What's The Difference Between A Kasamatsu & A Tsukahara?

In his 1982 play The Real Thing, British playwright Tom Stoppard writes that love has to do “with knowing and being known.” If loving is knowing—knowing those tiny, nuanced things that turn an idea into a being—then loving gymnastics is knowing the difference between a Kasamatsu and a Tsukahara.

Because like love, the difference between the two just barely, barely makes sense. Let’s get into it, shall we?

Both the Kasamatsu and the Tsukahara vaults have the same entry: a handspring with a half (or quarter) turn onto the table. Things then start to get tricky: in a Kasamatsu vault, the gymnast twists in the direction of the approach (so a left-handed approach would twist left, and vice versa), and in a Tsukahara, the gymnast twists in the opposite direction of the approach (so a left-handed approach would twist right, and the other way around).   

Now, let’s get to the actual twisting. In a Kasamatsu vault, one twist is already implied; in a Tsukahara, there are none built in. This means that a Kasamatsu (or Kas) full actually has two twists, as does a Tsukahara (or Tsuk) double; a Kas double has three twists, just like a Tsuk triple. 

And because things need to get even more complicated, none of this even matters in women’s gymnastics: they’re all scored the same anyways. People only really do Kasamatsu-style vaults anymore, but because labeling them as Tsuks is less complicated (the number of twists in the name is the actual number of twists, not the square root or the derivative or the x+1 of the number of twists), the names have become interchangeable. Here’s a video of Jade Carey doing a Kas full/Tsuk double at the 2017 World Championships:

via GIPHY

So when you see a vault that looks… Like that, it’s actually a Kasamatsu, but is also called a Tsukahara, so either way, you probably have it right. Love doesn’t have to be so hard, after all.


Brette Warshaw is a freelance writer and consultant based in New York City. You can follow her at @bstarwarshaw.

Oklahoma Caps Incredible Season With An NCAA Title

In the inaugural Four on the Floor final of the NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships, the Oklahoma Sooners won the team title and are back on top after scoring a huge 198.3375. The LSU Tigers had another runner-up finish and earned their highest NCAA Championship score with a 197.8250 ahead of last year's champion UCLA Bruins, who were in third with a 197.5375. The Denver Pioneers concluded their season with a fourth-place finish, their best ever final ranking in program history, with a 197.0000.

UCLA, LSU, Oklahoma & Denver Advance To 2019 NCAA Finals

After placing in the top two in their respective semifinals, UCLA, LSU, Oklahoma, and Denver have qualified to the first Four on the Floor NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championship final. In semifinal I, UCLA finished in first with a 197.6750, and LSU finished in second with a 197.5125. In semifinal II, Oklahoma won with a 197.8500 while Denver came in second with a 197.0375.

Individual All-Around Competitors At 2019 NCAAs

While the full teams duke it out for the NCAA team championship this weekend, gymnasts will be competing individually for event titles as well—including for the all-around. 

Title Or Bust For No. 1-Ranked Oklahoma Women

When the 2019 season began, the Oklahoma women’s  gymnastics team found itself ranked No. 2 in the nation. After losing out to UCLA in the 2018 championships, the ranking seemed to be a good reminder of what the Sooners missed out on.

Fueled By 2018 Letdown, Oregon State Makes It To NCAA Championships

Coach Tanya Chaplin remembers the moment well. With her Oregon State squad on the verge of making it to the 2018 NCAA Women’s Gymnastics Championships, the unthinkable happened.

UCLA Looking For A Repeat In Legendary Coach's Final Meet

Even if you’re not a gymnastics fan, you’ve probably had some sort of exposure to the UCLA gymnastics team. You may have seen Katelyn Ohashi moonwalking and split-jumping to Michael Jackson in her viral floor routine. You may have seen Kyla Ross win the team gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, or Madison Kocian win the team gold and the bars silver medal in Rio. And you may know that the Bruins are the reigning national champions, which they won by 0.0375 last year in one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Never Satisfied, Oklahoma Men Strive For Fifth Consecutive National Title

NORMAN, Okla. — Yul Moldauer’s resume speaks for itself. The Oklahoma senior is a 15-time All-American and owner of seven individual national championships. Those are just a few of the honors and accolades the Colorado native has amassed in his time with the Sooners.

Morgan Hurd, Sam Mikulak Win Tokyo World Cup

On Sunday (late Saturday evening in the U.S.), gymnasts competed in another FIG World Cup, this time in Tokyo, Japan. There was both a women’s and men’s competition, and both meets showed talent from a range of countries. 

Denver & Oregon State Earn Upset Bids To NCAA Championships

On the last night of regionals anything can happen, and Saturday’s action at the Corvallis regional finals proved that. No. 4 Florida, No. 5 Denver, No. 12 Boise State, and No. 15 Oregon State matched up in the final evening of competition, but only two could move on to the NCAA Championships.

UCLA & Michigan Qualify To NCAA Championships

Finishing in the top two in the final round of competition at the Ann Arbor NCAA women's gymnastics regional championship, reigning national champion UCLA and reigning Big Ten champion Michigan have qualified for nationals.