Gymnastics includes specific physical exercises embracing flexibility, balance, endurance, strength, coordination, and agility.
These exercises contribute to the overall growth and development of human bodies especially abdominal muscle groups, arms, legs, chest, shoulder, and back.
The levels, in international gymnastics, mean the gymnast’s status depending on the development of skills.
Distinct rules and requirements are there at each level, and the gymnasts must meet the conditions to upgrade to the next level.
The categories are divided into different levels starting from 1 to 10.
The beginners’ group carries Level 1 to Level 3, gradually progressing to the advanced group carrying Level 4 to Level 6, and finally reaching the professional group that carries Level 7 to Level 10.
What are the levels in gymnastics in order?
It is not a competitive level. Demonstration of basic body positions, skills, and techniques are demonstrated. The gymnasts perform floor exercises, vault, asymmetric bars, and barbell balance.
It is a pre-team entry level.
It is a pre-team. Also, it is regarded as recreational team level.
It is the entry-level for competition. Compulsory routines for four events are included.
It is the beginners’ competition level. It involves compulsory routines which are the simplified versions of Level 6.
It is a compulsory level in which the gymnasts perform the same routines that are specifically designed for the development of certain skills and techniques.
It is both a compulsory and optional level. The performers have to create their individual routines including some compulsory aspects.
It is the initial optional level with certain restrictions on the difficult routines. Level 8 gymnasts compete at local, regional, and state levels.
It is the optional level. The gymnasts compete at local, state, regional, and national levels.
It is the advanced pre-elite level, and the gymnasts perform at local, regional, state, and national levels.
It is the topmost level in gymnastics. Gymnasts compete at national and international levels which include the Olympics.
How many levels are there?
11 competitive levels are there. Usually, Level 1 to 10 is there with another elite level which is the 11th level.
Level 1 to 3 is considered the beginner level consisting of the simplest exercises. The kids must be able to perform basic flips, tumbles, side rolls, back and front rolls, etc.
Level 4 to Level 6 is considered the intermediate level. More advanced skills including front flips, handstands, and back handsprings.
Level 7 to Level 10 is considered the advanced level. Difficult skills including high bar jumps, double back somersaults, working in coordination with fellow gymnasts, etc. are performed.
Age Requirements for various levels
Kids from 4 to 6 years old can be in Level 1 gymnastics. They learn basic movements and various coordination skills like cartwheeling, tumbling, climbing up and down a ladder, handstand, frog leaping, hopscotch, etc.
Kids aged between 6 and 8 can enter Level 2 after the completion of Level 1.
Here, kids learn the way to shift from one position to another on the floor by hopping, turning, jumping, and tumbling.
Also, they learn about the score points and prepare for higher levels to enter into a competition.
Children between 8 and 10 enter Level 3. The gymnasts perform difficult flips, somersaults, and tumbling passes.
Further, they learn to coordinate specific movements with their teammates.
Level 3 is further divided into three sub-levels. These are:
The kids learn basic movements including turning, landing, jumping, etc.
The gymnasts refine the skills learned in the Pre-Elementary level, and learn more difficult moves including back handsprings and handstands.
The gymnasts develop ballet skills and learn new and complex routines and combinations.
Kids aged between 10 and 12 attain Level 4. They learn aerial skills including twists, tumbling, and flips, and apparatus skills including beam, bar, vault, and tumbling passes.
The kids gradually progress towards more complex skills, and the judges distinguish between beginner mistakes and proper execution.
The gymnasts are required to focus for a longer period while performing.
Level 5 is for gymnasts who have completed the beginner levels. Five skills are important at this level including speed, balance, flexibility, coordination, and power.
Young performers give emphasis on perfecting their techniques and competing at higher levels. Kids have to pass the qualifying test to qualify for Level 5.
Level 6 gymnasts perform a double-back somersault, back handspring, cartwheel dismount, full-twisting double tuck, and Amanar vault. No age restriction is there to enter Level 6. However, some clubs have specific requirements.
It is the intermediary level. A mix of skills from Levels 4 to 6 are perfected in this level.
Level 7 is further divided into two parts.
Balance beam routine, floor routine, and vault routine
Handstand series, high bar routine, and tumbling pass series
It is called an advanced level. Pro athletes enter Level 8. The minimum age required to enter level 8 is 8 years old.
Level 8 is further divided into three parts:-
Gymnasts having experience in Level 7 and advancing their skills
Same as Level 8A
Gymnasts who have mastered Level 7 and learning more critical and advanced techniques can get entry in level 8C.
Gymnasts master eight skills in Level 8 which are handstand, balance on the foot, back handspring, double tuck, cartwheel, standing long jump with two feet in front, split leap with one arm extended overhead, and twisted jump.
Level 9 is a certification program. Gymnasts acquire the skills and knowledge needed to perform in both individual and team competitions.
It is a high-level gymnastics division with 9 elements. These are balance beam, vault, floor exercise, uneven bars, parallel bars, tumbling, hoop, balance beam optional apparatus, and floor exercise optional apparatus.
Moreover, Level 9 involves high-intensity training sessions and gymnasts give 6 hours per day to practice. The minimum age requirement for this level is 9 years old.
It is the final level of gymnastics before the professional pre-elite level. This level is considered a technical level.
Gymnasts entering Level 10 require a high degree of precision, agility, and skills. Level 10 is an Olympic Level sport.
The International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) is the international governing body. The minimum age requirement is 9 years old.
The Level 10 gymnasts perform 10 complex skills including vault, tumbling, uneven bars, floor exercises, twisting, turning, cartwheel, balance beam, etc. Gymnasts who enter at level 10 and beyond are considered the best worldwide.
The age requirement to enter Elite levels can be between 11 and 19.
Is competitive gymnastics worth it?
Competitive gymnastics have multiple benefits which are:
- The gymnasts learn to maintain a balanced lifestyle
- They get opportunities to enter top-level gymnastics competitions individually and with a team.
- The gymnasts will get stronger and more flexible inside out with toned muscles and increased capability of preventing diseases.
- They learn discipline.
Competitive gymnastics involves a strict training schedule. The athletes have to train up to 20 hours per week depending on the level. In the initial stage, the training remains light.
It gets harder with the progress of the gymnasts.
Trainers watch if the gymnasts are acquiring skills and perfecting specific elements needed for competition. Plus, gymnasts enjoy rest days as these days are mandatory for physical and mental healing.
World-class athletes make sacrifices including missing parties, staying away from alcohol, eating junk food, etc.
Competitive-level athletes need to maintain a strict diet to stay fit and in shape.
Gymnasts who want to participate in competitions need to spend a bit more than those who are into recreational gymnastics.
The athletes have to pay for gym and lessons. Also, they need to pay for joining a competitive team, competition fees, leotards, attires, and traveling.
Additional fees are added when the gymnasts compete on the national and international stages.
Hence, enroll your child in gymnastics and let him or her participate in competitions if the kid is enthusiastic enough to commit to intensive training that can bring prestigious medals, friendships, and growing love for more competitions. Your kid will get athlete friends.
It is a rewarding experience to practice competitive gymnastics. Kids learn to push their boundaries to amplify their achievements.
They learn how to come out of their comfort zone and win. Your children will become dedicated, determined, patient, and diligent human beings.
What age can I put my child in competitive gymnastics?
If your child is between 4 and 6, you can put the little one in competitive gymnastics.
The child is needed to be ready to face the new world of gymnastics. However, if your kid has crossed 6, he or she can still get into competitive gymnastics. Consult with the instructor.