USAG has established 10 Junior Olympic levels in gymnastics. After the 10th level there is elite gymnastics. Gymnastics level 1-6 are known as the compulsory levels. In the compulsory levels every gymnast performs the same gymnastic routines on each event (floor, balance beam, vault and uneven bars).
Levels 1-3 are usually non competitive gymnastics levels. There is no official or sanctioned meets for theses level. Although some gyms may have small competitions so the gymnasts can have fun and gain experience. USAG has set forth mandatory ages for each level of competition. To compete as a gymnastics level 1 or 2 the gymnast has to have reached her 4th birthday. To compete as a level 3 the gymnast has to have reached her 5th birthday.
Gymnastics level 1-3 teach basic gymnastics skills, body positions and techniques. At these levels the gymnasts should be learning skills on floor, balance beam, vault and uneven bars. All of the gymnastics skills learned in these levels are the foundation and building blocks needed to start making a great gymnast.
Here are the main basic skills you will learn in level 1, 2 and 3!!
- Level 1 Vault- arm circle, punching the spring board, straight jump on an 8 inch mat
- Level 2 Vault- Handstand on spring board, blocking off, landing in a flat back position on a 16 inch mat
- Level 3 Vault- run, hurdle, punch board, dive forward roll to a stand on a resi mat (waist height)
- Level 1 Bars- 2 foot pullover, casting, back hip circle, push away dismount
- Level 2 Bars- 2 foot pullover, casting, back hip circle, straddle on, sole circle dismount
- Level 3 Bars- 2 foot pullover, casting, back hip circle, cut over, mill (stride) circle, cut back, squat on, pike sole circle dismount
- Level 1 Balance beam- front support, candle stick, arabesque, coupe walks, releve (tiptoe) walks, straight (stretch) jump on beam, straight (stretch) jump dismount.
- Level 2 Balance beam- front support, v-sit, forward roll, arabesque, leg swings, releve balance, tuck jump, tuck jump dismount.
- Level 3 Balance beam- front support, swing push-up, arabesque, partial handstand, running steps, pivot turns, split jump, cartwheel to side handstand dismount
- Level 1 Gymnastics floor- forward roll, backward roll, cartwheel, candlestick, bridge up, side roll, leg swings, coupe walks, tuck jump
- Level 2 Gymnastics floor- straddle roll to straddle stand, headstand, back bend from knees, cartwheel, backward roll to pike, handstand, leg balance, split jump, pivot turn, chasse
- Level 3 Gymnastics floor- handstand forward roll, round-off, backward roll with straight arms to pike, backbend kick-over, leg balance, chasse, leap, heel-snap turn, straight jump, tuck jump