With every new season, the USASF seems to be bringing new changes. Last year was the introduction of the Non-Tumbling division and Senior Open allowing US teams to compete in what was known as the “international open” age division but without the three teams per country rule going into finals at worlds. Both were met with mixed reviews, and while Non-Tumbling divisions are growing hugely for the 2019-2020 season, we still miss seeing Wildcats vs Nfinity vs OO5 vs Gymtyme vs Anacondas fighting through US Trials.
For this upcoming season, the biggest change the USASF has made is to move Restricted 5 to 5, level 5 renamed to level 6, and level 6 up to 7. With it comes a few rules changes as well, introducing free-flipping inversion skills like rewinds into the level 6 division. Why the change? We can only imagine it’s to smooth out progressions and work in partnership with the IASF, USASF’s international counterpart. It makes sense to shift the divisions up to allow for clarity (hopefully many more gyms will use level 5 as a building level to a worlds level 6 team) and to allow certain skills progressions that make the transition through the levels easier for athletes. If it was up to us, we’d suggest levelling skills at 7 to allow flipping baskets and step up pyramids, and introduce a level 8 with flipping and twisting baskets, with flipping and twisting pyramids.
Worlds will still only be level 6 and 7 senior, senior open, and international open aged teams, with The Summit being the ultimate end of season championship for level 5.
We do salute the USASF in their aim to grow, progress and level our sport appropriately for all ages and athlete skill levels, although it might take us some time to get used to the newly named levels!