Gymnastics as one kind of sport has existed for more than 2000 years. Its roots are traced to ancient Greece where these physical exercises were used both for physical and mental development. The course of gymnastics events was included into school program that became the prototype of future NCAA gymnastics championships. Nevertheless, for sure gymnastics gained its today's success long later. As one kind of sport with its championships gymnastic appeared and began developing just about 100 years ago. During the 19th century, it was gymnastic performances conducted by different sport clubs, such as athletic clubs, and school sport clubs.
The International Gymnastics Federation was founded in 1881. Before that time gymnastics championships were held in combination with other sports being organized by these clubs and ethnic organizations. The history of gymnastic as sport having championships and different competitions begins in Athen (1896) during the Olympics. The Gymnastic World Championships came from Antwerp where in 1903 the first official Gymnastic Championship took place. That was a large-scale competition where representatives from 5 countries took part in gymnastics disciplines that included almost the same set of events as we have today: horizontal and parallel bars, pommel horse, vault and still rings. Today this list is supplemented with floor exercises in which men gymnasts have chance to show extraordinary skills and absolute precision using difficult combinations of somersaults and interesting twists. In 1924 men's gymnastics championship opened men teams for the world and since then men's team competition was added to Olympic program.
The basis of modern gymnastic competition as a part of Olympic Games was established in France, 1924. In 1982 they started to discuss the problem of team women's gymnastics championship, their rules and events. The first team-winner turned out to be women gymnastic team from Netherlands.
The first NCAA gymnastic championship was really great event that happened in 1938. That time it took place in Chicago: the team-host from the University of Chicago turned out to be the team-winner.
As for women NCAA gymnastics championship history goes down to the beginning of the 19th century. When NCAA women's gymnastic became one of the nine original sports that were held at the NCAA championships in 1981, the first NCAA gymnastic championship for women was won by the team of University of Utah. It was stated that teams and individual gymnasts had to go through qualifications and preliminary local championships in five regions. The team-winner could take part in final NCAA gymnastics championship.
Since then the situation with recruiting procedure has not changed. It is still very difficult to get to the NCAA team. So if gymnast is not top sort student, one of the best from his school it is almost impossible for him to take part in NCAA gymnastics championship and even get consultation from NCAA coach.