Sunday, April 10, 2011

USA Gymnastics TOPs Program

TOPs (Talent Opportunity Program) is a program for female gymnasts between the ages of 7 and 11 who show great strength and agility. Its goal is to identify young gymnasts who have aptitude and natural athletic ability, and to offer them the resources needed to achieve the elite or international elite level. Gymnasts are given various tests to evaluate their level of physical fitness. Those who qualify at a national meet are invited to attend a national training camp.

Who can train for TOPs?

-Gymnasts must have a USA Gymnastics membership.
-Must be 7-11 years old at any point during the testing year.
-They must not be an elite gymnast.
-They must have completed medical forms to show that they are healthy.

What are the girls tested on?

-Handstand hold
  • Maximum time for 7-8 year olds: 30 seconds
  • Maximum time for 9-11 year olds: 60 seconds
  • Deductions are taken for problems with body alignment, shoulder alignment, bent arms, and bent or separated legs
  • No walking
-20 meter sprint
  • Test is usually conducted on the vault runway
  • Gymnast gets two attempts, and the best best time is taken
  • Time is recorded to hundredths of a second
-Cast handstand
  • Gymnast performs multiple cast to handstands on the low bar of a regular competition set of bars
  • 5 attempts are given
  • Gymnast is allowed one fall, but after the second fall, the test is over
  • No more than 2 seconds pause is allowed between casts
  • 7-8 year olds are awarded 2 points for each of the 5 attempts that successfully reaches at least 45 degrees
  • 9-11 year olds are awarded 2 points for each successful cast to handstand, within 15 degrees of vertical
-Rope climb
  • Gymnasts start by sitting on the ground in a pike with both hands on the rope
  • 7-8 year olds must climb in the pike position until they reach the 6 foot mark
  • 9-11 year olds must climb in the pike position until they reach the 12 foot mark
  • Failure to reach the required mark or use of legs results in a score of 0
  • Gymnast is timed, with extra seconds being added to her time for errors in form
-Vertical jump
  • Gymnast stands next to a padded wall and marks with chalk the place where her arm and hand are fully extended
  • The distance between this point and the point where her hand hits the wall on the jump is recorded in inches
  • Two attempts are given and the best attempt goes toward the final score
-Press handstand
  • Gymnast begins in a straddle position and presses to handstand with good form, then presses back down to the original straddle position with only her hands touching the ground
  • 7-8 year olds can repeat the press handstand a maximum of 5 times
  • 9-11 year olds can repeat the press handstand a maximum of 10 times
  • No more than 2 seconds of resting time are allowed in any one position
-Leg flexibility (splits)
  • Two regulation spring boards are placed together with the low ends touching
  • Gymnast places herself in a split position on the boards, with her upper body directly in line with the place where the two boards meet
  • Gymnast is not allowed to touch her hands to the ground during the test
  • Deductions are taken based on height off the board, squared hips, squared shoulders, posture, and leg form
  • Gymnast pushes up into a bridge position with arms and legs straight
  • A total of 5 points are awarded based on shoulder flexibility, form of legs and feet, and form of arms and hands.
-Leg lift
  • Gymnast hangs in a straight body position from a leg lift bar with hands in over grip
  • Legs must be brought to the bar or pass under the bar
  • After the first leg lift, legs must return to horizontal
  • A maximum of 20 leg lifts can be attempted
  • Lift will not count if the gymnast has bent legs, fails to touch or pass under the bar, or fails to return to horizontal position

I hope Nica's mom doesn't mind me using her video. Nica had some great TOPs tests, so hopefully this will help you get an idea of what a test looks like.

For more information, visit the USAG website.

No comments:

Post a Comment