USA Gymnastics

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USA Gymnastics
USA Gymnastics logo.png
Abbreviation USAG
Motto Begin Here. Go Anywhere.[1]
Formation 1963 (1963)
Type 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization
Purpose Sport governing body
Headquarters Indianapolis, Indiana
Membership more than 110,000 (more than 90,000 competing athletes)[1]
President
Steve Penny
Main organ
Board of Directors
Parent organization
International Federation of Gymnastics (from October 1970)
Staff more than 40[1]
Website www.usa-gymnastics.org

United States of America Gymnastics (USA Gymnastics) or USAG is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Established in 1963,[1] USA Gymnastics is responsible for selecting and training national teams for the Olympic Games and World Championships. The mission of USA Gymnastics is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in all aspects of gymnastics.[1]

The programs governed by USAG are:

The Women's Artistic program—comprising the events vault, uneven bars, balance beam, and floor exercise—is by far the most well known to the public,[citation needed] with several nationally televised competitions each year. Events in the Men's Artistic program include floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, parallel bars, and horizontal bar.

Women's Artistic programs[edit]

Elite[edit]

The Elite Program consists of regional and national training programs and competitions designed for athletes aspiring to represent the United States in international competition. Athletes participate at Developmental, Open, Pre-Elite, and National Team training camps. Only athletes at the National Team level are called "elite gymnasts".[2]

Annual elite-level competitions include the American Cup, U.S. Classic, and U.S. Championships, as well as multiple National Qualifying Meets throughout the year.[3] Junior and Senior National Teams are selected based on performance at the U.S. Championships. These athletes then compete at the World Championships. In Olympic years, elite gymnasts compete at the Summer Olympics.

TOPs[edit]

The Talent Opportunity Program (TOPs) seeks to identify talented female gymnasts aged 7–10 for further training up to the elite level. It consists of state and regional evaluations followed by a national test of physical abilities and basic gymnastics skills in October of each year, culminating a national training camp in December.[4]

Junior Olympics[edit]

The Junior Olympic Program provides training, evaluation, and competition opportunities to allow developing gymnasts to safely advance at their own pace through specific skill levels. Most competitive gymnasts advance through this system.

As of August 1, 2013, the levels are as follows.[5]

  • Developmental levels 1–3: the most fundamental skills performed in a non-competitive, achievement-oriented environment
  • Compulsory levels 4–5: progressively difficult skills performed competitively as standardized routines (all gymnasts at a given level perform the same routines)
  • Optional levels 6–10: progressively difficult skills performed competitively in original routines

Skills are grouped by degree of difficulty and given the letter ratings A–E, with A denoting the easiest skills. Levels 6–8 have difficulty restrictions, in that a gymnast competing at one of these levels may not attempt skills above a certain level of difficulty (for example, level 6 and 7 gymnasts may only include A and B skills in their routines). Levels 9 and 10 have no such difficulty restrictions, although level 9 gymnasts may include only one D or E skill in any single routine.[6]

In addition to demonstrating the necessary skills, gymnasts must reach a minimum age to advance to the next level. For example, level 8 and 9 gymnasts must be at least 8 years old; level 10 gymnasts must be at least 9 years old. Regardless of age, all beginning gymnasts enter the program at level 1 and may advance through more than one level per year. Competitions for gymnasts at level 7 culminate in State Championships, level 8 at Regional Championships, level 9 at Eastern or Western Championships, and level 10 at Junior Olympic National Championships.[7]

Prior to August 1, 2013, the developmental levels were numbered 1–4, the compulsory levels 5–6, and the optional levels 7–10. The old levels 1 and 2 have been combined into the new level 1; level 7 has been split into the new levels 6 and 7; and the numbering of levels 3–6 have each been shifted down one level for the new system.[6]

Xcel[edit]

The Xcel Program provides training and competition experience for gymnasts outside of the traditional Junior Olympic program. Its stated purpose is "to provide gymnasts of varying abilities and commitment levels, the opportunity for a rewarding gymnastics experience." Participants compete in individual and team competitions in Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond divisions, based on age and ability level.[8]

Board of directors[edit]

USA Gymnastics is governed by a Board of Directors that includes several famous former gymnasts. Among these are Chairman Peter Vidmar; Athlete Directors Michael Rodrigues, John Roethlisberger, and Kim Zmeskal; and Public Sector Director Mary Lou Retton.[9]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "About USA Gymnastics". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  2. ^ "Women's Program Overview". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  3. ^ "USA Gymnastics Women's Elite Calendar". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  4. ^ "TOPs Program Overview". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  5. ^ "2013-2021 Junior Olympic Compulsory Program". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  6. ^ a b "Structure and Mobility chart for the Women’s Junior Olympic Program for entering the 2013-2014 season". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  7. ^ "Junior Olympic Program Overview". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  8. ^ "Xcel Program". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 
  9. ^ "USA Gymnastics Board of Directors". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 2013-07-27. 

External links[edit]