Rhythmic gymnastics is one of three Olympic sports on display this week in Minneapolis. In rhythmic gymnastics, athletes perform choreographed routines to music using a hoop, a ball, clubs and a ribbon.

The sport, which is for women only, has been in the Olympics since 1984, when the individual event debuted. A group event was added in 1996.

The U.S. secured only one spot in rhythmic gymnastics in Paris, and Evita Griskenas, a 23-year-old from Orland Park, Ill., has already earned that berth.

Two gymnasts who train at NorthWest Rhythmic in Plymouth, Erica Foster of Chanhassen and Victoria Gonikman of Corcoran, are among the 25 senior elite qualifiers for the USA Gymnastics Championships this week.

The elite competition in rhythmic gymnastics will be June 24-26 at the Minneapolis Convention Center. A free livestream will be available on the USA Gymnastics YouTube channel.

The equipment

Ball: Made of rubber or soft plastic, the ball weighs at least 14 ounces and is 7-8 inches in diameter.

Clubs: The two clubs are equal in length (about 16-20 inches) and weigh 5.3 ounces each. They have a wide end, a tapered neck and a ball on the end.

Hoop: Made of wood or plastic, the hoop must weigh at least 10.6 ounces and have an interior diameter between about 31 to 35 inches.

Ribbon: Made of satin or similar material, the ribbon is about 2 inches wide and must be at least 19 feet, 8 inches long. It's attached to a slim stick that's about 2 feet long. It weighs 1.2 ounces.

The routines

Rhythmic gymnastics routines combine dance and acrobatic maneuvers with the handling of various apparatuses. The choreography must cover the whole floor and include jumps, rotations and balance elements. Key traits of a rhythmic gymnast include flexibility, strength, dexterity and hand-eye coordination.

In the individual elite competition in Minneapolis, gymnasts will perform with each apparatus twice on the 13x13-meter floor. Each routine is 75-90 seconds, and gymnasts can be penalized for a performance being too long or too short.

The top three finishers in the all-around and each event will earn awards, and the top 12 gymnasts in the all-around rankings will be named to the national team.

The scoring

Routines are scored by a panel of judges and evaluated for difficulty, artistry and execution: a D score, A score and E score.

The difficulty score includes points for "Difficulties of Body" (physical maneuvers such as jumps, spins, body waves and balance elements) and "Difficulties of Apparatus" (technical elements that vary by apparatus).

The artistry score concerns the gymnast's ability to create a "guiding idea" or story from beginning to end. Judges are looking for connecting music, movement, dance steps and apparatus skills; expressivity and variety, and contrasts in tempo and character, among other things.

A gymnast can receive penalties for the apparatus or their body going out of bounds and if they drop the apparatus. Rhythmic gymnastics also has rules for situations such as "Unusable Apparatus (Example: knots in the Ribbon)" and "Broken Apparatus or Apparatus Caught in the Ceiling." And there are strict rules about what a gymnast can wear and the designs of their leotards.