A World of Fascination!
Practised by both men and women, Acrobatic Gymnastics (ACRO) is among the oldest known disciplines since already practiced at the ancient Egyptian period, as evidenced by certain frescos. But its name comes from the Greek acrobateo, meaning to rise or go forth.
This modern and artistic discipline, regulated by the FIG since 1999, when IFSA merged with FIG, requires from the athletes that they develop courage and trust in their partner(s), in addition to all other qualities of a gymnast in general: flexibility, strength, control, stamina and expression.
As the exercises presented to the audience are choreographed to music, Acrobatic Gymnastics is a full expression of the world’s gymnastics cultures.
In official competitions, Acrobatic Gymnastics offers five different possibilities of partnerships to the athletes:
Men’s, Women’s and Mixed Pairs;
Women’s Group (3 gymnasts) and
Men’s Groups (4 gymnasts).
The partnerships are constructed in function of the gymnasts’ physical and psychological qualities: the Top needs to be aerial, of small body feature, highly flexible and nimble, while the Bases need to be strong, of larger body frame, steady and powerful. A mixed pair therefore always must combine a male Base with a female Top.
The exercises presented in competitions by the pairs/groups must not exceed 2:30 minutes, have to include a certain number of required collective (partnership) and individual elements and are of three different types: static (balance), dynamic, and combined.
While the static routine must present balanced pyramidal constructions held for 3 seconds and other elements of strength, flexibility and agility characteristics, the dynamic exercise is meant to show flight elements such as throws, pitches and catches as well as dynamic tumbling elements.
The combined routine presents characteristic elements of both the dynamic and the static routines.
The evaluation criteria are of three sorts: Difficulty, Execution and Artistry.
The Difficulty score of a routine is the final amount of values existing for each element in the FIG Code of Points. It is re-evaluated during the exercise according to what the gymnasts perform.
The Execution judges on their side evaluate the correct form and technical execution of these elements, while the Artistry judges consider the overall impression of the choreographed routine following criteria such as musical interpretation, structure of the exercise and execution of the choreography, as well as the presentation of the athletes.
Penalties are given for a large difference in height between the gymnasts, stepping out of the competition floor’s boundaries and incorrect attire.
In World Championships, during the qualification rounds, the gymnasts perform their static and dynamic routines, after which a ranking is established. In a third qualifying round, where they start in reverse rank order, they perform their combined routine. The 8 (6 when less than 12 federations participate in the discipline) highest scoring pairs and groups proceed to finals.
During the finals (Competition II), only the combined exercise is performed, and an eventual tie is first broken by the highest execution and artistic scores added. Competition III awards the teams.
Discover Acrobatic Gymnastics: a world of infinite combinations of expression, where the human body finds its full expression, without any other apparatus than the partner’s body.
A body expression!