What Do I Do If I Fall on the 1st Skill of a Beam Flight Series?

The strategy for what to do if you fall on the first skill of a beam flight series depends on the particular rules for your level and country. You and your coach should be prepared for this possibility and have a plan for what you are going to do.

In general, you cannot repeat skills for credit and would lose the connection if you get back up and do the same first skill you just attempted. You need to have practiced a back-up flight series that will fulfill the series requirements and which starts with a different skill.

Examples by Level

USA Gymnastics Level 7

Internationally this would be any level with a requirement for an acro Series with a minimum of 2 “A” difficulty elements, with or without flight and one acro flight element (which may or may not be in the series) In addition, both acro skills must start and finish on the Beam, which means no mount or dismount can count as part of the acro series.

Example:

  • Most common flight element – standing back handspring
  • Most common series – Back walkover, back walkover
  • Alternate suggested series – Cartwheel, back walkover

USA Gymnastics Level 8

Internationally this would be any level with a Requirement for an Acro Series with a minimum of 2 elements, one with flight and both acro skills must start and finish on Beam, which means no mount or dismount can count as part of the acro series.

Example:

  • Most common flight series – Back walkover, back handspring step-out
  • Alternate suggested series – Cartwheel, back handspring step-out
  • Alternate suggested series – Back handspring (two-foot), back handspring step-out

USA Gymnastics Level 9

Internationally this would be any level with a requirement for a two flight skill acro series, neither of which can be a mount or a dismount.

Example:

  • Most common flight series – Back handspring step-out, back handspring (two-foot)
  • Alternate suggested series – Back handspring (two-foot), back handspring step-out

USA Gymnastics Level 10

Internationally this would be any level with a requirement for a two flight acro skills, one of which must be a minimum of a “C” difficulty skill OR a series with an “E” difficulty skill combined with an “A” non-flight acro skill, neither of which is a mount or dismount.

Example:

  • Most common flight series – Back handspring step-out, layout step-out
  • Alternate suggested series – Back handspring (two-foot), layout step-out

Summary

It should be clear that gymnasts and coaches should be preparing for competition with more than one acro series in case a gymnast should fall in a competition on the first skill in their acro series. That can allow a gymnast a chance to be able to get credit for an acro series, even if they fell on the fist skill in the series on their first series attempt.

In fact, gymnasts at the Elite and International level who need to prepare for multiple acro series should be training a variety of skills to tumble out of… including back handspring step-outs, two-foot back handsprings, cartwheels and round-offs.

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