WAG Level 5 vs. 6

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Proud Parent
Apr 21, 2020
Can someone point out some differences in level 5 vs. 6 besides the obvious 5 is compulsory and 6 optional? Are there skills needed for 6 that aren’t required for 5?
Additionally curious to hear if your gym competes 5, 6, or both and how they make determinations on placement between these levels.



ChalkBucket Founder
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Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
A good Level 5 athlete will fit into Level 6 no problem. You will see more handstands on bars at Level 6... some giants too.
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Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
Vault: front handspring (5), yurchenko to mat (6)
Beam: back walkover (5), bhs (6)
Floor: mostly same
Bars: flyaway from timers (5), cast handstand to flyaway (6)... higher cast or cast handstand in 6
Our gym competes every level. Level 5 is super important for our gym- sets up optional success and less repeat years in optionals.
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Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
At dd's gym, everyone competes 5. If they don't have or are not close to having the skills for 7 by the end of summer training, they will go to 6 instead of 7. DD never did 6 so I do not know how it compares to 5.
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Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
I think they are very similar but some kids just don't do as well in the compulsory levels and they may be better served going to Optionals a bit sooner. That was totally my kid. She scored ok in compulsory. Level 5 is judged pretty harshly and she would have struggled and it would have killed her confidence. She skipped 5 and has moved up in optionals every year since with no issues and were it not for a back injury she'd be a strong level 9 this year (as is probably repeating level 8). You will hear on here a lot that level 5 is "needed" for strong optionals and that really isnt the case for every kid. Some thrive with the extra structure (level 5) and some do better with more options for skill requirements (level 6).


Proud Parent
May 6, 2020
Our gym used to allow some girls to score out of level 5 but has moved away from that, and girls coming through the system do both now. Level 6 girls are working on getting their casts up to handstand, plus they need giants for level 7, so repeating level 6 is not uncommon either.


Proud Parent
May 25, 2012
Our gym used to compete 5, and then go to 7. Then a few years ago they decided they were going to skip 5 and have girls compete 6 instead. This year they are getting rid of 6, and having a level 5 team again. Sooo who knows.

Vault is FHS vs a FHS/tusk/yurchenko timer to a mat. Not sure which is “harder”

Bars - I’d argue level 5 bars has more skills and could almost be more difficult. Otherwise, fairly similar.

Beam - very similar except 6 requires a flight OR series and 5 just has a backwalkover, front walkover, back extension or bhs + cartwheel. Again, more skills in 5

Floor - pretty much the same.

A good level 5 will arguably score better at 6.


Oct 24, 2009
The 'Wood, Ohio
We compete both levels. However, if a Level 5 girl is on the middle school team (which ends its season before our season starts), her middle school routines will be set for Level 6/Xcel Platinum. She would compete for 2 meets at level 5 to score out and then she can choose to move to Level 6 ... or if she doesn't get the score out at the first meet, she can choose to go to Platinum or stay in 5 until she scores out twice or just stay in Level 5.


Proud Parent
Sep 1, 2020
We are in L5/6 now.

Vault: front handspring (5), yurchenko to mat (6) YEP
Beam: back walkover (5), bhs (6).... BHS is allowed in L5 as is FWO, BWO. (DD is competing BHS). so basically the same except 180*vs 150*on leaps/jumps
Floor: mostly same - YEP except 180*vs 150* on leaps/jumps
Bars: flyaway from timers (5), cast handstand to flyaway (6)... higher cast or cast handstand in 6. Higher cast in 6 for sure.


Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
Level 5 is scored hard. Defining hard scoring- lower scores than expec based on previous levels. What ever that number is for a gym

That shouldn’t be confused with struggling .

My experience is kids get to where they need to get no matter the path. My kid did 5, 6, then 7. Some of the kids she did 5 with skipped 6 but then did 2 yrs of 7 At which point they were all back together. She out scored most of them. As they moved to 8 same situation.