Group Gymnastics -- known officially by the FIG as Gymnastics for All -- is one of the eight gymnastics sport disciplines officially recognized by gymnastic organizations worldwide. This diverse sport program, while being the largest with regards to gymnastics membership, provides opportunities and activities for all ages and levels of abilities. General Gymnastic activities contribute to the development of general sport skills, fitness, health, important movement patterns and daily life skills.
Gymnastics activities can be traced back to the earliest of times. The form of gymnastics carried out at this time is what we know today as Gymnastics for All is specifically designed to enhance participant's health and physical fitness and/or participated in purely for enjoyment and simple relaxation. It was from these activities that the competitive forms of gymnastics developed. However, it was only in 1984, during an International Gymnastics Congress, that Gymnastics for All was officially recognized by the International Gymnastic Federation as a Sport Program, then subsequently recognized by National Gymnastics Federations across the World.
Today well over thirty million participants of all ages, abilities and cultural backgrounds are taking part in Gymnastics for All activities across the world. These figures support the fact that Gymnastics for All is the sport for all elements of gymnastics and provides something for everybody.
Today, the diverse range of activities incorporated and opportunities available within Gymnastics for All, is what sets it apart from other disciplines and sports. This diversity can be categorized under key areas, being: Regardless of age the opportunity to actively participate in Gymnastics for All is available. This includes Children (5 years & under), Adults (18+ years) and Seniors (50+ years).
Group Gymnastics is a dynamic sport with new forms of movement and/or adaptations of current movement forms being seen continually across the world reflecting unique national cultures and trends.
USA Gymnastics supports the following Gymnastics for All activities:
- GymFest: Display Gymnastics – a non-competitive program for performance (or display gymnastics). USA Gymnastics hosts an annual National Group Gymnastics GymFest.
- TeamGym Gymnastics – this is a competitive version of Group gymnastics whereby squads of athletes perform together in two events – Group Floor Exercise and Group Jump. Currently there are four graded difficulty levels with competitions leading up to a TeamGym National championships
- Festival Rhythmic Group Gymnastics – The Festival Rhythmic program is designed to serve the needs of General Gymnastics experts, professionals, gymnasts, newcomers and enthusiasts who are interested in developing rhythmic gymnastics skills. The GG Festival Rhythmic program is distinctly different from the USA Gymnastics Rhythmic program in that:
- Athletes are "evaluated," not judged
- Feedback from experts is immediate and is designed to encourage progress at all levels
- Instructional clinics are included with each competitive event
- Group competition and team exhibitions are part of every event
- Requirements are designed for ease of access to the program
- World Gymnaestrada – USA Gymnastics has prepared official delegations to World Gymnaestadas in 1995, 1999, 2003, and 2007. After a fantastic Gymnaestrada experience in Dornbirn, Austria in 2007, we are looking forward to the 2011 World Gymnaestrada in Switzerland.