WAG Talk to me about Vault Table height

CuriousCate

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I'm just curious and trying to learn the mechanics of this. My YDD is a newly minted 9 year old who is definitely on the small side. Her gym tests out of level 4, competes Gold, tests out of 5, and competes 6. Her new vault coach just had her move her front handspring vault from a 105 setting to a 110 and and said that her vault looks much better at the higher setting (which is great, because it has been her Achilles heal with scoring this season). She said the goal was to move her to a 115 by the level 5 test out meet this summer. My only frame of reference is my ODD who has always been taller at any given age than my YDD, so the higher table setting made sense to me.

I always assumed that table height was related to height of the child, but now I see that I am clearly wrong. How does one determine the ideal table height? Is there a minimum for level 5?

How would a small child end up with a better block off of a higher table than lower? I'm not an engineer, nor do I have a great understanding of gymnastics (if you can't tell!) but mechanically, I don't get it and am super curious!
 

MuggleMom

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I don't have good technical answers for you but anecdotally, my daughter did better on the higher vault table for level 4 because she really had to commit and go for it to make it over. In committing to it she ran harder got better flight and block. When it was lower she didn't seem to run as hard or have as much power. She was not a good vaulter at levels 3/4 done really well at level 7 and her coach says she has one of the better flipping vaults as she prepares for level 8 so go figure.
 
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FlippinPrincess

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Definitely not going to be able to explain the mechanics, but I have definitely learned that the child's height alone does not determine table height. From my experience, it seems to be determined by the child's run (fast or slow), the way they hit the springboard and their block off the table. Our current level 4 team is vaulting at 3 different heights. The most powerful vaulters in the group vault at the higher setting and the table is moved higher as the girls improve. Vault has always been my daughter's strongest event and she is the smallest with the shortest run but vaults at the highest setting on the team.

I do not believe there is a required table height until optionals.
 
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ProudGymnast

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To explain it simply, when I was competing level 4 and I was a short 9 year old, I just came into the vault with my chest up high, instead of reaching at an angle. If I had the vault to low and I came into the vault to high I would just kind of thunk onto the vault and stay there no matter how hard I blocked, and get off the table late. Height does have some effect on how high you come in, but some people just tend to reach higher than others which means the vault needs to be higher. I'm not sure if this makes any sense, but oh well.
 
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PeanutsMom

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My daughter competed level 4 at 9, level 5 at 10, level 6 at 11, and level 7 this year. Her coach did not let the girls vault on anything lower than 115 started in level 5.The reason was that for Optionals they would need to be able to vault at a higher table setting and they needed to start preparing for that earlier rather than later. My daughter was 4'3" and 50 pounds at age 9. As a 12 year old, she is now 4'8 and 80 pounds. At States this year, she was doing her Yurchenko timer and really barely touched the table at 120. Her coaches are moving the table up to 125 for her to start flipping her vault (yeah for progress towards level 8). Her power has definitely improved and she has to run a lot harder when the table is higher.
 
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JBS

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Just like we have only 2 settings that our club uses on bars... we have only 3 that we use on vault for training. These are 105 cm... 115 cm... 125 cm.

We get them to 125 cm as soon as feasible. At a meet... optionals will always compete at their height... compulsories will go at whatever height will get them the best score. Many times I will raise or drop by 5 cm for the second front handspring.

Now level 6/7... that's just a game... we move the table... we move the mats... and we change vaults from Yurchenko to Tsuk timer based on how the judges seem to be scoring that day.
 

cogymmom2dd

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My DD1 vaults at one of the highest settings and always has since she was introduced to the vault table, I think 120 or 125 is where she has been for awhile. It was always confusing to see them raise the table for her when she was smaller because there were taller/heavier girls at lower heights but the coaches told me just what everyone else has said. It’s not necessarily proportional to height, the goal is to always get them to the higher settings sooner, especially if they have hopes of getting to the levels where flipping vaults come into play. She is super fast and has a lot of power behind her little body, so vault has always been one of her strong events. For reference, She is 54 inches and just surpassed 70lbs at age 11. She does her yurchenko entry on L7.
 

PeanutsMom

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Just like we have only 2 settings that our club uses on bars... we have only 3 that we use on vault for training. These are 105 cm... 115 cm... 125 cm.

We get them to 125 cm as soon as feasible. At a meet... optionals will always compete at their height... compulsories will go at whatever height will get them the best score. Many times I will raise or drop by 5 cm for the second front handspring.

Now level 6/7... that's just a game... we move the table... we move the mats... and we change vaults from Yurchenko to Tsuk timer based on how the judges seem to be scoring that day.
When we were in compulsory level 4 and 5, we, as parents, noticed that certain gyms just dominated the vault scores. ALL of their gymnasts competed on the lowest setting on the vault table.
 

JBS

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When we were in compulsory level 4 and 5, we, as parents, noticed that certain gyms just dominated the vault scores. ALL of their gymnasts competed on the lowest setting on the vault table.
There’s nothing wrong with that. We just won Level 5 in our state and all of our gymnasts vaulted at 125 cm.

Just depends on the athletes that you have at a particular meet as well as the judges.

Our team doesn’t really take the time to teach the “pencil” front handspring vault. It just doesn’t translate to optional vaulting. It does score higher though.
 

GYM0M

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Vault was always a struggle when my DD was in the compulsory levels. Never scored above an 8.5 for front handspring vault. I remember her crossing her fingers that the vault table went below 100 for her L4 North State/State meet, lol.
 

Dahlia

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When we were in compulsory level 4 and 5, we, as parents, noticed that certain gyms just dominated the vault scores. ALL of their gymnasts competed on the lowest setting on the vault table.
The highest scoring vaulter at our L4 state meet vaulted @ 120. Sometimes it's the coaching, not the table height.
 

pt coach

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When my daughter switched from level 8 to Diamond she decided that she was done with flipping vaults. She finished her career doing a handspring and vaulting at 135 with all available springs in the board. :)
 
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