The balance beam is an artistic gymnastics apparatus. Artistic gymnastics is a discipline of Gymnastics. Competitive gymnasts perform short routines (ranging from approximately 30 to 90 Seconds on different apparatus In most circumstances, it is only used by female gymnasts. Female (♀ is the Sex of an Organism, or a part of an organism which produces ova (egg cells
Balance beam, either the apparatus or the event, is sometimes referred to as simply "beam. " The English abbreviation for the event in gymnastics scoring is BB.
Urban legends suggest that male gymnasts do not compete on the balance beam because of the potential of injury to the testicles. This myth is completely unfounded: women's gymnastics was not recognized as an Olympic/World Championships sports for almost fifty years after men's artistic gymnastics was first included in the Olympics; the development of balance beam as a gymnastics event was similarly delayed. Male gymnasts do perform on several other events, such as the pommel horse and parallel bars, that have the potential to cause significant injury to their lower bodies. The pommel horse is an Artistic gymnastics apparatus It is traditionally used by Male Gymnasts due to intense strength requirements
In addition, at the high school level in the United States, there have been several male gymnasts who have participated on girls' teams and have successfully competed on all events, including the balance beam.   
Balance beams used in international gymnastics competitions must conform to the guidelines and specifications set forth by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG)'s Apparatus Norms brochure. Several companies manufacture and sell beams, including AAI (USA), Jannsen and Fritsen (Europe) and Acromat (Australia).
Beams are 125 cm (about 4'5") high, 5 meters long, and 10 cm (4") wide. Originally, the beam surface was plain polished wood. In earlier years, some gymnasts competed on a beam made of basketball-like material. However, this type of beam was eventually banned due to its extreme slipperiness. Since the 1980s, beams have been covered in leather or suede. The 1980s was the decade spanning from January 1 1980 to December 31 1989. In addition, they are now also sprung to accommodate the stress of high-difficulty tumbling and dance skills.
Most gymnastics schools purchase and use balance beams that meet the FIG's standards, but some may also use beams with carpeted surfaces for practice situations. While learning new skills, gymnasts often work on "low beams" that have the same dimensions and surface of regulation apparatus, but are set only a few inches off the ground. They may also work on practice beams, mini beams or lines on the mat.
To perform a balance beam routine, the gymnast:
In the early days of women's artistic gymnastics, beam was based more in dance than in tumbling. Routines even at the elite level were composed with combinations of leaps, dance poses, handstands, rolls and walkovers. A handstand is the act of supporting the body in a stable inverted vertical position by balancing on the hands In the 1960s, the most difficult acrobatic skill performed by the average Olympic gymnast was a back handspring. Year 1960 ( MCMLX) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. A handspring is an acrobatic move in which a person executes a complete revolution of the body by lunging headfirst from an upright position into a Handstand and then pushing
Balance beam difficulty began to increase dramatically in the 1970s. Year 1970 ( MCMLXX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link shows full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Olga Korbut and Nadia Comaneci pioneered advanced tumbling combinations and aerial skills on beam; other athletes and coaches began to follow suit. Olga Valentinovna Korbut ( Belarusian: Вольга Валянцінаўна Корбут, Volha Valancinaŭna Korbut; Russian: Ольга Nadia Elena Comăneci (originally Comăneci /komə'neʧʲ/ born November 12 1961 is a Romanian gymnast, winner of five Olympic gold medals The change was also facilitated by the transition from wooden beams to safer, less slippery models with suede-covered surfaces. By the mid 1980s, top gymnasts routinely performed flight series and multiple aerial elements on beam. Year 1980 ( MCMLXXX) was a Leap year starting on Tuesday (link displays the 1980 Gregorian calendar)
Today, balance beam routines still consist of a mixture of acrobatic skills, dance elements, leaps and poses, but with significantly greater difficulty.
Several aspects of the performance determine the gymnast's final mark. All elements in the routine, as well as all errors, are noted by the judges.
Deductions are taken for all errors made while on the beam, including lapses in control, balance checks (i. e. , wobbling or stumbling to maintain balance), poor technique and execution, and failure to fulfill the required CoP elements. Falls automatically incur a deduction; at the elite/world-class level this penalty is . 8. At many other levels of competition, such as NCAA gymnastics in the United States, the penalty for a fall is . The National Collegiate Athletic Association ( NCAA, often pronounced "N-C-Double-A" is a voluntary association of about 1200 institutions conferences organizations 5.
For detailed information on score tabulation, please see the Code of Points article
At the elite/international level, routines are choreographed and designed by the coaches and/or gymnasts. There are no restrictions on choreography, however, the gymnast must fulfill several requirements set forth by the Code of Points. Among these requirements, gymnasts must successfully complete a 360 degree turn, a leap demonstrating a 180 degree leg split, and forward and backward acrobatic elements. Athletes must also complete a "flight series" -- a series of two or more linked acrobatic skills -- and a "mixed series" composed of two or more linked dance and acrobatic skills. Gymnasts may earn points by successfully executing difficult acrobatic elements, mounts, dismounts, leaps and jumps. They may also increase their scores by linking several elements together.
The gymnast must mount and dismount the beam on her own, without any help from a coach or other individual. The skills chosen for the mount and dismount are of the athlete's choice. However, the dismount must carry at least a 'D' difficulty value to fulfill the EGR requirements of the Code of Points.
The gymnast may compete barefoot or wear special beam shoes if she so chooses. For people with the name Barefoot see Barefoot (surname Going barefoot (also barefoot ed) means for a person not to use or She may also chalk her hands and/or feet for added stability on the apparatus.
Once the exercise has started, the gymnast's coach may not spot her or interfere in any way. The only time the gymnast may be accompanied on the podium is in the case of a mount involving a springboard. In this instance, the coach, or another athlete from the team, may quickly step in to remove the springboard from the area.
In the event of a fall, an athlete has ten seconds to remount the apparatus and continue the routine. If she does not return to the beam within this time limit, she is not permitted to continue.
Under FIG rules, the maximum allowed time for a balance beam routine is 1:30 minutes. The routine is timed on the scoreboard timer, which is visible to both the gymnast and judges. In addition, a warning tone or bell is sounded 1:20 into the exercise. If the gymnast has not left the beam by 1:30, another bell is sounded, and a score deduction is incurred.