The first gymnastics meet that you have a child competing in can often be very stressful just to think about it. This is not something that you have to feel stress about, if anything you should try to just take it easy for your child’s first competition.
If you have a daughter who is competing, then she will most likely be doing four events. The four events for girls gymnastics are vault, beam, floor and bars. However, there are exceptions if they are not quite ready any specific event. There is also a team competition which totals the scores from the top gymnasts from each gym.
You may be surprised to know that your child will likely only be doing three events at their first gymnastics meet if you know that there are four events. The fact is, when a gymnast competes in their first meet, they may not be a high enough level to have really worked on their vaults.
As mentioned, there are four events. These are: the floor event, the beam event, the vault event, and the bar event. Depending on what program your young gymnast is in, they may start competing almost right of the bat.
For this reason, until a gymnast learns how to do their first simple vault, they will be doing the other three events. In some cases, a gymnast may not even know the bar event very well, in which situation they will only be doing two events.
The events are almost always done in the same order which is: vault, bar, beam, then the floor event to end with. The exception to this is if there is more than one competition being held at the same time. In this case one competition will have its gymnastics do the vault event while the other competition will be of the bar or another event and they will rotate around each other.
Every event will have a schedule that you are either handed or emailed. If it does not say what order the events are in, you can safely take it for granted that the events will be in the default order. If the events are in a different order then it will say what order they are in so that you can be prepared to move around.
The Vault Event
You can usually tell where this event is being held, but not always. The actual vaulting table can blend in really well sometimes if you are looking for it in a crowded gym. However, sometimes you might be able to find the long runway that the gymnasts use to get a running start.
This is the shortest of the events and a gymnastics competition, and it is over with so quickly that it can sometimes be overlooked. Between that and the fact that both gymnasts and spectators don’t enjoy this event as much as some of the others, there are people who have never even heard that a vault is a genuine gymnastics skill.
The Bar Event
This is perhaps one of the most well-known out of the events during gymnastics competitions. If you are trying to find the area of the gym that this event is held at, it is as simple as looking for those uneven bars that are above the height of your head.
While the bars themselves stay the same, the height that they are set at can sometimes be either raised or lowered depending on the height of the gymnasts who are competing. It is for this reason that some competitions will have the gymnasts who are the same height compete after each other, which may help you understand why the gymnasts compete in what seems like a random order.
The Beam Event
This is the other one of the most popular and well-known of the gymnastics events. It is also one that can be hard to spot since the balance beam can be moved out of the way completely in some gyms in order to give space for the other events.
When it is set up, the beam can still be hard to spot through a crowd. It is not very high up off of the ground, but it is surrounded by mats so that if the gymnast falls off of the beam they have a softer landing.
The Floor Event
This gymnastics event is the only one which does not require any form of equipment at all. More than any other, it requires a certain level of dance skills. The area that the floor routine is done in is a perfect square, with the edges of the square being clearly marked off as required by the rules.
The area that is marked off can seem quite large to someone who is not familiar with gymnastics, however, the gymnasts make full use of the area – or they can get a deduction if they don’t do to effectively.
Specializing In An Event
If you pay attention to the world of gymnastics, then you may have heard of gymnasts who specialize in a particular event. Often these gymnasts do not even compete in the other events at all, though most of the time they still practice for the other events.
There is technically no specific level which you have to be in gymnastics in order to start specializing in one event. This means that even at your very first competition you can choose to start working on one event if you want to do so.
This means that you only have to do one event if for any reason you do not want to do the other events. However, in order to move up in the levels you will have to be able to do certain things in all of the events.
Part of what you will need to do in order to advance is to get a all around score that is high enough to qualify you for the next level. Therefore, even if you know that you are going to specialize in something, you will need to be at least passable in the other events and do all four events in at least one competition in order to level up.
Once you get to the Elite or College level then you can completely drop the other events if you want to focus all of your efforts on one or two of the events. However, you should know that you will still need to have a pretty good all around score in order to be an Olympic gymnast, even if you are a great specialist.
As mentioned, the events will almost always be in the same order, but there are also different schedules that you will sometimes see. The two main ones that you will come across are capital cup format and the traditional format.
The traditional format is what your child is most likely going to come across at your first meet, since it is a little easier on new gymnasts. For this format the gymnasts will have a longer warm-up time and then they will do all of the events one after the other.
With the capital cup format has a shorter warm-up to start with, and then you go straight into competing. However, to make up for this there are short warm-ups before each event. All in all, this takes more time.
Whichever format the competition is held using, you can guarantee that a lot of hours of training and preparation are going to go into getting ready for the competition. A child’s first gymnastics meet can be extremely stressful.
One way that you can help with this is by attending a gymnastics meet beforehand as simple part of the audience. This will help you to be prepared for what the gym will look like and you will get a little experience finding your way around and other such things.
Finally, if you think that the stress of competing in all four events might be a little too much the first time around, then you should feel free to talk to your coach about it. In some cases they might suggest that your young gymnast simply compete in one or two of the events the first time around so that they can get comfortable with it.