Below is a detailed explanation of the meet format at acrobatics and tumbling competitions, courtesy of the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA). These rules are sanctioned by USA Gymnastics.
Two to four teams compete at a meet. The typical duration is roughly two hours. A meet is made up of six events: Compulsories, Acro, Pyramids, Tosses, Tumbling and Team Routine. A halftime intermission will take place between Tosses and Tumbling.
All event competition is in team rotation throughout each event. The rotation order is predetermined by the Head Official prior to the beginning of the meet, but the home team always performs last.
Scoring is based upon pre-determined difficulty start values. Each skill performed is valued by the Officials of the NCATA prior to the meet. Teams submit their skill sequences 72 hours prior to the meet. Officials perform two primary functions at the meet: 1. Monitor the skills being performed to ensure that each element is correctly performed to the equate to the posted start difficulty value; and 2. Evaluate the execution and technique of the skills performed. Scores are posted immediately following the conclusion of each event and overall standings are displayed throughout the meet. Highest combined score after all events wins the meet. The maximum score in each meet is 300 points.
EVENT 1: Compulsories (40 possible points)
Four heats construct the Compulsory Event: acro, pyramid, toss and tumbling. During each heat the teams perform the exact same skills, allowing the officials to compare the technique and execution of each team. No athlete crossover rules apply from the Compulsories to other events.
Acro Heat (10 possible points): one preset sequence performed by two synchronized groups from each team
• Straight up heel stretch
• Power press (hold stretch on the way down, flyer changes position on the way up)
• 270 degree front flip cradle dismount (flyers feet to side)
• Unassisted Rewind to Sponge
• Dip to heel stretch
• 720 degree twist cradle dismount
Pyramid Heat (10 possible points): one preset pyramid performed by one group from each team
• All feet start on the floor
• 4-2-1. Two shoulder level stunts as second level level support (two bases, back, flyer) built before toss up
• Basket up from back (three bases tossing, one flyer)
• Three catchers in front
• 270 degree flip off of the front
• Second level dismounts at the same time as the top flyer, to below shoulder level
Toss Heat (10 possible points): one preset toss performed by two synchronized groups from each team
• Two synchronized back tuck tosses
• Four bases tossing, one flyer, two groups
Tumbling Compulsory Heat (10 possible points): four preset skills performed by eight athletes from each team.
• No changing athletes between compulsory skills
• Athletes must be positioned in windows
• Skills must be performed in the following order:
a. Standing tuck (to front);
b. Toe-touch tuck (to front);
c. Handspring tuck (to front);
d. Round-off handspring layout from left to right in two lines.
EVENT 2: Acro (30 possible points)
Three heats construct the Acro Event where each team sends a maximum of four athletes to compete a 45 second acro sequence to counts. Athletes may compete in two heats, however no more than two athletes may crossover together from one heat to another. Timing begins with the first movement and exceeding the 45 seconds will result in a time deduction. In each heat, teams must attempt all required number of elements in addition to the required skill. The required skill counts as an element.
• Heat 1: Required 360 degree flipping skill, five elements (10 points)
• Heat 2: Required twisting skill, six elements (10 points)
• Heat3: Required release skill, seven elements (10 points)
EVENT 3: Pyramid (30 possible points)
Three heats construct the Pyramid Event. Each team sends a maximum of 24 athletes and there is no crossover rule. Timing begins with the first movement and exceeding the 30 seconds will result in a time deduction. In each heat, teams must attempt the required skill while changing the pyramid structure or flyer plane from heat to heat.
• Heat 1: Flipping (10 possible points)
a. Entry/dismount must contain flip greater than 90 degrees
• Heat 2: Twisting (10 possible points)
a. Entry/dismount must contain twist skill greater than 90 degrees
• Heat 3: Release (10 possible points)
a. Entry/dismount must contain a release skill
EVENT 4: Toss (30 possible points)
Three heats construct the Toss Event where each has required elements. A maximum of four athletes may toss a single flyer. Athletes may crossover and compete in two heats, one of which must be the synchronized toss.
• Heat 1: Two elements must be performed in a single toss (10 points)
• Heat 2: Two synchronized tosses (10 points)
• Heat 3: Open-no skill requirements (10 points)
EVENT 5: Tumbling (60 possible points)
Six heats construct the Tumbling Event. Athletes may compete in both the synchronized portion and in one single pass, but tumble a maximum of two times.
• Duo- Two athletes execute synchronized identical tumbling pass (10 points)
• Trio- Three athletes execute synchronized identical tumbling pass (10 points)
• Quad- Four athletes execute synchronized identical tumbling pass (10 points)
• Ariel- single pass; must execute one flip before final flip in pass (10 points)
• Six Element-single pass; six elements including last skill (10 points)
• Open-single pass; no requirements (10 points)
EVENT 6: Team Routine (110 possible points)
One heat constructs the Team Routine. Athletes perform synchronized choreographed skills in a two minute, 30 second routine set to music. Routine has a minimum of 18 athletes and a maximum of 24 athletes. Routine is made up of required skills and optional skills. The required skills include:
• 30 acro elements (20 points)
• Five tosses (20 points)
• Four pyramids (2.5 high) (20 points)
• One Jump/Standing Tumbling Pass per number of athletes on the mat (20 points)
• One Running Tumbling Pass per number of athletes on the mat (20 points)
• Additional scored categories:
a. Routine construction (5 points)
b. Dance/Composition/Artistry- 50 percent of team must perform two, eight counts