Categorized | Club, Men's Gymnastics

Changes to the Men’s JO Gymnastics Program are Coming

Posted on 30 October 2011 by admin

This is an update of our October 4 post that detailed some of the upcoming changes to the men’s JO program:

Following the 2012 Olympics, a new quad will be ushered in.  Tweaks to the code of points are among the rumored changes.  Much discussion is going on about the upcoming changes to the men’s JO program.  It appears that the current compulsory program (levels 4-7) will remain roughly the same.  The big changes will be made to the optional program.  Please keep in mind that nothing has been made official, and the following information is based on past and current discussion gleaned from various sources.  Level 8 will become the new Level 9, but will include just 11 and 12 year-olds, while Level 9 will consist of 13 and 14 year-olds.  In other words, the new Levels 8 and 9 will more or less be a bifurcated version of the current Level 9.   Finally, Level 10 will consist of two groups — 15-16 and 17-18.  All four optional groups will have two separate tracks or subdivisions, which may end up being labeled “Junior Elite” and “Junior Olympic.”   There would also be four separate Junior National Teams for each level.  Only “Junior Elite” gymnasts will be eligible to qualify for the National Teams, based on technical sequence and optional routine competition.

Now this is where it becomes interesting.  The makeup of these subdivisions supposedly will be determined at the state meet level.  The gymnasts will be required to complete separate “technical” and “optional” routines.  It is surmised that a weighted average of these two separate routines will compose the final score.  The top scoring gymnasts would go on to compete in the Junior Elite subdivision  at their respective regional meets, while the remaining gymnasts would compete in the Junior Olympic subdivision.  At regionals, only the Junior Elite subdivision would compete separate “technical” and “optional” routines.  The top gymnasts in both subdivisions would qualify for JO Nationals.  Again, at JO Nationals, only the Junior Elites would compete technical and optional routines.  The top Level 10 Junior Elite finishers would qualify for VISAs, and there would still be a VISA qualifier that’s usually held in early July.

Ongoing discussions seem to favor having separate “technical” and “optional” routines.  The technical sequence is being created to force the optional gymnasts to improve and clean up basic skills.  Too many optional gymnasts, while having more advanced skills, are now demonstrating less than optimal form on many of the basic skills.  Having two subdivisions will allow for more qualifiers to nationals, while clearly creating a defined “elite” track.

Two glaring changes are coming to the compulsory levels (4-7).  First, the pommels will be coming off for Level 7 gymnasts!   This will help refine circle skills to enable a smoother transition to the optional level.  Maximum AA scores will be adjusted downward for each level.  The base score will be 10.00, and the maximum scores will be as follows.. Level 4 – 11.7  Levels 5&6 – 12.2  Level 7 – 12.7  These scores are more or less comparable to those that will be achieved at the Level 8 optional level.

Again, these proposed changes are not final and definitely not official.

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4 Comments For This Post

  1. Lisa Polen Says:

    Any idea if they are changing the birth-date cutoff? I’m just curious as this will affect my oldest (DOB 9/9/99, currently a Level 8) :)

  2. admin Says:

    Good question. As far as I know, the cutoff (Aug. 31) will remain the same. There is a change the FIG made for juniors eligible for int’l competitions. Any gymnast turning 17 in a calendar year ending December 31 will be considered a “senior.”

  3. Dave Says:

    So is your age based on age as of end of season or start of season like currently use?

  4. admin Says:

    Age cut-off will likely remain the same (8/31). The new changes will soon be announced.

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