international competition. This is a very select group of athletes, extremely serious in
their training, and very competitive for positions on the national team. Level 10 is
ranked just below the “elite” level. Gymnasts at Level 10 are very advanced and some
of them will go on to become elite level (Level 11) competitors. Other gymnasts at
Level 10 could quite possibly qualify for the elite level but for one reason or another
choose not to. The majority, however, do not possess the skill level, competitiveness,
and/or willingness to commit to the amount of time and training necessary to compete
at the elite level. Nevertheless, these are very advanced and accomplished athletes.
Level 9 is the next lower level and could be classified as “intermediate-advanced”.
Gymnasts in this level are very good and many should work their way up to Level 10.
Many others will finish their careers at this level. The biggest jump between levels may
be from Level 9 to Level 10. The next lower level, Level 8, could be classified as
intermediate. Many of the gymnasts at this level are young and are working their way
up to higher levels. For others at this level, however, gymnastics is proving difficult for
them and this will be a stopping place in their careers. Level 7 is a beginner-
intermediate level. Although considered higher than the compulsory levels preceding
it, Level 7 gymnasts are predominantly young and inexperienced gymnasts. Several at
this level will move up to the higher levels, however, many will find that training and
competing gymnastics is not what they really want to do. This is the level when
gymnasts get their first personalized routines to train and compete making it especially
fun and exciting for them.