Introduction to Xcel Silver Gymnastics
The second level, or division, as it’s called in Xcel gymnastics, is Xcel Silver. The requirements in Xcel Silver are a step up from Bronze, and the gymnast can do skills that are a bit more challenging.
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 Silver division.
Xcel Silver Vault
There are two allowable vault options for Xcel Silver. The gymnast may perform two of the same vault, or one of each vault. The coach and gymnast can make that decision, and they can ask for the first vault score before deciding which vault to perform for the second vault. Both vaults are performed over a 24”-48” high mat stack, turned sideways.
Either or both vaults can be performed using a traditional springboard, or the alternative springboard, with no deduction. Both vaults start from a 10.0.
If a vault is performed that is not allowable for the division, it will receive a 0 (void vault).
Vault Option 1
Option 1 for Xcel Silver vault is a handspring over the sideways mat stack. Here is a video of the vault.
Vault Option 2
Option 2 for Xcel Silver vault is a half-on over the sideways mat stack. It is acceptable to perform a ¼ on or a ½ on (or anything in between). Here is a video showing these two vaults.
Vaults 1, 3, 4, and 5 are Option 1 (handspring).
Vault 2 is Option 2 (half-on).
The big difference between Silver vault and the other divisions is that there are NO deductions for height and distance. As a judge, it seems very strange not to take deductions in these categories, because they are important indicators of whether the vault was performed well. But that’s apparently not the focus in Silver, possibly because the gymnast does not have a firm surface for repulsion? Your guess is as good as mine – if you have an idea, please comment!
Xcel Silver Bars
An Xcel Silver bar routine has 4 Special Requirements. The requirements must be fulfilled by A skills from the Xcel Code of Points, or by skills from the Xcel Silver chart.
- Minimum of 5 A skills
- Cast to minimum 45° below horizontal
- 360° circling skill (not mount or dismount)
- Dismount from low or high bar (no saltos)
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 Silver bars:
- No B or higher skills
- No salto dismounts
- No giants (LB or HB)
Each Xcel division has certain rules that differentiate it from the USAG Development Program. Here are the clarifications for Xcel Silver bars.
No cast angle deductions
No deductions will be taken for the angle, or amplitude, of any cast in an Xcel Silver bar routine. Execution deductions apply, of course, but angle deductions do not.
The angle of the cast is still important in order to determine whether the cast receives Special Requirement and Value Part credit. The judges will evaluate the cast based on the angle from the shoulders to the lowest body part. For example, if the gymnast is arched, the cast is evaluated based on the angle from the shoulders to the belly.
The gymnast may NOT cast to within 20° of handstand, because a cast handstand is a B skill, and B skills are restricted in the Silver Division.
No extra swings
There will be no deductions taken for extra swings in Xcel Silver. This applies to extra casts or extra tap swings. An Xcel Silver gymnast can “pump” her legs, or perform small casts between skills, as much as she likes without getting a 0.30 extra swing deduction. These extra casts can still receive rhythm and execution deductions, but they won’t get an extra swing deduction. She can also perform unlimited tap swings on the high bar, but only two will get A Value Part credit.
When a skill is preceded by a cast, the cast and skill EACH receive VP credit, as long as the cast meets the angle requirement. Here are some examples:
- Cast sole circle dismount
- Cast underswing dismount
Here are the exceptions to this rule:
- Cast squat on (with or without jump to high bar)
- Cast stoop on (with or without jump to high bar)
- Cast straddle on (with or without jump to high bar)
- Cast shoot through
- Cast off to stand dismount
Xcel Silver Beam
Just like bars, an Xcel Silver 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 Silver chart. The gymnast may perform any A skills from the Xcel Code or the Silver chart, and she may also perform B dance skills.
- Minimum ½ turn on 1 foot
- One leap or jump with minimum 90° split (not mount or dismount)
- One non-flight acro element
Here are the difficulty restrictions for an Xcel Silver beam routine:
- No B acro skills
- No C or higher skills
Here are a few clarifications for Xcel Silver beam.
First, all handstands are considered the same skill, regardless of the angle achieved. No hold is required to get credit for the handstand.
Next, all acro skills must start and finish on the beam to receive credit.
There is no minimum time for a Silver beam routine. There is no undertime deduction.
The split leap/jump angle requirement is 90° for Xcel Silver beam routines. Credit is given for leaps/jumps that are within 20° of the division’s required split angle. This means that for Silver leaps/jumps, they will receive credit if the split angle is 70° or higher.
All mounts are A’s unless they have a higher value in the Xcel Code of Points.
Xcel Silver Floor
An Xcel Silver floor routine also has 4 Special Requirements. The requirements must be fulfilled by A skills from the Xcel Code of Points, or by skills from the Xcel Silver chart. Silver gymnasts may also perform B dance skills.
- 1st acro pass: 2 directly connected acro skills (1 must have flight)
- 2nd acro pass: Either (a) 2 directly connected acro skills (flight or non-flight) OR (b) One acro flight element
- Dance passage: 2 Group 1 elements, directly or indirectly connected, one of which is a leap with minimum 90° split
- Minimum 1/1 turn on 1 foot
- No B acro skills
- No C or higher VP
- Maximum of 1 salto or aerial per routine
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.
Roundoff, rebound, backward roll is an acro series.
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 Silver division. For more detailed information on each event, check out the articles below:
USA Gymnastics Xcel Code of Points, 2018-2022.