The requirements for the Olympic are specific and fair so that no eligible person can be disqualified. The National Olympic Committee (NOC) may enter a max of 2 athletes to compete for each category in the sport. 1 person for each gender. There are five continental tournaments that are held in which each country can qualify an athlete to represent their country. If a country cannot qualify their quota, whatever remains can be allocated to another country if needed.
In order to qualify, there are guidelines to age restrictions that need to be adhered to. A participant must have been born between Jan 1997 and Dec 1998 for men and for woman between Jan 1999 and Dec 1999
Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG) regulated the age requirements in gymnastics and also controls the age at which sportspersons are allowed to take part in senior-level competitions. Sanctions were placed by the FIG in the 20th century with regards to age and then was limit was increased from 14 to 15 and then finally to 16.
The age restrictions are designed to firstly to create fairness across the board field in terms of skill and physical advantages. But to secondly also protect the younger competitors from an injury that may be caused by competing or training. The International Gymnastics Federation believes that the amount of training and pressure placed on the athletes body is not healthy for a child that is younger than 16 as they are still developing. The effects on the functioning of growth hormones, possibly causing delayed bone growth and the onset of puberty.
The 1997 regulation states than any gymnast who wants to compete have to be currently ten years or older. There is not an age restriction that does not forbid older athletes to compete and some gymnasts are competing as long as they want to or are able.
All Olympic candidate need to ensure they comply with the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Charter. Gymnasts are not allowed to compete for any financial gain or be part of any financial arrangement. They are also not allowed to sell their image. If they do want to sell their image, they need IOC approval first. All Players need to respect the spirit of fair play. All competitors will need to ensure they do not in contravene with the anti-doping rules. Gymnasts need to be nationals of their country, however, athletes with more than one country can choose which one they want to represent.
In the two-day trials, the champion automatically gets a place on the Olympic team for females. In terms of the men, the first and second finishers get to go but they must have the first and second place finishers in the men’s all-around as long as they also produce one highest score of the 3 scores in at least 3 of the 6 events. A gymnast must compete at a national, elite level through the USA Gymnastics program to be able to get to the trials. Also, if an athlete has taken part in the FIG senior competitions and/or the multisport games, he/she may not be allowed to take part in the Youth Olympic Games