Guide to competitions

A guide to everything you need to know about how a typical competition runs!

Competition entry process, fees and withdrawals.

Gymnasts will be invited to enter competitions via a email link,  once you have indicated that you will be attending a invoice will be generated.  Competition entry fees go to the host club of the competition and therefore entry fees for any competition will only be refunded if a gymnast has a medical certificate which must be provided within 3 days of the competition.

Competitions could run across a weekend and you will not know until closer to the time what day and time your competition will be on, therefore you will need to make sure your gymnast is available on both days.  Refunds will not be given if you enter a competition and then it turns out you are unable to do it after a time table comes out.

On The Day

Double check that your gymnast has everything before they go to the competition - see our uniform tab for  the correct uniform requirements

Gymnasts, especially those in step 5+ have a lot of gear that they need to remember - Music, hand guards, wristbands, tape, competition leotard, tracksuit, white club t-shirt.

A water bottle and a healthy snack is a great idea to keep energy levels up.

Hair -  St Bernadette's does not have any particular style as long as it is tied back neatly off the girls face and out of their eyes.

No jewellery is permitted except for plain ear studs.

Arrive early! - Unless told otherwise, Be sure to arrive at the competition earlier than your child’s competition session warm up time. Most clubs will bring competition sessions ahead by up to a half hour (with the exception of the first session each day) if their competition is running ahead of schedule.

Duration - Competitions can run for two hours depending on the number of participants.  This usually includes the warm up time.

Door Charge - All clubs will have a door charge for spectators if they want to watch the competition.  Bring cash for entry as eftpos is not always available.  Gymnasts who are competiting will not be charged.  Programmes will also be available for a small cost.  Programmes will show the group the gymnasts will be in, the apparatus order they will rotate around during the competition and the order the gymnasts will compete in.

Where do the gymnasts go when they arrive?  Upon arrival gymnasts should look for their coach. If their coach is on the competition floor with other groups, gymnasts must wait until the competition organizers announce the start of warm up for the next session. Once this happens gymnasts can go down to the warm up area and wait until their coach meets them before starting to warm up. Make sure they have everything they need with them before they go to the warm up area.

Who is allowed on the competition floor?  - Gymnasts, coaches and officials ONLY. Parents are not allowed on the competition floor (this includes the warm up area) for any reason. If your child gets injured at a competition, there are enough qualified coaches or event organizers to address the situation. If you are needed or your child is required to leave the floor for a competition official will come find you or announce for you to come to the competition floor. Please do not go onto the gym floor unless an announcement is made.

Gymnasts are not allowed to, or benefit from leaving the floor to go talk to parents during a competition. Gymnasts can leave to go to the bathroom after asking for permission from the judges. Gymnasts/teams can have points deducted from their scores if parents or anyone who is not an official is on the competition floor or if gymnasts leave the competition floor without permission.

Competition warm up Gymnasts will always get to warm up before a competition starts. The warm up for juniors will usually be 20 minutes to stretch on the floor only and after that they will be ready to compete. 

Marshalling after warm up - After warm up is finished the competition announcer will have the gymnasts marshal onto the main competition floor and announce the clubs who will be competing in that competition session. Gymnasts will present to the crowd once their club is announced. After this happens the gymnasts move to their first rotation and the competition officially begins

One touch warm up, then compete - Upon arriving at an apparatus for the first time you will see that the gymnasts line up in front of the judges. This is to check that all the gymnasts are present and confirm the order the gymnasts will compete in. The order will change as the gymnasts move from one apparatus to another so that the same person is not always competing first. The gymnasts will be allowed one chance to practise their routine on the actual apparatus before they compete for a score. Once everyone has had a warm up the gymnasts will have their chance to compete for a score from the judges. You will know when they are competing for a score as they will present (by facing the judge and lifting one or two arms) before they start a routine. The gymnasts will warm up altogether on the floor. The gymnasts will get two warm ups on Vault.

Scores  - After a gymnast competes the judges will calculate their score. Once a score has been decided it will be displayed either at the judges table.  Your child’s name will be held up with the score.  At the end of the competition (after prizegiving) you will often be able to purchase a results sheet (usually 50 cents) at the entrance/exit table. The results sheet shows all the scores for all the gymnasts who competed in that session. 

Photos and Videos The competition host will sometimes have an official photographer who will be on the floor taking photos of the gymnasts. These are usually available for purchase after the competition. If you wish to take your own photos or videos from the viewing area you will need to make sure that you NEVER use flash photography or flashes when videoing. Some competitions may also require you to register that you will be using a phone camera or video camera at the competition. Please double check this at the front desk as you enter the competition venue.

The end of the competition The end of a competition session will be announced after all the groups on the competition floor have finished competing. Once the end of the competition is announced all gymnasts will be marshalled off the competition floor at which point they will go find their parents.

Prizegiving There will be a prizegiving ceremony for each step/level after the competition session ends. Prizegiving will generally be half an hour after a session finishes as it takes the competition organizers time to collate all the results. When prizegiving is ready to start it will be announced to the crowd at which point the gymnasts are required to make their way to where the ceremony is being held. If prizegiving is held in the warm up area or competition gym area then parents must watch from the viewing areas. Prizes are given out for the top three places on individual apparatus, top three team places. Gymnasts who come in the top three all around will get a gold, silver or bronze medal.

Competition Teams For both MAG and WAG competitions, teams are made up of three or four gymnasts. If there are three in a team, then every gymnast’s score on every apparatus will count towards the team total. If there are four, then the top three scores on each apparatus will count towards the team total. WAG and MAG teams can be made up of gymnasts from different age groups within the same step/level.

How is Gymnastics Judged?

Parents are often confused about how judges come up with a final score in gymnastics. Below is a brief description of the process of judging so you can better understand how the scoring works.

There are two parts to every gymnastics routine that contribute to the final score.

• The D score – how hard a routine is (Difficulty)

• The E score – how tidy a routine is (Execution)

The D score is known as the difficulty score which is determined by how hard the skills are that a gymnast does in their routine. Most of the junior gymnast’s routines are set routines, . If a gymnast forgets to do a skill in their routine or does it very poorly, it will not count and therefore their D score will go down as they haven’t performed the set routine 100%. For Seniors - Step 7+ They build their own D score by adding different skills that they can do to make up a routine.

The E score is known as the execution score which is determined by how tidy or untidy a routine is. The E score always starts at 10.0 and then has points taken away from it depending on how untidy each skill is. Eg a gymnast’s feet come apart when they are supposed to be together -0.3. Therefore their E score will be 9.7 (10 - 0.3 = 9.7).

There can be judging deductions for the angles that skills are supposed to reach (eg 45 degrees when it is supposed to be 90 degrees), body positions (eg straight or tuck), height of skills, artistry of the routine and lots of other specific technical aspects.

Therefore, a perfect scoring routine with no deductions would look like the one below:

The D score + E score = The Final score

Eg 5.0                10.0        15.00