FAQ

What are the coaches expectations for me and my daughter?

What happens in case of bad weather?

My child is on medication, is this a problem?

How do ear infections affect my child?

Why is my gymnast not getting better? I think she may be regressing!

What events do the girls participate in?

Who competes at meets?

How do I sign my daughter up for a meet?

How many meets should my child compete in?

What can I expect at a meet?

Can the whole family come to a meet?

How is the order in which Arlington Angels compete at meets determined?

Do I need to attend all the meets with my daughter?

What are the transportation options for going to meets?

Is there anything my daughter should do to prepare for a meet?

What should my daughter wear to a meet?

What is the home meet?

What are States?

What Are YMCA Nationals?

How does a gymnast qualify for States or YMCA Nationals?

What Expenses Should I Expect?

 


What happens in case of bad weather?

In case of bad weather, please call the Woodmont Center directly at (703) 527-4966 for a recorded message to find out if practice is canceled. Even if daytime activities and classes are canceled, team practice may still take place. Unless the message says specifically that team practice is canceled, you should assume that it will be held. On Monday and Wednesday, call after 5:00 p.m. to get the most up-to-date message; on Friday, call after 3:30 p.m.

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My child is on medication, is this a problem?

If your daughter takes medication, tell the head coach. Some medications, even common ones like Motrin, can make children tired or affect their sense of balance.

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How do ear infections affect my child?

If your child has an ear infection, keep her at home until the doctor says it is safe to do gymnastics. Also, tell the head coach about the infection and any medication she is taking. Turning and flipping upside down with a clogged ear can affect balance and lead to an accident.

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Why is my gymnast not getting better? Why is she worse than before?

Unfortunately, the girls’ growth is uneven. When girls go through growth spurts, their strength doesn’t always keep up with the additional work required to move their now taller and heavier bodies. Gymnasts can lose skills until they “catch up” with their new size. But if they keep working, the skills will come back.

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What events do the girls participate in?

The gymnasts compete in the four events that traditionally make up women’s gymnastics competitions: uneven parallel bars, beam, floor exercise, and vault.

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Who competes at meets?

Gymnasts in levels 4-10 and Pre-Optional compete at meets; pre-teamers do not. The head coach and the other coaches decide when a gymnast is ready to compete.

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How do I sign my daughter up for a meet?

In the fall, meet sign-up sheets are posted on the bulletin board outside the coaches’ office as information about meet dates and locations becomes available. Generally, the team competes at approximately two meets per month during the competition season (November/December through March/April). Parents and coaches can decide which meets their daughter will attend. Meet fees are usually between $70 and $80.

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How many meets should my child compete in?

Some girls compete in all the meets, some in just a few, and others are in-between. It is up to you how many meets your daughter competes in. The coaches encourage you to allow your daughter to compete in several meets each year so she can get used to performing routines for judges and being scored on them. Scores usually improve over the course of the season, so gymnasts should not be discouraged if they do not score well when they first begin to compete or to compete at a new level.

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What can I expect at a meet?

Most meets are several days in length. Session times are decided by the hosting gym and are usually grouped by level and age group. This means that not all YMCA gymnasts compete on the same day/time. Typically, session times are posted a week or two before the competition.

You should assume you will be spending between 4-6 hours at each meet and, on occasion, you will be pleasantly surprised with a shorter meet. Gymnasts usually need to be at the meet at least a half hour before it begins for open stretch. When the meet begins, all the gymnasts march in by teams, which is followed by the National Anthem, and then the competition begins. Usually all four events are going on at the same time, with the gymnasts divided into four groups. The standard order of events is bars, beam, floor, and vault (alphabetical); so if your daughter’s first event is the beam, she will then move to the floor, then vault and bars. You have to be on your toes to make sure you don’t miss your daughter’s turn! It can help to find out what your daughter’s number is in advance so that you can keep an eye out for her scores. Otherwise, it can be difficult to keep track of who the judges are scoring, since there is some lag time between a gymnast’s performance and when the score is relayed to the crowd.

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Can the whole family come to a meet?

Yes, the whole family can come, but it may be difficult to keep young children entertained for an entire meet. Some gyms have places for young children to play, but many do not. Use your judgment. Also keep in mind that some gyms will charge an entry fee for all non-competitors that attend.

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How is the order in which Arlington Angels compete at meets determined?

The coaches decide the order in which the girls will compete, and often change the order from event to event. However, at some meets, the hosting gym sets the order of competition and coaches cannot make any changes.

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What are the transportation options for going to meets? Do I need to attend all the meets with my daughter?

You are responsible for either taking your daughter to a meet or for arranging with another parent to take her. If you cannot stay at the meet, you may drop your daughter off before it starts and pick her up when it’s over. Sometimes a coach will drive a YMCA van to transport gymnasts to and from the meet. This depends on the availability of the van, the availability of a coach to drive the van, the location of the meet, and the number of gymnasts attending. Because different levels compete at different times, it may not be practical for your daughter to take the van both ways, because that she might have to arrive early and/or leave late, waiting while other levels compete.

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Is there anything my daughter should do to prepare for a meet?

Practice, practice, practice. Get a good night’s sleep. Relax!

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What should my daughter wear to a meet?

Your daughter should wear her team leotard and team warm-ups. Hair must be pulled back completely away from the face, so if your daughter’s hair tends to escape from a ponytail, use lots of barrettes. Hairspray and gel also help. Jewelry and colored nail polish are not permitted. Note that your daughter will receive a deduction if her undergarments are visible. Make sure she does not wear a bra that peaks through her leotard or is displayed openly and that underwear is concealed. Gymnasts will receive a warning first by the head judge and then, if they do not correct the problem, will receive a deduction.

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What is the home meet?

The Arlington Angels hold one “home meet” each year at the Woodmont Center, usually in late fall. This meet is limited to the Arlington Angels, and no other teams compete. Because the Angels do not have a regulation size gym, the home meet cannot be sanctioned by USA Gymnastics (the sole national governing body for the sport of gymnastics in the United States). However, the home meet is considered a legitimate meet, and girls’ routines are scored by a certified USAG judge. The scores received at the Home Meet can be used to qualify for YMCA Nationals, but not for VA States. The girls tend to be more comfortable performing their routines at the home meet since it’s held in their own gym. This is a good way for girls who have never competed before to see what it is like, and a nice way for gymnasts who have recently moved up a level to try out the new routines. The meet’s judge will score routines as they would be scored at any other meet, so the girls should not expect high scores just because it is a home meet. The scores will be realistic so the coaches and the gymnasts know what to work on going into the new season.

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What are States?

State meets are the highest-level meet for gymnasts through level 7. There are additional meets for higher levels. Levels 8 and 9 have regional meets; level 10 has national (not YMCA Nationals) meets. There is one State meet for each competition level, and within each level the competitors are divided into age groups. Level 6-8 gymnasts must compete in 2 invitational meets in the State of Virginia and score at or above the level set by USAG and VAUSAG in order to compete at the State meet.

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What Are YMCA Nationals?

YMCA Nationals are for YMCA gymnasts only. Nationals are held annually, usually just before the July 4th holiday. The location changes each year and can be located anywhere in the country. The competition is like a mini Olympics, with girls and boys from all over the country attending. Usually more than 1,000 gymnasts participate. To qualify for YMCA Nationals, a gymnast must score (at any meet) at or above the level set by the YMCA. While the home meet score can qualify a gymnast for Nationals, the decision to use that score rests with the coaches. If a gymnast did not participate in or do well at any other meets that season, it is unlikely she would compete at Nationals. On the other hand, if she competed other meets during the season and has tried, but just missed out on the score needed, then the coaches may use the home meet score.

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How Does A Gymnast Qualify For States, or YMCA Nationals?

Gymnasts must score at a certain level in sanctioned meets to advance.

  • Qualifying scores for 2014 Virginia States Set by VA USAG.
    • Level 9 & 10 Division is 32.00 All-Around.
    • Level 8 Division is 33.00 All-Around.
    • Levels 5, 6, & 7 Division are 33.00 All-Around.
    • Level 4 Division is 33.00 All-Around.
  • Qualifying scores for 2014 YMCA Nationals. Set by YMCA.
    • Championship Division is 32.0 All-Around at Level 9, 10, Elite or 33.0 All-Around at Level 8. (Event specialists are permitted with a minimum score of 9.0).
    • Level 8 Division is 31.0 All-Around at Level 8 or 33.0 at Level 7. No level 9 scores will be accepted for qualification into this level. This division is not for experienced Level 9 gymnasts.
    • Level 7 Division is 31.0 All-Around at Level 7 or 33.0 at Level 6. This division is not for experienced Level 8 gymnasts.
    • Level 6 Division is 31.00 All-Around or 33.00 at Level 5.
    • Level 5 Division is 31.00 All-Around at Level 5 or 33.00 at Level 4.
    • Level 4 Division is 32.00 All-Around at Level 4 or 35.00 at Level 3.
    • Level 3 Division is 32.00 All-Around at Level 3 or 35.00 at Level 2.

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What Expenses Should I Expect?

 All numbers quoted are subject to change. Some are approximate.

Mandatory:

  • Team fee: depends on number of hours and type of YMCA membership.
  • Additional summer hours fees: $10/hour.
  • Meets
    • Annual home meet: $20 - $30
    • Invitational meet fees (for those you attend): $60-$100 per meet (determined by host gym)
    • Entry fees for spectators at some meets (determined by host gym): $5-$15
    • State meet fees: $75
  • Competition Uniform: ($250-300 +/-)
    • Leotards (every 2-3 years, unless replacement required earlier)
    • Warm ups (every 2-3 years, unless replacement required earlier)
    • Team bag (every 2-3 years, unless replacement required earlier)
  • Grips (when determined by coach, usually L6): $25 - $50; accessories: $20+/-
  • AAPA dues: $30
  • USAG membership: $54
  • Optional's routine choreography (Prep Op and L7+ only): $100 - $400
  • Optional's floor music (Prep Op and L7 + only): Demo$1-10, Song $50

 

Optional expenses:

  • Extra hours: see fee chart
  • Team practice leo: $35
  • YMCA Nationals: Gymnast entry $100; Spectator All Access: $75
  • Travel: for Nationals & State meets (VA/Mid-Atlantic meets drivable, Nationals usually requires air travel)
  • Hotels: for Nationals, Sectionals, & State meets (usually do as a group through YMCA/Nationals Coordinator)
  • Camps: IGC, Parkettes, Woodmont summer camps: $1170; UMD - $600
  • Team photos: depends on whether we have professional or amateur photographer.
  • Team dinners after meets (parents usually split cost of dinner of coaches that attend).
  • Contribute to assorted team functions (Holiday Gift Exchange, Nationals March-in, Potlucks, etc.)
  • Cartwheel-a-thon fundraiser: optional, but preferred; minimum donation of $50.

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