WAG Can a gymnast compete if they are missing one skill?

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Jan 23, 2022
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Hi,
I just discovered this site and hope I am posting my question in the right place.
This is the first year my daughter has don’t completion. She’s a level 3 and has had a mental block with her ROBH off and on for the past few weeks. She hasn’t been consistently doing it this week. I’m wondering, would she be allowed to compete floor and take the deductions for not connecting her roundoff backhand spring? Is this a thing? Are gymnasts ever permitted to compete an event if they aren’t consistently throwing a skill?
I think there’s an 80% chance she’d do it. I really appreciate your response! I’m new to this whole thing and am trying to learn the rules, what’s allowed, what’s common, etc. thanks!
 

gym_dad32608

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Aug 7, 2018
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There are more knowledgeable folks on here including coaches that can probably give you a specific response, but I think its up to your coach and how they put together the routine (although lv 3 is compulsory so you may have to have specific elements in order for it to be considered a routine). I know in the past dealing with injuries and such, they have substituted different elements or went in knowing there would be a deduction or lower SV but again that was for optional levels.
 

JBS

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This is up to the coach. Some clubs will let an athlete compete while missing a skill... others will not.

As you move into the upper levels... you will see many athletes competing less than 4 events (especially at the beginning of season). If an athlete is not consistently training their skill at practice... then just throwing it at a meet is not considered safe by most top level coaches.
 
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rlm's mom

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Aug 21, 2021
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Yes she can compete missing a skill. Will get a big deduction for it. I'm assuming in level 3 she is competing for experience so her scores won't matter to her too much. Of course it is ultimately up to her coach.
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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Yes, she can compete with the missing skill. The start value will be lowered.

Some gyms will allow it, others won’t. For other gyms it will depend what the skill is.
 

raenndrops

Coach
Oct 24, 2009
6,804
The 'Wood, Ohio
It is ultimately up to the gym and their way of handling it.

In compulsories, if you leave out one of the major skills (and the back handspring in level 3 is a major floor skill), the deduction is twice the value of the skill. Some gyms are fine with that, especially early in the season.

Some gyms will decide on an individual basis if the skill should be left out or be spotted. The spot is a deduction of 0.5. Then the judges deduct based on how much of the skill they consider the gymnast did on her own and how much it was spotted. For example, years ago, my OG was flipped through her back tuck by a coach (OG rebounded from her back handspring and the coach literally caught her and flipped her around and spotted her landing). In that case, OG lost the 0.5 for the spot and the entire value of the skill ... but the judges did credit her for connecting the back handspring to the back tuck.

If there is an 80% chance that she will throw the skill, her coaches may let her try. They could even have a coach on the floor near her at that level and as long as the coach does not touch her at all, then she won't get the spotting deduction. We have had girls that wouldn't do a BHS unless a coach was standing there. If the coach standing there helps her and she throws the skill - great. If she still doesn't throw it and has a safe rebound out of her roundoff, the coach shouldn't need to touch her either. The coach should only spot her if that would get her to connect the skills ... and if she has decent form on the skills.

Good luck.
 
Jan 23, 2022
4
41
It is ultimately up to the gym and their way of handling it.

In compulsories, if you leave out one of the major skills (and the back handspring in level 3 is a major floor skill), the deduction is twice the value of the skill. Some gyms are fine with that, especially early in the season.

Some gyms will decide on an individual basis if the skill should be left out or be spotted. The spot is a deduction of 0.5. Then the judges deduct based on how much of the skill they consider the gymnast did on her own and how much it was spotted. For example, years ago, my OG was flipped through her back tuck by a coach (OG rebounded from her back handspring and the coach literally caught her and flipped her around and spotted her landing). In that case, OG lost the 0.5 for the spot and the entire value of the skill ... but the judges did credit her for connecting the back handspring to the back tuck.

If there is an 80% chance that she will throw the skill, her coaches may let her try. They could even have a coach on the floor near her at that level and as long as the coach does not touch her at all, then she won't get the spotting deduction. We have had girls that wouldn't do a BHS unless a coach was standing there. If the coach standing there helps her and she throws the skill - great. If she still doesn't throw it and has a safe rebound out of her roundoff, the coach shouldn't need to touch her either. The coach should only spot her if that would get her to connect the skills ... and if she has decent form on the skills.

Good luck.
There are more knowledgeable folks on here including coaches that can probably give you a specific response, but I think its up to your coach and how they put together the routine (although lv 3 is compulsory so you may have to have specific elements in order for it to be considered a routine). I know in the past dealing with injuries and such, they have substituted different elements or went in knowing there would be a deduction or lower SV but again that was for optional levels.
Our coach said she cannot compete the floor event this time, and cannot compete what so ever next time, so I was just wondering if this is typical. This is our first time competing, and not allowing her to compete in any event if she still has a mental block on one skill seems a little extreme in my opinion for an introduction to competitive gymnastics. I see other coaches spotting, allowing girls to use a mat, etc.
 

gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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Our coach said she cannot compete the floor event this time, and cannot compete what so ever next time, so I was just wondering if this is typical. This is our first time competing, and not allowing her to compete in any event if she still has a mental block on one skill seems a little extreme in my opinion for an introduction to competitive gymnastics. I see other coaches spotting, allowing girls to use a mat, etc.
Some coaches are very strict about this. Most often the coach is using the "scratch" as a motivation factor - Basically pushing the gymnast past the block by forcing the issue. This works for some gymnasts but not for others. There are some gyms for whom it appears they don't want to ding their gym's reputation - Either the routines are ready to go or you don't compete. period.

Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do at this point if you have already discussed it with them and they are unwilling to budge. If it were my dd, I would not be willing to stay in that gym environment because I believe gymnasts will get their skills on their own timeline and the gym's responsibility to to work with the gymnast at the level they are currently at. If they need a spot, they need a spot. Or let them not do the skill (or in your case, let them pause between skills).
 

raenndrops

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Oct 24, 2009
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The 'Wood, Ohio
Our coach said she cannot compete the floor event this time, and cannot compete what so ever next time, so I was just wondering if this is typical. This is our first time competing, and not allowing her to compete in any event if she still has a mental block on one skill seems a little extreme in my opinion for an introduction to competitive gymnastics. I see other coaches spotting, allowing girls to use a mat, etc.
Different gyms (or even coaches in the same gym) can have different philosophies.
Do you have a team handbook and/or contract? If you do, I would look to see if it mentions the scratch policy. I know of a gym that has a strict policy about when they will make a gymnast scratch an event. If the gymnast is struggling with more than one skill in an event, she scratches that event. If she struggles with one skill on floor and one skill on another event, it is at the coach's discretion which event or events will be scratched.

But

We are a YMCA gymnastics team, and we only go against other YMCA teams in our area. What this means is that we can get our money back if we scratch the whole meet at least 3 days in advance. There are girls from the team mentioned above who will scratch the entire meet if they know they will have to scratch an event.

With regular gymnastics teams, I know they have to register for most meets far in advance. I also know that their meets cost a LOT more than our meets. This year we are supposed to have 5 regular meets ($20 per gymnast per meet), district championship meet ($35 per gymnast), regional/zone meet ($65ish), and YMCA Nationals ($100-120). That is a maximum of $320 IF the gymnast goes to ALL meets.
If I had paid $70 or more, I would NOT be happy if my gymnast was going to be FORCED to scratch by her coach when she could compete SAFELY.
 

raenndrops

Coach
Oct 24, 2009
6,804
The 'Wood, Ohio
Our coach said she cannot compete the floor event this time, and cannot compete what so ever next time, so I was just wondering if this is typical. This is our first time competing, and not allowing her to compete in any event if she still has a mental block on one skill seems a little extreme in my opinion for an introduction to competitive gymnastics. I see other coaches spotting, allowing girls to use a mat, etc.
Different gyms (or even coaches in the same gym) can have different philosophies.
Do you have a team handbook and/or contract? If you do, I would look to see if it mentions the scratch policy. I know of a gym that has a strict policy about when they will make a gymnast scratch an event. If the gymnast is struggling with more than one skill in an event, she scratches that event. If she struggles with one skill on floor and one skill on another event, it is at the coach's discretion which event or events will be scratched.

But

We are a YMCA gymnastics team, and we only go against other YMCA teams in our area. What this means is that we can get our money back if we scratch the whole meet at least 3 days in advance. There are girls from the team mentioned above who will scratch the entire meet if they know they will have to scratch an event.

We only pay $20/gymnast for regular meets. We don't have to pay a team fee. We also don't have spectator admission fees.
District Championships costs $35/gymnast. We don't have to pay a team fee. We also don't have spectator admission fees.
Regionals/Zone Meet costs $75/gymnast. We don't have to pay a team fee. There is a spectator admission fee of about $5 - $10. We don't ALWAYS go to Regionals. We went the year one of the teams in our district hosted and went last year because they weren't having Y Nationals.
YMCA Nationals costs $100 - $120/gymnast, depending on level. We don't have to pay a team fee. There is a spectator admission fee. There are multiple options including an all-access pass (Opening Ceremonies and ALL meet sessions), a pass that gives access to ALL meet sessions but not Opening Ceremonies, an Opening Ceremonies pass (and a single-day pass to meet sessions). Prices range from $85 for Adult All-Access pass down to $10 for a single-day pass.
This season, we will be paying $310 in meet fees IF we attend Regionals and Nationals.

With regular gymnastics teams, I know they have to register for most meets far in advance. I also know that their meets cost a LOT more than our meets. I know parents at some club gyms in our area that are paying a MINIMUM of $75 per meet. One of the parents said her daughter would have 8 meets.
If the meets were all ONLY $75, that is $600 in meet fees.

--> WARNING: I am a patient person, but I can be obstinate about things. <--
I know that if I was at a club gym and a coach told me that my gymnast "cannot compete what so ever next time," I would be demanding my meet fees back for that meet the coach was forcing her to scratch. When the coach said it is too late to get a refund, I would suggest that since it was the COACH's CHOICE to scratch her, the COACH can pay me. Oh yeah, I would also be getting my daughter out of that gym, even if the coach didn't kick us out.
 
Jan 23, 2022
4
41
Different gyms (or even coaches in the same gym) can have different philosophies.
Do you have a team handbook and/or contract? If you do, I would look to see if it mentions the scratch policy. I know of a gym that has a strict policy about when they will make a gymnast scratch an event. If the gymnast is struggling with more than one skill in an event, she scratches that event. If she struggles with one skill on floor and one skill on another event, it is at the coach's discretion which event or events will be scratched.

But

We are a YMCA gymnastics team, and we only go against other YMCA teams in our area. What this means is that we can get our money back if we scratch the whole meet at least 3 days in advance. There are girls from the team mentioned above who will scratch the entire meet if they know they will have to scratch an event.

With regular gymnastics teams, I know they have to register for most meets far in advance. I also know that their meets cost a LOT more than our meets. This year we are supposed to have 5 regular meets ($20 per gymnast per meet), district championship meet ($35 per gymnast), regional/zone meet ($65ish), and YMCA Nationals ($100-120). That is a maximum of $320 IF the gymnast goes to ALL meets.
If I had paid $70 or more, I would NOT be happy if my gymnast was going to be FORCED to scratch by her coach when she could compete SAFELY.
We are paying roughly $5000 for the year (practice, meet fees, coaches fees, uniform, etc.). She came in 4th in the all around two weeks ago, got a 9.3 on vault, 9.25 on bars, 8.5 on floor. She has been consistently doing th roundoff backhand spring, but was inconsistent the three practices leading up to the meet. The gym policy is to not let her compete AT ALL, not just scratch one meet. No refunds. During practice, if she doesn’t throw it, they make her do push ups in front of her teammates. I’m just trying to get a sense of this is common with other gyms, or fairly unique to our gym. I don’t want to switch gyms if this is typical most places. My daughter LOVES gymnastics, but im afraid this will start to kill her spirit. I can’t pay this kind of money if she can’t even compete (something SHE has her heart set on, like most gymnasts).
 
Jan 23, 2022
4
41
We are paying roughly $5000 for the year (practice, meet fees, coaches fees, uniform, etc.). She came in 4th in the all around two weeks ago, got a 9.3 on vault, 9.25 on bars, 8.5 on floor. She has been consistently doing th roundoff backhand spring, but was inconsistent the three practices leading up to the meet. The gym policy is to not let her compete AT ALL, not just scratch one meet. No refunds. During practice, if she doesn’t throw it, they make her do push ups in front of her teammates. I’m just trying to get a sense of this is common with other gyms, or fairly unique to our gym. I don’t want to switch gyms if this is typical most places. My daughter LOVES gymnastics, but im afraid this will start to kill her spirit. I can’t pay this kind of money if she can’t even compete (something SHE has her heart set on, like most gymnasts).
Sorry, I meant she can’t compete at all for that meet, not just scratch one event
 

Carly

Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
318
I can understand why they might not want her to compete floor if getting a low score would lower her confidence, cause anxiety or be dangerous. However, if she has the skills for the other events, there is no reason for her to not be able to compete them. The threat to not be able to compete at all will most likely just make things worst.
Mental blocks are not overcome by threats. They are worsened by it because it makes the child even more anxious about needing to get the skill. I know this because my dd was given a deadline at one point and didn't get the skill. The night before the practice deadline she told us that she wanted to quit. It's a long story but she didn't end up quitting. However, she switched to Xcel and is no longer at that gym.
 

Carly

Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
318
We are paying roughly $5000 for the year (practice, meet fees, coaches fees, uniform, etc.). She came in 4th in the all around two weeks ago, got a 9.3 on vault, 9.25 on bars, 8.5 on floor. She has been consistently doing th roundoff backhand spring, but was inconsistent the three practices leading up to the meet. The gym policy is to not let her compete AT ALL, not just scratch one meet. No refunds. During practice, if she doesn’t throw it, they make her do push ups in front of her teammates. I’m just trying to get a sense of this is common with other gyms, or fairly unique to our gym. I don’t want to switch gyms if this is typical most places. My daughter LOVES gymnastics, but im afraid this will start to kill her spirit. I can’t pay this kind of money if she can’t even compete (something SHE has her heart set on, like most gymnasts).
Making her do push ups if she won't go for the skill is awful! That is just going to make it so much worse. Mental injuries are tough and no amount of bullying her will help. She needs positive encouragement. Would you be ok with a teacher humiliating your daughter in front of classmates for a poor grade? If not, why should it be ok for the gym to do it? This is definitely not typical of gyms. My dd and other girls in her old and current gyms are never punished for not going for a skill. The one coach who gave my dd the deadline (see my above post) thought he was being helpful to motivate her but it backfired and I didn't realize that would happen at the time. It was her first skill issue after 4 years on team.

I'm sorry that you and your daughter are going through this and I hope that you can get it resolved soon before it gets worse.
 

Mish

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Aug 15, 2015
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Doing pushups to punish her for not throwing a skill she has a block on has nothing to do with helping her to get the skill and everything to do with creating more fear.
That being said, gyms have their own rules for when athletes can scratch. I would be more concerned with the tactics they are using to help her get past her block.
 

NutterButter

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Jan 24, 2013
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I'm sorry your DD is struggling with a skill right now. Mental blocks are so frustrating. My DD struggled with them on something almost every year starting when she first started out as a Silver but she was able to reach L9 and is now a D3 athlete.

I think it's reasonable to expect that your DD would be scratched on floor only - scratching the entire meet is punitive. Was she still allowed to be on the floor with her teammates? The pushups for not doing a skill is also punitive and this coaching style/environment would not have been healthy for my DD (the only exception might be if this was a contest w/girls working in groups ie, the group with the fewest pushups at the end of the week "wins").

As far as letting her compete floor - in your DDs case there's really no reason for her to compete w/o that tumbling pass. Sounds like her past scores this season would have qualified her for state so she's got time to work back from the block. My DD's gym would sometimes allow someone to compete a routine that is missing elements in order to get a state-qualifying score but this wasn't done very often for compulsory. Also, an 80% probability of chucking the skill in competition is not good enough. What if she balked and hurt herself? If your DD had been allowed to compete floor, at best she would have gotten a score far beneath what she has done previously at worst she could be injured...just not worth it.
 
D

Deleted member 26368

My DD has a block on her ROBHS, and it's frustrating knowing that your kid wants to be able to do something that their brain just won't "allow". Punishment is not going to help. I can't say your gym's tactics are typical, but I have heard of coaches/gym's that behave in a similar manner. I would advise talking to the coaches about a plan to help your DD that does not involve punishment. If they are not willing to change, then it might be time for a gym change.

Note: I'm kind of talking to myself in this response. As far as I know, my DD hasn't been punished for her ROBHS issues, but I'm concerned about the coaches' long-term plan to help her work through it. I think a discussion will be in order at the end of the competition season.
 

Tigtimes

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May 12, 2015
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is it common practice - that is gym dependent. I would ask around a bit if you can of more seasoned parents to see if is common to scratch all events . Are you in a competitive area/region with a lot of gyms?

Personally I have seen that this kind of negative motivation approach serves little purpose and for the vast majority of kids will just make matters worse. As this is only level 3 I would be cautious of your gyms overall environment. Watch a practice and look around the gym. Are kids smiling or stressed. What you describe is a red flag in my opinion to the overall approach at your gym.

as many seasoned parents here will tell you, winning level 3 has little bearing on success as an optional gymnast.
 

gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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... During practice, if she doesn’t throw it, they make her do push ups in front of her teammates. I’m just trying to get a sense of this is common with other gyms, or fairly unique to our gym. I don’t want to switch gyms if this is typical most places. My daughter LOVES gymnastics, but im afraid this will start to kill her spirit. I can’t pay this kind of money if she can’t even compete (something SHE has her heart set on, like most gymnasts).
We have come across a few gyms that will scratch a gymnast for the whole meet due to one event. I would say that is not typical however. Usually an event will be scratched if the gymnast cannot compete it safely. It appears your gym is using this as punishment and that would not fly with me as a parent. Is the gym highly competitive? How about other gyms in your area? It may be more common in your particular area but across the country? no...
 
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