WAG Event Specialist

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Proud Parent
May 15, 2012
I hear/see that a lot of girls do college gymnastics as "event specialists", where they only compete on one or two events, and I even see it in the Olympics...girls who only do 2-3, or even 1, event... I'm wondering at what level, what point, etc. that transition to an event specialist happens? Like does the gymnast eventually get to the point where they stop training the other events altogether, like not even at practice, or are they always "capable" of doing their non-specialist events, they just don't compete them at meets? Are there USAG rules around this event specialization? I never really hear about USAG girls who don't do all 4 events around me, but I guess w/ my daughter only being a L6, I don't have much exposure to the higher levels yet... Is event specialization something that really only starts at the college or Olympic level, and you have to be capable on all 4 events up to at least L10 so you can "make it" into the systems where you're able to specialize? Sorry if this is a silly question...I'm just trying to learn how things work ;)... Thanks.
I've never seen it in USAG. Yes, elites dont have to do all-around if they really struggle on one event. For example, Alicia Sacramone dropped bars, and when Nastia made her comeback, she only did beam and bars. Some elites have to drop events because on injuries, like Mack dropped everything except vault because of her toe.

However, I think there might be a thread out there about level ten event specialization...I am not sure.
You could technically specialize at any level. If a level 6 (any level) only does one event, she's not breaking any rules... The problem with that is that the gymnast would not be able to move up a level because she wouldn't have the all around score. In level 10 I believe you can make it up to regionals if you are a specialist. No nationals... Elites and College gymnasts can specialize as you know though.
I don't know all the rules, but I do know that you can specialize in JO starting at level 8 (I think there has been talk of level 7 specialists, but I've never seen it). I think each state and region can set some of their own standards, such as event scores that qualify to state and regional meets. For example, in our state, the level 8 event specialist score that has to be met at the state meet to qualify to the regional meet is an 8.75 for 2013. Girls are also limited to specializing in only two events. Not sure if that is a USAG rule or just something in our area. My daughter has thought about specializing because bars is such a struggle for her, but we aren't quite there yet.
DD's experience would answer your question with a yes and no. She was usag L10 for 2 years, and was considered by a number of colleges. However, every coach that contacted her wanted video of all 4 skills and some did not select her based on her vault which had a low start value. She ended up walking on at a D1 school and is now doing only 2 (sometimes 3) events, so it seems that they look at all 4 events but may select you based on just 2 or 3. Good luck!
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