The fifth, and highest, level, or division, as it’s called in Xcel gymnastics, is Xcel Diamond. The requirements in Xcel Diamond continue to progress from those in the Platinum division. Gymnasts in the Xcel Diamond division typically have skills that are the equivalent of a DP Level 7 or higher.
Each division has its own set of skill and difficulty requirements. There are 4 Special Requirements on each event, except for vault. The requirements must be fulfilled by skills from the Xcel Code of Points, or from the division’s corresponding skills chart.
Let’s take a look at these requirements in the Diamond division.
Xcel Diamond Vault
At Xcel Diamond, the gymnast must perform vaults from the Xcel Diamond chart. Xcel Diamond has its own vault chart, separate from the other divisions. The vaults on the Diamond chart range in value from 9.4 to 10.0.
A gymnast will receive a 9.4 Start Value for vaults such as a handspring or ½ on. There are a variety of vaults that are worth 10.0. The 10.0 vaults include a handspring 1/1, 1/1 on, Tsukahara (any body position), and Yurchenko (any body position).
If a vault is performed that is not allowable for the division, it will receive a 0 (void vault).
Diamond gymnasts are not allowed to use the alternative springboard. If the alternative springboard is used, the vault will be VOID.
The execution deductions are the same in Diamond as they are in the Gold and Platinum divisions. Some of the major deductions that apply to these vaults include height (up to 0.50), distance (up to 0.30), angle of repulsion (up to 0.50 – non salto vaults only) and too long in support (up to 0.50).
The vault is expected to be quick and dynamic, and to show a hip rise. The deductions listed above are there to separate vaults with good repulsion from vaults that do not have good repulsion. Focusing in these areas will help the gymnast to improve not only their current vault, but their ability to progress to more difficult vaults in the future.
Xcel Diamond Bars
In the Platinum and Diamond divisions, gymnasts are required to perform skills with specific values in order to earn the maximum number of points. Skills, or Value Parts, in gymnastics are rated from A to E, with E being the most difficult. Diamond gymnasts must perform 5 A skills and 2 B skills in their routine. If the required Value Parts are not performed, a deduction is taken from the Start Value. A skills are worth 0.10, and B skills are worth 0.30.
An Xcel Diamond bar routine has 4 Special Requirements. The requirements must be fulfilled by A, B, or C skills from the Xcel Code of Points, or by skills from the Xcel Diamond chart. The gymnast may perform 1 D skill per routine. No bonus is given if the gymnast performs a D.
The Special Requirements are as follows:
- Skill finishing in a clear support at min. 45° from vertical
- Min. B 360° circling skill
- Min. B skill: release, pirouette, or 2nd 360° circling skill (same or different)
- Salto or hecht dismount from high bar, or any B or higher dismount from high bar
Each division has difficulty restrictions specific to that division. This helps to level the playing field among gymnasts in that division.
Here are the difficulty restrictions for Xcel Diamond bars:
- Maximum 1 D skill
- No E skills
Each Xcel division has certain rules that differentiate it from the USAG Development Program. Here are the clarifications for Xcel Diamond bars.
When will the “Skill 45° Below Vertical” requirement be awarded?
The Special Requirement for a skill above horizontal will be awarded to a skill that:
- Finishes in a clear support (hips away from the bar)
- Finishes within 10° of the angle requirement
This means that a skill finishing at 55° below vertical, or higher, will receive Special Requirement credit. It will, however, receive a deduction of 0.10 for lack of amplitude if it is lower than 45° below vertical.
No cast angle deductions
Casts in an Xcel Diamond bar routine are not subject to angle deductions like the DP program. Execution deductions apply, of course, but angle deductions do not. The only exception is that if the gymnast performs a cast within 10° of the requirement, the requirement will be awarded with a 0.10 amplitude deduction. This means that a Diamond gymnast can get Special Requirement credit for a cast that is 55° below vertical, but a 0.10 deduction will be taken for the amplitude of the cast.
The angle of the cast is important in order to determine whether the cast receives Special Requirement and Value Part credit. The judges will evaluate casts and circling skills based on the angle from the shoulders to the lowest body part. For example, if the gymnast is arched, her cast is evaluated based on the angle from the shoulders to the belly.
In the Diamond Division, any tap swing/counterswing or underswing/counterswing is considered an extra swing, and it will receive a 0.30 extra swing deduction. Any extra casts, or “pumps” of the legs going into a cast, will also receive the 0.30 extra swing deduction.
Special Requirement Clarifications
At Xcel Diamond, there is no specific casting requirement. The gymnast does not need to perform a cast to a certain degree. She does need to perform one SKILL, though, which reaches 45° from vertical. That skill could be a cast, or it could be a circling skill that finishes in clear support. Examples of clear circling skills are clear hip circles, toe circles and stalders. The circling skill can reach handstand, or it can end in a clear support. As long as it finishes at least 45° above horizontal, it will count for the requirement.
If you choose to use a cast to meet the 45° above horizontal requirement, be advised that if the gymnast falls short of the requirement, she will need 5 other A skills in her routine to receive her full Start Value.
There are no composition deductions in the Xcel program.
Side Note: Diamond gymnasts need to dismount from the high bar. Some gyms like for gymnasts to wear grips once they start swinging on the high bar. If you’re looking for a pair of grips, here is a guide to choosing grips for your gymnast.
Xcel Diamond Beam
The required Value Parts for beam are the same as bars: 5 A’s and 2 B’s. If the required Value Parts are not performed, a deduction is taken from the Start Value. A skills are worth 0.10, and B skills are worth 0.30. The gymnast may also perform C skills, and a maximum of 1 D skill, which will count as B’s for Start Value purposes.
Just like bars, an Xcel Diamond beam routine has 4 Special Requirements. The requirements must be fulfilled by skills from the Xcel Code of Points, or by skills from the Xcel Diamond chart. The gymnast may perform any A, B, or C skills from the Xcel Code or the Diamond chart. 1 D skill per routine is also allowed.
- Minimum 1/1 turn on 1 foot
- Dance series to include two Group 1, 2, or 3 skills, or leaps/jumps from Diamond chart (same or different) AND 1 leap/jump with min. 150 split (isolated or in series)
- One acro flight element AND an acro series (with or without flight, NOT mount/dismount). Flight element can be isolated or in series.
- Dismount – salto or aerial
Here are the difficulty restrictions for an Xcel Diamond beam routine:
- Maximum 1 D skill per routine
- No E skills
Here are a few clarifications for Xcel Diamond beam.
First, all handstands are considered the same skill, regardless of the angle achieved. No hold is required to get credit for the handstand. The handstand must reach within 10° of vertical from the shoulders to the hips to get credit for a vertical skill. Handstands that are within 10° of vertical will receive credit with a 0.10 amplitude deduction.
Next, all acro skills must start and finish on the beam to receive credit. This includes skills that are part of an acro series.
If you have questions about the connection of an acro series, check out Is This Beam Series Connected?
There is no minimum time for a Diamond beam routine. There is no undertime deduction.
The split leap/jump angle requirement is 150° for Xcel Diamond beam routines. Credit is given for leaps/jumps that are within 20° of the division’s required split angle. This means that for Diamond leaps/jumps, they will receive credit if the split angle is 130° or higher.
All mounts are considered A’s unless they have a higher value in the Xcel Code of Points.
Xcel Diamond Floor
An Xcel Diamond floor routine also has 4 Special Requirements. The requirements must be fulfilled by A, B, or C skills from the Xcel Code of Points, or by skills from the Xcel Diamond chart. Xcel Diamond gymnasts may also perform a maximum of 1 D skill on floor.
- 2 separate acro flight series, each with minimum 2 directly connected flight elements
- 2 different saltos (isolated or in series), 1 min. B – MAY be included in SR #1
- Dance passage: 2 Group 1 elements, directly or indirectly connected, one of which is a leap with minimum 150 split
- Minimum B turn on 1 foot
- Maximum 1 D skill per routine
- No E skills
All acro flight elements will receive credit, no matter how many times that element is performed, as long as the series is different. This is consistent through all of the Xcel divisions.
RO, Back Tuck and RO, BHS, Back Tuck are considered two different series and will count for Special Requirement credit.
A dive roll is not considered a flight element.
The split leap/jump angle requirement is 150° for Xcel Diamond floor routines. Credit is given for leaps/jumps that are within 20° of the division’s required split angle. This means that for Diamond leaps/jumps, they will receive credit if the split angle is 130° or higher.
There is no minimum time for Xcel floor routines. There is no undertime deduction.
This is a general overview of the requirements for the Xcel Diamond division. For more detailed information on each event, check out the articles below:
Xcel Vault: What You Need to Know
Xcel Bars: Bronze, Silver and Gold
Xcel Bars: Platinum and Diamond
USA Gymnastics Xcel Code of Points, 2018-2022.