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I have a question about the progression from level 7 vault to level 8 vaults. I know the front handspring teaches alot great technique but I am wondering if at level 7 we should change the vault from a handspring to suke timers or yurchenko timers. I think that if we put mats behind the vault and have the level 7 gymnasts get judged on there timers it would lead to better level 8 vaults. Coaches would be focusing more on training proper timers than front handsprings that really dont need polishing because in level 8 you cant use the front handspring to get a 10 start value unless the gymnast is great a twisting vaults. When I go to level 8 meets I always see scarey sukes and yurchenkos. I think safety wise it would be better for the gymnasts. Just because a gymnasts has a great front handspring doesnt mean they can transfer some of the technique into the level 8 vaults. Most gymnasts by the time they reach level 7 have been doing there front handspring for at least 2 yrs and some more depending how long they are in level 5 or 6. I just think there should be a progession into level 8 vaults. Some coaches have there gymnasts do a suke or yurchenkos before they are ready because a flipping level 8 vault no matter how bad it maybe usually scores better than a front handspring, especially in states. which boggles my mind. What do you think about this suggestion and do think it makes sense? Who could I talk to, to see maybe about maybe changing this vault if it would make sense. Maybe I am missing something about what USA gymnastics wants to accomplish by doing the front handspring 3 yrs in a row.
Mike – I agree with you. In fact my Level 7 coach was talking to me a couple of weeks ago about this very thing. I agree a great solution would be to require a Tsukahara timer to your back or a Yurchenko timer to your back. Either timer must be performed onto a whale mat set to 115cm.
Level 7 is the precursor to optionals just as Level 4 is to compulsories. The Level 4 vault is handspring timer onto a whale so why not a Tsuk or Yurchenko timer? Sounds logical to me and a viable solution.
Contact the JO committee with your request. You can find their contact information in the R&P that you can find in the usag website under women’s program.