Lots of people have been asking about how old their dd has to be to compete various levels and does their age on the day of the meet count or their age on the day of the state meet count for this. So I thought I would copy across the info from USAG to make things clear.
There are minimum ages for each level in USAG. You have to have reached this minimum age to compete the level on the day of the meet.
Here is the table from USAG. The first column is the one to look at.
I. ENTRY REQUIREMENTS AND MOBILITY SCORESOVERVIEW LevelMinimum Age RequirementPre-requisite ScoresPrevious ExperienceSuggested Age DivisionsMobility Score to Advance to the Next LevelI–4L. 1&2 - Reached 4th birthday
L. 3 - Reached 5th birthday
L. 4 - Reached 6th birthdayNone Children: 4-5(L. 1&2 only); 5(L.3 only); 6-8;9-11
Junior/Senior: 12&upNone5Reached 7th birthday75% proficiency at Level 1-4 on Vault, Bars, Beam, FloorLevel 5 or 6*Children: 7–8; 9–11
Junior/Senior: 12&up31.00 AA at Level 56Reached 7th birthday31.00 AA at Level 5Level 6 or 7*Children: 7-11
Seniors: 15&up31.00 AA at Level 67Reached 7th birthday31.00 AA at Level 6Level 7 or 8*Children: 7-11
Seniors: 15&up31.00 AA at Level 78Reached 8th birthday31.00 AA at Level 7Level 8 or 9*Juniors: 8–11, 12-13
Seniors: 14–15, 16&up34.00 AA at Level 89Reached 8th birthday34.00 AA at Level 8Level 9 or 10*To be determined in March
4 Junior Divisions
4 Senior Divisions34.00 AA at Level 9 to go to Level 1010Reached 9th birthday34.00 AA at Level 9Level 10 or Elite*To be determined in March
4 Junior Divisions
4 Senior DivisionsNone
Here is some further info on age determination.
Point 1 is very clear - the child must have reached the minimum age for that level to compete.
Point 3 is about determining the age groupings for state and other sanctioned meets not about whether a child can compete at all. So where is says under 3, 2b. For Levels 4, 5, 6 & 7 - age is determined by the date of the last day of the State Meet it does not mean if you reach 7 by states you can compete level 5 before your 7th birthday. People often quote this part out of context.
In fact if you look at the introductory sentence for that section it states clearly [COLOR=red]Provided that the gymnast has reached the minimum age for her level, [/COLOR]the gymnast's age for the competitive season is determined by the date of the final day of competition at the culminating championship meet for that level. The part to look at is section 3 subsection 2.
[COLOR=royalblue]B. Age Determination[/COLOR]
- [COLOR=royalblue]All gymnasts must reach the minimum age for the level in order to compete (see chart on page 19). [/COLOR]
- [COLOR=royalblue]For invitationals and qualifying meets below the State Championships, the Meet Director may determine the age divisions and must publish such information in the pre-meet information. [/COLOR]
- [COLOR=royalblue]For all meets under the jurisdiction of the State or Regional Administrative Committees, the respective committee may determine the method of determining age divisions. There are basically two options: [/COLOR]
- [COLOR=royalblue]a. Age groups for the season: established by specific ages (i.e., 8-10 yr. olds, 11-12, etc.). [/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]b. Age groups for each competition: established by dividing the athletes by actual birth date into approximately equal groups according to a pre-determined number of age divisions or by a pre-determined maximum number of athletes per age division.[/COLOR]
- [COLOR=royalblue]In this case, the age divisions should be determined and published PRIOR to the competitive SEASON and the only adjustments that may be made during the season are sub-divisions of the age groups.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]§ Exception: At Level 9 or 10 State meet and below, age divisions may be combined if the number of athletes is small. [/COLOR]
- [COLOR=royalblue]The gymnast must compete with the age division as designated for the entire season. Provided that the gymnast has reached the minimum age for her level, the gymnast's age for the competitive season is determined by the date of the final day of competition at the culminating championship meet for that level. [/COLOR]
- [COLOR=royalblue]a) For Levels 1, 2 & 3 – age is determined by the date of the culminating competition as directed by the State Administrative Committee[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]b) For Levels 4, 5, 6 & 7 - age is determined by the date of the last day of the State Meet (or Sectional, if no State meet is held).[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]c) For Level 8 – age is determined by the date of the last day of the Regional Meet.[/COLOR]
[COLOR=royalblue]d) For Levels 9 & 10 State meets and below– age is determined by the date of the last day of the State meet. [/COLOR]
- [COLOR=royalblue]All results must include the gymnast’s birth date. [/COLOR]
- So the simple answer is -
- You can only compete level 4 from your 6th birthday and not a day before.
- You can only compete level 5 from your 7th birthday and not a day before.
- Your age at the state meet is used to decide what age grouping you will compete in for the whole season. Eg age group 7-8 or age group 9-11.
- If your gym tells you otherwise they are wrong and have not read the complete document.
- USAG also states that;
- 3. All results must include the gymnast’s birth date.
- I suggest that if you spot someone competing when they shouldn't you should report them.
- Whether we think the age rules in USAG and FIG are right or wrong is irrelevant. Rules should be followed. By everyone from top world class gymnasts to preschoolers starting out.