Mardi Gras Schedule and Levels Explained

mg_01Every year, Head Over Heels hosts a big Invitational Gymnastics Competition: Mardi Gras Invitational.  This meet is a huge event that our Raising Stars Parents Organization (RSPO) puts months of hard work and planning into. Gymnasts from all over the state (and sometimes other states) travel to the South Shore to compete as individuals and as teams, as well as in our Mardi Gras Mask contest!

For people wanting to come and catch a session or two of the meet, the schedule can be overwhelming.  Unless you are trained in gymnastics “lingo”, you might be not understand what you are looking at, or who you are going to see. Here is a quick breakdown of the levels, and their abbreviations, as they are posted on our Mardi Gras Schedule, so that you can make an educated choice when deciding which sessions to watch!


mg_02Xcel Bronze (XB) & Level 3: These are generally our youngest, newest competitive athletes. They train between 4 and 10 hours a week. For most of these girls, this is only their first or second year on the team. The gymnasts in these levels are just beginning their competitive careers, and are just getting a taste for the way competitions work. The routines that the Level 3s compete are considered “compulsory”. This means that USA Gymnastics has chosen the same routines and requirements for all athletes at this level. Xcel Bronze also has mandatory compulsory requirements, but coaches from each team were given stylistic options (translation: each child from HOH will have the same routine, but those routines will be different from the other teams at the meet). These levels are great to come see if you have a young child, or a child who is intimidated by the idea of competing some day!


Xcel Silver (XB), Level 4, & Level 5: These girls have a few years of competitive experience under their belt. The gymnasts in these levels train between 4 and 16 hours per week. These levels are still compulsory levels, but the Xcel Silver girls start to have more stylistic freedom in their routines. Silver gymnasts’ routines will be similar to their teammates, with their own personal strengths and flair added in.


MG_05Xcel Gold (XG), Level 7: These athletes are considered “optionals”.  This means that their individual routines can be designed to suit each individual gymnast, provided they meet a set of requirements.  All of these athletes have their own routines with various skills to showcase their strengths.


Xcel Platinum (XP), Xcel Diamond (XD), Level 8, Level 9, and Level 10: Our oldest, most experienced athletes. These athletes have many years of competition under their belts.  They train between 9 and 20 hours a week.  They have competed in State, Regional, and National Championships. Many of these girls compete for 2 different teams: HOH, as well as their High School Gymnastics Teams.  At these meets, you will see completely unique routines designed for every individual athlete, as well as big skills.  BIG skills.  Really, really, cool gymnastics that will make your jaw drop. It takes a long time and a lot of hard work for athletes to make it to this level, but when they do: WOW.  We highly recommend stopping in to check out one of these sessions if you are able… we promise you will be thoroughly entertained!