The Elite Program at USA Gymnastics has two competitive level components – a Junior Division and a Senior Division. An athlete must be 12 to 18 years of age to compete as a Junior Elite and must be at least 16 years of age to participate internationally as a Senior Elite.
For international competition and domestic selection, elite athletes compete using the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG) Code of Points. For domestic team selection in the 12 to 13 Junior Division, athletes will compete using the FIG Code of Points with United States Junior Program rules exceptions.
The USA Gymnastics Junior Elite National Team Program has two goals. One is the recognition of competitive excellence through national team participation and the other is raising the standard of excellence in international competition through the educational process.
The Junior National Team Program ultimately exists for the specific purpose of identifying and preparing athletes to compete for the United States in international competition. While the program can and should impact the development of all competitive gymnasts in the United States, the focus of the National Team Program is development of the elite gymnast. The National Team Program seeks to create a year-round competitive and educational support system for coaches and athletes through the following objectives:
Simplifying the competitive path for our junior elite athletes and elevating the importance of successful competition. Creating an educational and evaluation system which emphasizes international competitiveness. Involve the personal coaches in overall program planning and organization as well as individualized athlete planning. The education of the basic principles of coaching and the development of the elite athlete.
The Senior National Team is selected to represent the United States in international competitions including World Cup events, World Championships, Pan American Games and the Olympic Games.
Selection criteria for the Senior National Team is determined by the Men’s Program Committee (MPC) and may change from year to year depending on the international events which are scheduled for that year. In general, Senior National Team selection follows these guidelines:
- Senior National Team members are selected each year at the U.S. National Championships and Winter Cup Challenge.
- The MPC will determine the criteria and selection procedures for open National Team positions. These procedures will be published on the USA Gymnastics web site and/or in Technique Magazine.
- The MPC determines the total number of National Team members. The Committee may change the total number every year.
- The MPC has the right to place an athlete on the National Team in an unranked position through petition.