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For Parents Can we talk about level 9 (WAG)?

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mom2newgymnast

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For all the experienced moms out there, what can you tell me about your daughter's level 9 experience? I've heard how it's a whole new ballgame and I have a general understanding about the requirements and bonuses. I have confidence in our coaches and am not worried about any of that. I fully understand that there might not even be a season. But, honestly, I just like "talking" about gymnastics. :) So what should a parent of a new level 9 know? What skills are most common for that level? What skills are considered less of a beginner level 9 routine? What was your dd's biggest challenge at that level? Anything else you want to talk about??
 

gymgal

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The biggest "shocker" for me and challenge for my dd was the change in scoring. Now the connection values come into play so a gymnast could lose a lot more just from one mistake. A couple of falls and you could be in the 7's score wise. Very tough on confidence. skills: on beam: bhs-lo, leaps/jumps with rotation; bars: pak or bail most often; vt: usually yurchenko/tsuk LO but still some pikes and some rotations; floor: so much variation but usually a double tuck/pike, 1.5 punch something, and a front skill
 
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mom2newgymnast

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The biggest "shocker" for me and challenge for my dd was the change in scoring. Now the connection values come into play so a gymnast could lose a lot more just from one mistake. A couple of falls and you could be in the 7's score wise. Very tough on confidence. skills: on beam: bhs-lo, leaps/jumps with rotation; bars: pak or bail most often; vt: usually yurchenko/tsuk LO but still some pikes and some rotations; floor: so much variation but usually a double tuck/pike, 1.5 punch something, and a front skill
Thanks! I've heard about low scores, but I didn't think about the connection aspect of a fall. Did you find a double tuck/pike was really common at level 9? I thought that would be considered on the more advanced side, esp the double pike? The girls at my dd's gym have the option to focus on a double back or a front full (I think). So far, my dd seems more interested in the front full. She seems to be more of a twister than a flipper from what I can tell.
 

novagymmom

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Following this thread. My daughter is also a new level 9. She was a strong Level 8 (and competed several skills not required at Level 8). But, she definitely does NOT yet have many of the skills listed above. IF there is a competition season, I think she'll be in for quite an eye opening. As it turns out, the potential scenario of just having some small or in-house meets to start the transition to level 9 could be perfect for her.
 
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mom2newgymnast

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Following this thread. My daughter is also a new level 9. She was a strong Level 8 (and competed several skills not required at Level 8). But, she definitely does NOT yet have many of the skills listed above. IF there is a competition season, I think she'll be in for quite an eye opening. As it turns out, the potential scenario of just having some small or in-house meets to start the transition to level 9 could be perfect for her.

I think I read your daughter just recently went back right? I'm sure she has plenty of time still. We've been back closer to 2 months and they are making a ton of progress now. There is a big difference between level 8 and 9 for sure though!
 

gymgal

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Thanks! I've heard about low scores, but I didn't think about the connection aspect of a fall. Did you find a double tuck/pike was really common at level 9? I thought that would be considered on the more advanced side, esp the double pike? The girls at my dd's gym have the option to focus on a double back or a front full (I think). So far, my dd seems more interested in the front full. She seems to be more of a twister than a flipper from what I can tell.
We are R8, so pretty competitive at the state/regional level and we saw quite a few double backs on floor in L9. This may be different in other regions. I don't recall seeing many front fulls until L10. The fronts were usually front LO-front pike or LO.

A good way to find out what is common in your area is to look on you tube for your regional meets from the last 2 years.
 

mom2newgymnast

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We are R8, so pretty competitive at the state/regional level and we saw quite a few double backs on floor in L9. This may be different in other regions. I don't recall seeing many front fulls until L10. The fronts were usually front LO-front pike or LO.

A good way to find out what is common in your area is to look on you tube for your regional meets from the last 2 years.

We are Region 8 too (NC). I think that some girls at our gym did double backs last year at 9 and some in her group are training them right now. I just thought that was still considered an upgraded skill for 9. I'm still learning though! :) I think my dd will be doing a RO/1.5/FP(currently FT, but she thinks it will be a FP eventually), FHS/FLO/FP and a Front full. At least that is what she is training right now. Her beam is hopefully pretty upgraded with a BHS LOSO, Front Aerial, Switch leap/split half and a RO 1.5 dismount.
 

LemonLime

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Level 9 has composition deductions that generally appear at regionals and nationals. Unless your double tuck or pike is chest up without landing deductions, it's probably not a good idea to compete it. But a strong one might make the difference at nationals because of composition. Layout vaults need to be true layouts to make them worthwhile.

The hardest thing about Level 9 for my daughters was learning a downhill and adding bonus on bars, but it depends on the athlete.
 

LJL07

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Thanks! I've heard about low scores, but I didn't think about the connection aspect of a fall. Did you find a double tuck/pike was really common at level 9? I thought that would be considered on the more advanced side, esp the double pike? The girls at my dd's gym have the option to focus on a double back or a front full (I think). So far, my dd seems more interested in the front full. She seems to be more of a twister than a flipper from what I can tell.
I very rarely saw double tucks or pikes, but our state is not super competitive. My daughter will be repeating 9 bc there was no way she would be getting a major release move for 10 after the quarantine and the season ended so abruptly.
The scoring is LOW unless you are able to work in connection bonuses. It almost seems to be an art figuring out how to work in the bonuses. For example, a girl in our state managed to score reasonably well on the bars with a short and simple routine, but worked in connection bonuses like doing her double back dismount out of her freehip handstand. She didn’t have a single giant in her routine. Meanwhile, my daughter did a pak and giant giant double back dismount. At one meet with no falls she scored about an 8.6. She had no bonus bc she did the pak out of a cast handstand and the routines are just HARD, so being a little short on cast handstands will be deductions etc. We were told it is actually almost easier to construct level 10 routines than level 9. I don’t know if that’s true, but a coach said that at one of the meets.
 
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gymgal

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I very rarely saw double tucks or pikes, but our state is not super competitive. My daughter will be repeating 9 bc there was no way she would be getting a major release move for 10 after the quarantine and the season ended so abruptly.
The scoring is LOW unless you are able to work in connection bonuses. It almost seems to be an art figuring out how to work in the bonuses. For example, a girl in our state managed to score reasonably well on the bars with a short and simple routine, but worked in connection bonuses like doing her double back dismount out of her freehip handstand. She didn’t have a single giant in her routine. Meanwhile, my daughter did a pak and giant giant double back dismount. At one meet with no falls she scored about an 8.6. She had no bonus bc she did the pak out of a cast handstand and the routines are just HARD, so being a little short on cast handstands will be deductions etc. We were told it is actually almost easier to construct level 10 routines than level 9. I don’t know if that’s true, but a coach said that at one of the meets.
My dd was the same with no giants. Though I can't remember if that was L9 or 10 (or both). Also, while my dd trained a single bar release (Ray), she never competed one in L10 in all 4 years. She planned to compete it her 2nd yr but had a major injury that took her out of training for a long while and then had to spend all her time just trying to get back basic routines. By the time the next summer came, all her timing for the skill was off and with additional breaks for more injuries, she never got it back. She used two transitions instead. Funny enough though, this summer she is training it again. Not sure she will ever compete it but she is happy that it is back.
 
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LemonLime

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@LJL07 At Level 10, you can earn all but 1/5 tenths of bonus by performing isolated Ds and Es. Some gymnasts are much better at front aerials than connecting switch leaps, for instance.

Omitting a single rail release at Level 10 should only drop the score by .1 unless the gymnast also has insufficient use of the high bar. Plus, the single rail deduction is a composition deduction which may or may not be applied. MANY MANY L10 Jr A national bar champions have omitted a single rail release, but that skill is common in the older groups unless they do a shaposh-style connection.
 
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thefellowsmom

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Yes, I would say the connections and how they can effect the score were the biggest shockers for us.

She did a switch leap back tuck on beam and if her pinky toe moved in between they would take the connection. Such a bummer to see a 9.8 start value or whatever on what you thought was a clean routine. I remember after one meet looking at the video back in slow motion because none of us (coach included) got why they took the connection, but oops there it was, her foot slightly shifted before she took off into the back tuck.

One time she fell on her pak but otherwise did a solid routine and ended up in the 7s because on bars you miss one skill and it just snowballs out of control, missed skills, missed connections, composition deductions etc etc.

The difficulty has definitely increased since she did level 9 several years ago. Even at Westerns we only saw a couple of double backs but now there are a lot more. My dd did a 1 1/2 front pike, front layout front full, and a back full. She is a good front tumbler and more of a twister.

She has now done three years of level 10 without a high bar release. She was planning on adding her jaeger in for nationals, if she made it, this year but now they are pretty much starting over with it as it wasn’t solid or consistent quite yet before the lockdown. She did a giant full into her pak and a toe to high bar as her two releases the first two year. This last year she grew a ton and lost her giant full so just did pak and toe to high bar and she was still scoring in the 9.2 range with it. In level 10 you see things all over the board as kids get and recover from injury, puberty and growth spurts.

Level 9 seems more consistent. She was much more steady and consistent and it didn’t seem quite as traumatic as level 10 does, but still a huge step up from level 8. It’s more than just skills and what new ones you need. It takes a wholly different level from them mentally and emotionally as well. I didn’t get it until we were there. I remember before her first level 10 season a friend on mine was all ”Hold on! First year level 10 is a crazy ride. Be prepared. It’s going to be bad”. I didn’t get it. She was ready, her skills were there. But she was right. It was all over the place. Good Bad and Ugly!
 

mom2newgymnast

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I very rarely saw double tucks or pikes, but our state is not super competitive. My daughter will be repeating 9 bc there was no way she would be getting a major release move for 10 after the quarantine and the season ended so abruptly.
The scoring is LOW unless you are able to work in connection bonuses. It almost seems to be an art figuring out how to work in the bonuses. For example, a girl in our state managed to score reasonably well on the bars with a short and simple routine, but worked in connection bonuses like doing her double back dismount out of her freehip handstand. She didn’t have a single giant in her routine. Meanwhile, my daughter did a pak and giant giant double back dismount. At one meet with no falls she scored about an 8.6. She had no bonus bc she did the pak out of a cast handstand and the routines are just HARD, so being a little short on cast handstands will be deductions etc. We were told it is actually almost easier to construct level 10 routines than level 9. I don’t know if that’s true, but a coach said that at one of the meets.

Thanks for the reply. It's very interesting hearing from more experienced families. I know dd's coach has told them on bars that there are basically 3 routines that they can do (at their gym I mean), depending on their comfort/skills. I'm not sure if all 3 have the 10.0 start value or not, but I think the one my dd is aiming for does. But of course you are right that things like not hitting a handstand or missing a connection can have a huge impact. I think our gym starts everyone out working on shootovers. Some might eventually switch over to paks if that works better though. Dd's routine, I think, will have a blind half into the shootover and then a clear hip hand into the double back. They are also working on pirouettes into the shootover to see which works better. I don't think she'll have any giants in her routine (which seems strange to me, lol).
 

mom2newgymnast

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Another thing I am curious about is the back tuck on beam. I know a lot of people compete the BHS LOSO and then something like a switch leap/back tuck. I don't know the exact requirements, but I know they need the series and then an additional acro. And I assume they get a connection bonus for the switch leap and the back tuck? My dd chose the front aerial for her routine instead (they were given a choice between the back tuck, front aerial or side aerial). But she doesn't connect it to anything. I assume that she is getting a bonus somewhere else, but I'm not sure where. She has no desire to learn the back tuck on beam (not sure why, but it scares her). Will her not doing it be a problem for level 10? It just seems like *everyone* does a back tuck in level 9. And I've watched some routines that have both a front aerial and a back tuck (along with the series) and other beam routines that have multiple leap/jump passes. Is there a reason to have so many more skills? Is the extra dance kind of a built in way to have a second chance if you miss the connection on the first pass?
 

thefellowsmom

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Yeah, that sounds like a pretty standard level 9 bar routine. Mine did a pak but otherwise same routine. Most did some version of similar routines. Like you said, there were three or so options. My dd mounted from between the bars but most people mounted outside the high bar in level 9. canto really remember why that would be, maybe the presence or lack of a blind change?

I have never understood why she did a pak and everyone else did an overshoot. Funny though, she is now learning an overshoot so that she can connect more things together. The overshoot is more flexible and colleges like them better because you don’t have to kip and pirouette out of it which is vulnerable to deduction. I think the plan is Maloney to overshoot to toe to high.
 

thefellowsmom

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Another thing I am curious about is the back tuck on beam. I know a lot of people compete the BHS LOSO and then something like a switch leap/back tuck. I don't know the exact requirements, but I know they need the series and then an additional acro. And I assume they get a connection bonus for the switch leap and the back tuck? My dd chose the front aerial for her routine instead (they were given a choice between the back tuck, front aerial or side aerial). But she doesn't connect it to anything. I assume that she is getting a bonus somewhere else, but I'm not sure where. She has no desire to learn the back tuck on beam (not sure why, but it scares her). Will her not doing it be a problem for level 10? It just seems like *everyone* does a back tuck in level 9. And I've watched some routines that have both a front aerial and a back tuck (along with the series) and other beam routines that have multiple leap/jump passes. Is there a reason to have so many more skills? Is the extra dance kind of a built in way to have a second chance if you miss the connection on the first pass?

If she is doing the aerial then I don’t think not having a back tuck would be a problem and it is probably more progressive to level 10 where they need the single D acro element and she could work on putting an A jump/leap before or after it to get bonus down the road. In level 9 though the aerial, even though a D skill, is only counted as a C skill so does not receive bonus.

The switch leap to back tuck series is work .2 in bonus so i think that is why you see it so much. The BHS BLO series is worth .1 in connection. She would need .2 more somewhere. This could be accomplished through additional acro or dance or mixed connections. I do know that many times it is confusing what routines for season might look like at this point. Level 9 and 10 have more variety so sometimes it can change along the way and sometime even from meet to meet.

As far as extra skill go I found there were quite a few HOPES kids in level 9 and they will just put all their skills in there for practice. Maybe it was that? Or kids that are doing second year at 9 and wanting to be really ready for 10. You also see a lot of 9s that are close to 10 but didn’t quite make it and then will compete their level 10 routines on the events they have them. Sometimes they will water down for state and regionals.

I definitely know that adding in an extra tenth or two of bonus if they have them can cushion those lost connections we were talking about. Extra just in case so to speak.
 
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LJL07

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I have never understood why she did a pak and everyone else did an overshoot. Funny though, she is now learning an overshoot so that she can connect more things together. The overshoot is more flexible and colleges like them better because you don’t have to kip and pirouette out of it which is vulnerable to deduction. I think the plan is Maloney to overshoot to toe to high.

I wondered the same thing about my daughter because she was the only one who did the pak. At one point, her coach mentioned that she flips really fast, so maybe paks are better for fast flippers?? Also, someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the pak is a higher skill than the overshoot unless the overshoot hits handstand. Then I think they are both D skills?? I just found it harder to work in the bonus connections with the pak, but maybe that was just my daughter. And I agree the overshoot is more versatile.

@mom2newgymnast I think it is definitely possible to work around the back tuck, my daughter who already did 9 likes the back tuck and had no problem with it. My younger daughter is working level 9 skills but hates the back tuck and prefers an aerial. I don’t think she can do an aerial on level 8 but could on 9, and I think she could construct a 10.0 SV beam without a back tuck.

yes, @LemonLime. That is exactly what the coach was telling my husband about the D and E skills. So you might know the answer to this: why compete the giants at all if doing the double back dismount out of a different circling skill like a freehip handstand gets a connection bonus? I think our girls could have handled that, but is it more advantageous for progressing to level 10 to do the giants into the dismount? Otherwise I’d rather the higher score.

This is so interesting about the single rail release move! I thought it was required for 10.
 
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mom2newgymnast

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If she is doing the aerial then I don’t think not having a back tuck would be a problem and it is probably more progressive to level 10 where they need the single D acro element and she could work on putting an A jump/leap before or after it to get bonus down the road. In level 9 though the aerial, even though a D skill, is only counted as a C skill so does not receive bonus.

The switch leap to back tuck series is work .2 in bonus so i think that is why you see it so much. The BHS BLO series is worth .1 in connection. She would need .2 more somewhere. This could be accomplished through additional acro or dance or mixed connections. I do know that many times it is confusing what routines for season might look like at this point. Level 9 and 10 have more variety so sometimes it can change along the way and sometime even from meet to meet.

As far as extra skill go I found there were quite a few HOPES kids in level 9 and they will just put all their skills in there for practice. Maybe it was that? Or kids that are doing second year at 9 and wanting to be really ready for 10. You also see a lot of 9s that are close to 10 but didn’t quite make it and then will compete their level 10 routines on the events they have them. Sometimes they will water down for state and regionals.

I definitely know that adding in an extra tenth or two of bonus if they have them can cushion those lost connections we were talking about. Extra just in case so to speak.

Awesome info! Thanks. I think maybe she will be getting the other 2 tenths from her switch leap/split half which I think is C+C? And you are right that it's too early to tell really. I only know what skills she is telling me that she is working on, but I haven't seen any practice since March so I don't know too much. I have seen videos of a couple of her skills, but she doesn't have a routine choreographed yet, so who knows what will be included in the end. :)
 

gymgal

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yes, @LemonLime. That is exactly what the coach was telling my husband about the D and E skills. So you might know the answer to this: why compete the giants at all if doing the double back dismount out of a different circling skill like a freehip handstand gets a connection bonus? I think our girls could have handled that, but is it more advantageous for progressing to level 10 to do the giants into the dismount? Otherwise I’d rather the higher score.

This is so interesting about the single rail release move! I thought it was required for 10.
A lot of girls cannot get enough height/distance for the double back straight from a clear hip handstand or similar. That's why they use the giants. You see this when they start to do double lays as well.

Single bar is not required in L10 (or college) but in some regions, not having one is looked down on and scored less, regardless of what the COP says. Still, a clean routine without a fall is better than having a single bar with potential of sloppiness or fall any day
 

GAgymmom

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Level 9 is just hard. It’s the only level my daughter repeated until she got to level 10. She competed a double back on floor both years at level 9.
 
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