For Coaches Xcel Platinum Vault: What is the "correct" twisting direction for a 1/4 on, 1/4 off and other related questions

Parents... Coaches... Gymnasts...
Gymnastics Questions?
Don't Lurk... We've Got Answers!

New For 2022
MEMBERS ONLY Parent Group!
Join for FREE!
Status
Not open for further replies.

stxrdusty

Coach
Gymnast
Oct 24, 2013
291
California
Hi fellow coaches, this is my first full year coaching Xcel and I have some questions about teaching twisting vaults for Xcel Platinum and Diamond. The other coaches at my gym don't have experience coaching these vaults either, so I've come here looking for some more information at the very least. I'm a former gymnast, but never myself trained or competed a twisting, non-flipping vault, so I'm a bit unsure about the "proper" twisting direction I should be teaching my girls.

I was under the impression that the most desired direction of twisting was towards the dominant hand, so Righty RO, Righty Back twist. And thus for a tsuk/RO vault entry the girls would twist off like a Kasamatsu to end facing away from the vault (obviously without the flip and other half a twist because they're not doing a Kaz). This is what I have been teaching my gymnasts, but it's come to my attention that this is likely only a 1/4 on, 1/4 off and only has a 9.8 SV in Platinum. As this is the dominant twisting direction for the majority of my girls I've been working 3/4 off drills with them, so the SV "crisis" has been averted, but I still have some more questions.

Question 1: Would the above vault I described be considered a 1/4 on, 1/4 off?

Question 2: If the gymnast was to twist the opposite direction, so Right RO, left twist (or vice versa Left RO, right twist) to face away from the vault would this still be a 1/4 on, 1/4 off or a different number of twists off?

Question 3: I have a couple gymnasts that moved from another gym that perform their vault the way I described in Question 2 (RO left, twist right to face away from the vault) and am wondering if there's a reason for it. This method is what I've seen in nearly all Xcel Platinum vault videos on youtube and am worried I have been teaching my girls "wrong" this entire summer and because of the overall lack of experience coaching these vaults no one has caught it any other time they've coaching our Platinums.

Question 4: If the vault referred to in Question 1 is a 1/4 on, 1/4 off, what then is a 1/2 on, 1/2 off? Is the difference the hand placement on the table or the twisting direction?

Question 5: Are Xcel Platinums allowed to compete a Yurchenko entry vault? I have a gymnast that can perform a clean Yurchenko on, half off and am wondering if she can compete it. I'd check the Xcel Code myself, but as I have an android phone I can't download the Xcel Code.

Thank you for any and all information or input you can give me!
 

stxrdusty

Coach
Gymnast
Oct 24, 2013
291
California
Question 6: Just wanted to follow up and add that I'm confused on how to know which arm a gymnast should drop for learning a front handspring, full off vault. From watching youtube videos it looks like they should drop the non-dominant arm, but from how I understand physics, that would make the gymnast turn towards their non-dominant direction...so I don't think I understand how this vault works.
 

Coach Em

Coach
Gymnast
Oct 13, 2021
4
18
Coach and Former Xcel gymnast and now current NAIGC gymnast here. At my gym we teach people to "sniff" their armpit for upper level xcel vaults. I know this sounds weird but hear me out. On a front handspring twisting vault I'm a lefty so I drop my right arm towards my left hip and turn my head into my left arm effectively "sniffing" my armpit. This way I'm twisting to the left. I am less experienced with half on vaults but my gym taught them like the girls from question 3 do it.
 

rd7

Coach
Proud Parent
Aug 18, 2011
170
I'm in the UK and for the 1/2 on 1/2 off the girls in question 3 are correct. Remember a left round off is a right twist, so left on is actually a right turn, then you complete the twist by turning off right. The hands should be all the way around, think of it as a handspring rather than a round off with a half twist on (hands face towards the direction you ran from).

For the handspring full off Coach Em is correct. When twisting forwards you drop the opposite arm to the direction of twist.
 

raenndrops

Coach
Oct 24, 2009
6,751
The 'Wood, Ohio
Hi fellow coaches, this is my first full year coaching Xcel and I have some questions about teaching twisting vaults for Xcel Platinum and Diamond. The other coaches at my gym don't have experience coaching these vaults either, so I've come here looking for some more information at the very least. I'm a former gymnast, but never myself trained or competed a twisting, non-flipping vault, so I'm a bit unsure about the "proper" twisting direction I should be teaching my girls.

I was under the impression that the most desired direction of twisting was towards the dominant hand, so Righty RO, Righty Back twist. And thus for a tsuk/RO vault entry the girls would twist off like a Kasamatsu to end facing away from the vault (obviously without the flip and other half a twist because they're not doing a Kaz). This is what I have been teaching my gymnasts, but it's come to my attention that this is likely only a 1/4 on, 1/4 off and only has a 9.8 SV in Platinum. As this is the dominant twisting direction for the majority of my girls I've been working 3/4 off drills with them, so the SV "crisis" has been averted, but I still have some more questions.

Question 1: Would the above vault I described be considered a 1/4 on, 1/4 off?

Question 2: If the gymnast was to twist the opposite direction, so Right RO, left twist (or vice versa Left RO, right twist) to face away from the vault would this still be a 1/4 on, 1/4 off or a different number of twists off?

Question 3: I have a couple gymnasts that moved from another gym that perform their vault the way I described in Question 2 (RO left, twist right to face away from the vault) and am wondering if there's a reason for it. This method is what I've seen in nearly all Xcel Platinum vault videos on youtube and am worried I have been teaching my girls "wrong" this entire summer and because of the overall lack of experience coaching these vaults no one has caught it any other time they've coaching our Platinums.

Question 4: If the vault referred to in Question 1 is a 1/4 on, 1/4 off, what then is a 1/2 on, 1/2 off? Is the difference the hand placement on the table or the twisting direction?

Question 5: Are Xcel Platinums allowed to compete a Yurchenko entry vault? I have a gymnast that can perform a clean Yurchenko on, half off and am wondering if she can compete it. I'd check the Xcel Code myself, but as I have an android phone I can't download the Xcel Code.

Thank you for any and all information or input you can give me!
Questions 1-3: They can twist whichever way is comfortable (based on their RO is most comfortable). Let's think this through ...
In a handspring vault, the gymnast lands facing away from the vault. If they twist 1/4 onto the vault table, then they would be facing at a 90º angle from where they started. There are 2 ways to get to facing away from the vault from this point - 1) continue twisting the same way they started completing 3/4 twist to land facing away OR 2) "untwist" 1/4 twist in the opposite direction of the first twist. Option 1 would be a 10.0 SV and Option 2 would be a 9.8SV. In the case of Option 2, it might be easier to have them just do a twist onto the board and repulsion off (same SV).
For a 1/2 on - 1/2 off, my YG twists 180º onto the table (fingers pointing back toward the runway) and continues twisting off the table another 180º to face away from the vault table.
Question 5: The answer is no. Platinums can't compete Yurchenko entry vaults (unless they changed it recently). In DIAMOND, they can compete a Yurchenko entry.
I hope this helps. Good luck.
 

nlkellum

Coach
Jul 24, 2020
3
21
For my Xcel Platinums, we compete a 1/2 On, 1/2 Off and you do, in fact, change twisting direction. So instead of continuing the twisting directions of their "round-off" portion, I have them practice an "close then open" movement.

Basically, for a Rightie, the 1/2 on would have the gymnast finish facing the vault table with the left shoulder squaring off first and the right shoulder coming around last. To add the 1/2 Off, the need to continue this right shoulder across their body (not away from it) and open up to the left to face away from the vault table. For a Leftie, the 1/2 on makes them square their right shoulder first and left last. So they continue bringing their left shoulder across their body to open up to the right.

The best way I have found to teach this vault, is to have them do their 1/2 on and add a bounce 1/2 turn upon landing with righties twisting to the left and lefties twisting to the right (similar to how people teach back fulls, land back 1/2 and bounce the second half). Once they figure out which way to turn when bouncing, they can try twisting in the air.

YURCHENKO: USAG has said that they are adding a yurchenko entry vault option starting in Fall 2022. Definitely frustrating because I have a gymnast that would do much better with the yurchenko, but I guess we'll just have to be patient.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Jan 21, 2007
4,458
Baltimore, MD
Alright, so

An athlete who puts their left hand on the table first in a 1/4-on isn't actually twisting left; she's twisting right.

As for FHS 1/1, the athlete should drop the arm they want to twist AWAY from. In other words, dropping the right arm will cause the athlete to twist left and vice-versa. This is true for any skill where the athlete initiates the twist while rotating forward in the salto. If she were rotating backwards (ie, a Yurchenko 1/1), she'd initiate the twist by dropping the arm she wants to twist TOWARD.
As a side note; to get the most efficient twist, the athlete should drop the arm out to the side on the way down, not the front.

Hope that helps!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: raenndrops
Status
Not open for further replies.