Dear Parents, Coaches, Gymnasts,...
We are so happy to announce that the Level 4 Pennsylvania Gymnastics Championships are a GO! PLEASE READ THIS SECTION as it will explain & answer many questions many of you have.
A little over a month ago (Feb. 25-28th), Erie Gymnastics / Team Lightning were proud to host the 20th Annual Stars & Stripes Coed Gymnastics Invitational. On a 'normal year', we typically limit out (fill) at about 2,000 athletes. We boast in our advertisements that we're the largest COED gymnastics competition in PA, and 2nd largest (to the Pink) in PA each year.
This year, we were down 25+ teams and 700 athletes, but we ran the competition with more than 30 teams & 1,300 Athletes. This made us (by far) the Largest 'live competition' to run in PA this year by far.
Boasting about being the largest in PA during a Pandemic is not wise - UNLESS - we did it safely too! We worked in cooperation with the Bayfront Convention Center, the Erie Sports Commission, and the Erie County Department of Health - to take into consideration every precaution & detail possible to run the event safely! As the dust settled from that Competition, we received TONS of fan mail - from Clubs, Coaches, Parents, and local leaders -- thanking us for running the meet successfully and safely!
I will say as 'Meet Director' of numerous State Championships & the enormous Stars & Stipes annual competition that this was the 'most challenging' Competition I've ever done in my life. With that said, we (Erie Gymnastics & the Team Lightning Boosters) came away with a huge sense of satisfaction that we feel was duly earned.
Going into the Stars & Stripes, we were under strict orders from Gov. Wolf, to abide by the 10% capacity limits in the facility. We kept strict control of how many people were in the facility at any given time, and spaced our Sessions / Flights accordingly. We also allowed time between each Flight to thoroughly disinfect & clean the seating, common areas, and equipment.
In developing the Schedule, we also accounted for 2 Spectators per Gymnast. I looked at it from a 'Parents Perspective'. Many meets we attended this year had limits of 1 spectator per gymnast. I know my wife & I would be distraught if we had to choose between us which of us would attend our Son or Daughters prestigious functions or sporting events. So, we factored 2 spectators into the capacity. We did so effectively & efficiently and maintained well within the capacity limitations the duration of the event.
Interestingly enough (actually it was sort of a frustrating relief), the morning following our Stars & Stripes, Gov. Wolf announced effective immediately that the limits were raised to 15%. We've recently received word that there will be another increase in capacity announced April 4th.
With that said, there are approximately 500-600 Level 4's in the State of PA this year (We do not know how many will qualify). We're certain that we can as well pull this off safely, efficiently, and with some degree of 'normalcy'.
On this page, I will post ALL Important information concerning the Schedule, Covid Restrictions & Rules, Parent Info, Hotel listings, and just about anything you want to know.
I will tell the Parents this... (and this is true of ALL State Championships), Athletes have up to 2 weeks prior to any State Meet to try to qualify for the State Championships. In Addition -- due to USAG Rules & Policies, I can NOT produce a 'schedule for convenience'. Essentially, I have to wait until I receive ALL Entries (2 weeks prior) until I can give you a Schedule. I (we) realize that many of you have jobs & such that require you to ask off work - weeks or months - in advance. I'm sorry, some of our Parents are in the same boat! In cases of Invitationals (such as our Stars & Stripes), I can 'limit' the number of participants or set a specific deadline for entries & thus have a schedule out far in advance of the competition. For State Championships, unfortunately we can't do that.
I can only assure you that once the Final Schedule is done, it will be immediately sent to the participating Gyms AND posted on this page. We ask that Parents please refrain from calling & emailing our gym for requests for that information. It overwhelms my office Staff, and they - nor I can get you the information any quicker.
We look forward to seeing you all here soon, and congratulate your child on qualifying to the Level 4 State Championships.
Douglas & Tina Pershun
As of now, the Covid Restrictions seem to be lessening. We WILL abide by whatever the Restrictions are as of the Date of the State Championships.
As for now you should prepare for...
As mentioned in the 'foreword', at our Stars & Stripes, we allowed 2 Spectators per gymnast, and had plenty of room. Since the 'capacity limits' have lifted slightly AND appear to be lifting again on April 4th, we anticipate that we WILL NOT have a limit on Spectators (within reason)!
With my experience running State Championships, in a normal year we may 'average' about 3.2 spectators per gymnast. Most come as Mom, Dad, & maybe a sibling. Some bring larger groups ... Grandma or Grandpap, but on average about 3.2. If this EVENT plays out like any 'normal' year, we should be good.
IF every decides to bring Mom, Dad, 2 siblings, 4 grandparents, 2 Aunts... then I might be in trouble. At this moment, I'm not anticipating that, but let's for practical purposes say I'm factoring 5 as the limit.
Admissions will be $10.00 CASH ONLY / Childnen - (age 3 - 17) $5.00
Attached to the Bayfront Convention Center (Meet Site) are 2 new & beautiful Hotels directly on Presque Isle Bay, and connected to the Convention Center. We ask that you go through our website for Reservations (a. I negotiated a good price on your end / b. We get credit for the room block which helps pay for our Officials rooms!) or Mention the State Meet for you reason in attending. I have a link here directly to the Sheraton Bayfront & Mariott Bayfront. Both again are ajoining the Convention Center and have Restaurants, Pools, Lounges....
We ask that once the Schedule is release that you call the Hotels immediately to release any unwanted / unneeded room reservations. Quite frequently people call and book the entire weekend. Then they get the schedule and cancel room nights. This hurts the Hotels (which work closely with us) in that they now have rooms vacant. Should both hotels fill, we will add additional recommended properties.
I almost always have a good laugh every year we host a State Championship. I think Eastern PA Teams are somewhat spoiled in that there are a lot of Meets & Gyms within 2 hours of Phili, and frequently many State Meets are hosted in that area. I think that many people forget 'Erie' is up here in the North West Corner of PA, and we're sort of considered the 'attic' of PA. We are PA's 3rd largest city - up here in the Great White North!
For us, 'it's NOT a State Meet unless we have to drive 7 hours across the State. We do so without a 2nd thought on the matter. However, when we host a State Meet, my office will field calls like... "Does Erie have an Airport?" Our answer is typically... "Yes, we DO!!!, We even have 'lectricy & water comes right out the pipes... 'cept when it's cold of course!"
Yep, like your attic, there's some really cool & fun stuff to do up here in Erie. I've created a page with links for varying interests. Check out some of the things we have and enjoy your stay!!!
This year the State has commissioned the Host Gyms to produce & print State Championship Commemorative T-Shirts. We have not yet finalize our Level 4 State Logo. However, our T-Shirt Vendor (which we use for our Stars & Stripes) will be at the meet and printing T-Shirts onsite. In addition, gymnasts may choose to 'upgrade' their T-Shirts to Hoodies, additional logos....
Thus, Coaches do NOT need to send us a check, nor sizes - prior to the meet for their Athletes. All T-Shirts will be available for purchase onsite - at $16.00.
Erie Gymnastics Center / Team Lightning is PROUD to be the host for the Pennsylvania Level 4 State Gymnastics Championships. We welcome the best in the state to Erie!
Included on this webpage will be important information for Coaches & Parents concerning the State Championship.
Team Lightning Inc. dba
Erie Gymnastics Center
Erie Gymnastics Center
4725 Park Harbor Dr.
Erie, PA 16511
Level 4 States will be held at the beautiful
Bayfront Convention Center
1 Sassafras Pier - Erie, PA 16507.
Our beautiful Bayfront Convention Center is home to our annual Stars & Stripes Coed Gymnastics Invitational hosting nearly 2,000 athletes. It is located right on Presque Isle Bay with 2 attached hotels and centrally located.
All Entries MUST be made online via Meetmaker Online Reservation System as well as the USAG Online entry system. ALL Athletes must have a minimum qualification score of 33.00AA. All entries must be received as of 4/23/21. Late entries may have a late fee or may be denied.
PLEASE: Coaches Only
Sports Equipment Specialist will provide the State Championship Equipment. AAI - Vault Table, Uneven Bars, Balance Beams & Floor. Ample mats & spring boards will be available.
Meet Format will be Non-Traditional Capital Cup Format
Level 4 States will run with a Non-Traditional Capital Cup Format. There will be both a Competitive & Warm-up Gym.
Kennett Square, PA
West Chester, PA
Team Lightning - Erie, PA
Cranberry Twp., PA
New Castle, PA
State College, PA
King of Prussia, PA
Moon Township, PA
Beaver Falls, PA
North Wales, PA
Montgomery Co., PA
West Chester, PA