In the compulsory levels, all gymnasts perform the same sequence of elements as decided by USA Gymnastics. There are specific places in the routines where harder items may be substituted for more basic ones, but those exchanges are also specifically laid out in the rules. Gymnasts' routines will be judged on accuracy, perfection and virtuosity.
Level 4 is the second level in the USA Gymnastics program, and the first level at which gymnasts perform and compete with evaluation criteria. Level 4 gymnasts perform compulsory routines dictated by USA Gymnastics. Fairland's gymnasts at this level compete in invitational competitions around the state of Maryland and local qualifiers – which are meets that a gymnast must compete to be eligible for the state championship at the end of the level 4 season.
Among the skills a level 4 gymnast might be expected to perform are: cartwheels, round offs, and a handstand ending in a forward roll to his feet. As another example, on the horizontal high bar he would demonstrate a pull over, cast, undershoot and tap swing.
Level 5 is the intermediate level of competitive compulsory gymnastics. As with level 4, these gymnasts compete in local qualifiers, invitational competitions and may qualify for the Maryland State championship. However, beginning at this level, the invitational competitions may range farther afield, necessitating some travel. When he scores within certain parameters at the State championship meet, the level 5 gymnast will also compete at the Regional championships afterwards.
Level 6 is the advanced level of compulsory gymnastics in the USA Gymnastics competitive program. At this level, the gymnasts have built up a large repertoire of core skills and enjoy a high level of strength and fitness. Therefore, their compulsory routines offer more opportunities for bonuses, which helps to prepare the gymnast for the transition to optional competition. Level 6s compete through Regionals.
Level 7 is an in-between level, with strict requirements but still allowing the gymnast to add in his own creativity. You can think of it as a compulsory/optional level. The USAG designs the base routines that all level 7s must follow. However, the routines have many more places where bonus components can be incorporated, increasing the total point value of the end routine. Level 7s compete through Regionals.