As we move into a new school year and competitive season, I wanted to share with you two exciting initiatives within the Men’s Program which are designed to encourage growth and retention in boy’s gymnastics.
USA Gymnastics Boys High School Program
USA Gymnastics has been working closely with the National Federation of High School Athletic Associations (NFHS) to encourage the retention and growth of boys high school gymnastics. This initiative is being addressed at two levels.
- For those states whose athletic associations recognize boy’s gymnastics as a varsity sport, USA Gymnastics is now the official source of boys high school rule manuals for the NFHS and these rules are closely associated with the men’s Junior Olympic Program.
- For those states whose athletic associations do not recognize boy’s gymnastics, we have developed an NFHS endorsed, USA Gymnastics Boys High School Program.
In the spring of 2013, we began a pilot program of reporting Boys High School results as part of the USA Gymnastics Age Group Competition Program State Championship meets. This program will be expanded and formalized for the upcoming competition season. Attached, please find the USA Gymnastics Boys High School Program Manual. This manual is intended to provide the framework for clubs to be able to establish high school recognition programs for all of their high school age competitors.
This will be a grassroots growth program where success will be dependent to a large extent on the efforts of individual clubs. The high school initiative is already receiving very positive reviews and experiencing success at the state athletic association level and at the local high school level at which it is aimed.
Please take the time to read the material in the USA Gymnastics Boys High School Program Manual and to formulate your action plan for getting your athlete’s hard work and accomplishments recognized by their high schools. I am very excited about this program and its potential within the Men’s Program.
Essential Elements Levels 1-2-3
I am equally excited about the Essential Elements Levels 1-2-3 Program. The Essential Elements Program is an entry level boys program which replaces the former Basic Skills Achievement Program, but it is so much more than that! Please take a few minutes to review the attached article which appeared in Technique Magazine if you did not get the chance to see or read it before. As noted in the materials, “The Mission of the program is to provide accessibility to boy’s gymnastics through a structured program that can be easily implemented in a variety of environments and facility locations. The program is designed to be ‘cost effective’ and ‘space efficient’ for both the athlete and the program director. USA Gymnastics seeks to provide a program that can be implemented as a ‘plug and play’ package where boy’s gymnastics programs may not currently exist or as an addition to an already established youth sports program.
The Essential Elements Levels 1-2-3 Program has the potential to affect tremendous growth within the Men’s Program by allowing programs to market to a very diverse group of boys. If you are going to be at the USA Gymnastics National Congress, stop by the USA Gymnastics booth in the Trade Show Hall and check out the Essential Elements Programmaterials. Kudos to Junior Olympic Program Coordinator Dusty Ritter and to Al Scharns for their work on this great program.
Please be sure to contact the Men’s Program here at USA Gymnastics if you have questions regarding either of these new programs.
Good luck to all in the coming season!
For USA Gymnastics,
USA Gymnastics, Vice President of Men’s Program