Compulsory Gymnastics: Competing for the first time!
Compulsory Gymnastics: An understanding of the Junior Olympic Compulsory Program!
Has your athlete just been invited to join her gym’s Team Program? Is she interested in competing in the future? Here is basic information to give you a better understanding of the competitive gymnastics world!
USAG’s Junior Olympic (JO for short) Compulsory gymnastics program is one of the many routes your gymnast can take following her time in the recreational levels. The compulsory levels are comprised of routines wherein every gymnast performing must do the same skills, in the same order, accompanied by the same dance and music choices.
If your daughter has been invited to a “pre-team” or “developmental” class she will likely go the compulsory route following her time there. Most developmental classes are similar from gym to gym, with the primary focus being to teach young gymnasts the most basic skills in an efficient time frame and with proper technique.
The compulsory levels range from Level 1- Level 5 with the skill requirements getting more difficult the higher the level you reach.
An explanation of the compulsory levels
Levels 1-3 were created primarily as a way to introduce young gymnasts to competition. These levels do not require a “move up” score nor are they mandatory to compete. Some gyms use these levels as part of their recreational and/or developmental programs. Other gyms will compete in Levels 1-3. Every gym makes their own decisions as to whether or not compete in these lower levels of the JO Program.
Levels 4 and 5 are required levels to compete in the Junior Olympic Program. Every gymnast competing has to have either reached her 7thbirthday before her first competition or be older than 7 years old. Each of these levels requires the gymnast to learn specific routines on each event. The routines are different in every level from 1-5.
Level 4 and 5 also require the gymnast to maintain a mobility or “move up” score in order to move from Level 4 to Level 5. A mobility scores is a minimum all-around score the gymnast must obtain she is proficient in her level.
For Level 4, the mobility score is a 34.00 All-Around which means she is, at minimum, 75% efficient in the skills required of this level.
In Level 5, the mobility score is a 32.00 All-Around.
It is highly recommended that the gymnasts compete an entire season of Level 4 or 5 but it is not required. The benefits to competing as season are that she learns how competition works and has experience in competing before moving on to the Optional levels. However, as long as she maintains her mobility score in any USAG sanctioned competition she may move up to the next level. Each gym will differ on their decision as a club to compete an entire season or not.
For more information on the skill requirements, age requirements, and mobility of each level head on over to USAG.com or click on this link: https://usagym.org/pages/women/pages/overview_jo.html
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