The coach in charge must always make an assessment (i.e. a risk assessment) and determine a ratio of participants to coach/es that is reasonable, safe and effective. There should always be at least two responsible adults in the gymnasium.
To ensure that a safe and effective coaching/teaching situation is maintained, British Gymnastics recommends the following reasonable ratio of participants to coach/teacher:
For independent child classes, a ratio of eight participants to one coach is recommended. This can be increased proportionally to the number of qualified assistant coaches, i.e. 8 per additional directly supervised assistant coach.
For classes where the parent, guardian or carer is participating with the child, a maximum ratio of 20 children to one coach is recommended.
Suitably qualified British Gymnastics coaches or teachers must supervise all gymnastics activities. Coaches must be qualified to the level of performance of the participants in the specific discipline of the sport. The recommended maximum number of participants to one apparatus/station is 8 participants. Where more than one apparatus/station is to be supervised, the coach in charge must carefully assess the following:
- The age, stage of development, experience, varying ability and number and discipline of the participants.
- The coaches’ own qualifications and experience.
- Their ability to observe, advise, support and respond to the difficulties of anyone in the gymnastics area.
- The level and type of activity and suitability of the apparatus arrangements.
Normally, one coach would not be expected to supervise more than 16 gymnasts, without other suitably qualified coaches being in attendance. However, where a directly supervised and qualified Assistant Coach is used, in addition to the supervising coach, each additional Assistant Coach may supervise a maximum of 8 participants (i.e. qualified lead coach = 16 gymnasts plus 8 gymnasts with AC = 24 in total).
Coaching People with a Disability
When working with people with disabilities, a competent assessment of the risk to the individual and other participants must be made when determining the ratio of gymnasts to coach. Depending on the nature of the disability, one-to-one supervision may be necessary. For further information please visit the Equality section of our website, where you can view the British Gymnastics Equality Policy and a copy of the Equality Act 2010.
When groups are warming up, cooling down or working on low risk activities on a floor area, the ratio may be increased within the bounds of safety