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Flippinmom

Proud Parent
Mar 11, 2022
33
Hi everyone! New member and gym mom here, and I’m so grateful to have found this site. My daughter qualified for the State Meet (she’s XCEL Bronze) and I was just wondering how it differs from other meets. Is it just a larger group of kids so tougher competition? Do they still separate by age groups for awards like other meets? Is the judging tougher? Does it depend on the State? So many questions lol, I’d appreciate any insight you all may have
 
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skschlag

Staff member
Gold Membership
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Jul 19, 2011
11,226
Region 9
It can be bigger. THere are still age groups just like other meets. Judging...depends. Sometimes state meets are slightly easier than other meets. State meets are just a fun, exciting meet, and a great way to end the season!
 

Coach Kate

Coach
Fan
Oct 13, 2021
199
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This is just the opinion of the coaches and owners at the gym I work at, but at least in our state, we find that it's 1) too easy to qualify and 2) the age groups are too small. To be a state champion, you typically only have to beat about 15 other kids. Now, we do see teams that we don't typically see very often, as the east and west side of our state is very spread out, so there are more teams represented, so there's that. We still celebrate our kids and get excited for them when they win a state title, but we wish the qualifying score were higher (we have actually talked about making the standard higher for just our gym, since we could control that more easily than the entire state) and that the age groups were larger so it would feel more competitive. Another option we think would be cool, is if they did "ultimate champion" or something - highest score in each event and AA across all age groups, like they do in beauty pageants.

Oh, and in our state at least, the kids compete by age groups, so full teams aren't together at all, which for some of our kids, feels like kind of a let down, to compete with just a handful of their teammates, or sometimes none!

We have also found that scores can be higher at state, which is fun for the kids. On the flip side, we have also found that judges are pickier at the end of the season about series connections and awarding credit for things like vertical handstands and horizontal casts. We've had kids do the same or very similar to how they've been doing it all season and then only not get credit at state.

As a bronze, though, it should just be fun for your daughter. End of her first year! We usually have kind of a fun week of practice after state, too, and then we work out way into more conditioning and up training, which is also a fun time of the year.
 

PreciousJ

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Feb 16, 2021
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This is just the opinion of the coaches and owners at the gym I work at, but at least in our state, we find that it's 1) too easy to qualify and 2) the age groups are too small. To be a state champion, you typically only have to beat about 15 other kids. Now, we do see teams that we don't typically see very often, as the east and west side of our state is very spread out, so there are more teams represented, so there's that. We still celebrate our kids and get excited for them when they win a state title, but we wish the qualifying score were higher (we have actually talked about making the standard higher for just our gym, since we could control that more easily than the entire state) and that the age groups were larger so it would feel more competitive. Another option we think would be cool, is if they did "ultimate champion" or something - highest score in each event and AA across all age groups, like they do in beauty pageants.

Oh, and in our state at least, the kids compete by age groups, so full teams aren't together at all, which for some of our kids, feels like kind of a let down, to compete with just a handful of their teammates, or sometimes none!

We have also found that scores can be higher at state, which is fun for the kids. On the flip side, we have also found that judges are pickier at the end of the season about series connections and awarding credit for things like vertical handstands and horizontal casts. We've had kids do the same or very similar to how they've been doing it all season and then only not get credit at state.

As a bronze, though, it should just be fun for your daughter. End of her first year! We usually have kind of a fun week of practice after state, too, and then we work out way into more conditioning and up training, which is also a fun time of the year.
This is so helpful! As a parent, I even think that the qualifying score is too low, but as you mentioned, it would be hard to change that at the state level. I'm also worried about DD's team being split up by the narrow age groups. They're used to competing together, so I agree it will take a lot of the excitement out of the event.
 

BusyMomof2

Member
Feb 2, 2022
62
44
This is so interesting! Our daughter is also attending her first state meet, Xcel Silver, and I just assumed it would be tough...good to know that it will be a fun time for her. She's SO excited. :)
 

LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
1) too easy to qualify

I agree I think I lot of the qualifying scores are a little too low. In Level 6 it is a 32. In our state you could probably have a 9.0 start value on bars, fall twice on beam and still manage to get a 32 between the 6-7 meets we have to qualify. I do not want to exclude anyone from state meet- but it seems like the excitement of qualifying has kind of been lost. I think pretty much everyone in our state has qualified. Plus, if you're the 1 kid that doesn't get to go with their team for state, wouldn't that make you feel awful?

Our gym is requiring a 35 at one of the meets, including state, to go to regionals. (It's Level 6, so regionals is a normal invitational meet.) I think this is a reasonable requirement. I think a 35 would be too high as what you need to qualify for state, though. A 33 or 34 would be good.
 

Flippinmom

Proud Parent
Mar 11, 2022
33
This is just the opinion of the coaches and owners at the gym I work at, but at least in our state, we find that it's 1) too easy to qualify and 2) the age groups are too small. To be a state champion, you typically only have to beat about 15 other kids. Now, we do see teams that we don't typically see very often, as the east and west side of our state is very spread out, so there are more teams represented, so there's that. We still celebrate our kids and get excited for them when they win a state title, but we wish the qualifying score were higher (we have actually talked about making the standard higher for just our gym, since we could control that more easily than the entire state) and that the age groups were larger so it would feel more competitive. Another option we think would be cool, is if they did "ultimate champion" or something - highest score in each event and AA across all age groups, like they do in beauty pageants.

Oh, and in our state at least, the kids compete by age groups, so full teams aren't together at all, which for some of our kids, feels like kind of a let down, to compete with just a handful of their teammates, or sometimes none!

We have also found that scores can be higher at state, which is fun for the kids. On the flip side, we have also found that judges are pickier at the end of the season about series connections and awarding credit for things like vertical handstands and horizontal casts. We've had kids do the same or very similar to how they've been doing it all season and then only not get credit at state.

As a bronze, though, it should just be fun for your daughter. End of her first year! We usually have kind of a fun week of practice after state, too, and then we work out way into more conditioning and up training, which is also a fun time of the year.
Thank you for this super detailed and informative response! I do think it would take away from the excitement if the girls don’t get to compete with their teammates, curious to see how that will go, they usually hype each other up the entire time.

I can definitely understand the opinions that the qualifying score may be too low for the state meet to feel truly competitive. I didn’t realize it before this thread, but apparently our gym has their own qualifying score in place (36, I believe).

Happy to hear it’s a fun meet and a great way to end the season, she has worked so hard and has come a loooong way in these few months. Thanks to everyone for their replies, I love hearing the different viewpoints and experiences
 

Coach Kate

Coach
Fan
Oct 13, 2021
199
31
I will just give an example from our silver group last year as far as the age groups go, since there seems to be a lot of interest in that one.

There were 4 sessions of silver and the ages on our team ranged from 8-14. In the first session, we had 7 girls. In the second and third sessions, just two in each. And then we had 6 in the last session. So it can vary widely.
 
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LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
Age groups...
I think they've gotten a bit silly, personally, and not just at state. I'm supportive of some age divisions. E.G. an 8-10 year olds, 11-13 year olds, 14+. But it has gotten to the point that
A) they give everyone a medal in AA based on age group. I honestly would rather not get a medal than stand in "10th" place.
B) There are 5-8 age groups per session, with around 50 or so kids.
C) Kids 2-4 months older/younger than me are in a different age group.
 

LadyJ

Proud Parent
Feb 18, 2022
14
Age groups...
I think they've gotten a bit silly, personally, and not just at state. I'm supportive of some age divisions. E.G. an 8-10 year olds, 11-13 year olds, 14+. But it has gotten to the point that
A) they give everyone a medal in AA based on age group. I honestly would rather not get a medal than stand in "10th" place.
B) There are 5-8 age groups per session, with around 50 or so kids.
C) Kids 2-4 months older/younger than me are in a different age group.

Genuine question: What would you prefer?

There has to be a cutoff somewhere, and it's impossible to make everyone happy. At the last meet my daughter was 7th AA, but had she been in the next highest age group, she would have been 3rd with the same score. It has gone the other way too. So be it.
 

ProudGymnast

Gymnast
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
125
Genuine question: What would you prefer?

There has to be a cutoff somewhere, and it's impossible to make everyone happy. At the last meet my daughter was 7th AA, but had she been in the next highest age group, she would have been 3rd with the same score. It has gone the other way too. So be it.
I know you didn't ask me, but here's my thoughts on this.

I think everyone has had an unfortunate casualty due to age groups at some point, but probably also benefited from it. Which is why I understand why gyms give out medals through sometimes even 10th place, because you could be in x age group get say, a 36.5, and place 8th but then if you were in y age group you would have been 3rd.

The problem is when you fall on beam three times and would rather be anywhere than accepting a medal you feel like you don't deserve. Or when you place in the AA with only scratch-ers behind you and its embarrassing.

But also on the flip side is when you are in level 2 and it's exciting to get *any* medal after a rough season, it could be gold or 6th place and it doesn't make a difference.
 

Lucia

Proud Parent
Fan
Jun 6, 2019
109
My level 4 daughter has her first states coming up, and she’s the only one in her age group from her gym. She’s very new to competing so I was initially worried about how she’d handle being without other team mates. Then her coach told her how excited she is to have this experience with her and that helped her reframe it. I’ve also framed this first season as a learning opportunity...learning how to compete, learning how to be resilient if you make a mistake, even learning how to prepare the morning of and how to do meet hair So we are approaching state as another learning opportunity...this time to be with girls from other gyms you haven’t met before. I think this has helped her.
 

Greatlakesmom

Proud Parent
Aug 6, 2018
103
My DD is in the same boat. Just got the state schedule today and she is the only one from her gym in her session. She is very bummed about it. But it is also a great opportunity to have one on one time with her coach. And she likes the time of day that she starts. She will be done for the day and then can stay and watch the rest of her teammates compete in the next two sessions. Her sister has been at a state meet and regionals meet all by herself. And has done very well both times. I think she was more focused being alone.
 

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
448
USA
My DD is in the same boat. Just got the state schedule today and she is the only one from her gym in her session. She is very bummed about it. But it is also a great opportunity to have one on one time with her coach. And she likes the time of day that she starts. She will be done for the day and then can stay and watch the rest of her teammates compete in the next two sessions. Her sister has been at a state meet and regionals meet all by herself. And has done very well both times. I think she was more focused being alone.
I appreciate this perspective. We don't know our meet schedule yet, but I'm nervous about DD being the only one from her team in an age group. This helps me feel better about it!
 
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Dahlia

Proud Parent
Sep 27, 2013
337
Pre-covid Dd always had other girls in her session at state, but it was few enough they'd rotate with another gym. Most non-state meets her gym was the only one in their rotation. She always liked meeting the other gymnasts and chatting between events. And she'd even cheer them on. It can be fun to not have your whole team there at the same time!
 

TumbleTimes4

Proud Parent
Sep 13, 2016
578
38
I do agree that the AA has gotten a little ridiculous. I’m not a proponent of “everyone gets a medal,” especially as you go up in levels. I think most of the older kids would rather not have a medal than to be announced in last place.

I do wish that they would raise the qualifying score to make it a bigger accomplishment, but I think there’s little chance of that happening since they would make less money if fewer kids qualified.
 

rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
308
39
This is so helpful! As a parent, I even think that the qualifying score is too low, but as you mentioned, it would be hard to change that at the state level. I'm also worried about DD's team being split up by the narrow age groups. They're used to competing together, so I agree it will take a lot of the excitement out of the event.
I think every optionals gymnast in our gym has qualified to state, besides a few who didn't compete AA this year.
 

Aussie_coach

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Gymnast
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
3,935
Wow! Our state championships are the opposite.

The divisions are huge. It’s common to have well over 100 gymnasts in compulsory divisions, and they will only give out to 6th place, the other 150 kids in the division will pay twice as much as they do for any other competition and not have anything to take home.

The judging is generally harsher than regular comps. If you win states here, you are very, very talented.
 
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