February Member Services E-Newsletter
posted on 02/05/2010

Issue: #21 February 5, 2010

Now Available: Fundamentals of Gymnastics Instruction online course

The Fundamentals of Gymnastics Instruction course is now available. This comprehensive introductory course is provided in an interactive online format. The course covers basic fundamental principles of coaching and teaching gymnastics including topics such as safety and risk management, communication, athlete development and techniques for teaching gymnastics skills and much more. Gymnastics professionals new to the sport will find this course provides a valuable foundation on which to build their education and skills. Experienced professionals can use this course as a self-assessment to fine-tune their own skills and coaching philosophy as well as align with industry best practices.

New Member Benefit: This educational course is provided as a new member benefit to professional, junior professional, introductory coach, and junior introductory coach members. The cost for these member types is $0. The cost of the course is very reasonable for others as well, with a $15 fee for instructor and athlete members (15 and older) and $25 fee for non-members. Please note, all individuals must register for the course, regardless of their membership type.

Check out the new course today. Begin or continue your education and earn credits and certification through USA Gymnastics University. The Fundamentals of Gymnastics Instruction course fulfills the Level 1 Certification requirement for the Program and Recreational colleges within USA Gymnastics University.


Register now!!
Fundamentals of Gymnastics Instruction online course now available

How to apply for a foreign sanction

Payment for Criminal Background Checks

New from USA Gymnastics University

Mark your calendars: National Gymnastics Day and Tyson Fitness Challenge

Safety Matters: Properly plan activities and keep records


click course title to register

Safety Certification
Feb. 13 - Glen Allen, VA
Feb. 21 - Flemington, NJ
Mar. 14 - Flemington, NJ
Aug. 11 - Hartford, CT

Preschool Fundamentals Pt. 2: Hands on Training
Mar 7 - Santa Cruz, CA
Aug 11 - Hartford, CT

*please check the schedule online to verify course dates and times

NCSI Criminal Background Check Payment Due Letters

TBeginning February 1, 2010, the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI) will begin notifying USA Gymnastics about applicants who have a pending background check payment due for over 30 days. Members who are in this status will receive a reminder letter directly from the USA Gymnastics Member Services department. Members in this status should go to the NCSI website and select "Applicant login to check your status." Please make additional payments promptly.

For any additional questions, please contact NCSI by calling 866-833-7100.

Foreign Sanction Application Procedures

Each year USA Gymnastics processes 75-100 foreign sanction requests. Foreign sanctions apply to events that are hosted by U.S. clubs and include the participation of foreign athletes, coaches, and/or judges. Hosting an event with foreign participation can provide a great opportunity for your club and athletes to receive a unique competitive experience.

There are special processing procedures for foreign sanction requests which can often seem complex or confusing especially for a meet director who has never hosted such an event. This article is intended to provide and overview of the foreign sanctioning process. Please review this information so you can ensure a smooth completion of your next foreign sanction request.

Step #1: Submit the Request

Submit a foreign sanction request form.

  • Requests for foreign sanctions cannot be submitted online. The form must be mailed or faxed to USA Gymnastics.
  • Foreign sanction requests must be received at USA Gymnastics at least 120 days prior to the date of the event. Failure to follow the stated time requirements may result in additional fees, or under some circumstances denial of the sanction.
  • The cost of a foreign sanction is $300, regardless of how many countries have been invited to participate in your event. However, if you have additional countries to add after the sanction has been submitted, there is an additional $25 fee for each country.
  • As with the normal domestic sanctioning process, a foreign sanction request requires a meet director with current Professional membership.
  • Foreign sanction requests may have multiple disciplines under the one sanction. This differs from the domestic sanctioning process. For example, if both women's and men's disciplines are participating in the event, only one sanction needs to be submitted.
  • Once a foreign sanction request has been received, the National Office must notify each of the international federations listed on the request form. USA Gymnastics must allow 11 days for those countries to respond. The country's federation has the right to deny a country from participating in the event. The National Office CANNOT release a sanction until after this 11-day period.
  • If approved, the sanction will be released and the report forms sent to the meet director.
Step #2: Register Athletes, Coaches and Judges

Once a foreign sanction request has been granted, the foreign athletes, coaches and judges may then be processed. A Foreign Athlete, Coaches and Judges Form must be completed by each country that wishes to participate in the event.

  • The Foreign Athletes, Coaches and Judges Form cannot be submitted online. The forms must be mailed or faxed to USA Gymnastics.
  • The cost is $25 per athlete, coach or judge
  • Requests must be submitted at least 45 days in advance. Forms received less than 45 days in advance will result in additional fees.
  • Failure to use the proper form will result in a delay of processing. All payment is due at the time of the form's submission.
  • Please note- USA Gymnastics cannot process any foreign athlete/coach/judge form unless a foreign sanction request has been submitted and granted.
  • Once the forms have been processed the athlete names and member numbers will be emailed to the meet director.
For more information and frequently ask questions, visit the Foreign Sanction page on our website.

You may also contact the Member Services Department at 800-345-4719 or email us.

What's New with USA Gymnastics University?

With the launch of the Fundamentals of Gymnastics Instruction course, USA Gymnastics University continues to move forward, providing increased educational offerings and a certification program for the sport of gymnastics. The Fundamentals of Gymnastics Instruction course fulfills the Level 1 certification requirement for the Program and Recreational Colleges within the University. This means that gymnastics professionals are now able to earn professional certification through USA Gymnastics.

Within the Program and Recreational Colleges, most of the courses and requirements for Levels 2 and above are also complete and available. In 2009, the Business College came online with the addition of the Foundation Business Courses to the University. And each discipline is administering certification and continuing education programs for gymnastics judges. Therefore, not only can gymnastics professionals in any area - coach, instructor, judge, club owner/administrator - begin earning Level 1 Certification, they can also work towards certification at higher levels as well.

What are some advantages to certification? You may have asked this question to yourself or others. Well, we can tell you! Continuing education and professional certification help keep gymnastics professionals at the top of their game. Utilize continuing education to reflect on and refresh key skills, stay up-to-date with the times - learning new information and techniques, and broaden your knowledge base in complimentary areas such as sport science, sport management, leadership and teambuilding. USA Gymnastics University offers a variety of education in these areas and others to get you started. Don't forget about annual events and workshops such as National and Regional Congresses that provide a wealth of gymnastics education.

Certification is a means of providing a standardize program to reward and recognize individuals for their efforts in the area of professional development. Continuing education and certification can lead to better and safer environments for gymnastics participants, increased job satisfaction, increased job opportunities and salary, positive program development and athlete retention and other important rewards.

Check out all the information on USA Gymnastics University and continue with your professional development today!

For questions, contact the Educational Services Division.

2010 National Gymnastics Day and Tyson Fitness Challenge

National Gymnastics Day 2010 is Saturday, September 18 and will culminate with the Tyson Fitness Challenge to raise money for Children's Miracle Network. The Tyson Fitness Challenge, the eight-session program, will kick off at the Tyson American Cup in March and continues through September 18, 2010 National Gymnastics Day.

The past 4 years of the Tyson Fitness Challenge have been a great success, but we want to make it even better this year. Based on feedback from our clubs, we have expanded the Tyson Fitness Challenge to provide you with even more benefits and ideas!

Here's what's new:

  • Earlier access to the Tyson Fitness Challenge website
  • Earlier access to the online giving website
  • New cardio games
  • Nutrition handouts that highlight portion size and better healthy food options as well as quick and simple recipes from USA Gymnastics athletes
  • New exercise content provided by St. Vincent's Sport Performance Center Consultants
Each month, additional program details will be broadcast emailed to the clubs and professional members, and we will post the Tyson Fitness Challenge as a standalone class or part of your spring, summer, camps, team workouts or fall classes.

Through your participation in the Tyson Fitness Challenge and your choice to raise money for Children's' Miracle Network, 100% of the funds raised will go to your local Children's Miracle Network hospital. Fundraising and fitness go hand in hand! By incorporating the Tyson Fitness Challenge into your schedule, you are helping get today's youth off the couch and be more physically active, and by encouraging kids to fundraise for Children's Miracle Network, you are helping to engage them in your community!

Questions? Contact Club Services by email, or by calling 317-829-5657.


Safety Matters: Risk Management through planning and preparation

USA Gymnastics is pleased to offer this Safety Matters short series detailing some of the steps gymnastics professionals can take to avoid injuries and the lawsuits which sometimes arise because of them.

Properly plan the activity - This includes lesson and training plans for classes, practices and competitions as well as skill progressions, conditioning and fitness programs, warm-up activities, and ample rest and recovery time. Using well-prepared plans allows maximaization of training time with athletes, helps to avoid downtime or horseplay, and aids with proper athlete development.

Keep records - Gymnastics professionals have a responsibility to keep records of what takes place in their programs and at their events. These records should include written lesson/training plans, emergency action plans, incident reports, progress reports, inspection and maintenance checklists, student files with contact and medical information, waivers and releases, and other notes and forms. Written plans lower the chances of forgetting an issue, demonstrate professionalism, serve as a resource, and save time in the future.

These and other key risk management principles can be found in the new edition of the Gymnastics Risk Management Safety Course Handbook, now available through the USA Gymnastics technical materials online store.


USA Gymnastics is a non-for-profit organization which is the sole national governing body (NGB) for the sport of gymnastics in the United States. Our mission is to increase public awareness of, and encourage participation in, all aspects of gymnastics, and to support athletes in their pursuit of competitive excellence.

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