Parents Level hopping TQM

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This was posted in the coaches forum, and I just wanted to add...

I was surprised to find a very large gym in OH uses this method as well. They had an 8 yr old compete L5 in one session of a very big meet (she competed and won 1st AA against our L5's) and then in the same meet, different session she competed L6 (against our L6's) and scored out. Her parents said that was her 1st and last L6 meet... my guess was so that she could continue competing L5 and scoring in the 38's AA, while avoiding some of the tougher scores in 6. BTW, this little girl is a wonderful gymnast, but after watching her routines that were posted on You tube. I realized that bigger, more political gyms are handed scores based on reputation, not necessarily on how they execute their routines. A whole other topic lol.
I think this is a very interesting topic. I have wanted to post a thread on my opinions so here it goes.

I am sure we have all seen it, girls competing the same level for 2 or 3 years. Getting 37's and 38's.

I start to wonder what this does for a little girls self esteem. What happens when they move from a Level 5 who is getting mid 9's on everything to Level 6 where they might only get a 7 or 8?

Is the gym giving the gymnast the impression that they must be perfect? And what does that spill over to? Perfection in school? Looks? Life? Is that too much pressure on a little one?

I heard a story of a girl in one of these gyms having to do 50 Back walkovers in one night because she was bending a knee. Whether this is true or not I am not sure, but it seems likely.

Also, what does that do to the girls that are competing against these girls? Getting a 33.0 in an all around is a good score.. but against a 38? It can be demoralizing.

I also think you lose more gymnasts this way. You can lose the girl that is getting the 37's because she doesn’t feel challenged. And you can lose the girl getting 33's because she doesn’t think she is good enough.

I can totally understand not moving a girl up a level because they don’t have a skill. If it is a safety issue. But I am pretty sure that 90% of girls who are scoring 36's or 37's can safely do the skills in the next level (especially in compulsory levels). So, why not move them up?

It might be nice to see some sort of required move up score. If a gymnast gets a 37 they compete the next level in the next year.

I am would like to hear from other parents.... What do you think?

Thanks for listening!
My daughter started the season as a level 7,moved up to level 8,as she started being more consistened with her Level 8 skills.The coaches told us that there is a cutoff date,meaning if she would have not done well as Level 8 she could have moved back to Level 7 by a certain date.She is doing well,qualified for state at her first Level 8 meet and will stay at this Level.
I agree that somethign should be done. There are so many 2nd year L4s that my daughter competes againts. This last meet, 7 of 12 were 2nd years. Every score for everyone of the 7 was a 9+ on each event. My daughter got a 9.45 on vault but only got 6th place. she didn't even place on any other event. It wasn't a great meet for her but she could have scored a 36 and not made the all-around. She is disappointed but I am quick to point out the fact that 7 of them are second year. We see this all the time at meets here.

I don't know that there is a good answer, I am sure some of these girls may not have been able to do a skill requred for the next level....maybe they weren't taught those skills enough to even have that chance, I don't know. I wonder if they should split groups up by first-year and second year...
most of the girls in our gym do 2 yrs of L4, but not all.

I think some of it may have to do with the kip on bars that you need for L5, hard trick for lots of girls to get. I don't think ours are allowed to move up w/o it - but not sure.
In our state, AAU level 4 is divided into two groups (at least for the state meet; not sure about all others). If a gymnast has scored a 35 or better at even one meet, they must compete as "Experienced." Otherwise, they are considered "Novice."
I know that many gyms like to compete 2 yrs of the same level for many different reasons (some I agree with, some I do not), but I am addressing the issue of the gymnast being able to successfully compete 2 levels in one season, scoring well in both & then "staying" at the lower level just to have a high scoring season and to "win". The gymnast I referred to in my earlier post scored a near 38 in L5 in one session and won her level (she did do a lovely job) but then she competed L6 at the exact same meet the next day - her 1st level 6 and she scored close to a 36 aa. Clearly she is ready for the higher level and yet she is still finishing her season as a L5. This is not at all against the gymnast or her parents as they are limited to how their gym wants things to be, and this gymnast as I said is just wonderful - but this is highly unethical IMO on the part of the gym....

Here is the link to TQM's issue from the coaches forum for better clarification on my original post.

Link Removed
I think here in Virginia, you can do this as long as the meet in which you compete is not a sectional (for L4/L5). If you compete in a sectional at a level then you have to compete that level at State. I do agree that it is unfair to other girls to have these girls competing the lower level when they are fully capable of competing and scoring well at a higher level. The gym just wants their scores for purposes of winning State.

Hi again everyone!

As many of you have already stated, I DID find out that it's perfectly "legitimate" (hmmm... I REALLY DO NOT AGREE WITH THAT!) for a gymnast do compete any lower level they want, except if they've already competed at a Sectional or State meet. O.K. so it's following the "rules", but as many have already said here, it's really, really unfair. I believe it's also just plain old unethical.

These are NOT girls who have just qualified as L6's... these are girls who have been competing the ENTIRE season as L6's. And, I might add, they've been scoring very well as L6's. It's just really sad that their gym management sees fit to bump them back a level to compoete against a brand new gym, trying to hold their first meet, just so they can sweep the top spots. I've really lost any respect for this gym. I'm still hoping maybe it's all a paperwork error and they're really supposed to be competing as L6's.... I'll let ya'll know after Sunday.

And yes, I agree with EVERYONE that girls who've been competing more than 1 year at a given level (in the compulsories) SHOULD be somehow designated as such. I liked the poster's suggestion about "novice" or "experienced"! It IS demoralizing for the girls to score 33 or 34 (which are GREAT scores after learning all of these new skills)... while many other second year (or more) girls are scoring in the 37's and above. I just don't understand it (well, yes, actually I do, but it's not right).

I'm DESPERATELY TRYING not to be a bad sport about all of this, but I've just got just a bad taste in my mouth over this whole thing.

I'll keep ya'll posted!

I think that it would be a great idea to have the gymnasts designated as experienced or novice and have them compete against only their group. It truly is demoralizing for the first year girls who are competing against girls scoring way over 37 and sometimes even over 38. L, I hope the meet this weekend goes well for your dd and that these girls really DO compete L6. Keep us posted.


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