You’ll probably agree that with most any sport or hobby, we tend to learn that “it’s a small world” once we dive into the thick of it. But the gymnastics world might not be as small as you may think. The branches on the gymnastics tree reach further and are more numerous than many people are aware, so our very own Jessie felt inspired to create a visual image of the Gymnastics Family Tree for us. Thanks Jessie! | Click on the image to see it enlarged |
|Click on image to ENLARGE|
• There are two main branches that grow from the gymnastics trunk. They include the Amateur Athletic Union (think of Recreational or Public Programs) and that of USA Gymnastics (think of Club Gymnastics and The Olympics).
• From the USA Gymnastics (USAG) Branch stems 5 sub-branches: Artistic Gymnastics (think of men & women vaulting, swinging, balancing, tumbling), Rhythmic Gymnastics (think of super flexible women dancing and leaping with ribbons, hoops, etc.), Acrobatic Gymnastics (think of Cirque Du Soleil -type balancing & flipping routines but without face paint and stages), Tumbling & Trampoline (think of well, tumbling, trampolines, and synchronized diving only landing on the tramp/ground), and Gymnastics For All the other people (think of introductory gymnastics programs for people who want to do gymnastics at all ages and stages of life)
• From the Artistic, Rythmic, Acro, and Tumbling & Trampoline branches stem further, more detailed branches separating participants into levels of skill and dedication. The Elite, Pre-Elite, Tops/Future Stars, and Squad Development Programs are designed to find and determine exceptional talent and “provide competitive experiences for athletes aspiring to the National Team or the Pre-Elite Training Squad.”
The Junior Olympic (JO) program is designed as the solid and basic foundation from which all athletes, “regardless of their potential,” can begin to develop their talents and competitive gymnastics experiences.
The Xcel Program is a program designed to maintain a competitive experience at a less strenuous and less traditional level as it tends to be more affordable and at a broader range of athleticism.
• Reaching out from each of Skill & Dedication branches are branches of Events in which the men and women involved compete. These events include apparatus, props, & pairings or groups.
• The AAU allows for competitive experiences at lower levels and are governed by different scoring systems and rules. The USAG is governed by the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) code of points. Though there are other gymnastics point systems (think NCAA), most youth athletes in gymnastics are governed by the USAG code of points.
We know it can all be complicated and confusing. With the help of YouTube we hope to bring a bit of clarity by featuring the diverse athleticism within the sport. Gymnastics doesn’t occupy as small of a world as you may think–but it’s a beautiful and wonderful world all the same! That’s why we love it!