Stuctural Trends and Prospects of Male Participation in Rhythmic Gymnastics


Tsopani, D., Patsantaras, N., Dallas, G., & Kamberidou, I. (2006). Stuctural Trends and Prospects of Male Participation in Rhythmic Gymnastics. Proceedings of the 1st International Congress in Rhythmic Gymnastics, Convegno Internazionale Ginnastica Ritmica CSAM, Torino Italy, 6-7 April. Convegno Internazionale Ginnastica Ritmica CSAM. Copy at


Rhythmic Gymnastics has been established as an exclusively female sport. Current issues and questions repeatedly arise concerning women´s participation in all sports, namely access into all traditionally male dominated sports, whereas they have not been developed in reference to the participation of men in rhythmic gymnastics. The purpose of this study is to explore and investigate these gender issues and present the views and perceptions of rhythmic gymnastics´ internal environment (structural elements: scoring of evaluations codes, judges, etc) as well those of the external environment (audiences, journalists, etc) concerning a) the imminent participation on men in rhythmic gymnastics, b) rules and regulations pertaining to the female gymnast's appearance. In this study 299 individuals from around the world, representing different social groups (journalists, trainers/coaches, parents, etc), responded to a closed questionnaire during an international championship. The results showed that the overwhelming majority (76.5%) of the responds favor the participation of men in rhythmic gymnastics. Additionally, the results reveal the necessity for redefinition, in other words that the restrictive character of the regulations concerning the appearance of female gymnasts must be redefined, as well as the possibility, prospect or opportunity for access to men, particularly in the framework of recent issues concerning gender in sports.