Acrobatic Gymnastics is equal parts performance and partnership, as groups of gymnasts work together to complete spectacular and extraordinary feats.
Acrobatic gymnasts perform in pairs, trios or groups, in which each of the individual gymnast's size and skill are used to complement each other. Set to music and interspersed with choreography, the routines combine art and skill as the gymnasts perform static elements such balances and holds; and dynamic elements such as lifts, throws with complex somersaults and twists; and tumbling skills.
Pairs and group exercises must include human pyramids that are created by the gymnasts and must be held for three seconds to be scored; the pairs exercise must contain at least six partner-balance elements held for two seconds. Competitive Acrobatic Gymnastics consists of five group formations: Women's Pair and Men's Pair, Mixed Pair (male and female), Women's Group (three females) and Men's Group (four males). Each pair or group performs three routines - balance, dynamic, and combined - in competition.
World Championships are held biennially in even years and have been contested on three continents. The first World Championships in 1974 saw acrobats from just seven nations, but today’s World Championships are now a truly global event and are the most prestigious event in the sport.
The first World Cups in Sport Acrobatics predate the FIG, taking place between 1973 and 1993. Today, the FIG World Cup competitions are highlights of the international calendar for Acrobatic Gymnastics. The World Cup series includes all events, and a point system determines a world ranking and overall series champion.
Since 1993, Acrobatic Gymnastics has been part of the programme at The World Games, a multi-event games for sports not in the Olympic Games. Organised by the International World Games Association, the World Games are held every four years and include all Acrobatic Gymnastics events.