Boys' Gymnastics Pre-Team and Lower Levels

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MdGymMom01

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Mar 5, 2008
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My 6 year old has been taking a gymnastics class for about 4 months now. There are only like 2 or 3 kids in his class so they get a lot of one on one attention from the coach. My question is this: Are there the same levels for boys as there are for the girls? And since they have 6 events instead of just 4 then does it take longer to learn all the skills? You don't see too many little boys (age 6 to 8) doing competitions. Maybe gymnastics is just not as popular for boys?

Just curious as to what the general progression was for boys.

Thanks!
 
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ZJsMom

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May 11, 2007
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At our gym, the boys' team starts at level 4. We have a pretty big boys' team--around 45 kids altogether. My ds competed level 4 last year and there were 18 boys on the level 4 team. The age range for our level 4s was 7-11. I think the popularity of boys gymnastics probably varies from area to area. It's pretty popular here. We were surprised at how big many of the level 4 meets are.

The levels are more or less the same as the girls. All the gyms around here start competing level 4. The main differences are that level 7 is still compulsory for boys, level 9 has an age limit, and the higher levels now use an open-ended scoring system.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Jan 21, 2007
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Boys have similar levels to girls, but they aren't quite equivalent.

Boys level 4 is equivalent to about girls level 3.
Boys level 5 is slightly easier than girls level 5.
Level 6 is more or less equivalent.

After that, there's really no way to compare, since it's optionals and the rules are completely different.

In my experience, young girls (ie between 5 and 7) tend to pick skills up a bit faster than boys in the same age range, which may be part of the reason you see more really young girls competing than really young boys. Also a big part of it is simply that there are a LOT more girls doing gymnastics than boys in most areas. In NC, I'd say girls outnumber boys by at least 10 to 1.
 

MdGymMom01

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Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
Thanks for the info! There are some boys at my dd and ds's gym but a lot of them are in acro. Maryland is really big for soccer (especially the Columbia area) so a lot of boys do soccer or baseball around where I live. My ds has a bit of a concentration problem and he gets bored very easily, so I figured that gymnastics would help his concentration and focus and help burn off some of his limitless energy!!!
 
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BlairBob

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Gymnastics tends to not to be as popular after 5 for boys due to the fact they can enroll in a " ball " sport and compete in under 3 months. It generally can take 3-9 months for a boy to be able to compete level 4 at a minimum. Some gyms now compete level 3, so that can decrease time in necessary.

Many boy's program will do less equivalent hours than a girl's program per level.

Learning curve can be easier or more difficult. This has to do with the fact that some events have a lot of crossover ( swinging on p-bars and high bar are similar and slightly similar to rings at the beginning ). However pommel horse and mushroom are not and require more time due to fact it's rhythm based and strength and endurance while requiring more time to learn typically than the other events.

There is very little choreography or dance to learn ( there is some, but nowhere near the girls ) so that does take time for routines.

Honestly, most parents are more interested in seeing their little boy compete and have fun, but of course many parents get ultra competitive at low levels due to that tendency in America.

Boy's have a lot of concentration problems more than girls tend to. That's how their training differs because you train a similar aged girl much more demanding than a boy; most of the time. As well this goes in hand that boy's careers don't start coming into fruition till after puberty and moreso in HS. Thus, you have to keep them interested in the sport until their bodies can really accomplish any of the higher level power necessary in men's gymnastics.

Basically, you can burn out a boy a lot easier than a girl and they tend to have way more opportunities for sport than girls. Often, they will also show interest in a broader range of sports/activities than other girls might. This is where we compete for boy's attention.
 

munchkin3

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Jun 6, 2008
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I think it also takes a certain kind of personality in boys to stay interested in gymnastics.....Although there is alot of team spirit in gymnastics, it is an individual sport.
My son (7)has been doing it for 2 years and sometimes it seems to take forever to learn a skill and other times it is quick..(my 3 year old girl retains info better!!)....Sometimes he has been doing skills for months and then its gone...
Our boys team is very competitive but the emphasis is clearly on having FUN...It seems that coach wants to keep them happy and in love with the sport ( until about 13..then he cranks it up!!)
It seems that the boys levels have greater difference in skills than girls...The skills jump up quickly in difficulty...Level 4 is relativley easy, level 5 much more strength requirements, more tumbling, 6 events...It takes a long time to get a little 6 year old boy to turn into a competitive gymnast.....
Boys meets are very much about fun...It is truly amazing to see these little guys do what they do.
Is a GREAT sport for boys...It is GREAT for fostering concentration and focus.....GREAT for developing goals....GREAT for shaping fitness attitudes for their lifetime......if your son loves it, encourage him and have fun!!
Proud parent J
 
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