Moving to Level 9

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My dd is having a pretty good Region 8 - Level 8 season. She may or may not qualify for Level 8 regionals this weekend. It will be close. My question is should a gymnast who does not qualify for Level 8 regionals, move to level 9 the next season. I kinda of feel that qualifying to regionals should be a pre-requisite for moving to level 9. I believe she is capable of learning level 9 skills, but feel like she should be held back until she qualifies at level 8. Your thoughts are appreciated.

I don't think it should be an arbitrary rule that she qualify to regionals in order to move up. I'd say that her coaches should look at more criteria than just one meet score. Do they think she is ready to learn the new skills, for example and how she did in meets during the season. My dd qualified to regionals her 1st year at L8 but didn't move up because coach thought she wasn't ready. The next year she was injured late in the seasson and didn't go to state. Technically she didn't qualify but coach petitioned her in (would you count a petition as qualifying?) and she did well and did move to L9 that season so it seems to me there are lots of things that sould be considered in the decision to move up. Trust your coaches and remember the marathon.
I think it depends on lots of things. Such as just to name a few emotional maturity, skills and ability to gain them, confidence, poise.

I am not sure about needing to go to regionals sometimes the score is way out of reach for all but a few. Last year in region 4 where we are they set the score so high 36.5 they had to go all the way down to 34.6 or close to that to get enough girls to compete. This year it was lowered to 34. This is so funny because at level 7 in MN you need a 35 to even go to state but, at level 8 it is only 33.5. Things are purly number based.

My point is this sometimes scores are just to get a certain number of girls and that is how they are figured. This may not be good criteria for basing a move to the next level. I believe the move up score by USAG is probably lower than the regional score.

Just a few thoughts I have that doesnt make them right. Coaches know what they want and need. I would trust them on this if they are reliable.

Best wishes to your DD.
I'm with the others, I don't think that qualification to regionals should be the only criteria for moving on to Level 9. Although, USAG states that you must score at least a 34 in Level 8 in order to move on to Level 9. Depending on your region and age group, the qualifying score could be quite high.

In my opinion, the move between Level 8 and Level 9 is the greatest leap for the gymnasts. In particular, the level of difficulty on bars increases dramatically.

If this were my daughter, I would hope that the coaches would coach her as if she were moving to Level 9 next year; but would keep the Level 8 option open. So many things can happen between Regionals and next never know!

Good luck!
Qualifying to regionals varies alot from region to region and even state to state. To all of you in Region 4, my gymmie would like to move there yesterday since a 34 AA is quite doable for her. In our region, she may have to be in the mid 36s(will be tough) to make it to regionals while girls in a neigboring state that have VERY few L8s only need to go to their state meet to be sent on to regionals. Then there is the whole breakout depending on age group. I know from looking at L8 state results for the last few years, the older girls(14 and up) have gone to regionals with AA scores 1-1.5 points lower than the 11 and 12yos.

It is simply a number game and also just 1 meet. Kid could have nagging injuries, not feel 100%(cold whatever) and just not do well enough to get to regionals. As others have said alot goes into decisions to move a gymnast up. Many girls do 2 years at L9. We have a girl in our gym who made it to western sectionals as a 1st yr L9 last year. Had a respectable meet, but decided not to push to L10. Doing another year as a 9 and has really improved.

Sounds like you'll have alot to talk about with the coach after the season.
Another thing to consider in moving from 8 to 9 this coming season is the rule changes that are going into affect the upcoming season.

For my dd, it would probably have been a certainty that she would of done 8 again next yr, but now with the rule changes there is a good chance that she will go to 9.

All of this is if she stays healthy and what not.

I guess I am just saying this because it may be a factor this yr with your dd's coaches too.
Take into consideration the gymnast that has a great season leading up to regionals and then has, say a fall on beam, and fails to qualify to regionals, should she stay back based on that one meet? Just a thought!
I also agree with the previous posters. The decision to move to a level shouldn't be based on one meet.

There are going to be changes in the code for next year. Based on what skills your DD is doing this year in Level 8 She might already have the majority of her L9 skills

My DD is one of those Lucky Region 4 girls that could get into Regions because of a low state score... Believe me that is not going to be her basis of whether or not she goes to L9...

Good luck to your daughter!!!
Just one opinion, would base the move based upon the coach's recommendation, gym's "philosophy", and your daughter's goal. If it is important to your DD to have a phenomenal season versus a challenging and maybe lower scoring one (and the move from 8 to 9 is challenging even for the accomplished level 8 gymnast at least from a lay perspective) then yes repeat 8. Is being with her teammates in a certain level and having a strong team that wins alot important? If most of the level 8 team is repeating and she doesn't, is that OK for her or vice versa? Will she train level 9 skills throughout the season if she repeats or be locked into routines during the 4-5 months or so of competition season and maybe get bored? Level 8 does restrict more difficulty.

My DD is nearing the end of competitive gymnastics. Her coach said she could repeat 8 again and do really really well (she didn't qualify for regionals level 8 ) or go the tougher route and recognize she wouldn't score well but make it to level 9. She chose the latter path and it has been very tough (because her level 8 season was not that strong) but she worked 110%, mastered some difficult skills, managed to get some decent scores, qualified to state, achieved the USAG level 10 mobility score even though she will not being going to level 10.
In my opinion, you can't really decide if she goes to level 9. The coach is the main decision. Of course if her coach gives your daughter a choice to do 8 or 9, then its her decision.

I'm a 2nd year level 8 and honestly if I was given the chance to move up to 9 for this season I would have. I don't really care if I score 37's and win... The challenge is more fun for me.
Another perspective...
I noticed that most people that responded are not in region 8 and they are all parents. I am a coach in region 8. I no longer coach the competitive teams at our gym, so I'm not up to date on the current scores needed, however, I did coach competitive teams in this region for several years. I also coached and grew up competing in 2 other regions. From these experiences and conversations with other coaches, I know that our region is one of the most difficult to qualify in. That's great for our gyms and our gymnastics programs. It means that we are keeping lots of gymnasts even into higher levels and it means that we keep a high standard for gymnastics. It also makes judging a gymnasts progression based on regional qualification difficult. As so many pointed out, the choice to move up a level really depends on the coaching philosophy, the gymnast's readiness for performing the harder skills repetitively and under pressure, and the gymnast's competitive maturity. I would recommend you to ask the coach your question. Find out what his/her competitive philosophy is and what benefits the coach sees for your gymnast.
i dont think you should have to make it regionals in level 8 in order to move up to 9
i was a first year level 8 last year and i didn't qualify to regionals but i moved up anyway and this year i have had my best season ever so i think it all depends on the person
There are a couple of ways to look at this. If a gymnast falls all over the place at state and doesn't qualify to regionals, then obviously you should look more at the season as a whole and at acquired skills. However, if the gymnast hits to her best ability and still doesn't make regionals, then will the same gymnast be competitive at the next level (especially one that tends to have a lot of repeaters)? Some girls can really upgrade and improve over the summer, but even though I had a successful L8 season, I was just buried beneath the 4th-5th year level 9s. Of course, that may not be a concern for many gymnasts, especially if they're older-- I convinced my coaches to move me to L9 my senior year. Even though I didn't make Easterns, I made it to regionals, actually placed 3 events and AA at state, got my L10 mobility score (although that goes hand-in-hand with making regionals), and, most importantly for me, was able to say that I was a level 9.

Next year, though, there will be a significant difference in the skill level between L8 and L9, so you may very well see a lot of gymnasts moving up who don't quite have competitive L9 routines. On the other hand, you might see a lot of really, really good L8s who wouldn't be competitive at L9. It will be interesting to see which way gyms choose to go with their "L8.5s". :)

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