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Development Program

The Women’s Development Program (WDP) was created with the belief that all athletes, regardless of their potential, must have a solid foundation of basic skills in order to advance safely. The program allows the gymnast to advance at her own pace, competing in more than one level in a year, if she so chooses.

In order to compete in a sanctioned competition, an athlete must be a registered USA Gymnastics Athlete Member.

A gymnast may compete in a maximum of two (2) State Championships per competitive year (one per season), either at the same or higher level.

The WDP is divided into three major segments; developmental, compulsory, and optional.

  1. Developmental: The first segment consists of Levels 1 through 3. These levels may be used as a non-competitive and achievement-oriented program for use within a gym’s pre-team program, or they may be used as an introductory/recreational competitive program. States may offer State Championships for these levels.
    1. In-gym or inter-club testing.
    2. Equipment should accommodate the size of the gymnasts.
    3. Gymnasts must enter at Level 1 but may progress through the events and skills at different levels.
    4. Athletes may not skip any level (exception…Level 6 may be skipped, see below). They must advance one level at a time by scoring the minimum mobility score at any USA Gymnastics sanctioned competition (Exception: Levels 1-3 do not have a mobility score).
    5. A gymnast may not advance to Level 4 until she has completed the requirements as listed in the Entry and Mobility chart (page 79).
    6. Levels 1-3: Some states have an organized Level 1-3 competitive program with sanctioned events.
      • Contact the State Administrative Committee Chairman for information on scheduling, judging criteria, etc.
  2. Compulsory: The second segment consists of Levels 4 and 5. Both of these levels are progressive in nature, building upon the skills required at the previous level. Competitive opportunities are provided up to and including the USA Gymnastics State Championships.
  3. Optional: The third segment is Levels 6-10. Levels 6, 7, 8, and 9 have difficulty restrictions, while Level 10 has no restrictions in the skill choice. Composition is evaluated at Levels 8, 9, and 10. Refer to the Women’s Development Program (WDP) Code of Points for a complete explanation of Level 6-10 rules.
    1. Levels 6 and 7 have competitive opportunities up to and including State and possibly Regional Championships, depending on the needs of each Region.
    2. Additional competitive opportunities are provided for Levels 8-10, with the Level 10 competitive season culminating at the WDP National Championships, Level 9 at the Eastern or Western Championships and Level 8 at the Regional Championships.

WDP competitions are conducted throughout the United States and are organized by the USA Gymnastics State and Regional Administrative Committees. Each state has the jurisdiction to determine its state calendar, according to the needs of its members. A competitive YEAR is defined as the period from August 1 through July 31. A competitive SEASON is defined as that period from the first designated qualifying competition through the culminating Championships at each level.

Please see Chapter 8 of the Women’s Program Rules & Policies for more details.