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New USAG Mom w/ Questions

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pixie flips

Member
Sep 30, 2008
384
Region 3
Hello all!

My daughter was just recently moved up from level 4 to USAG level 4 and only competed her first USAG sanctioned meet last week. I didn't even know there was a difference in the two levels. But after one meet I see there are many significant differences. Most things I've sorted out on my own but I have some questions if any one is interested in answering I'll be a happy camper!

First, my daughter turns 8 next month. She has a meet this weekend and then nothing until the end of February. So, in between the two meets her age will change. Does she then move up to the next age group or does she compete the same age throughout the whole season as the age she was when the season started?

In your opinions which level 4 age group is better to compete in? The age group 7 had more girls in it even though there were more 8 year olds. They just split the 8 YOs into two groups. Those two groups were smaller than the group of 7 YOs.

I ask this because it seemed that the 8 YOs on average were getting higher scores than the 7 YOs on average. And some of those little 7 YOs were doing every bit as well as some of the 8 YOs who were getting higher scores. I just didn't understand the discrepancies. It was almost as if the judges just expected the younger girls not to do as well. Does that make any sense? Probably not, lol!

Another issue I was cloudy on was the whole qualify for sectionals/State process. Does the gymnast have to qualify for sectionals? Or can a score during the season automatically qualify them for state? Example: my gymmie scored an AA 34.5 at her last meet. Does that qualify her to compete at sectionals? Or do all gymnast go to sectionals to see if the qualify for state??

If it helps my daughter competes in the state of Oklahoma.

Thanks for your time! ~Pixie's mommy
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Country
USA
Welcome to the crazy wonderful world of competitive gymnastics. Your dd did great scoring a 34.5 AA at her 1st meet. I did check the Ok USAG site and your state does do sectionals to qualify to states. The one thing I could not find were the scores needed. Ask dd's coach---they will know for sure.

As to grouping the girls by age......most meets put them in the age group they will be at states, so your dd will compete as a 9yo from here on out(or should). Some meets are a little more laid back and either miss a birthdate, put the girl in the wrong group or group them based on current age as of date of meet(this has happened with my gymmie).

Hard to tell you that one age group is always tougher than another. Usually the youngest and oldest age groups tend to score a little lower with the middle age groups being the toughest, but that can change from meet to meet and season to season.

Have fun with the sport and ask away---someone here probably has the answer:)
 

pixie flips

Member
Sep 30, 2008
384
Region 3
You were a wealth of information! Thank you...thank you...thank you!! I didn't realize there was a site with all this info. I am just now reading it. Most of it looks like Greek to me but I'll keep reading and rereading until I get it or I go crossed eyed!

I started doubting myself on my daughter's AlL Around score after posting that.

These were her scores:

Vault 8.9
Bars 8.4
Beam 8.65
Floor 8.8

if I straight up add them together I get 34.75. Is that how it's totaled?
 

jasmine196

Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Aug 29, 2007
102
I can't post in the parent forum for some reason. But I just wanted to let you know that your dd first level 4 meet was pretty awesome. I was very impressed with her form and execution. Of course, me being a bar coach I loved her bars, and I can see great things to come for the rest of the season. Best of luck for the rest of the season, can't wait to see how she does for the rest of the year:)
 

Tim_Dad

Member
Nov 3, 2008
414
Region IV (Missouri)
I think you'll probably learn (as I have) that the age group separations really don't matter much. The routines are the same, the judges generally score fairly, and the final results are what they are - regardless of age. My DD went from 8 yr to 9yr old group, she was a little worried. Then she did her thing, and did great. He scores were exactly as they should have been. Age didn't come into play at all.

The only group difference that I can see is rank on the podium.

Being 1st at the meet is a great feeling, no doubt. But it's really only a small part of the sport. At her age, the real fun is in the activity itself, not the competition. "Competitions" are just exhibitions with medals. In fact, I don't see much "competiveness" in any of the lower level teams. They are just doing what they do, as best as they can. There is no strategy.

For my DD, we encourage her to work on fixing her known errors at the event level, and raise her AA score at the meet level. It's her wish to be in the 9's club more consistantly. I really doesnt matter (much) to her if she places 1st or 8th. If she beats a previous score, she's happy. It's not about scores -- it's about smiles.
 
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pixie flips

Member
Sep 30, 2008
384
Region 3
Jasmine, you are so sweet! Those words mean more than you will know!! Pixie had struggled on bars until she moved to USAG level 4. I told her that her bars were amazing! I didn't even mention the over rotation to her because I thought the routine was brilliant. I just had her read what you wrote (out of school due to icy roads) and you just made her day! Thank you!! *big hugs*
 

pixie flips

Member
Sep 30, 2008
384
Region 3
I think you'll probably learn (as I have) that the age group separations really don't matter much. The routines are the same, the judges generally score fairly, and the final results are what they are - regardless of age. My DD went from 8 yr to 9yr old group, and was a little worried. Then she did her thing, and did great. Age didn't come into play at all.

The only difference being rank on the podium.

Being 1st at the meet is a great feeling, no doubt. But it's really only a small part of the sport. At her age, the real fun is in the activity itself, not the competition. "Competitions" are more like exhibitions - with medals. In fact, I don't see much "competiveness" in any of the teams. They are just doing what they do, as best as they can. There is no strategy.

For my DD, we encourage her to work on fixing her known errors at the event level, and raise her AA score at the meet level. It's her wish to be in the 9's club more consistantly. I really doesnt matter (much) to her if she places 1st or 8th. If she beats a previous score, she's all smiles.

Thank you for that! I like your philosophy.

The information is really just for me, lol! I want the knowledge since I lack experience. I agree that the real fun was the activity itself. She had such a blast this past meet and that was really what was important as far as she is concerned. In fact, in the car, on the way to the meet I asked her what the most important thing to achieve was, to which she replied "to have fun"! And that is all that I wish for her to want. Leave the other stuff for me to worry about. She doesn't even know there is such a thing a sectionals or state. I hope it stays that way for a long time. The longer the better. Then she can just enjoy the sport in it's pure nature.
 

LemonLime

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jul 16, 2007
776
You are in a state (Oklahoma) where a gymnast has to qualify to sectionals with a certain score and THEN place in a certain position (usually top 2/3) to qualify to state.

The age divisions in Oklahoma are determined by a gymnast's age at the state meet which is in late Spring and usually the bigger age groups (such as 10yo) are further divided into older 10s and younger 10s.
 
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