Levels in gymnastics are designed to help gymnasts understand their current skills and assist them in learning new ones. The level determines a gymnast’s ability and potential to compete in competition events.
You have two options for gymnasts to choose from: Junior Olympic or Xcel. Each program has its own requirements.
|Level 1 and 2||
This guide will give you a comprehensive overview of each program, helping you to understand the differences and identify the skills required at each level.
The JO program is for people who love gymnastics and want to train for advanced competitions or the Olympics and other professional events. The Xcel program is for people who love the sport but are not interested in competing in more advanced competitions. Both of these are excellent ways for gymnasts.
What does “Levels” mean in gymnastics?
The level of gymnastics refers to a gymnast’s ability to perform. Each level has its own rules, and gymnasts must meet certain requirements in order to be eligible for that level.
The United States divides gymnastics into optional levels. These optional levels are divided into two groups: professional (levels 4 through 6), level 7 to 10, and level 10. The latter is the highest level of competitive gymnastics. Then, we will explain what each one means.
The “early ability” level is the first. This stage allows the gymnast to demonstrate basic skills and body positions. This stage is for levels 1 through 3. These events are not competitive. They only include floor exercises, barbell balance, and vault.
These levels are designed for beginners who wish to master basic skills such as stretching and jumping. This level is where the gymnast prepares for a move into more advanced areas of the discipline.
The gymnast must keep learning all the lessons he learned in the first phase. Balance beam skills include partial hand stops, career steps, and pivot spins. This program includes split jumps, somersaults, and side strips as well as split jumps. You will need to be able to do headstands, backbends, and other advanced jumps. At levels 5 and 6, athletes should be able to stretch and do astride jumps. Athletes should also be able to use rear extension rollers and roundings. Some clubs or academies may choose to compete in the Xcel program, which starts at skill level 5.
Finally, we reach the professional or advanced level. Levels 7, 8, 9, and 10 are more fluid and do not require any special requirements. They can however create their own routines. A letter system is used to determine the difficulty of the level requirements. A stands for the easiest, while E stands for the most difficult.
- Level 7 gymnasts must master five A skills and two B skills.
- Level 8 gymnasts must perform four A and four B skills in each routine.
- Level 9 gymnasts must master three A, four, and one B skills.
- -A Level 10 gymnast must perform three of the following: three A, three C, or three B.
* Level 7 and 8 gymnasts cannot perform E skills.
After a gymnast has shown all the skills necessary to reach level 10, they are eligible for the Elite program. They can compete at professional events as well as in Olympic events through the elite program. These are the categories that a gymnast may fall into depending on their ability to compete in both advanced and basic gymnastics competitions.
Junior Olympic Program vs. Xcel Program
The most popular programs for American gymnasts are the Junior Olympic Levels (Xcel) and the Xcel Programs. While both require skills to progress, there are differences in the content and nature of the programs.
Each program has mandatory and option levels. The mandatory level requires the gymnast to perform a standard routine. The optional level allows the gymnast to choreographed and individualized routines. Gymnasts can perform optional routines at the Xcel or Junior Olympic levels.
The JO program is designed for gymnasts who are serious about their careers and want to compete in gymnastics. This program is designed for gymnasts who wish to compete at a higher level. They might also be interested in becoming professionals or competing at the Olympics.
Each level has its own set of skills. Gymnasts must practice more and work harder in order to be successful in the JO program. They must improve their skills and show high levels of discipline. Most JO gymnasts are either young or possess great talent. They are also able to move quickly between levels. They are essential to ensure that there is sanctioned competition.
The Xcel program is for people who love the sport but don’t plan on competing at a higher level. These gymnasts may have found the sport earlier in life or simply want to learn more.
Xcel regulations aren’t as rigid and gymnasts can move freely through the various divisions at their own pace. Although competitions are offered for Xcel participants they aren’t as competitive or serious as the JO program. The Xcel program is a great option for gymnasts who have limited time and skill.
Xcel Program Divisions
Bronze Level: The minimum age for the Bronze division is 5. This means that the minimum age requirement for the Bronze division is 5 years. The skill requirements for the Bronze division are similar to those of the JO Program’s level 1-2.
Silver: The minimum age for the Silver division is 6. This means that the minimum age requirement for the Silver division is 6 years. The skill requirements for the silver division are similar to those of the JO Program’s Level 3.
Gold: Minimum age for the Gold division is 7. This means that the minimum age requirement for the Gold division is 7 years. The silver division has similar skill requirements to the JO Program level 4. To become an Individual Event Specialist (IES), the gymnast needs to earn a 31 AA Gold score or an 8.0 in an individual event.
Platinum Level: For the Platinum division, the minimum age is 8. This means that the minimum age requirement for the Platinum division is 8 years. The skill requirements for the platinum division are similar to those of the JO program’s levels 4-5. To advance to the Diamond level, or to an 8.0 in an individual event, the gymnast needs to earn a 31 AA score in Platinum.
Diamond: Minimum age for the Diamond division is 9. This means that the minimum age requirement for the Diamond division is 9 years. The skill requirements for the diamond division are similar to those of the JO program’s level 6-7.
JO Program Levels
The JO program offers 10 levels. Gymnasts must meet specific requirements before they can move up to higher levels. Based on the four main events vault, uneven bars balance beam, floor and routine, the skill requirements are set.
Gymnastics Level 1-3
You are not eligible to compete in the first three mandatory levels of gymnastics competition. These levels are designed for beginners who want to learn foundational skills. Although Levels 1 to 3 are typically younger than levels 1, 2, and 3, they don’t have to be.
Levels 1 to 3 are required. All level gymnasts need to learn the standard routines in order to move on to the next. While gymnasts can compete at these mandatory levels, it’s not common.
Level 1 Skill Requirements
A floor routine must be performed by a gymnast that includes a forward roll, reverse roll, cartwheel, split jump, and cartwheel.
The gymnast must perform a beam jump to the front support mount and a stretch leap.
You must perform the vault by doing a basic stretch on your mat, a kick into an armstand, and a fall to your rear.
Gymnasts must be able to do a pullover and cast on the bars. There are two ways to dismount: one underswing or one circling skill.
Level 2 Requirements
Level 2 floor requirements require a round-off and backward turn. All gymnasts must perform handstands. They should be held for no less than one second. Split leaps and split jumps can both be done with a 60-degree leg separation. The routine should include a 90-degree heel snap turn, and a bridge back kickover.
Gymnasts will need to perform the beam by jumping from the front support mount, stretching jump, and lever. They must also perform a half-pivot as well as a more challenging dismount such as a cartwheel to the side handstand.
A vault requires gymnasts to perform a jump to a handstand from the mat stack and then a fall onto a flatback.
The bar routine must be performed in the same way as Level 1. The routine should include a pullover, cast, and back hip circle. The routine should include a leg cut, single-leg swing, and leg cut. Either do the underswing as before or if you are feeling more confident, you can do a sole-circle squat to-pike.
Level 3 Skill Requirements
At least six years old to compete at Level 3 must be met.
A floor routine should include a bridge jump-over handstand and forward roll. Split jumping is possible. To do a pushup, the gymnast must do a backward roll, a round off, and a pushup. This is often the first major accomplishment for young gymnasts.
A beam routine must contain both a 90-degree split jump and a straight jump. The gymnast must also be able to perform side handstands, handstands, and dismounts.
The handstand must only be done by a gymnast who has a flat back and is able to reach the vault on a stack of mats.
The gymnast must do a pullover, front and rear hip circles, single-leg squat through bars. A single-leg basket swing must be performed by the gymnast. Then, they should do a mill circle and then dismount using an underneath swing.
Gymnastics Level 4
Level 4 is the most common level that gyms allow gymnasts to compete at. Gymnasts cannot perform individualized routines at Level 4.
Level 4 Skill Requirements
The floor routine includes a straddle leap, a 120 degree split, and a front handspring landing on each foot. Gymnasts must perform the back walkover and back extension rolls. They will also need to add an additional back handspring after the round-off.
To be eligible for the beam, gymnasts must do a split jump and split leap. Both must be done at 120 degrees. Handstand and cartwheel are also required. To dismount, a cartwheel must also be used. Next, perform a side handstand and then do a quarter turn to dismount.
The vault is a basic front handspring. This is the first level where the gymnast must land.
A gymnast has two options: a pike glides or straddles on bars. The gymnast must perform a long hang, back hip circle, and squat. A cast to horizontal should be included in the routine.
Gymnastics Level 5
To compete at Level 5, a gymnast must have seven years of age. To reach compulsory Level 5, it is mandatory.
Level 5 Requirements
The floor routine will include three jumps: a stretch jump with a full turn, an alternate straddle jump, and a split jump. Gymnasts will perform a full turn and a front tuck.
On beam, gymnasts perform a straight leg leap at 150 degrees and a split jump. Sissonne, a back extension roll, back walkover, or back handspring without step-out are all required. To dismount, a cartwheel is used. The side handstand and quarter turn follow.
The gymnast performing the vault will do it in front handspring just like Level 4.
Complex bar routines include a hang kip and a long kip. Gymnasts perform a clear hip to the horizontal as well as a cast above and below the horizontal. They must clear the front support by performing a backward sole circle or a back sole circle. Perform a squat on and tap swings to complete the routine.
Gymnastics Levels 6
Level 6 marks the beginning of optional routines. This is often the benchmark for many gymnasts. Gymnasts need to have mastered all Level 6 skills. The routines should contain at least five A skills and one B skill. All gymnastics skills can be ranked from A to E, with E being most difficult and A being easiest.
A gymnast who scores 32 AA at Level 5 may be eligible to skip Level 6.
Level 6 Skills
For the floor routine, gymnasts need to perform at least three elements. Two must be aerial. Acrobatic acro and salto are both possible. A dance passage should include at least two jumps or leaps. Minimum one must be a 180 degree flip. A complete turn on one side of the routine is also required.
You have two options: one element without flight and one with flight on the beam. They must complete a full turn on one leg, jump or leap with 180-degree flips. They must mount using one of the A-level elements.
A gymnast must be able to do at least one bar switch and at least 45 degrees above horizontal when using uneven bars. You have the option of a Hecht, stalder, clear Hip Circle, or underswing.
Gymnastics Levels 7
At Level 7, the gymnast must have at least five A skills and two B skills to perform their routines.
Level 7 Skills
Acro series must have at least three flight elements and a back layout. The gymnast must also perform a front acro series, which must include at least three flight elements as well as a back layout. Salto or aerial skills are required. Also, a dance passage that includes two skills will be performed: a 180-degree split jump as well as a complete turn on one leg.
A beam routine must also include at minimum two skills and an element of aerial flight. They must complete a full turn on one leg, and perform a jump or leap with a 180-degree flip. Last is the dismount, which is an aerial or salto skill that’s ranked A.
The vault gives the gymnast the option of a front handspring or a quarter-to–half twist Tsuko.
Bar routines should include a cast to handstand and no more than two full circling skills. A B skill must be used for one of these. For the dismount, you will need an A-level salto.
Gymnastics Level 8-10
Compulsory levels 8-10 of gymnastics are the most difficult, with more difficult skills.
Level 8 Skills
Level 8 gymnasts need to have at least four A skills, and four B skills. Acro series must have at least two to three saltos and three different saltos. This is the compulsory levels of skills. A dance passage should have at least two jumps, hops, or leaps.
Acro series must have at least two skills in the beam. One must include flight. On one foot, a complete turn should be made. There should also be an aerial dismount or A-level salto. At least one vault must have a front handspring vault.
Bars must have at least one bar change and a minimum of one B-level skill that can turn, fly, or circle. For the dismount, the salto must possess A-level elements.
Level 9 Skills
To reach Level 9, a gymnast must possess a Level 8 34 AAA and be at least 18 years old. You will need at least three skills to perform routines: at least four B skills, at least one C skill and at least three A skills. The floor requirements for Level 8 are identical to Level 8. However, the ability to turn on one foot and complete the salto must be at least level B.
The beam must be identical but must contain an aerial dismount or salto at level B. A dance sequence should have at least two skills. Vault charts are used by Level 9 gymnasts to choose a vault.
You will need to perform two bar routines, which include both B-level and C-level flight skills. Salto dismount should not be less than a C.
Level 10 Skills
A Level 9 34 AA rated gymnast must be at least nine years old. They must possess three A, three, and three of the following skills: three A skills; three B skills; three B skills; and two C skills. The Level 10 floor routine should be identical to Level 9. The final salto should now be at a C-level.
C-level dismounts make it more difficult to beam. For vault routines, you must select the Level 10 vault chart. Similar bars exist except they now include at minimum one C level flight skill as well as a longitudinal Axis turn skill.
The Elite Level allows a gymnast to compete at professional competitions and train for the Olympics. This is a compulsory level for professional gymnasts.
Is there a level 10 in gymnastics?
The USA Gymnastics Junior Olympics Program has Level 10. This level is open for women’s and men’s artistic, rhythmic, trampoline, and acrobatic gymnasts.
How old are level 5 gymnasts?
To compete in Level 5, Level 5 gymnasts must have a minimum age of 7 years. *First entry level required in the JO Program.
How old are Level 3 gymnastics?
Only Level 3: Child 5 Years of Age: To be eligible to compete, you must be at least 5 years old the day before. These athletes can apply for Introductory Membership. i. Child A: 6-6 years old: To be eligible for competition, a gymnast must be at least 6 years old.
What is the highest level in gymnastics?
ELITE is the highest level of gymnastics. This level is only open to 2% of gymnasts. International and National competitions are held. These gymnasts represent the USA at most international competitions, including the Olympics.