I have no idea. I'm really not sure there is a specific one that is going to be audited or whatever. It's not something I recall coming up in the risk management certification. My personal answer for what would be appropriate is about the "wingspan" of the average adult. If you want optionals to all be able to work on them at the same time, otherwise everyone is going to have to wait to do their straddle jump, etc. Not that anyone will ever actually go at the same time in my experience, but hey, in theory.
Thanks. Its more a question of what is an appropriate distance and I assumed insurance policies would have a standard. My DD fell off her beam and face first into another beam. She's 4'8" tall so I was wondering if maybe the beams were too close or if it was just a freak accident.
Hmm, well it's possible but based on the various set ups I've seen, I don't think so. I've never personally seen that happen but I can see how it could. Even if the beams were pretty far apart though, someone could fall on it if they were coming down from a height and unable to catch themselves on their hands/hands slipped. You could just as easily hit the beam you're working on really (not that reasonable precaution shouldn't be taken in placement). I don't think they would get that specific because risk management would come down to what's being done on the beams...for example preschool/class stations probably shouldn't have to be as far apart as optionals do.
Insurance companies do not set equipment standards. USA-Gymnastics does not set specific guidelines either, because it depends on the activities the beams are being used for.
I'm sorry about your dd though- I hope she heals up well. Maybe you could approach the coach/gym owner about increasing the distance between the beams, or at least ask how an accident like this can be avoided in the future.
Our gym is pretty small, and we barely have any rom for beam. I would not do my backhandsprings if someone was on either side of me for fear of them falling off...
They were that close. Sorry about your DD.