Understanding the Competition Schedule

The competition schedule is divided into levels and groups. The essential information you need to know is what group your child belongs to (mostly is determined by the age). Allow at least 7 hours for the competition.

The schedule gives you important information regarding the gym opening, warm-up, competition itself, and awards. Your child’s coach will probably tell you when you are supposed to check-in, but it’s useful to understand what the competition schedule means to better plan your day.

  • Gym opening time is the earliest time your gymnast can check-in.

  • Timed warm-ups usually take 30 – 40 minutes. Coaches typically ask their gymnasts to arrive long before the warm-ups, but they won’t start competing before the March-In. So, you can drop your child off, check her in for the competition, notify the coach, and go get some coffee nearby. If you have any relatives or friends attending the competition to cheer your gymnasts, tell them to arrive 10-15 minutes before the competition time.

  • March-In usually precedes the competition to introduce the participants.

  • The competition itself for each level usually takes 2 – 4 hours depending on the number of participants.

  • Awards are given right after the competition. 

What You Should Bring to the Competition

  • Make sure your child has everything she needs to perform her routines.

  • Everyone, who is accompanying gymnast to the competition, has to pay admission to the gymnastics facility. It’s typically £10 – £15. You might also want to buy a program (£1 - £5), souvenirs, printed T-shirts and hoodies or even rhythmic gymnastics apparatus items, which are usually for sale in the gym during the competition.

  • Make memorable pictures of your child, team and coaches to capture one of the most important events in your daughter’s life – her first rhythmic gymnastics competition. Please remember that no flash photography is allowed during the competition. By the way, many professional photographers have permissions to shoot during rhythmic competitions, and they offer their services to parents of athletes. Your rhythmic gymnastics school will let you know if professional photo shooting is available at the competition.

  • Hairbrush, hairpins, hairspray, make-up kit… everything you need to make your gymnast groomed and ready for the competition. And, of course, you should try yourself as your daughter’s personal makeup artist and to learn how to make a perfect gymnastics hair bun before the competition. You still have a lot of time to do this!

  • Additional pair of half-shoes. If you daughter’s half-shoes become even slightly wet, which often happens when girls forget to change shoes when going to the gym’s bathroom, she will unlikely to be able to perform nice turns and spins on the carpet. Besides, a half-shoe can rip at any moment so it’s better to have an extra pair.

  • Tracksuit to keep your gymnast warm after she’s done with routines. It can take long time to wait for the awards and most of the gyms are pretty cool, especially in winter.

  • Water and healthy snack for gymnast – Gymnastics competitions usually last for a couple of hours and your daughter will be very thankful if she can eat something nutritious right after the competition. 

Cheering Your Gymnast During the Competition

Before the competitions starts, don’t be neither a coach nor a judge, but a supportive parent, who is proud to share the joy of competition with her child. Don’t compare her to other gymnasts; don’t say she must do her best at the competition – your job is to encourage her and make her feel happy and confident, not nervous.

Once your daughter is the competition area for the warm-up, she is not allowed to have contact with you until the competition is over to avoid any distractions that could prevent having a successful routine. While your athlete is in the competition area it’s your coach’s job to monitor her condition, give advice and motivate her to do her best.


It’s absolutely fine to cheer up your child and her team members when they perform routines. The best moments for the words of encouragement and clapping are before her routine starts and at the end of her routine after she finishes major elements. Try to avoid cheering your gymnast in the middle of a hard skill – you are likely to distract her! Please remember that no flash photography is allowed during the competition. The sudden flash of light during performance can confuse a gymnast and even cause an injury. Flash photos are permitted during awards.

When the competition is over, coaches usually send gymnasts back to parents. No matter how she performed, this period before awards is the time to give your gymnast lots of hugs, showing her your love and appreciation.


Competition Etiquette for Gymnast’s Parents


  • Don’t enter the competition area

  • No flash photography is during the competition

  • Keep team spirit high, cheering up your athlete and her teammates when possible

  • Show respect to competition officials, coaches, competitors, and gymnasts’ parents

  • Do not discuss competitors’ performance during the competition

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