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These are the beginning levels of actual competition, complete with scores and medals. There is a prescribed routine for each level, designed by nationally respected coaches and judges, that are meant to establish sound fundamentals. Since every routine looks exactly the same, the girls must strive to stand out by achieving optimal form and dynamic skill performance. The routines start at 10.0 and deductions are taken not only for how well the skills are performed, but also for how well the athlete maintains the purity of the routine.
The goal of these levels is to achieve strength and proper basics, gain confidence in the field of competition, and develop discipline and work ethic that will carry them into the higher levels of gymnastics success.
Levels 6 and 7 are a mix of compulsory and optional, thus allowing for a gradual transition into the higher levels. Each gymnast has a unique routine, but the requirements are still very specific, making the skills performed "compulsory" but the way in which they are presented "optional".
In levels 8-10, gymnasts present a unique routine on each event and also choose the skills to use to fulfill prescribed requirements. This allows the coaches to strategically design routines to play to a gymnast’s strengths and to minimize or hide their weaknesses. While Level 8 routines start from a 10.0, the skill selection is limited or "capped" at C-level skills. In this way, the USAG program provides a safe transition into the higher levels.
The requirements for levels 9 and 10 get increasingly more complex. Level 9 routines begin from a 9.7 and level 10 routines begin from a 9.5. The gymnast must perform the required skills and then choose more difficult skills and combinations for "bonus" points to earn the elusive 10.0 score. Level 9, 10 and the highest level of gymnastics, “Elite”, are the levels from which collegiate gymnasts are recruited. Gym-Fit has a long-standing tradition of producing outstanding gymnasts who have gone on to illustrious NCAA careers.
Each level after the Silver division requires a mobility score to advance to these higher levels of Xcel. The most advanced division is "Diamond" and is comparable to level 7-9 in the JO program. Each level requires more difficulty and while the age minimum is age 8 for Platinum and age 9 for Diamond, these levels are more commonly populated by pre-teens and teens.
The Platinum and Diamond divisions are ideal for older and/or more advanced gymnasts.