08 July, 2011
What Are the Qualifications for Level 3 Gymnastics?
One of the main rules of competitive gymnastics is that gymnasts may not skip a level. This means that to qualify for Level 3 gymnastics, a young gymnast must have successfully satisfied all the requirements of Level 2 gymnastics and must be at least 5 years old. This ensures she has the fundamental skills necessary to learn Level 3 skills safely. Level 3 is not competitive, although individual gyms might conduct intramural competitions to motivate the class.
Before she enters Level 3, a gymnast must perform a steady one-second handstand and headstand, a straight cartwheel with good form and a back bend. She must have mastered the straddle roll to straddle stand and backward roll to pike, and a variety of dance steps such as split jumps, pivots and leg balances. She must have the round-off, and her splits must be 120 degrees. In Level 3, she'll add a forward roll and two seconds to her handstand, an extension to her backward roll and a backward roll to her round-off. She'll also learn to turn her backbend into a back walkover.
On the balance beam, the gymnast must already be able to hoist herself onto the beam from a standing position and execute a tuck jump, cartwheel handstand and turns, including the 1/2 passe and side releve. She must stick a round-off dismount. In Level 3, she'll learn the full cartwheel, kick to handstand and the squat-on mount. She will execute squat turns, 120-degree split leaps and the coupe walk. She'll graduate to releve leg swings and swing her V-sit to a squat.
To enter Level 3, the gymnast must be able to lift herself into a straight-arm supported position, perform a back hip circle and dismount with a sole circle and underswing. She must have a strong pike glide swing and half-turn swing, and she must be able to do three leg lifts to pike and at least one chin-up from a straight arm hang. By the end of Level 3, she must be able to pull over from a dead hang, do three chin-ups and five leg lifts. She'll learn the glide kip and the single leg shoot through, with and without glide.
By Level 3, the gymnast must be able to stick the landing from a simple jump from the table. She must have the straddle over, the tuck over and the handstand arch to stand. From the handstand, she must be able to fall straight or reach over a barrel. This prepares her to learn Level 3's handstand bounce and supergirl drill. She'll learn to handstand after a jump for control, and to fall flat.
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