Team Gym – a competitive team program
In the Flips Team Gym athletes compete in groups (squads) of 6 to 14, performing a Jump Routine – which includes tumbling, vault, and mini-tramp skills – and a choreographed Group Floor Routine. Members of the squad are not scored as individual athletes. They receive a score based on the technical proficiency of the group and how effectively they perform as a group. A variety of skills are required to form a TeamGym Squad, and each squad must be a group of 6 or more athletes with a similar skill set. It is important for prospective TeamGym athletes to understand that because this is a GROUP form of gymnastics, the team depends on full participation from every athlete. With very few exceptions, every team member is expected to attend every practice and participate in every event.
Acrobatic Gymnastics Team
Acrobatic gymnastics (previously called Sport Acrobatics and nicknamed “Acro”) is a competitive gymnastic discipline where partnerships of gymnasts work together and perform routines consisting of acrobatic moves, dance, and tumbling, set to music. Gymnasts perform ‘balance’ routines where the focus is on strength, poise, and flexibility; ‘dynamic’ routines with throws, somersaults, and catches, or ‘combined’ routines where all the different elements are brought together.
The sport is governed by the FIG (Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique – or International Federation of Gymnastics). At the international level, there are four FIG categories of competition defined by age; 11-16, 12-18, 13-19, and 15+ (Senior).
The sport is not an Olympic gymnastic discipline although, possibly due to its recent growth in popularity, there are several campaigns to
include it, some suggesting the removal of Rhythmic Gymnastics to make room for Acrobatics.
Acrobatic gymnasts perform in pairs or groups and enter into and are judged at a specific level or age group category. In each partnership, the gymnasts’ different sizes and abilities will be balanced to complement each other in order to carry out the complex moves. Some will mainly carry out supporting and pitching (throwing) roles and are known as bases. They are then balanced with smaller, often more flexible, gymnasts who become the ‘tops’. The different partnerships seen in competition are: Women’s Pair (two females), Men’s Pair (two males), Mixed Pairs (a male and a female), Women’s Group (three females), Men’s Group (four males).
In competition, partnerships perform a routine to music, that has usually been choreographed specifically for them. The gymnasts carry out their acrobatic moves and combine them with dance, all in time to and in keeping with the style of the music. Partnerships are then judged on artistry, and on how well moves of varying difficulties are executed. The rules for the sport, known as the Code of Points, are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique. These rules are subject to change every four years in line with the Olympic Cycle, as in other disciplines of Gymnastics.
Which routines are required at a competition depends on the level at which the gymnasts are competing. At the Junior and Senior levels, all three routines are required, whereas, at lower age levels, a single simpler routine is required. Each of the routine types has a different emphasis, but all include tumbling and dance as elements. The different routine types are as follows:
- Balance (formerly known as Static) – A balance routine requires that certain poses or ‘balances’ and must be held static for a specific duration. These moves require strength, poise, elegance, and flexibility. Gymnasts will combine into towers, or pyramids with the tops holding a particular position balanced on their bases. Traditionally, balance routines were often performed to slower music, but not exclusively so.
- Dynamic (formerly known as Tempo) – These routines demonstrate power, strength, and grace through the performance of acrobatic moves that involve the phases of spring, flight, rotation, and landing. This often involves the base, or bases in the partnership propelling the top through the air and through a series of somersaults or twists. The top is generally caught, or supported in
- the landing by their base(s).
- Combined – At the more senior levels of competition, a third routine must be performed that combines both Balance and Dynamic moves, along with the usual tumbling and dance.
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