Acrobatic gymnastics (previously called Sport Acrobatics and nicknamed "Acro") is a competitive partner sport combining the strength, flexibility and technical precision of gymnastics with the grace and musicality of dance as well as the trust and camaraderie of a dedicated partnership. Participants at a highly competitive level compete age categories of 11-16 (age-group), 12-19 (junior), and 15+ (senior). There are also levels that participants can compete in which are often equally as competitive, but do no t have the option of competing internationally.
All acrobats perform in pairs or groups and must specify a level or be within the above age categories. The events that acrobats perform in are:
Each pair or group competes routines individually choreographed for that particular group. These routines are competed to music and the acrobats are required to dance and otherwise perform to this music. Acrobats perform with, on or around each other to demonstrate their flair, grace and style to the judges and audience.
The rules for the sport, known as the Code of Points, are governed by the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique. These rules are subject to change every four years according to the Olympic Cycle as per the other disciplines of Gymnastics.
Acrobatic gymnastics events form part of the World Games as well as having a dedicated Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships (known as World Sports Acrobatics Championships prior to 2006). There are also numerous National, State and Regional competitions that are held in each Country for their local acrobats; and also to determine entry into higher level competitions such as those mentioned above. Acrobatic Gymnastics events are always highly entertaining, exhilarating and often involve suspense due to the astonishing skills.
The acrobats perform three routines to music:
The Acrobatic Gymnastics competitions are decided on a score out of 30.00, 10.00 for each of the following:
The judging panels of Acrobatic Gymnastics are similar to other disciplines of gymnastics where there is one Head Judge (CJP) who is overseeing the whole of the panel. In Acrobatic Gymnastics there are then Difficulty judges (DJ) who only assess the difficulty of the performance; Artistic judges (AJ) who only assess the performance merit of the routine; and Execution judges (EJ) who only judge according to the technical faults in the routine. The number of each type of judge on an Acrobatic panel depends on the level of the competition and can vary from one to many (with the exception of the Head Judge, as there is only one Head Judge per panel).
The first use of acrobatics as a specific sport was in the Soviet Union in the 1930s and the first world championships were in 1974.In addition to the current five categories, two additional categories for tumbling (men's and women's) were included until the 1999 World Championships, though some groups still involve tumbling events.
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