Well here in Australia we have a system of levels going from level 1-10, as they do in the USA. They are distinctly divided as they are in the US as well into 103, 4-6 and 7-10.
Levels 1-3 are the developmental levels. There are set routines on each apparatus for each level. There are lots of competitions at this level usually up to state championships in each state. Most level 1-3's compete but not all. You don't have to compete these levels in order to pass them or move onto the next level or anything. So some gyms do and some gyms don't. Most gyms offer competition to most who are interested.
Examples of skills
Level 1 - straight jump vault, fwd roll dismount on bars, basic walks and poses on beam, forward rolls and basic shapes on floor.
Level 2 - handstand flat back vault, pullover on bars, straight jumps on beam, cartwheels, handstands, backward rolls on floor
Level 3 - handspring flat back vault, back hip circle and toe shoot on bars, L handstand, 1/2 turn on 1 foot, leaps on beam. Handstand forward roll, full turn, 135 degree split leaps on floor
Of course there are many more but this gives you an idea of the sorts of skills done at each level.
Level 4-6, are the in between levels. There are compulsory skills that everyone must do but you have your own routines. Each gymnast has their own floor, beam and bar routines but they put in certain elements. Which are called the core skills. There are then bonus skills that can be put in instead to get extra bonus points. For example in level 5 they must do a cartwheel on beam, but they can replace it with a walkover and get a 0.2 bonus or they can replace it with a back handspring or a standing back tuck and get a 0.4 bonus.
You need to compete at these levels in order to pass and move onto the next level. The pinnacle goal is state championships which they must qualify for.
Examples of skills
Level 4 - Bars - squat on jumpt to high bar, horizontal cast, long hang puulover, toe shoot from high bar. Beam - 135 degree split leap and split jump, full handstand, 1/2-1/2 turn. Floor - round off, walkover, 180 degree split leaps, full turn, jump full turn.
Level 5 - vault - handspring. Bars - glide kip, long kip, cast to 45 above horizontal. beam - cartwheel, front tuck dismount, full turn on 1 foot, split jump wolf jump. Floor - round off back handspring, front handspring, back extention roll.
Level 6 - Vault - handspring, bars - clear hip circle, beam - walkovers, front tuck dismount, full turns, 180 leaps. Floor - round off back handsring back tuck, front handspring front tuck
Again these are just a few examples, there are many more.
Level 7-10 are the optional levels. They do their own routines and basically fulfill the requirements. The main difference between level 7-10 in Australia to the USA is that in Australia there is no difficulty restrictions on any skills. You can do a double layout with a half twist in level 7 if you like.
From level 7-10 you can compete at a national level.
For gymnasts with the ability to go on to international level competition there is a whole different stream of competition. Called the International development program.
The levels go
Level 1A (age 5-7)
Level 2A (age 6-8)
IDP 3A (age 7-9)
IDP 5 (age 8-10)
IDP 6 (age 9-11)
IDP 8 (age 10-12)
IDP 10 (age 11-13)
Junior international (age 12-15)
Senior international (age 15+)
Only a few people in each state train and compete these levels. You have to train at a specialist training centre.
Here in GB it is fairly complicated when you are new to it!
We have grades and levels and all gymnasts do both - Grades in Spring and Levels in Autumn.
14 = age 8+
13 = age 9+
Grade 14 is competed by almost all competitive gymnasts in the year they turn 8 or older. It is very basic.
Grade 13 is usually the 2nd grade taken if following the regional or national grades route. If taking the elite route the gymnasts won't do this grade.
12 = age 10+
11 = age 10+
10 = age 10+
9 = age 10+
Grades 14-9 are only performed at county or regional level. They are taken by gymnasts who perhaps aren't able to or don't wish to train a huge amount of hours.
8 = age 10+
7 = age 11+
6 = age 12+
5 = age 13+
These grades are competed regionally and gymnasts can qualify for a national final. They are slightly more difficult than 12-9.
4 = age 9
3 = age 10
2 = age 11
These are the elite grades and will be chosen by gymnasts training around 25 hours a week. They will compete grade 4 the year after they have competed grade 14.
After grade 2, gymnasts will become Espoirs for 2 years, competing full FIG code. Juniors for 2 years and become seniors at age 16.
We start with level 5 at age 8+ and then work through level4 (age 9+) level 3 (age 10+) level 2 (age 11+).
Levels are voluntary. There are no set skills, but there are set elements.
If a gymnast reaches level 2 and grade 9 at age 11 she can then compete at Espoir challenge the following year, which will get her into the elite pathway. If she scores well at espoir challenge she can then go on to compete at the British Championships.
If she reaches grade 2 and level 2 at age 11 she will compete at British Championships. If she scores poorly she will be relegated to espoir challenge and then have to re-qualify to the British Champs.
This is the same for older gymnasts but if they reach this level at age 14 for example they will be a junior gymnast rather than an espoir etc!
Hope you haven't gone cross eyed reading all that!
I thought I'd just add to maires post by adding some of the skills required:
Grade 14 is very very basic - Junp on, jump off block for vault, chin ups, leg lifts and pump swings on bars, half hanstand and forwards roll on beam, Handstand to bridge and chasse cat leap on floor.
Grade 13 is similar, moving on to handstand flatback on mats, adding pullover and full swings to bars, cartwheel and half turn to beam, and round off and full spin on floor.
Grades 12-9 basically increase very gentley on these, up to grade 9 - 1/2 on 1/2 off vault, upstart, clear hip to 45 degrees, and yama****a 1/2 undershoot, Flic on beam, pike front dismount and Straight sumi and front tuck walkout on beam.
Grades 8-5 increase the skill level more quickly, including walkover on beam at grade 8, giants and backaway and flic on beam at grade 7, Tsuk or yurchenk prep on two block at grade 6 and a close circle element on bars at grade 5.
Level 3 (age 10) Giants and backaway, Split handstand to flic and cartwheel to BWO on beam FWO, flic to tuck dismount, handspring vault, RO 3 flics tuck and RO flic straight 1/2, handspring tuck. YouTube - Montage of London Team at level 3
Level 2 (age 11) Front and back giants, clear hip to handstand, Tsuk and yurchenko prep on blocks, Change leg split leap, gainer flic and flic to 1, flic to 2 on beam, double spin, RO whip flic tuck, Straight full, Handspring front on floor.
Grade 14 doesn't have a half handstand does it on beam, I cant think where that is? It has half back roll half forwards roll. Grade 13 def doesn't have a cartwheel on beam. It has a round off dismount though.
thats alot of information! thanks I appreciate it. I watch videos on youtube and they say they are an espoir or level 3 or something like that and I never understood what they meant. As in GB they have this apparatus that is like a beam but wider and it is low to the ground, what is it called and what it is purpose?
a bench? you sit on it LOL. Schools have masses of them - they are used for allsorts. In competition they are used for range and conditioning routines. They are very difficult especially at L2 and espoirs.
In CAnada they use a completey differnt system than the US Exceppt in Ontario. Ontario has a 10 level system that is all optional but very similar to The USAG one.
The other 9 Provinces and 3 territories use a few systems. They all have developmental systems and they all have differnet names. They involve range and conditioning type tests and developmental skills.
There is also the provincial system P1 - P5 which caters for the 8 year olds and up. P1 is a lower than USAG L4. P5 is like L9. This sytem is also optional, girls have their own music and routines from day 1.
There is also the National system that girls can enter from age 9.
In Canada girls can compete any level from age 8/9 if they have the skills. There are no compulsories. There is no National Training Center and that shows in our atheletes, we have great talent but no system to develop them properly.
Most areas also have systems that allow girls to compete with less training hours in more regional competitions.
If you want more detail I can give you links to the programmes.
bogwoppit that would be great if you could give me links to the programs I would appreciate it. and gymnut1 haha ya i guess it does look like a bench but why do they compete the range and conditioning as an event?
The idea is that you have to pass the range and conditioning bit to pass the grade. It should ensure that only gymnasts with good basics get to the top. After all you can 'chuck' skills but it is difficult to 'chuck' handstand work with blind changes on a bench and get away with it. LOL. Does it work? I think it helps. With the new insistence on 180 splits in jumps it can only be good. I think some of the powerful fast twitch tumblers find it very difficult. Conversely it can be possible to be really really good at the range routines and not really shine on anything else. We have range routines for most of our grades from aged 7 through to espoirs aged 12-14. Only the higher club grade set don't do them (12-9) and I think they should.
There are no range sets competed with the voluntary competitions only the grades which are held once a year. There are lots of things Im not sure about with our complicated system but the range and conditioning I like.
I think it is a great idea from what I know about it and what I have seen. It looks like a really positive thing for gymnast and coaches alike in order to be able to compete at a high level you must have to strength and flexibility to insure that as a gymnast you are physically able to compete the skills you are competing. I wish the US did the same; I have seen tons of girls in level 10 that cant do a 180 leap or split jump and don't have any flexibility in the shoulders as well. And from personal experience about 3 people from my old gym can actually do a press to handstand without it being luck. So I think that it would be a great thing to implement into the american system. I think it would have the progression of levels greatly.
after college i plan on traveling to see where i would like to live. I love the US I just think that there are too many places in the world to see to live in one country for your whole life. I want to be knowledgeable when I get the opportunity to travel.
That worked for me, I was born in the UK, worked in Germany and then travelled a lot. I ended up living here in Quebec.. I still love to travel and my kids have been all over on our wanderings. I do not do resorts, I do countries and cities. Travel is my biggest pleasure outside of my family.