Competitions and Levels
Gymnast are allowed to compete the year in which they will turn 8 years old. Gymnasts tend to begin by competing in two-piece competitions and then move up to competing on all four apparatus. Gymnasts compete for individual medals as well as team positions.
Competitions start at novice, leading to county, regional and then national competitions. Girls train to a set of regional criteria, working from Level 7 through to Level 1.
Selected gymnasts also compete in the NDP (National Development Programme) Regional and National Grades. Grades demands an extremely high standard in all set moves, as well as the ability to show that the gymnast has full flexibility and strength. Gymnasts can achieve a pass, merit or distinction in their grade, as well as win medals
Most gymnasts will start at Level 7 and work their way up the progressive criteria and skill set.
Your coach will be able advice you on what level you are working at the moment, with many girls competing at one level, while also training for their next one.
What Level am I?
Frequently Asked Questions
We have created a list of the common questions and queries around competitions and levels.
Please check is out here
All Novice Competitions are held at Carlisle Gymnastics Club
Gymnasts will arrive at their competition and register. All the girls competing will then complete a general warm up. They will then warm up and compete on each piece, alongside their teammates
Gymnasts can get very nervous during a competition, so it is important as parents to give them lots of encouragement. and support.
Check out our FAQ list, for more info on what the wear, hair, times, judging etc.
Advanced Competitions are held in Carlisle and the North East
Grades are held in the North East
Where are the competitions held?
Most of our novice competitions are held at Carlisle Gymnastics Club. Grades and Regional competitions are held across the North East. Please find the full addresses of the regular clubs used for competitions.
Carlisle Gymnastics Club
Morton Leisure Centre
South Durham Gymnastics Club
Spennymoor Leisure Centre
City of Newcastle Gymnastics Academy
Newcastle upon Tyne
What day and times will my daughter compete?
Most competitions are held on a Sunday, and gymnasts are expected to keep the dates free. Most competitions have more than one round, which means some gymnasts will compete first, followed by another group. The times for your daughter will be posted at gym around 2 weeks before, once the competition programme has been released by the competition organisers. We will not know the time before we enter the gymnasts, and we will not be able to change the time.
If the competition is being run over several days, the specific day your daughter will compete will be released around two weeks before along with the times. You must keep all days free before finding the days/times, but will only compete on one day. You may need to travel the day before if the competition is in the North East (depending on time of registration)
What should we do when we arrive at the competition?
When you arrive at the venue, you will need to register your gymnast. There is normally a desk, where your daughter's name will need to be checked off a list as arrived. If your daughter's name is not registered within a set time, she will not be able to compete, even if she later arrives, or has just simply not registered on arrival. Once registered gymnasts will go to their coaches (shoes off), and parents are able to stay and watch (admission fee applies) Gymnasts may need to change into their competition leotard, if they are receiving it on the day from the coaches.
What does my daughter need to wear?
Gymnasts should wear their club leotard, unless they are given a team leotard to wear instead. Regional gymnasts will also be given the regional leotard to wear. They should wear navy blue tracksuit bottoms (no leggings) and their red club jumper. Socks are fine for warm up, and gymnasts should wear underwear that can not be seen, or is skin coloured. Gymnasts will be deducted if underwear or bras can be seen that are not skin coloured. Many young gymnasts choose not to wear underwear, but this is a personal choice for individuals to make.
How should I do my daughter's hair/nails/make-up?
Gymnasts should not have any nail vanish or make-up on. Teenagers are welcome to wear light make up that is natural looking. Gymnasts hair should be tied up and neat. Away from the face. Many parents use french plaits, buns and pony tails. If your daughter is performing a roll on beam or floor, we recommend a middle parting, from front to back, so that there is nothing in the middle of the head to restrict the move. Make sure to use plenty of hairspray, gel, mouse, to keep everything in place for the whole competition. No headbands, bows or jewellery
What do we need to bring with us?
Make sure your daughter brings her handguards if she has them, and also a non-fizzy drink. She will not be able to eat during the competition, so make sure she has had a suitable meal more than an hour before competition. Gymnasts may wear supports if they need them, but they must be skin coloured. For parents, we recommend you bring a cushion, as the seats can be quite hard after a couple of hours!
How much do competitions cost?
All our gymnasts will receive a letter when being considered for competition, with the fee for the entry. These range from £10-£30.00 a gymnast. The club funds all team entries.
How long are competitions?
Competitions can be very long overall, but most gymnasts will compete themselves over a 2-3 hour period. They will then need to return for the presentation, if it is not straight after their round.
Which competitions is my daughter likely to be entered for?
At the start of the year we give out a list of competitions, and earmark the ones likely to be entered. Although this is a rough guess, as entries are based on how the gymnast is progressing at the time. Most beginner gymnasts will compete the novice competitions listed above. Chat to your daughters coach about what Level she is currently working towards.
Where would you recommend to stay when competing in the North East?
There are many hotels around Newcastle to stay. We have stayed at these hotels and so would recommend them.
Newcastle - Premier Inn Holystone (5-10 mins drive from gym)
Whats the difference between floor and vault, two piece and four piece?
Floor and Vault and the Two Piece competition are the very first competitions children taken part in. Gymnasts focus on just two pieces, and there are medals for every individual piece, as well as overall. The two piece competition is slightly more difficult, as the gymnast must compete on bar and/or beam, and can not do floor and vault together.
The four piece competition is a step up from two piece. As as the name suggests gymnasts compete on all four apparatus. Medals are only awarded for an overall position, so gymnasts must be strong on all four pieces to be successful.
Gymnasts can go back to two piece, if they move from Level 7 to Level 6. But you can not repeat two piece, if you have already done four piece at the same level. Floor and Vault can be repeated regardless, until they reach Level 5 and above.
What are grades?
Regional and National grades are a competition that is run all over the country. They are held regionally, and then can progress to national finals. The criteria is different to the main levels we work on, and there are set moves to complete on every piece. Gymnasts have to work on a fifth piece called Range and Conditioning. Only a few select gymnasts are put forward for grades each year from our club. Grades demands an extremely high standard in all set moves, as well as the ability to show that the gymnast has full flexibility and strength. Gymnasts can achieve a pass, merit or distinction in their grade, as well as win medals.
How are they marked in a competition?
The marking and criteria for competitions is very complicated, so please chat to Gemma or Lindsey if you would like to learn more. A brief description follows.
Gymnasts entered will follow a set of criteria for each level, which outlines required moves/elements they need to include in their routines. Some pieces have set routines, that must be performed as described. Other pieces have a few moves that can be used to fulfill the requirements, allowing the coach to select the best option for each gymnast.
Marking is made up of DV (Difficulty Value), CR (Criteria Requirements), Bonus, and the basic 10.00 marks. The difficulty value for moves is listed in an international code of points, which lists all moves in gymnastics and gives them a value, increasing from 0.1 each.
Gymnasts start values are marked out of 10.00 + DV (value of moves) + CR (0.5 is awarded for each requirement) + Bonus. There final score is their SV minus execution deductions.
Judges deduct tenths from the gymnast for incorrect performance, such as bent arms, legs, flat feet, lack of height or flexibility. Moves can also not be counted, if they fail to meet the move requirement, such as, are too low, not completed fully, or do not show the minimum requirement for flexibility.
Some of the deductions include - 1.0 mark for a fall, 0.1/0.3/.05 for bent limbs, 0.1 for flat feet, 0.3 for flexibility. There are also many deductions for artistry.
FIG code of points can be viewed here
Please note that gymnasts do not use the FIG rules in the code at county and regional level, but do use the DV
Gymnasts from our club can be selected to join the Cumbria County Squads. They are selected based on their ability and competition results, and are selected once a year.
They will get the opportunity to train alongside the up and coming gymnasts in the county, training with the squad 3 times a year at various venues. These will also sometimes be led by specialist coaches.
Gymnasts are awarded with a free county leotard and have the opportunity to purchase t-shirts and hoodies.
Squads cost £15.00 a session and must be paid for at the point of selection
Level 7/6 County Squad 2019
Days and Times
Level 5/4/3 County Squad 2019
Days and Times