GYMNASTICS FAQ

1. How does a gymnast become an 'elite' gymnast or potential Olympian?
In Australia there are two 'streams' of competition. The 'Levels' stream and the 'Elite' stream. The 'Levels' stream is for gymnasts who are capable of competing at a good technical level, but is below World Championship requirements. Elite gymnasts generally start their career between 6 and 9 years of age. They start in a regular gym, but are identified by coaches who recommend them to graduate to the AIS or a High Performance Centre to prepare them for international competition.

 

2. Why are gymnasts so young and why do they retire early?
The age of gymnasts across the disciplines varies. In Men's gymnastics strength is the predominant factor. The prime age of a world-class Male gymnast will be between 21 and 28. In Women's gymnastics the desired strength-to-weight ratio is reached between 15 and 20. The current FIG rule is that a gymnast must be at least 16 by the end of the calendar year to compete in the Olympics.

3. What are the most prestigious meets?

  1. The Olympic Games is the ultimate dream of every gymnast

  2. The World Championships

  3. The World Cup

  4. The Continental Championships including; European Championships, Asian Games, and the Commonwealth Games to name a few

  5. International Invitationals including; Chunichi Cup [JPN], American Cup [USA], World Stars [RUS], Catania Cup [ITA], Hungarian International [HUN], Romanian International [ROM],Arthur Gander Memorial [SUI] and China Cup.

 

4. What are the major competitions for Junior Elite International gymnasts?

  1. World Youth Games [held every 4 years - even years between Olympics]

  2. Canberra Cup [held every year in December]

  3. Junior Pacific Alliance [held every 2 years - even years]

  4. Nationals [held every year with Seniors]

  5. Japan Junior (held every year)

5. What major competitions are there in Australia?
The Gymnastics Australia hosts five [5] major elite competitions each year that are broadcast by Fox Sports Australia:

  1. Nationals (Australian Championships)

  2. Head-to-head with another country

  3. Trial for the major international meet of the year i.e Worlds, Olympics etc.

  4. Head-to-head with another country

  5. Canberra Cup [December]

 

6. What is the 'Rule Book' for gymnastics?
The Federation Internationale de Gymnastique [FIG] produces a Code of Points for each discipline. It is reviewed every four years, with the changes coming into effect after each Olympic Games. The Code is different for each competitive discipline. The Code of Points covers all aspects of a gymnast's performance. The Men's and Women's Code assigns a value of difficulty to each element from A -easiest to E - hardest. It also includes information such as equipment dimensions, dress requirements, operation of the judging system, Code of Conduct for participants and coaches, deductions and requirements for the composition of a routine.

 

7. What is the 6-5-4 rule?
This is used where there is a 'team' competition (Worlds and Olympic Games). Six gymnasts comprise the team, five gymnasts compete on each apparatus, and the top four scores count toward the overall team score.

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