their casts will be evaluated as if they are supposed to be casting to a handstand as in Levels 8-10.

How do you measure the angle and apply the appropriate deductions?  Take a look at the picture below of an athlete performing the cast requirement in a Level 4 bar routine.

The cast requirement for Level 4 Bars is: A Cast to Horizontal.

If we look at the picture above, the athlete is in a poor body position which results in her upper thigh being the mid-point of the lowest body part.  If we run a line from her shoulders through this lowest body part you can see that she is well below the requirement of horizontal.

When looking at her cast angle, she is approximately 45 degrees below horizontal.  The maximum deduction for a cast 45 degrees below horizontal is 0.15.

A significant number of elements an Optional athlete may choose to perform can have one or more angle requirements.  Learning to perform a cast with proper body positions and technique will result in an athlete meeting a skill’s angle requirement/s, resulting in minimal to no deductions.

To learn more about how specific skills are evaluated, check out this article: Scoring A Front Handspring Vault


JO Code of Points, Women’s Artistic Gymnastic, 2013-2017, 1st Edition

JO Compulsory Program, Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, 2013-2021, 1st Edition



2 thoughts on “What’s Your Bar Angle?

  1. Rhonda says:

    Thank you for these detailed explanations! The coach is there to teach the child, but often the parents are left to watch and become frustrated not understanding why their child “looks good” but isn’t scoring well. I love this!

    • Vinnie Silber says:

      Your very welcome. Please let me know if there are other topics you are interested in learning more about! -Vinnie

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