Level 10 Gymnastics National Qualification Proposal
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I would like to bring before you a proposal to adjust the current qualification procedures for Level 10 DP Nationals.
There is a precedence that has been set by the Elite Gymnastics system and the College Gymnastics system for a specialist qualification to a National Championship. Within both of the aforementioned programs, there is a degree of athlete specialization with an ability to qualify to a championship meet on an individual event basis. I think we can benefit by examining the successes of programs outside of our own. If there would be one sentence that would accurately sum up the reason why this change is important, it would be this: Our current DP National Championship excludes certain individuals from an opportunity to qualify based upon quantity rather than just quality. This sends the wrong message to our athlete population, which is that we only value All-Around competitors and do not believe that kids that excel on certain select events on an individual basis deserve to be competing at our culminating competition. Our job as coaches and decision makers within this community is to ensure that our system aligns with the values we own as human beings.
This proposal and concept align more closely with what I believe our sport should be based upon at the developmental (DP) levels:
- Developing great teams that appreciate and value individuals for their own unique contributions regardless of how many events on which they may excel.
- Creating opportunity for athletes that have the need to specialize (whether it be because of injury, fear, physiology, etc.)
- It does not specifically require any athletes to specialize to be considered for the individual event slots and therefore does not encourage specialization versus training all events. This simply allows for recognition and deserved reward for doing quality gymnastics regardless of event quantity.
The Plan: Each Region gets 7 Wildcard spots per event to compete in a special IEQ Session on Friday Night (after training) at DP Nationals.
2 Athletes : Top 2 AA athletes from the entire Regional Championship that did not qualify within their age group
5 athletes : Top 5 individual athletes per event from the entire Regional Championship that did not qualify as an AA within their age group or as one of the 2 Wild Card AA’s.
This would essentially give you a maximum number of 22 Athletes (2 AA + 5 x 4 Event Slots) that would be able to qualify from each Region. There is a chance that some athletes would qualify on multiple events and this number could be lower. I will discuss below how this could be formatted to alleviate space for extra competitors and coaches on the competition floor.
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