INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 5, 2013) – USA Gymnastics has awarded Louisville, Ky., the 2014 USA Gymnastics Championships, a new event that showcases the national championships for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline/tumbling. Scheduled for July 15-19, the five-day event will feature competition on the Junior Olympic and junior and senior elite levels for each discipline. The competition will be conducted at both the Kentucky International Convention Center and the KFC Yum! Center.
“We appreciate the support we have received from the highest level of Louisville’s leadership – the Mayor, the Louisville Sports Commission, AEG Facilities and others,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Louisville’s experience in handling major events and its ability to build this type of partnership are critical when a city is hosting an event of this nature. We are confident that Louisville will be the perfect city to debut this championship event, which is designed to have something for everyone. From the beauty and grace of rhythmic gymnastics to the impressive balance and creativity of acrobatic gymnastics to the high flying and powerful skills of trampoline and tumbling, this is truly a unique undertaking.”
Louisville has twice hosted the acrobatic gymnastics nationals, as well as the 2013 Region 4 Trampoline and Tumbling Championships. The Louisville Sports Commission and AEG Facilities are the local partners for the event.
“Hosting the national championships for three gymnastics disciplines during a five-day span represents enormous opportunity and responsibility,” said Karl Schmitt, the Louisville Sports Commission executive director. “Louisville will be highly energized when more than 2,000 athletes, coaches and officials, along with their families and friends, visit us for a week in July 2014. We appreciate USA Gymnastics selecting Louisville as a host city for an event of this magnitude and are confident that the local partnership comprised of AEG, the Sports Commission, the Convention & Visitors Bureau and Kentucky State Fair Board – along with our local community – will create a tremendous experience for the athletes, families and fans.”
For the junior and senior elite levels for each discipline, the athletes will be vying for national titles. Performances will determine berths on the junior and senior U.S. National Teams for rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling. The Junior Olympic division has several different levels, and national titles will be awarded for each level and age group for each discipline. The Junior Olympic levels for each of the disciplines are: acrobatic gymnastics – Levels 6-10; rhythmic gymnastics – Levels 7-8; and trampoline and tumbling – Levels 8-10.
The preliminary competition schedule, which is subject to change, for the five days is as follows.
9 a.m.-9 p.m. — Junior Olympic competition for acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline/tumbling, Kentucky International Convention Center
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. — Junior Olympic competition for trampoline/tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics, Kentucky International Convention Center
9 a.m.-12 p.m. — Rhythmic gymnastics, junior and senior elite, KFC Yum! Center
1:30-4:30 p.m. — Trampoline and tumbling, junior prelims, KFC Yum! Center
6-9:30 p.m. — Acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, and synchronized trampoline, senior, KFC Yum! Center
9 a.m.-12 p.m. — Rhythmic gymnastics, junior and senior prelims, KFC Yum! Center
9 a.m.-12 p.m. — Trampoline and tumbling (junior/senior) and acrobatic gymnastics (Junior Olympic), Kentucky International Convention Center
1:30-4:30 p.m. — Junior Olympic rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling, Kentucky International Convention Center
1:30-4:30 p.m. — Acrobatic gymnastics, junior, KFC Yum! Center
6-9:30 p.m. — Acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline, senior, KFC Yum! Center
9 a.m.-12 p.m. — Rhythmic gymnastics, junior and senior finals, KFC Yum! Center
9 a.m.-12 p.m. — Junior Olympic acrobatic gymnastics and trampoline and tumbling, Kentucky International Convention Center
1:30-4:30 p.m. — Rhythmic gymnastics (Junior Olympic) and trampoline and tumbling (junior/senior finals), Kentucky International Convention Center
1:30-4:30 p.m. — Acrobatic gymnastics and trampoline, junior finals, KFC Yum! Center
6-9:30 p.m. — Acrobatic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline, senior finals, KFC Yum! Center
Tickets for the event will go on sale in early 2014.
Acrobatic gymnastics combines the beauty of dance with the strength and agility of acrobatics. Routines are choreographed to music and consist of dance, tumbling, and partner skills. At the elite level, each pair or group performs a balance, dynamic and combined routine. Pyramids and partner holds characterize the balance routine, while synchronized tumbling and intricate flight elements define the dynamic exercise. An acrobatic gymnastics pair consists of a base and a top. A women’s group is comprised of three athletes — a base, middle and top partner — while a men’s group has four athletes, a base, two middle partners and one top partner.
Rhythmic gymnastics is characterized by grace, beauty and elegance combined with dance and acrobatic elements, while working with ribbons, balls, hoops, ropes and clubs in a choreographed routine to music. The choreography must cover the entire floor and contain a balance of jumps, leaps, pivots, balances and flexibility movements. Only four of the apparatus are competed each quad, and the four for 2016 are hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon. Each movement involves a high degree of athletic skill. Physical abilities needed by a rhythmic gymnast include strength, power, flexibility, agility, dexterity, endurance and hand-eye coordination.
Trampoline events involve athletes using trampolines that can propel them up to 30 feet in the air, during which they can perform double and triple twisting somersaults. Tumbling utilizes elevated rod-floor runways that enable athletes to jump at heights more than 10 feet and execute a variety of acrobatic maneuvers. For the double-mini competition, the athlete makes a short run, leaps onto a small two-level trampoline, performs an aerial maneuver and dismounts onto a landing mat.
Trampoline was added to the Olympic Games in 2000, and at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, the USA had its first athlete in history advance to the finals.