Boys Level 4 Mushroom

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Is is mandatory for the boys to attempt circles on the mushroom after their level 4 pommel horse routine? If they can only do 1 at a time, is it more of a deduction to skip it or to do 1 or 2 at a time. Has this rule changed from last year?
According to their routine, they are required to do 3.5 circles. However, your average L4 boy may lose more than the 1.5 value of each circle in doing it. It all depends.
value of mushroom

If I understand correctly, the pommel portion of the level 4 routine is worth 7 points and the mushroom is worth 9 points. If they do 3 1/2 circles on the mushroom and fall 3 times, that is mandatory deduction of at least 3 form, technique, etc. deductions. Wouldn't it make sense to attempt the circles to give SOME points, versus automatically deducting 9 whole points from the start value? I am curious about it because some of the boys from our gym were doing great in a competition yesterday (getting 13's and 14's....decent). Pommel horse was last event. They warmed up circles. Some of the boys could do 3 in a row with bent legs. Some could do 1-2. None of them even attempted it and I think the coach actually forgot to direct them over to the mushroom (it was those boy's 1st competition). They ended up gettiing 5.8, 6.2, etc. It ruined their all-around and it just didn't seem fair to the boys. I know at level 4 it is not necessarily about the score or the competition, but the boys and parents just didn't seem to understand why they scored so low when other boys were up around 10-11 with multiple falls off the mushroom.
I always have my boys go for the mushroom circles, even if I expect them to lose more than they gain by doing them.

Like I said, it depends. It depends on the judge, the coach, and the gymnast.
Last year, I had my first year L5 try to attempt to get some points though he barely could do 1.5 circles. At least he got into the 6's for overall score on PH/MR.

This year, one of the boys already has multiple circles. Two boys do not really. Recently, the #2 boy has gotten past 1, so he might as well try the routine. I still would not bother with #3 as he can't really even do a 1/3rd of a circle. It's more of a feint and hop to back support sort of.

To state, #2 scored a 12 on PH/MR last meet and can just get around one circle here or there. He'll probably start getting 2 by mid February. He has a pretty good pommel routine besides a few deductions. Tapping toes in straddle swing, bent legs in leg cuts.

#3 scores a 9 and I'm sure that was 3 falls, deductions and I'm not talking about a good pommel routine either.
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