Anon Why don't some gyms compete Level 5?

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Anonymous (1883)

I've noticed that some gyms in So Cal don't compete level 5 at all. (Wildfire and Azarian specifically). They will usually repeat an over-prepared Level 4 gymnast rather than compete them in 5, and then make the jump from 4-6 in the spring. It's usually successful strategy and gives them a lot of state champions in Level 4, and leads to a much smaller Level 5 field than 4 or 6.

From our experience Level 5 scoring and judging is very difficult and maybe they just don't want to see their gymnasts scoring in the 35-36's... when they could dominate repeating Level 4 and then if up-trained properly do well in 6 also. The downside is I do see a lot of young gymnasts struggling to make the jump from Level 4 bars to Level 6 bars though, so it's not always the best option for all gymnasts.
Level 5 and 6 are very close skill-wise, some might even argue that 6 is easier. After seeing our gym has go back and forth on what they do every few years(we either have a level 5 team or level 6, never both), I really don't think it matters in the long run for any gymnast that sticks with the sport.
The requirements for 5 and 6 are very similar to the point where many gyms do a score out meet for 5 and jump right into 6 where they can start doing personalized routines. Since 6 is not a required levels some gyms instead do 5 and skip to 7. If you search this site you will find many threads discussing 5 vs 6.

When talking with my DD and her teammates they all unanimously preferred to do 6 or another year of compulsories.
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