Skipping levels?

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Mack_the_Ripper

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Is it possible for a compulsory USAG gymnast to skip a level? I am already 14, but I love gymnastics dearly, and I want to maximize my experience before I have to leave. I competed well at L4 last year, at 13 years old, scoring something like 36.5 AA at state last year. I scored 8.5 and above consistently on all events, except for the first meet or two.

Would it be possible for me to move directly into L6? I still have several skills left to learn, but I got almost all of my L5 skills in three months. I would be fine with only competing one or two events at the first meet.

I don't think the coaches at my gym would be thrilled if I suggested it, so I'm just going to keep working super hard, and hope that if I make most/all of the L6 skills.
 
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gymnut1

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As I understand it you could compete 1 meet of 5 just to score out and do the rest of the season at 6. The routines are quite similar I don't think it would be too confusing. Due to your age that would seem sensible then you could be in level 7 at 15 and enjoy your own routines. I think you need to sit down and talk to your coaches. They should treat your case differently to younger girls. Put your case sensibly and reasonably and explain how you feel and where you would like to be heading with your gymnastics. Write your key points down and take them with you incase you forget some of them. If scoring out is not usually done in your gym ask your coaches for support in approaching the owners/ managers to put your case forwards. I hope they give you a fair hearing . I think you should go for it. Good Luck
 

gym law mom

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To go from L4(which isn't even required) to L6, you have to do 1 L5 meet and score a 31AA. That is the mobility score set by USAG for Levels 5-7. Obviously, you want to discuss this in depth with your coaches and your reason for "testing out" of a level. I think you're being realistic is saying you'd be happy to start as a L6 doing only a few events. Bars at L6 seem to be the biggest challenge for most girls and you'll find the judging much tougher than L4, but it seems a realistic goal since you're 14.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Is it possible for a compulsory USAG gymnast to skip a level? I am already 14, but I love gymnastics dearly, and I want to maximize my experience before I have to leave. I competed well at L4 last year, at 13 years old, scoring something like 36.5 AA at state last year. I scored 8.5 and above consistently on all events, except for the first meet or two.

Would it be possible for me to move directly into L6? I still have several skills left to learn, but I got almost all of my L5 skills in three months. I would be fine with only competing one or two events at the first meet.

I don't think the coaches at my gym would be thrilled if I suggested it, so I'm just going to keep working super hard, and hope that if I make most/all of the L6 skills.
Boys are allowed to skip a level, girls have to score out of each level.
 
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BlairBob

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There is a certain age that girls can have their coaches petition to get them into L7. I think it's 14 or 15. However, much of this depends on gym philosophy.
 

maeghansmom

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Mar 9, 2009
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You need to be 14 to petition to be a level 7. You also need to send video along with the petition showing that you have all skills necessary to compete as a level 7.
 
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GymVamp

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OMG i think i just found my newBFF!!!!! what you said is what i am doing. I am the same age,scores and wanting to go to the same level!!!!! i am so happy maybe we can both move up tell me how that works out for you!!!:)
 
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cher062

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I would discuss this first with your parents so you have a united front. Then with parents in tow have that meeting with the coach. I don't think any coach would be upset for a gymnast to come to them and present their point of view. But you have to be open to what you hear in response. Be positive and present your plan and why you think this would be a good plan for you and your gymnastics future. It sounds like a plan that makes sense to me. Good luck.
 

gymalex

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Jan 3, 2009
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Dallas, TX
Hey! You might consider competing in a non-USAG league. That way you don't have to "test out" of levels (most other leagues will allow you to compete in any level you feel you're ready for, plus you'd get to do optional-like routines instead of the standard compulsory routines. I'm really only familiar with USAG and TAAF (Texas), so you'd have to look into other options in your area. Maybe AAU? The USAG JO program probably doesn't make much sense for you, and you'd probably have more success in fun in another program. Good luck!
 

fuzi

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As someone else said, since you are 15, in highschool, and have prior competitive experience, you can petition USAG to compete as Level 7. However, you will have to send in video demonstrating that you have L7 skills. If your goal is to advance to the optional levels and not necessarily to compete in the mean time, perhaps you could talk to your gym about focusing on training skills to petition for L7 status. However, if you love to compete, you might be better off doing a meet or two of L5 and then a season of L6.

Depending on your state, there might be a prep-op program. This allows you to make your own routines but with lower level skill requirements. This might be something worth asking about.

AAU also has a "ladies division," which is for ages 15 and up. You can compete modified-optionals or Level 8 against other women your age and older. The modified optional level you could compete with level 6 skills (VA- Front handspring or better, UB- 1 bar change, 1 B skill such as clear hip, BB- full turn, leap or jump series, acro element with or w/o hands, dismount with flight, FX- B turn, 2 tumbling passes of at least three elements, leap or jump series, and at least one salto alone or in series). If there is active AAU gymnastics in your area, this might be another path to take. I'll give you the link. http://www.aausports.org/sports/gymnastics/06_GY_ladiesdivision.pdf
 
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Mack_the_Ripper

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Thank you all for your information about other options. I think I will continue to compete USAG because that is what my gym competes, and there are no other gyms in the area, and I am very happy at my gym. Right now I have to focus on getting my L6 skills (only real obstacle right now is back salto pass on floor and clear hip/flyaway on bars - I've almost got my back walkover on beam) and showing my coaches that I'm ready to move on. I think this is the first step, although it would be nice to be able to spend more time focusing on L6 skills instead of skills I already have pretty well.

I haven't talked to my coaches, because like I said, I want to show them that I have the capability to push up a level or two. I do like to compete, and I'm very good at it, but I would be fine with missing a year to work L7. I'm just focusing on the skills right now, and I know that my coaches (who are very good) will be willing to consider testing out or petitioning when I get my skills.

Currently working:
-better vault
-BWO on high beam
-L6 beam dismount (I have a punch front dismount, though it's not very good)
-RO - BHS - BT on trampoline (hopefully on floor soon)
-clear hip
-kip-squat on
 
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