IK School of Gymnastics in Miami sets a high priority on rewarding the accomplishments of our athletes and the effort of their parents by providing them with an opportunity to participate in rhythmic gymnastics competitions.
Here, at IK School of Gymnastics in Miami, we know that the first gymnastics meet can be confusing. It is our sincere wish that you get extremely positive competitive experience. To help parents of young gymnasts get ready to their first gymnastics meet, IK School of Gymnastics in Miami prepared a guidebook to being a fantastic gymnastics parent at the meet. Hope this helps!
- Being familiar with rhythmic gymnastics calendar. A meet schedule for rhythmic gymnasts is usually developed by the USA Gymnastics by October/November. Here you can find the information on upcoming rhythmic gymnastics events across the USA. As a parent of a gymnast you are required to indicate, which meets your daughter is going to attend, so your rhythmic gymnastics school can register her for events.
- Paying entry fees. The hosting gym establishes a deadline entry date that is typically can be up to six weeks to ten days prior to the event. All entry fees should be paid prior to this date; otherwise there is a late athlete fee. Rhythmic gymnastics competition entry fees may vary, depending on the hosting gym and a gymnast’s level (from $60 – $80/Level 3 up to $140 – $160/Levels 9&10). To get more information about competitions expenses, read How Much Does it Cost to Raise a Competitive Gymnast.
- Getting detailed information on the meet. In most cases the hosting club do not establish sessions and times until the registration is closed. This all takes time so be ready that you won’t know the exact day/time your gymnast is competing until typically a week prior to the meet. This means that if a meet is scheduled for 3 days you have to keep the entire period clear for the meet. Do not call the hosting gym for information – they are really busy getting ready for the meet. Ask your coach instead – this is her responsibility to furnish you with this information.
- Planning your visit to the meet. Your coaches or the meet website will give you important information on the meet location and schedule. It’s your responsibility to buy airplane tickets, book the hotel and plan everything else to bring your athlete to the meet on time. Don’t hesitate to ask the coach anything you need to know about the locations, including the best way to find it. If the meet is in an unfamiliar place, do not rely on Google Maps or your navigator only – ask for detailed instructions to ensure you’ll be able to quickly find the gym.
- Understanding the Meet Schedule. The meet schedule is divided into levels and groups. The essential information you need to know is what group your athlete belongs to (mostly is determined by the age). Typically, lower level teams get earlier sessions, so when attending your first meet, be ready to get up and get going early in the morning. Allow at least 7 hours for the meet.
The schedule gives you important information regarding the gym opening, warm-up, competition itself, and awards. Your athlete’s coach will probably tell you when you are supposed to check-in, but it’s useful to understand what the meet schedule means to better plan your day.
- Gym opening time is the earliest time your gymnast can check-in.
- Timed warm-ups usually take 15 – 20 minutes. Coaches typically ask their athletes to arrive long before the warm-ups, but they won’t start competing before the March-In. So, you can drop your athlete off, check her in for the meet, notify the coach, and go get some coffee nearby. If you have any relatives or friends attending the meet to cheer your gymnasts, tell them to arrive 10-15 minutes before the competition time.
- March-In precedes the competition to introduce the participants.
- Competition itself for each level usually takes 2 – 4 hours depending on the number of participants.
- Awards are given right after the competition in separate area. This means that Level 3 gymnasts will be awarded as soon as they finish their routines, while the athletes of other levels may be in the middle of the competition.
The second part of our Parent's Guide to Gymnastics Meets comes in our next blog post and covers the following issues:
- What you should bring to the meet
- Things to do after you arrive at the gym
- How to cheer up your gymnast
- Meet etiquette for parents and gymnasts