Level4- why such a mystery?

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Petunia

New Member
Apr 16, 2008
29
Hello!
This is my first post bc I'm clueless!
My dd is 5 and has been in a preschool advance class since right before she turned four. In our gym pa classes are for those that "are on their way" to team but of course who knows what might happen by the time they reach 6.

Anyway, in our gym they don't compete unless you're a level 4 and have been asked to join the team.

Here are my questions. This month they took new level 4 girls onto the team, but parents are always left clueless as far as the process. One day you just get a call and you're asked. My daughter has always been the youngest in her group by about a year.

My daughter's coach won't really give me a straight answer. She first said they had to be 6 by Sept. 1st then she said by Aug 1st (my dd turns six at the end of Aug).

When the other moms found out my dd was not in this new group they were pretty confused. I wondered why since I thought she wasn't in it because she missed the cut off (age requirment to compete).
They mentioned there was a little girl who didn't turn six until Oct and was in this new group. SO, I figured...well, they just didn't want my daughter then.
She loves it anyway and we wouldn't change a thing. I just wish I would be told something, like "well, they observed her and they aren't interested" and move on.

ANYWAY, to make a long story short, I have no clue what to think. I'm just curious...BY WHEN do they have to be SIX to compete in level 4? Is it Sept 1 or Aug 1st or anywhere around there??
We're in Texas (I don't know if that makes a difference). I have no idea where to look and find out.

THANKS IN ADVANCE!!!
 
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Tumblequeensmom

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Feb 19, 2007
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If you're in the US... they have to be 6 by the date of the State Competition at the end of the season!

-Lynn
 

cftmoonlight

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Jan 31, 2008
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A girl needs to be 6 on the date of the meet to compete. We ran into this trouble last year. If the meet is Feb 5 you must be 6 by Feb 5th.
 

jls1969

Member
Sep 27, 2007
105
Hi Petunia...
Welcome...I have found CB to be a great resource...I hope you do too! We are also in Texas---I am not sure about the age requirement, but USAG doesn't require L4 for mobility purposes. Our gym is very competitive and there is no real L4 team to speak of. I think it is because they don't use many of the L4 skills, so they just begin focusing on the L5 skills. Last year was my daughter's 2nd year to compete L5 and the youngest girl on our team was 7. Texas' USAG season starts in Aug/Sept and ends with state in Dec. I wouldn't get too caught up in why she wasn't pulled onto the team...especially if she is happy. Eventually she will move up and compete when her time is right. Our coaches aren't necessarily the most communicative with the parents, but they are definitely on top of where the girls are. Maybe you should request a meeting with the coaches to talk about your daughter privately. Finally--you can look on the Texas USAG website to get all of the information you need...it is a very helpful website. Hope this was somewhat helpful. I am glad your daughter is happy--especially if she seems to be in it for the long haul :)
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
If you're in the US... they have to be 6 by the date of the State Competition at the end of the season!

-Lynn

The date at the State Meet is, at some meets, the measure as to which age group an athlete competes in.

The minimum age must be reached before competing...so an athlete must sit out of meets until she is age eligible on her birthday.

Maybe the best thing to do is just ask for a meeting to clarify, without putting any pressure on the coaches. It sounds like you just want to know, so you can plan and explain things to your daughter. It may help to just tell them that.
 
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BlairBob

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Definitely no deadline per USAG for JO WAG. There is for JO MAG determining what age group they will compete during the season. For instance one of my boy's last year wasn't 6 till October though age is determined of 9/1 ( one of my L5 turned 10 on 9/15 but competed 2008 as a 9 yo, another of my L4 competed as a 6yo [ which he did in 2007 because he didn't turn till 7 till October ] so he was actually 7 during the year of 2008 )

I always thought it age for the JO WAG was determined as of September but apparently I was wrong. Perhaps each Region can adjunct the rules?

http://usa-gymnastics.org/women/rules-and-policies/2007/2007part2-sect1-entryreq.pdf
 

Aussie_coach

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There are a lot of factors in deciding whether or not a girl is ready for the team and age is just a small factor. There is strength level, flexibility, skill level, attention span, maturity and so on. And at the age of 5 being able to cope with team training is not easy. If your daughter missed out they probably just feel she is not ready yet in a certain area and I am sure she will be given another chance to join when she is a little bit older.
 
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Billy

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Check this website:

http://www.usa-gymnastics.org/women/rules-and-policies/2007/2007part2-sect1-entryreq.pdf

Basically, it says "All gymnasts must reach the minimum age for the level in order to compete (see chart on page 19).... 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.... 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)."

If I understand, and interpret this correctly, this means that the gymnast's age for the season is considered to be whatever age she is on the last day of State. If your states are in December, you daughter would compete all season as a 6-year-old, provided she is indeed 6 for the meets (because 6 is the minimum age for L4). With her birthday in August, she cannot compete in a meet until after her birthday, but then she's fine for the rest of the season.

However, I am not a coach nor a USAG rep so you should definitely talk with her coaches to be sure.
 

Petunia

New Member
Apr 16, 2008
29
Thanks for the replies!!
Who knows why she wasn't picked. She's one of the few that can REALLY focus during practice, the coaches love her and her skills are better than some of the others I've been told by her coaches.
BUT the coaches must have their reasons...it could even be body type, not sure.

My husband is THANKFUL she wasn't picked :p
The girls are now practicing 6hrs a week and will do 10hrs in the summer, he feels it's too much for a little girl that will just be turning 6!

At her young age she knows what it means to go to the "other side" of the gym and she aspires to do so but maybe it's just not her thing....maybe she's not strong enough for what they're looking for.


O.K I'm rambling...thanks again for the input!!!!
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
204
Region IV
I think its a mystery because its such an individual sport. The coaches may have a set of skills and strength requirments that thye want, but so much more can factor in.

An amazingly talented girl can be held back because of poor work ethic. The reverse is also true. A less talented, but very coachable kid, can move up.

Overly aggressive parents can affect the child's team aspirations.

If the level 4 team is nearing capacity, at our gym, older girls go before younger girls.

The team philosophy may just favor older girls. Back when our head coach/team manager was an older woman with a bunch of kids of her own (one of whom earned one of those full ride NCAA scholarships), we almost never had any 6 or 7 year olds on the teams. She felt like your husband does -- just too much for a really little kid. Occasionally, there'd be one because there was just no place else to put her, but mostly, the coaches didn't want to deal with kindergarten and 1st grade issues. I didn't care for this philosophy at the time dd2 was a preteamer because her preteam coach thought she was ready to go to team, but looking back (5 competetive seasons, later), it was good call.

I hope your gym isn't looking at body type in a 6 year old, but the one serious elite gym in my state does consider it when making team invites. Looks at things like parent height, too. If that really were the case, try another gym.

In the meantime, just keep focusing on how fun the gym is, and throw in some other activities, too--dance, soccer, T-ball, swimming--just for fun.
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
Thanks for the replies!!
Who knows why she wasn't picked. She's one of the few that can REALLY focus during practice, the coaches love her and her skills are better than some of the others I've been told by her coaches.
BUT the coaches must have their reasons...it could even be body type, not sure.

My husband is THANKFUL she wasn't picked :p
The girls are now practicing 6hrs a week and will do 10hrs in the summer, he feels it's too much for a little girl that will just be turning 6!

At her young age she knows what it means to go to the "other side" of the gym and she aspires to do so but maybe it's just not her thing....maybe she's not strong enough for what they're looking for.


O.K I'm rambling...thanks again for the input!!!!


Almost every gym I know makes "move-ups" a huge secret. (not only L4, but L5 and so on) As one poster stated it could be for several different reasons. I know one gym that actually did not move a child up ONLY because the parent made an assumption their dd would move up - which was ridiculous (power issue), but maybe it was a lesson to learn as well. I think you are great to take it in stride. USAG JO Levels are really only labels, and do not make one gymnast better then another at any age. Your dd is in the gym enough to really perfect her basics and that is the most important... gl to you and dd :D
 
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