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Hi! I'm new here at ChalkBucket and this is my first post.

I need more info. on exactly what prep-op is and how things work. We are thinking of starting a prep-op team in our gym any info. would be very helpful. If you have any good links for me I would really appreciate it.


I think it's a nice program that allows the gymnast to work on both optional and compulsary skills. It is a nice way to ease into the changes of the optional program, and how they're different from compulsaries. I actually competed as a Novice optional (prep-optional) as a level 5/6 as a fun meet. It was really nice to get away from the compulasries and it allowed us to "show off" the new optional skills that we'd been working on. In other words, it was used as a fun meet for our compulsary teams.

It can also be used as a training program for compulsaries who are on the "fast track" but not quite mature enough to move on to optionals. Or, it can be used as a high school training program. Like any program, it will have its pros and cons. Sorry I don't have more info on it--it's been years since I participated in the program, and my current gym does not have one. If you do start one please be sure to let us know what you think about it.


Proud Parent
May 11, 2007
Pacific NW
Each state gets to make up its own prep op rules, so I think you'll find it varies from state to state. To start with, you should find the rules for your state. I think different gyms use it differently too, i.e., as an alternative to compulsories, or as a transition from compulsory to option, or as an alternative to the USAG level system altogether.


Coach/Proud Parent
May 14, 2007
Aside from what has already been mentioned (6-7 transitional option), I think it's a great retention technique as well. We have several girls, for whatever reasons, who were not able to remain as competitive as they would have liked entering optionals.

Prep-op is an excellent alternative, providing these [in many cases] 'older' girls an opportunity to create floor routines to their own music, showcase some 'optional' skills, etc. In a nutshell, it has given many teens a place to still enjoy the competitive atmosphere - where many may have given up on the sport.
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