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Breaking down age groups

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bigtiny

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My daughters competed in a meet over the weekend, and we were all very frustrated by the break-down of the age groups. They were broken down like this:

Level 4:
age 6-7 (16 gymnasts)
age 8 (15 gymnasts)
age 9-11 (29 gymnasts)
age 12+ (3 gymnasts)

Level 5:
age 7-8 (11 gymnasts)
age 9-11 (35 gymnasts)
age 12+ (10 gymnasts)

Of course, each of my daughters ended up the huge age 9-11 age group! Why didn't the gym break down that age group more to make it more even with the others? My level 5 daughter scored a 9.75 on beam, and that was only good enough for 4th....and my level 4 daughter scored a 37.925 in the AA, and that was on enough for 3rd in such a big age group! I don't understand why a gym would leave one age group so big while breaking down the others......
 
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Megley

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Bigtiny, the meet that you are talking about was at our gym, right? I can tell you that the owner is the one who sets the age groups and I am not sure how he does it. I think he orders awards before the registrations are even set and then he can't change the age groups because the awards are already engraved, but I am not entirely sure of that. There was a mixup with the 6-7 age group, which was shown as just 6 and then changed to 6-7 due to the fact that there were only 2 actual 6 yos (including my dd). I know a lot of folks had issues with the age groups. It was even worse in Level 6 and 7 where basically all the kids were lumped into two age groups - 7-11 and 12+. I know there were a load of level 7s in the 7-11 age group.

Your daughters both did sooo well, though. Congratulations to them! I was incredibly impressed with the gymnasts from your gym. You all have some simply fantastic girls, including the amazing girl who won Level 4 in the 8 yo age group. I think she scored a 38 something! She will win states for sure! We will be at Judge's Cup at the end of the month, which I think is at your gym. I will have to look out for you. Lily is nowhere near as good as your girls, but this is her first season so I am hoping she will improve.

Meg
 
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bigtiny

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Yes, it was at your gym, Megley.....I saw your daughter, and I thought she did great for such a young gymnast (and she's really cute, too!)! I thought the meet itself was well-run - it was just the whole age-group thing that was so frustrating for the girls. My girls had fun, though, and my daughter loved her bobble-head gymnast trophy!

Hope to see you at Judges Cup!:)
 

Marge Simpson

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Sep 27, 2007
25
I don't understand why a gym would leave one age group so big while breaking down the others......

Hi BigTiny,

I sympathize. We've had the opposite problem, with one age group having only 3 to 6 girls, and the gym going out ONE place per event, while the next age group had 25 or so girls in it. Hard to tell the little ones, "there is no silver medal." Especially when the next group goes out 10 places or thereabouts.
And, unlike Megly's gym, the awards were not necessarily engraved. We've been places where the awards were just ribbons with no ages or levels on them. Not that the awards are what it's about, but still.

Maybe it's harder than I realize to get the distribution to be fair. Or at least to seem fair to the parents!
 
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bigtiny

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At the meet, the only awards that were engraved were the trophies for AA. The medals were not engraved. First got gold, second got silver, everyone else got bronze. The medals could have been distributed in a fair way among age groups because they were almost all just bronze medals (not engraved).

The distribution of awards was not equal either. In the small age groups, more than half of the gymnasts ended up getting medals (and almost half got trophies in the AA). In the 9-11 age group, they only went out 12 places (for 29 girls in level 4 and 35 girls in level 5).

I think it was very poor planning and a disappointment to many of the girls who worked very hard. I truly don't know what the meet director was thinking.:confused:
 

tgc

New Member
Sep 9, 2007
42
Florida
At every meet my kids have been in the total number of gymnasts is evenly distributed into age groups. The number of groups is dependant on the number of gymnasts. Usually there are 3 or 4 groups per session. Often for girls there is two to three session for level 4 and one or two sessions for level 5. If there are not enough gymnasts to have at least 12 athletes in an age group it seems they just have one big group. My kids are only level 4 and 5, so that never happens to them. Then at the level 4 and 5 level the half the kids, plus one, get an award. So if there were 72 gymnast, they would divide them into 4 groups of 18 gymnasts, then they would go out ten places for each group. This has been so consistent; I thought it was a USAG rule. I guess it is just a tradition at the meets we attend. I like it this way, and it always seems fair. (I even liked it last year when my daughter was usually the youngest one, and was sometimes competing against girls two years older than her.)
 
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Megley

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Thanks Bigtiny! We will be at Judge's Cup and I will definitely look out for your daughter. I am sure she have a great meet - she is super talented. Who knows what the owner was thinking about with respect to the age groups. I will try to keep it in mind for next year, though, and suggest smaller age group categories. Not that I am ultimately in any position to affect it, but I can at least make a suggestion. :)

Meg
 

Cascade

Member
Feb 22, 2007
63
Sadly, this is something both you and your daughter will need to get used to....especially if your daughter has a birthday within the first couple months of the year.

My daughter is nine and has been competing in the 10-11 age group all year. As others have mentioned, it really depends on how the host chooses to break out the age groups.

It is hard to make them understand when they score well and come away with nothing, and see others score the same and load up with medals because they were in a different age group.

I try to use those opportunities to tell my daughter that life can be very much like this at times- that as long as she is progressing and improving, and still having fun, that we're good and so should she be.... but I agree that it is terribly, terribly frustrating.

Maybe the next one will be better!!
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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Little bog competes in the age group 1999/1998, there are 31 girls at her level at our 3 meets.

In the next level up, but the same age group, there are just 4 girls:eek:. Little Bog will compete this level next year.

Medals are given for the first three places and ribbons to 8th.SO the more advanced group receive an award on everything.


I wished they had put little bog up this season, but they wanted her to help win the team banner. In the higher group she would have, worst case scenario, had a ribbon on all apparatus. In her level she placed on beam,and 6th overall (but no ribbon as AA is only the first three).

Hard for little ones to get nothing for all their hard work, when they all work very hard.
 

Aussie_coach

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You guys should consider yourselves very lucky. Where I live Level 4 is only allowed to be split into two groups at any competition. The two groups are under 10 and open. There must be at least 30 competitors in the competition to split it into the two groups otherwise they are all in together and at level 4 here in Australia you can get kids as young as 5 up to adults in their 20's and 30's all in the same division. One comp last year there were 78 gymnasts in the level 4 under 10 and 126 gymnasts in level 4 open.

Awards never, ever go out as far as 12th place either. Usually they go to 6th place, the furthest I have ever seen them go is 7th place. So yes that means 7 gymnasts get something and 119 don't.
 
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bigtiny

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Wow - I guess that puts it in perspective! I think we were most frustrated with the fact the the age groups sizes were UNEQUAL, not that they were so large. When you are paying $75 meet fee, it seems that the gym can do better...

Anyway, it seems like this problem is universal!
 

Aussie_coach

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What I find sad is how few gymnasts there are in your 12 years and above age group for level 4. Really this should be the biggest group as it covers all ages from 12, right through the teen years and up to and including adults. There is no shortage in the gymnastics world of beginners in the teenage and adult age groups. Why are these people not competing?
 

fruitcake

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Aug 1, 2007
30
midwest
level 4 is beginner gymnasts but you don't usually see many teens. right or wrong, by that age they are frequently considered too late to start competing OR often they skip that level because they have the ability to do level 5 skills and don't necessarily need the year of experience competing at a lower level since they are more mature. I know we don't have anyone under 10 on our level 4 team and rarely do. there are probably few in the rec program past the age of 10 or 11. other gyms are different, i know we compete against several in our state that have older gymnasts at level 4. i don't know if some gyms are just known as more 'open' to older beginners or what?
 
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