When the NLC first started, they named certain meets as qualifiers. Back then, all level 10s were in the running to qualify. They would say they the top 2 seniors and the top 2 juniors out of all level 10s in every session would go to the NLC. If there was more than 1 session of level 10s, everyone would wait until all sessions were complete to see who had come out on top and qualified. It was pretty exciting!
Then, a few years in, it became where the coach would choose 1-4 gymnasts to be designated as trying to qualify to the NLC. They competed in a special level 10 session, the “Premier” session. Only those designated would be in that session and allowed to qualify. It was such a crushing blow to my daughter, when she wasn’t chosen (there were only a few level 10s at her gym, and she had qualified to Easterns in level 9), since the years before she was just as much in the running to qualify. I‘ve seen many non-designated level 10s score better in their sessions than the ones in the premier session with the same judges, but it doesn’t matter because they weren’t designated ahead of time. I liked the old way better, where all the 10s had an equal chance.