Team Parent (FAQs)

Prior to the Meet

Should my gymnast wear her Leo to the meet?

Yes, definitely have your gymnast wear your competition leo and warm-ups to the meet. There is not a lot of time to change at the venue before check-in (and you will more than likely, use a public restroom).

What about hair, nails, earrings, make-up, etc.?

Judges like gymnasts’ hair when it is really elaborate and cute. Glitter in hair is always a good idea. Whatever style you choose, the hair must be above the shoulders. Do not have them wear nail polish. Earrings should be studs only or none at all. No make-up or very little (be sure the colors coordinate with the uniform).

How early do we arrive at the meet?

Arrive at check-in 30 minutes prior to warm-up, so your gymnast has time to locate the coaches or other gymnasts. This will also give you time to find parking, walk, and get a measure of your surroundings.

Are snacks allowed at the meet?

It is a good idea to take healthy snacks to the meet for your gymnast. Snacks are eaten after the competition is complete (during awards). Healthy snacks include bottled water, apple juice, or Gatorade, apples, bananas, packages of cheese,  etc. Some of the girls even like to eat sandwiches after the meet. Also, place bottle of water in your gymnast's meet bag. Talk with your Level Rep, if you are unsure about snacks; they are looking to help make this a wonderful experience for all gymnast.

Are guests allowed at the meet?

Yes. But if they do not wish to sit for an hour-and-a-half during check-in and warm-ups, tell them to arrive at the time of "March-in", which is usually about an hour after the girls are scheduled to check-in. Remind your guests of the cost.

Do I have to pay to watch the competition?

Yes. The cost depends on the meet. Check the meet’s website for information about the cost of adult and child pricing. In general, plan to pay between $10-25 per adult and $5-12 per child (sometimes under 3 or 2 will be free).

TIP:   BRING CASH!   ATM/cash machines are not easy to locate at meets. Also, vendors at the meet may not be equipped to process debit/credit cards or take checks. There will be bank or stores somewhere in the area, but you may have to drive a few miles to get there. If necessary, be prepared with extra cash for concessions.

On Your Arrival

How do we check-in once we arrive?

Unless you are told to meet in a certain area, do a visual check of the stands and the competition area. Keep your eyes open for others and help each other out.  If you do not wish to send your daughter in alone, park and go in, but be sure you allow enough time to park and pay; then you can assist in helping your gymnast find the others.

Gymnasts usually have a separate area to check in. For the really young athletes, most places will allow a parent to walk the child in and return to pay admission. Or maybe the Level Rep can assign a parent to stand at the door to collect gymnasts, and then walk them to the team area.

Should I purchase the meet booklet/score sheet?

Every meet will have a pre-printed booklet/score sheet, which contains the gymnasts name, number, group, date and time of the meet, and the room they will be assigned to during the competition.  This score sheet can also be used to track scores. These score sheet range in cost from $1 to $10 or more depending on the meet.

During the Meet

Allow Coaches to Do Their Job.

If you are a coach, and you see where you can assist, apply for the job. Never ever approach a coach or request a meeting with a coach during a meet without being summoned. Coaches are there to work with all team members, who are on the floor competing during the meet and for the entire weekend competition. The coaches have a packed schedule (i.e., warm-ups, ensuring no accidents occur, restroom breaks, and eating, amongst other things). During this time, they do not have the bandwidth to talk to you one-on-one about your gymnast. Please be respectful of their time. In addition to that, other gymnasts are also entitled to have an engaged coach, who is excited about being at the meet and coaching a winning team. Remember, there is an official 24 hour coach contact rule, but it is best to have your conversation with the coaches after the entire weekend meet has concluded.

Note: The coaches may not be able to watch all of the award presentations because they have a certain schedule to keep during the meet.  Often times, they need to prepare for the next session, or they just may need time to relax.

Is "March-in" formal at every meet?

This depends on the meet. Usually teams are introduced in some form, but this is not always extravagant.

How long will the meet actually take?

Meets usually take 4-5 hours, depending on the number of teams, how the gymnasts are divided for competition, etc. You should plan for (4-6 hours from time of check-in). After competition, the gymnasts will also receive awards, which can be in the area where the competition occurred or another room where everyone will need to relocate.

How are the gymnasts grouped for competition?

Gymnasts are usually grouped by age. If you have more questions regarding this prior to the meet, please discuss this with your Level Reps. You may also go to the website for the meet for more information.  The program booklet will also list gymnasts by group, date, and session time.

How are scores tracked?

Please keep a tally of your gymnast’s scores. (Purchasing the booklet makes it easier, or you can record it via text message, and send it after the meet has ended.)

  • If you are volunteering to track scores for your gymnast’s level, please purchase the score sheet, if one is available. It will make this task easier.
  • If you have more than one gymnast and they are competing at the same time, ask another parent to track one of your gymnast’s scores and text them to you or connect with them later.

Judges will post electronic scores, or they will post them manually, using “popsicle sticks” (i.e., the old-fashioned way). Be sure to listen for the scores during awards to ensure what you tracked and the final scores are the same.

NOTE: Please retain all scores for all gymnasts by meet (Awards as well). We will need to provide this information to coaches for the banquet certificates

Do all gymnasts earn medals/awards?

At the end of the competition session, the top 50% in every category (i.e., bars, beam, vault, floor, and all around) will receive some sort of recognition. The top three (3) in a category will often get a trophy or a slightly different medal. However, this all depends on the hosting gym. Competition can be tough during the first few meets, if gymnasts are not getting medals or trophies, but girls who miss out at the beginning are always more determined to get medals later.

How Should the Gymnast Dress for Awards?

If your child does receive an award, the gymnast should wear the NSG warm-up, fully zipped along with team flip flops on the podium. They should repeat this, if the TEAM wins an award.  Please do not allow your gymnast to wear a t-shirt or other clothing over the warm-up on the award stand. This is a time we should show TEAM unity.

Can I leave immediately after awards have been given to my gymnast?

It is strongly recommended that all gymnasts wait until all age groups have been awarded medals. Usually the awards start with the younger gymnast and proceed to the eldest.  Also, the team could win an award, and you may not want to miss an opportunity to get a picture of the entire level holding that award. Aside from that, your gymnast will miss out on the group award.

After awards for my gymnast's Level, do we need to stay and watch the next Level competition?

You and your family do not need to stay on to watch the next competition. However, it is nice to allow the girls, if time permits and there's no homework to be completed, to stay and support their other teammates even if they are not the same level. Please understand that there is a possibility that you might have to pay again.

Note:  If you can’t watch the meet, send your gymnast. If she brings her USGA athlete card, she gets in free. (Remember to make arrangements with another parent, if necessary to bring her home. Most parents are more than happy to bring a cheering section for their child.)