All-Star The death of the Large Divisions

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Mar 10, 2017
I think it's so sad that there are only two teams left in Large Coed. Do you think Steel, Cali Coed, Coed Elite or even Snowed will ever make a comeback in this division?

We still have a few Large Allgirl Teams but it would be so amazing to see F5 again or if Topgun would make an Large Allgirl. Or even California Allstars, I believe they had an Large Allgirl Team in one season.
I may be wrong, however, I believe the age grid with Open and Global may have impacted many of the gyms and they way they structured their teams. I looked at Stingrays Open, Intl Global and Sr Coed Teams (I did not include Apple, Neon, Peach, Orange) and they currently have:

This years Open, Intl Global, and L6 Sr Co :
Purple (L6 Sr Co Sm)
Steel (L6 Sr Co Md)
Electric (L6 Intl Global Co)

Versus last year:
Apple (L6 Sr Open)-This team is now L6 Sr XSm
Purple (L6 Sr Co Sm)- Same as last year
Steel (L6 Sr Co Lg)-Medium this year
Electric (L6 Intl Global Co)-Same as last year
Cobalt (L6 Intl Global)-? In Aug they put it out on X to see if there was interest
Rust (L7 Intl Open Co Lg)- On X, they said they were taking the year off

I don't believe their Open and Intl Global teams ever had a lot of Sr aged athletes on them, but I do believe there were probably enough too impact team structure this year. The reason I believe it was the age grid, is it didn't impact their lower level teams at all. "Yes" I do believe the teams you mentioned will make a comeback in Large Coed, but it may take some time.
The Large divisions have been dying for over 10 years. It just isn't feasible for most gyms at this point.
The Large divisions have been dying for over 10 years. It just isn't feasible for most gyms at this point.

If you have time, could you share your thoughts on why you feel its dying? Is it because high school aged athletes often stop or move onto new, different, or HS sports? Is it more strategic for a gym to field a small and medium versus a large?

Solely from a parent/athlete perspective, I can see how having a higher level athlete would impact parents from increased travel expenses, high medical deductibles, and higher time commitments. From an athlete perspective I can see how the continually rising bar could physically, socially, and mentally impact them.
It's extremely difficult to have 30+ kids with that level of skill. Taking coed out of the conversation, because it's always been hard to find that many boys.
Look at Large All Girl before Restricted 5 was a thing. The last time you had to qualify to day 2 was (I think) 2008 or 9. But, there were only maybe 5 or 6 teams that were truly competitive. Of those, the top 4 were almost always Panthers, Stars, SE, and F5. Yes, the division had more than 10 teams, but none of those other teams had the quantity of skills that the top teams had.

Teams were creating large teams with athletes that didn't have maxed out skills.
Then the restricted level was created. Gyms had the ability to create teams with athletes that had level 5 skills, but weren't maxed out yet. This allowed gyms to have a place for those athletes, and still create a competitive Worlds team. Small all girl was always the deepest division, and this just helped create more. LAG suffered, but the teams it lost weren't teams that were vying for the podium.

Enter Medium. Gyms no longer had to go large if they had more worlds caliber athletes than a small team allowed. They no longer just had to add athletes in order to match the top teams in stunts etc. Before Medium, some gyms would create a large team just to be guaranteed a Finals spot. Once the divisions expanded to include a middle ground, those gyms suddenly became competitive in the new division.

The LAG teams that have dominated the division, still dominate the division. It's not easy to compete with them. They have a long history of success. Athletes travel to them, they aren't reliant on just pulling athletes from their existing talent pool. They don't have to reinvent the wheel. They just keep going. It's almost impossible to compete with that. It's much easier to create competitive smaller teams.
Before Medium, some gyms would create a large team just to be guaranteed a Finals spot.
i feel like i remember WAY back in the day people talking about this and debating over it... (maybe not on here, but definitely in youtube comments once videos were uploaded.) That some teams went/stayed large, cause it was a guaranteed two days worth of competing. And gyms/parents alike wanted to get their money's worth. Also the allure of it being one of the most watched/anticipated divisions that everyone waited for, was worth it, even if it meant never reaching the top 3.
Granted i dont know how much actual truth is in that, but looking back now, i wouldnt doubt it.