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Level 5 Bars Requirements

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kittynuk

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Feb 11, 2017
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Hoping somebody can help. We are moving to the States from the UK and my daughter will be competing with a club in South Carolina. We were looking up skills for various levels on bars but depending on where you looked they were different. I thought USAG Levels were the same across the country? Could somebody please tell me what the skills required for bars are. I was under the assumption that it was:

Kip and Long Kip, Sole Circle, Free (clear) Hip Circle, Back Hip Circle and Flyaway dismount.

I have since seen other sights that say:

Kip and Long Kip, Front Hip Circle, Back Hip Circle and and Half Turn Drop Dismount.

My daughter is ahead of many of the skills required on all the other pieces and could move into Level 6+ but bars work will hold her back (especially if she needs the first set of skills listed). Bars have never been her strong suit so we are just wondering what she needs to work on before we move. She hasn't even learned a Free Hip, Flyaway or Sole Circle - all the rest she has. Thanks in advance for help!!! xxx
 

kittynuk

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I believe it's kip, cast above horizontal, free hip, kip, squat on, jump to high bar, kip, cast, baby giant (long hang pullover...I've heard this called different things), tap swings, flyaway.
Over here in the UK we only do a baby giant if they can't do a long kip (long upstart in UK) so you do both then - do you do it from a cast on the high bar and then swing back into the baby giant? And no sole circle?
 

amiandjim

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No sole circle. You squat on, jump to high bar, kip, then cast into the baby giant/long hang pullover.
 
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kittynuk

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No sole circle. You squat on, jump to high bar, kip, then cast into the baby giant/long hang pullover.
Okay - one less skill she needs to learn then. I wonder why I see sites listing front hip circle and half turn drop dismount as Level 5 then? They seem relatively current as well. Need some serious work then as she has never even attempted a free hip or a flyaway and can only cast to horizontal. Do you know what the deductions are for not clearing the bar on a free hip and not getting past horizontal on a cast? She should be able to pick up a flyaway easily. They don't start teaching them here until Level 3 (they go backwards from 7-1) because to be counted they need to come off a handstand.
 

amiandjim

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Reading through that it seems a sole circle is an option instead of the clear hip. It's also a good source for deductions.
 
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ayyyrial

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Okay - one less skill she needs to learn then. I wonder why I see sites listing front hip circle and half turn drop dismount as Level 5 then? They seem relatively current as well.
Back in 2013 (omg was it really so long ago, that's when I stopped competing) they changed the level designations to add a "buffer level" between optional levels 8 and 9 that had a big jump in difficulty. So for the lower levels, all the skills/routines got knocked down one number. The bar routine you're describing is the old Level 5 routine, but it's now the Level 4 routine (with slight modification). Some sites may not have updated their information.

You can see some level info here https://usagym.org/pages/women/events/jocompulsories/
The Illustrated Routines file is free to look at or download. Hopefully you or your gymnast will be able to figure out what skills are depicted.
 

kittynuk

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Back in 2013 (omg was it really so long ago, that's when I stopped competing) they changed the level designations to add a "buffer level" between optional levels 8 and 9 that had a big jump in difficulty. So for the lower levels, all the skills/routines got knocked down one number. The bar routine you're describing is the old Level 5 routine, but it's now the Level 4 routine (with slight modification). Some sites may not have updated their information.

You can see some level info here https://usagym.org/pages/women/events/jocompulsories/
The Illustrated Routines file is free to look at or download. Hopefully you or your gymnast will be able to figure out what skills are depicted.
Thank you - I knew some changes had been made at some point. That makes alot of sense. Can you tell me - on some of the links provided it says that you can do a free hip or a sole circle or a stalder.......is that the case. I'm guessing a sole circle (which they are just learning now) is going to be a lot easier to pick up that a free hip or a stalder.
 
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kittynuk

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Feb 11, 2017
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Reading through that it seems a sole circle is an option instead of the clear hip. It's also a good source for deductions.
Yes I saw that - I think that the sole circle will be the easiest thing for her to pick up. They have just started working on them at her club and we have 7 weeks until we move (and months before competition season). Thank you!!!
 
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vbdb

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I thought the sole circle was an option instead of the tuck or pike on to low bar, not a replacement for a free hip. There's a good document someone links to every once in a while that has all the level requirements for each even in pictures and the options for each.
 
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vbdb

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And never mind because I clearly just skimmed the posts prior to mine lol. I see the sole circle in the illustrated routines. I have never seen it used in competition before, everyone here uses the free hip.
 

Lyddie27

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The "sole circle" you are referencing as a replacement to the free hip is more commonly called a toe handstand, and must end in clear support. It looks like this, only you don't have to go all the way to handstand in level 5:
Here is the USAG line drawing of this skill:
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.18.30 PM.png
Then, as for jumping to the high bar, you can squat on, pike on, or sole circle:
Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 2.20.21 PM.png
(this image includes the kip before the squat/pike/sole circle).

So, the level 5 routine is:
kip
free/clear hip OR toe circle to clear support OR stalder to clear support
kip
squat on OR pike on OR sole circle
jump to high bar
kip
cast-away long hang pullover
underwing
tap swings
flyaway

(if you're interested, here is the link to the routine illustrations (level 5 bars is on page 4): https://usagym.org/PDFs/Women/Junior Olympics/compulsory/illustratedroutines_feb14.pdf )
 

cadybearsmommy

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I've never seen the sole circle in competition for L5 either, and it also depends on the gyms requirements, some may want them to compete free hip for L5.
It's not uncommon for girls to be behind on bars here in the states either, unless some one is just very good at bars, bars is what holds gymnasts back a lot of times. I have seen girls that have L7-L8 skills on other apparatuses but still have trouble with level 5-6 bars.
Level 5-6 are very similar, one is compulsory, and one is optional. There are more options in Level 6 bars, like you can do an under swing dismount instead of a flyaway. That's what dd competed in L6 last year. For her the free hip came pretty easily, but the flyaway has been a completely different story. Not b/c it's necessarily a harder skill, but b/c it's a scary skill and she hit her toes on the bar several times which led to a mental block. It's also very gym dependent, a lot of gyms won't let them compete without a flyaway in L6. We just switched gyms and our old gym allowed it but I don't think our new gym would. here is a video of her state bar routine...now mind you she never scored well on bars lol, but she technically met the requirements. The cast angle deductions are killer though, if they don't get up to handstand (as you can see my dd was nowhere near close lol) they will get a big deduction for every cast.

Competing Level 4 might also be an option for her (which she continues to up train in the gym of course). L4 doesn't require a free hip or a flyaway, this is a sample L4 routine

We are actually in SC! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions and I'll try to help the best that I can.
 
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kittynuk

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Feb 11, 2017
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I've never seen the sole circle in competition for L5 either, and it also depends on the gyms requirements, some may want them to compete free hip for L5.
It's not uncommon for girls to be behind on bars here in the states either, unless some one is just very good at bars, bars is what holds gymnasts back a lot of times. I have seen girls that have L7-L8 skills on other apparatuses but still have trouble with level 5-6 bars.
Level 5-6 are very similar, one is compulsory, and one is optional. There are more options in Level 6 bars, like you can do an under swing dismount instead of a flyaway. That's what dd competed in L6 last year. For her the free hip came pretty easily, but the flyaway has been a completely different story. Not b/c it's necessarily a harder skill, but b/c it's a scary skill and she hit her toes on the bar several times which led to a mental block. It's also very gym dependent, a lot of gyms won't let them compete without a flyaway in L6. We just switched gyms and our old gym allowed it but I don't think our new gym would. here is a video of her state bar routine...now mind you she never scored well on bars lol, but she technically met the requirements. The cast angle deductions are killer though, if they don't get up to handstand (as you can see my dd was nowhere near close lol) they will get a big deduction for every cast.

Competing Level 4 might also be an option for her (which she continues to up train in the gym of course). L4 doesn't require a free hip or a flyaway, this is a sample L4 routine

We are actually in SC! Feel free to PM me if you have any questions and I'll try to help the best that I can.
Free hip might end up being easy - she hasn't even learned it yet. They don't start doing that until a level up from where she is now. They are just starting to work sole circles though so that might be an option. She has done flyaways but not in competition because over here they don't count until done from basically a handstand or off a giant. Maddie can cast to horizontal but again they have only worked cast to handstand on a metal bar with gloves and loops. We shall have to see where they want to place her - they have said Level 5 based on the info I have provided. On floor she can do flick flick, roundoff flick tuck, roundoff flick layout, (working on full twisting layout) punch front to roundoff flick tuck, front salto, aerial carthwheel and free front walk plus most of the leaps and jumps. Beam she can do back walk, back flick to step out (working on linking the two together), japana to straddle lever mount, cartwheel back flick dismount and front salto dismount, full spins, sissones and split leap to almost 180, vault she can handspring and half on half off, prepping tsuks. Just the bars that have always been her weakness. Hopefully now that I know what she needs her coaches here can work with her to pick up those missing skills. Where is SC are you? We are posted (my husband is in the RAF) to Beaufort so she will be with the Sports Academy there.
 
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cadybearsmommy

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Free hip might end up being easy - she hasn't even learned it yet. They don't start doing that until a level up from where she is now. They are just starting to work sole circles though so that might be an option. She has done flyaways but not in competition because over here they don't count until done from basically a handstand or off a giant. Maddie can cast to horizontal but again they have only worked cast to handstand on a metal bar with gloves and loops. We shall have to see where they want to place her - they have said Level 5 based on the info I have provided. On floor she can do flick flick, roundoff flick tuck, roundoff flick layout, (working on full twisting layout) punch front to roundoff flick tuck, front salto, aerial carthwheel and free front walk plus most of the leaps and jumps. Beam she can do back walk, back flick to step out (working on linking the two together), japana to straddle lever mount, cartwheel back flick dismount and front salto dismount, full spins, sissones and split leap to almost 180, vault she can handspring and half on half off, prepping tsuks. Just the bars that have always been her weakness. Hopefully now that I know what she needs her coaches here can work with her to pick up those missing skills. Where is SC are you? We are posted (my husband is in the RAF) to Beaufort so she will be with the Sports Academy there.
We are in upstate SC so quite a way from Beaufort but you will love Beaufort it's beautiful there!
 

LTB~Mom

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The sole circle can be used in place of the squat-on and jump to high bar. It's pretty common in our area for L5 (even as a back-up for girls who fall on their squat-on). The sole circle cannot be used in place of the free-hip, but the more difficult toe circle (also called a toe-on toe-off or toe handstand) is an alternative to the free-hip. I've only seen a couple of those in L5, almost every girl does the free hip.
 
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