A Rhythmic Gymnastics Ball for modern gymnastics should be of an appropriate size and weight, made of good quality rubber, and match a gymnast's style during her perfomance. The size of the ball is determined by the gymnast's height and by the size of her hand. The ball should fall into the palm so that the gymnast can hold it comfortably and perform the “figure-of-eight” exercise. For professional gymnasts aged 15 and over, the equipment should conform to the standards of the Federation of International Gymnastics (marked FIG Approved). Equipment with this mark is suitable for appearances at international tournaments. However, it is best to consult the choice with one's coach.
The quality of the Ball for modern gymnastics depends on the quality of the material from which it is made. The Rhythmic Gymnastics Ball must be made of high quality rubber that is pleasant to the touch and covered with a special layer that creates a feeling of adhesion (when you take the ball into your hand, it feels like it is “stuck” to it). The Rhythmic Gymnastics Ball should also be well-balanced, which means that when you let it fall to the floor, it should bounce upward and not sideways. Professional balls should always be properly balanced. For this reason, trainers recommend that young gymnasts exercise with professional balls by the well-known SASAKI and CHACOTT brands right from the start.
The ball needs to be inflated with a special pump that contains the optimal amount of air. The Rhythmic Gymnastics Ball is to be inflated gradually in small quantities. These special pumps have a rounded needle that does not damage the valve. When inflating the ball, it is necessary to moisten the pump needle with water to avoid damaging the valve. When inserting the needle into the ball, pay attention so that you penetrate the ball at the right angle. Otherwise it could damage the valve.
When you inflate the ball, check it by touch. It should be a little soft so that you can pick it up from above. Do not inflate the ball too much - you could deform it!
The ball must be stored in a special holder for Rhythmic Gymnastics Ball
. It preserves the ball's volume even if the outside temperature is lower. Lower temperatures may cause the ball to deflate, but a warm cover is able to prevent this. The case also helps to keep the ball clean and scratch-free. If the ball gets dirty, you can wash it with soap and dry it with a towel.
Choosing a rhythmic gymnastics ball involves considering several factors to ensure it meets the specific needs and preferences of the gymnast. Here are some tips on how to choose a rhythmic gymnastics ball:
Size: Rhythmic gymnastics balls come in different sizes, and the appropriate size is determined by the gymnast's age and level. Most popular sizes are 16 cm, 17 cm, and 18.5 cm in diameter. Consult with the gymnast's coach or refer to the guidelines provided by the gymnastics federation to determine the correct size.
Weight: The weight of the ball is crucial for proper handling. The standard weight for rhythmic gymnastics balls are 350 – 400 - 450 grams. However, variations in weight may be available, and the choice depends on the gymnast's strength and skill level. Lighter balls are generally suitable for younger or less experienced gymnasts.
Material: Rhythmic gymnastics balls are usually made of rubber or synthetic materials. Rubber balls have more bounce, while synthetic balls are generally more durable. The choice of material depends on personal preference and the gymnast's style.
Color and Appearance: The color and appearance of the ball are subjective aspects, but they can be important to some gymnasts. It's common for gymnasts to choose a ball that complements their routine or leotard. Ensure that the color and design adhere to competition regulations if the ball will be used in official competitions.
Clutch: The surface of the ball should provide sufficient grip for the gymnast to control it during routines. Some balls have textured or rubberized surfaces to enhance grip. It's essential to choose a ball that feels comfortable and secure in the gymnast's hands.
Brand and Quality: Choose a reputable brand that is known for producing high-quality rhythmic gymnastics equipment. Read reviews or seek recommendations from coaches and experienced gymnasts to ensure durability and performance.
Testing: If possible, allow the gymnast to try out different balls before making a purchase. This can help determine which ball feels most comfortable and suits the gymnast's style of performance.
Remember to check with the gymnast's coach for specific recommendations based on the gymnast's skill level and requirements. Additionally, familiarize yourself with any regulations set by the gymnastics federation regarding equipment specifications for competitions.