How long does it take to get to Level 4?

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I have a question. My 9 yr old daughter who has been cheering for 3 years wants to concentrate on gymnastics. She is very strong and flexible and has been picking up some of the skills on bars and beam pretty quickly since she has started taking classes within the last month. Generally, how long does it take kids to get to level 4 and start competing in the Mason Dixon League or the USGF? My daughter is very hard working and dedicated and is used to working about 9 hours in the gym for cheerleading so she is already physically fit. I guess I am looking for a general timeline to get a good idea of how long to expect before she can compete at Level 4. Her floor tumbling is pretty close to a Level 4 as we speak--she has her forward and backward rolls, cartwheel, round off, front and back walkovers, front handspring, punch front, back roll extension and she is working on her back handspring, back tuck and arabian. She is definitely a better front tumbler than back--she picks up the front tumbling so quickly and has good "air awareness" as her cheer tumble coaches have said.
Also, how many hours should I have her in the gym? And when they start competing at Level 4 are there different ages of kids for the competitions--for example, do Level 4 seven yr olds compete against Level 4 12 yr olds??
I am new to gymnastics, as you can see, so I have a lot of questions!!!
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Hi MD - welcome to gymnastics !!

Unfortunately I don't know of any specific time line to reach L4. I think it varies on the kid. It sounds like she has a lot of the skills - especially floor. That would be a question her gymnastic coach would be best able to answer.

As to breakdown at meets. I am in NC and we are USAG. they do breakdown the levels into age groups for awards. It is not always broken down the same, it seems to depend on how many that have entered in that level and the ages. My dd has been grouped in 5-7, only 7, 7&8 yr old depending on the meet, and # of girls at each age. my dd is only L3 but seems to be same with all the other levels. If there are only a couple 6 yr olds they might make a 6 & 7 age group or 6-8 instead of 6 alone.

Not sure I am much help.
I think that it totally depends on the child. My DD didn't know how to do much (even after a little over a year in gymnastics in pre-school type programs) when we came to her current gym in September. In October she moved to a preteam/developmental class which is 3 hours a week and she will be moving to L4 in April, May or June (they are wanting to move all 5 girls that are ready at same time if possible to keep them together, so it depends on how they all do at evals each month). Now, she is only 5 1/2, and had no prior experience, so your DD definitely has the upper edge. My DD will be 6 in July and if she keeps going, will have her first competition in September of this year.

So, I would imagine that with hard work, if their season starts in September, your DD could be ready. But I am not a coach of course.

Is she on some kind of pre-team or something already?

As for age breakdowns, I am in AZ, but our last L4 meet, we had these age groups: 6-8, 9-10 and 11+. I think in any program in a bigger town/city, they will have age breakdowns of at least that.

Good luck!
Thanks ladies for the replies! She is finishing up cheer this month and then her gymnastics coach wants to put her on the pre pre-team which practices for about 2 hrs a week. She said that she would probably move out of that group very quickly and then she could be moved up to the pre-team that practices about 6 hrs a week. My daughter will be doing a spring break all day camp all next week at the gymnastics gym, so I am sure that will give her coach a good idea of where she is skillwise and how quickly she can progress.
I'll keep you all posted!
Thanks again!
PS--what does dd mean?? I keep seeing it over and over and I am assuming that it means daughter but I am not sure. I'm a little slow!!!
I'm no expert on L4 but I do know that DD means "darling daughter". You'll also see DS (darling son) and DH (darling husband). :)
I had this long reply typed out and we lost power (at work) so here's a short answer :)

Amount of time till your DD's ready to compete L4 definitely depends on the child, but sounds like she has a great start on floor, with her tumbling skills. She won't need all of them for L4. Learning the routines themselves do not take very long, but she will also need to learn the skills for the other 3 events.

As for age breakdowns, it depends on # gymnasts competing and size of the meet. At invitationals, your DD might be in a 9-10 group, but at a State meet, that would be further broken down to 9 Jr, 9 Sr, 10 Jr, 10 Sr.
LOL, yes the online abbreviations can be mind boggling. :D DD is usually dear daughter or darling daughter (my preference). many use it instead of using their kids names and quicker. as is DH, DW for hubby and wife references.

there are some unique to this website as well. RO (round off) BHS (back handspring), etc. and fx (floor) BB (balance beam), etc.

welcome and it sounds like they are going to work with her and move her up as she needs to, which is great! good luck to her!
As to when she will be ready to compete level 4, that depends on her coach and how quickly your DD picks up the skills needed for bars, beam and vault.
Age levels can vary greatly from state to state, even from meet to meet. We've been to meets that had each age competing against that age.....for example, the age levels were 6, 7, 8, 9. We've been to meets that have had so many competitors that the age levels were even more defined such as young 9, mid 9 and old 9. And for really small meets we've seen 10 and under, 11 and over. Some meets are birthdate ranges. It depends on the size of the meet usually.
Maybe depends on the gym? We had a couple older girls join our gym from another one. They were pushed right thru L4 season into L5 so they would be with more girls their own age. A couple of them picked up skills so quickly they will probably go to L6 right away. One girl was also a cheerleader with nice tumbling skills. Floor is her best event. Our gym is pretty small though and doesn't have "rules" about staying in one level for either certain amount of time or certain scores. We only have a pre-team with girls ages 4-6 on it so "new" older girls usually are tested and either go to the L4 team or our JOGA team to try it our first. I know at our state meet there were quite a large number of 9 year olds, but the biggest group was the 8's so your DD is by no means too old yet if she wanted to start! Good Luck!
As everyone has stated it all depends on the child. I know there are girls that are on team at our gym that had started in the regular classes and never was on Pre-team that are Level 4. I would talk to the coaches and see what they think. Sounds like she is advanced on the floor for sure.

What is the Mason Dixon? I haven't heard about it before.
Thanks Everyone! The Mason Dixon League is a Maryland based thing, I think. My DD is in a Spring Break camp at the gym this week and her coach is already teaching her some Level 4 skills on the events. There are only about 4 or 5 kids in the camp so far this week, so she gets a lot of individual attention which is a great benefit to her at this stage! Her coach says that she is progressing rather quickly just for a few days and is hoping that she can be competition ready for Level 4 by December. She has a lot of work to do, but she is a very hard worker and loves it so far.
We'll see how she does over the summer. She's very excited to say the least!!

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