When my daughter was Gold she did 7 hours. As a Platinum it is 9. She has come up through the Xcel program doing one year at each level except Platinum. This is her second year on Platinum. She has placed well at State every year (always won at least one event and high AA) and placed well at Region 3 regionals (won an event in Gold, top 3 in Platinum and 4 medals at each Gold and Platinum). I’m only sharing placing to show that they can do well without high hours. She does have nearly perfect attendance and is a hard worker. Her whole team does well. They were 3rd at Regionals when she was Gold. I think great coaching and athletes who make the most of their time in the gym is key!