WAG Question for Coaches - Process for level move-ups?

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Oct 17, 2014
Hey everyone! As State meets are quickly approaching, our HC has called several team coaches meetings to talk about our summer schedule and practice groups. We have 4 team coaches (including me) and have girls from levels 3-9 on our team. As our gym is fairly new (but the best in the area), we are currently re-vamping our move-up process.

The past couple years we have let everyone (unless they didn't qualify to State, but all our girls have) up train the next level during summer. So for example, all our current level 4s will be in the level 5 group for summer. It DOES NOT mean they will necessarily move up, but it allows them to at least work on new skills. Last year, however, we let everyone who got ALL their next level skills by August move up. We really did not take into consideration their past season scores or anything else. This year we are trying to change the move up system. We want them to show us a good season/good scores at the previous level (possible a 9 on every event), good attendance (we have a couple kids who take several LONG vacations every summer- and then come back very weak), and all the new level skills by August.

I have heard from other gyms in the bigger cities that they HAVE to hit a 36 or 37 to be even eligible to move up, and I've read on here before that some coaches make them place in the top 10 at State....which seems a little extreme/ridiculous.

Coaches- What is your move-up process like after State meets?


Oct 24, 2009
The 'Wood, Ohio
Our move up process is:
After DISTRICTS (We don't go to a State meet) the girls CHOOSE what skills they want to work on (knowing that moving up means working on the next level's skills) for about 2 months. They are put into "Clubs" for these skills and work the proper progressions.
After 2 months (during which time, I am compiling all the data from the season and they are working on skills), HC sees who is SERIOUS about wanting to move up. She evaluates where they are at that point regarding the skills. Then there is a month and a half where the Clubs are narrowed... if a gymnast has the skill (including form), they are moved to a different Club to work on another skill (or they work clubs and alternate with routine practice for Y Nationals).
We have July off except for 2 weeks of Rec Summer Camp where the team girls can come in and work out for free / help as "junior camp counselors."
When we return in August, the girls have ONE WEEK to demonstrate that they have MOST of the skills for the next level and are close on any missing skills (can be missing 1 skill per event MAX). At that point, they are put into Level groups again... to work the skills and learn the routines... BUT the levels are not FIXED until October 1.
Also in August (which is part of why levels aren't decided until Oct 1), the Middle School team starts practicing. There are girls on our team that compete for the Middle School, then compete for us afterwards. Middle School uses modified Xcel Platinum Rules with High School Bonus (but has girls that actually follow Xcel Gold rules and take the SV hit just like in High School where they compete L8 rules even if they never competed above Xcel Gold or Platinum or Old L5). When the Middle School season is over, those girls can CHOOSE to switch to Xcel (or continue in it if they were already there) or go back to the JO level they were scheduled for. If they are JO L5, then, they can score out 2x and move to L6 using their Middle School routines with minor changes, if any.


Jul 5, 2007
The only that matters is the quality of execution of their skills and their current strength level. Don't see why anyone would drive themselves crazy wondering about anything else. By the way I have had kids scoring mid 9s on level 4 bars that got kips the same month as our first meet...but I knew they would get it and be able to connect the routine due to their ability to keep up with the training program...that is all that matters. Overall where their current skill set and maturity fit. Yes it hard to explain to the parents when they have all or most skills but the maturity or confidence level does not fit...but it has to be done.


Proud Parent
Sep 9, 2013
As a general rule, I compete kids at any given level when I expect that they can score at least a mid-upper 35+ at their first meet of the season (with the expectation that they will improve as the season progresses). After States, I allow them all to train for higher levels, but then apply the same criteria above to determine where to place them at the end of the summer. I do make exceptions based on the individual child.


Proud Parent
Sep 11, 2013
We must live in a very hard scoring area. I mean, I have realized as much after seeing the scores some talk of here, but let's just say that if one was required to have a 9 on each event, or to only compete a level if one could reasonably be expected to score a 35AA every meet, then only a couple of our kids would be moving up every year. Sure, our hot shots/best girls do score in those numbers but the vast majority of our girls don't, nor do most of the other teams' girls around here (we travel to all our meets, to more metropolitan areas, and generally our team places well, with our hot shots almost always winning or placing really, really high.... And our regular girls doing fairly well also) . I mean, our girls do not in any way stand out as super low scorers, I would say most girls score in the 8's with a few low 9's if they are really good. We do OK at States and regionals as well, so I think it's a regional thing. I just really have not seen the high 9's at ANY meet we have ever been to in this area. :)

Our moving up requirements are not score based. They are based on whether the gymnasts can (or is perceived to shortly be able to) do the required skills safely and sufficiently. Clearly not to the standards of some here, but it works for us. We are competitive and measure up OK against other teams (semi) locally and our coaches are very well trained and informed.
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