WAG $500+ competition leo!?!?

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Tammie

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Jul 22, 2022
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Is that just for the leo, or does it include warmups, bag etc. We have uniform costs over $500 but it includes a comp leo, practice leo, warmups, extra team pullover, and bag. If its just the leo that seems crazy, they could easily pick something more affordable.
We paid $500 for a leo and a jacket last year and $550 this year for a leo and jacket. The fee for optionals is 650, I do not know what that includes as we are not there yet. However I am guessing it is the same leo/jacket combo.

I believe the OPs fees included more. There have been various comments in this thread, some include more, some do not.

We have custom leos, but I am sure you're right, they could pick something less expensive, this is just what they pick...and we all pay it.
 
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Tammie

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Jul 22, 2022
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I haven't changed my opinion that $500+ for a leo is totally wasteful, and a huge and pointless barrier to entry for a lot of lower income families. This sport suffers from both sexism (yeah, a bathing suit is definitely the ideal garment for land-based athletics) and elitism and an ultra expensive comp leo is the perfect combination of both.
OK, my understanding of why "a bathing suit" is used is because it allows the judges to better see the gymnast's body.

The men's team does not compete with much more coverage.

There is also the issue of anything loose, at all, getting caught in equipment and having the ability to cause injury-or even death to the athlete. One of the girls on my daughters team was wearing small hoop earrings, the coach told the story of a young gymnast who caught her earring, it ripped her ear, then the girl slipped, slammed her head and got a concussion-FROM AN EARRING. So imagine what a t-shirt could do!!

So the "bathing suit" doesn't bother me too much(&I am one that has a REAL problem with many of the dance competition outfits, even crop tops & bikinis are not a thing in my house-until my kids are MUCH older. My oldest daughter has 1-2 at her waist crop tops & a 2pc bathing suit-not sure i would call it a bikini though....my littles got a 2pc this year, it consists of a short sleeve shirt(cap sleeve to help with sunburn)& pair of shorts-lol)....so I'm the last one to be ok with something so revealing, especially on a young girl, that isn't necessary.

As for the elitism, I'm not sure that can truly be helped. I don't think removing the 500 leo would make this sport affordable for too many low income families. Think about what you pay in tuition, annual usag fees, competition fees, coaching fees, not to mention privates, events at the gym(like showcases & pizza parties/open gym days), practice leos, and home equipment(my daughter only has a panel mat & even that was over $200, if I remember right-she wants a beam & another panel mat for Christmas-as her whole Christmas gift). This isn't a cheap sport, it cannot be made cheaper and still be safe, just how it is, unfortunately.

I have said MANY times that I am glad it is a child from my "second batch" as opposed to one from the first set(my kiddos are 21,19,10,9,8...big gap in the middle), because I couldn't have afforded it!! The monthly tuition alone would have been too much!! We would have never gotten to the competition leo, so that part wouldn't have mattered!!

So honestly, other than nationalizing the sport/program(soviet style), I'm not sure there is much you can do...and nationalizing would come with its own problems-such as kids not being able to participate for fun, it would only be "the best of the best" being allowed to participate past a certain age since the government would not be paying for kids to just have fun in the sport. Say goodbye to upper level rec, xcel, all the things that so many kids enjoy and is so so good for them!!

Our gym does have a booster that helps with expenses that are too much for a family. So, there IS something to help families with occasional expenses that are too much. I am sure most gyms have something similar. If yours does not, maybe ask to start one?? If they do have one, maybe ask to donate, or even sponsor a child who's family cannot afford the sport. That seems to be about the only thing you can do(at least in my opinion).
 
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JPC13

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Mar 25, 2022
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JPC13

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Mar 25, 2022
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3gymnastmom

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Feb 8, 2021
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Wow, I never expected my post to get this many replies and engaging conversations. I do appreciate all of you that replied to my original questions related to leo cost, mandatory apparel purchases, etc.

Other than that, I’ve tried to stay out of anything off topic in this post. However I can’t miss an opportunity to toot the feminism and common sense horn. I completely disagree that a gymnast needs to be in a bathing suit-cut leo to see her form. Case in point: mens gymnastics…they have so much more coverage and yet they can be judged fairly.


Boys attire: underwear, unitard, shorts, pants, socks

Girls attire: leotard


That’s it?…no underwear and potential deductions if a bra strap shows? Wow. And regarding safety, sure super loose clothing increases the risk of injury, but my boys have collectively competed for 10 years (this next season will be 12 years) and they wear t-shirts and loose/comfy shorts for all practices. And not once have they ever been hurt or got clothing caught. Girls should have the option to have a more modestly cut leo and their team decision makers should be required to allow it. And having supportive undergarments that potentially “show” should never be a concern or deduction.

Thanks again all for weighing in and providing your experiences. I wish each of you and your families a safe and happy gymnastics season!
 

Tammie

Member
Jul 22, 2022
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What about lipstick regulations? Or fingernails? Or visible bra straps? What other sport regulates the athletes hairstyle?

It doesn’t really matter what you think. Lots of gymnasts agree that this is a sport that specializes females:

The future will look very different than the status quo.
Lipstick? I don't know, I swear I've seen girls compete with lipstick, but I could be wrong, I don't really follow gymnastics. Fingernails? I've seen them get caught and ripped off(OUCH!!). Yet, again, I've seen many young women compete with acrylic nails-even at the Olympics. Hair? For sure you can see how that can be a danger and a distraction! The bra thing is a bit strange, but it's just part of the sport.

Not to mention that I'm not sure any of that really matters. I remember some strange things in softball too!

I never mentioned what I thought personally, other than it didn't bother me, I was given reasoning and I accepted it. Only stated what I have been told by others on the reasoning behind it.

You will notice that Team USA was not protesting leos, only a team that stood very little chance of making it to the podium to begin with. We made note of it at the time.

Yet I believe USAG now allows shorts, even in competition, whether your coach allows it or not is another thing(ours does not).

If you do not like the regulations of the sport, why did you join it?? Why not protest them?? How does your daughter feel about it??

Everyone can decide what they want to take away from gymnastics and the standards within. You can talk about how the sport sexualizes young girls and make your daughter feel as if she would be better off covered up head to toe. Or you can take the approach of our HC and believe that it promotes body positivity and confidence, while blaming the perverts for being perverts!!
 

Tammie

Member
Jul 22, 2022
90
44
Wow, I never expected my post to get this many replies and engaging conversations. I do appreciate all of you that replied to my original questions related to leo cost, mandatory apparel purchases, etc.

Other than that, I’ve tried to stay out of anything off topic in this post. However I can’t miss an opportunity to toot the feminism and common sense horn. I completely disagree that a gymnast needs to be in a bathing suit-cut leo to see her form. Case in point: mens gymnastics…they have so much more coverage and yet they can be judged fairly.


Boys attire: underwear, unitard, shorts, pants, socks

Girls attire: leotard


That’s it?…no underwear and potential deductions if a bra strap shows? Wow. And regarding safety, sure super loose clothing increases the risk of injury, but my boys have collectively competed for 10 years (this next season will be 12 years) and they wear t-shirts and loose/comfy shorts for all practices. And not once have they ever been hurt or got clothing caught. Girls should have the option to have a more modestly cut leo and their team decision makers should be required to allow it. And having supportive undergarments that potentially “show” should never be a concern or deduction.

Thanks again all for weighing in and providing your experiences. I wish each of you and your families a safe and happy gymnastics season!
I honestly think men's and women's gymnastics are a bit different, the skills theyre doing a bit different, and even the similar skills are performed/judged differently. Every time I watch men's gymnastics I cannot believe that certain things are allowed, seems the small details don't matter as much(bent legs, pointed toes, bent elbows, landings(steps/landing 'bent'-as long as you land on your feet, it seems that anything goes), etc), I think that makes a difference in dress-much harder to see a bent leg in pants, but if it doesn't matter in the scoring, its ok. In some ways I think it's better, in other ways I think it's worse. Depends on the day you ask me ;-)

Our HC is a brevet judge, I often wonder if there is something in a judges training or in the way it is easiest for them to see things. She is often telling the girls that she cannot see their legs when they're wearing shorts-we joke about it, that gymnastics shorts are a magical garmets that make legs disappear, but in truthfulness, I think it has to do with seeing small discrepancies during quick movements. Dunno. I am guessing this is also why gymnasts cannot wear certain colors of nail polish, its distracting and anything that distracts the eye, even for a moment, can lead to unfair judging-in either direction. But again, I don't know, I'm assuming based on things that have been said.

For workouts, my daughter often wears shorts, tight fitting gymnastics shorts, but still shorts(except during competition season when they make her legs disappear ;-)). I believe USAG now allows gymnastics shorts at competitions as well. It would just be a matter of getting a coach to allow it(I know ours would not, she is very much a traditionalist!!).

The whole bra thing is a bit ridiculous, I always forget about that one as my daughter is a ways off from needing that component. There has to be a way to do something about this one!! I can honestly see no reason for that rule!!

Yet at the end of the day, these are the requirements, some of them make complete sense to me, some do not. Yet my daughter loves the sport enough that she will continue, regardless of whether or not she is allowed to wear a bra at competitions-even if I think that's silly!!

P.S. our previous gym had a boys team that required unitards as practice attire, I've also seen girls teams that are allowed to practice in shorts/tshirts....so I think practice attire is 100% determined by the HC and what they're comfortable with.
 

katrid11

Proud Parent
Sep 1, 2020
77
47
It is so interesting reading about how other gyms handle the leos and such. I am glad the gyms we had attended are mindful of the cost.

Our leo this go around is a blinged up Sylvia P with custom printed jacket and leggings. All told the warmup, leo, and backpack were $325. All we are buying this year are the slip on shoes which were out of stock last year for about $25. So full outfit is $350. Next year we will only buy the leo (good for 2 years). The warmups will stay until they decide on a major change up which happens every 4-5 years. Girls tend to hand down smaller jackets and leggings in the in-between years. Backpacks are kept until lost/stolen.

Personally I think having a well fitting quality leo for competitions is important. The overall look of the team is important. HOWEVER, I am 100% sure you can do that for under $100 a girl if desired. We spent only $79 on the entire leo/warmup when DD was L2 b/c it was the 2nd year of that gyms leo and they didnt think spending $400 was fair. Our "stock" leo was so close to the custom one it was hard to tell the difference.....
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
304
If it’s all about being easy to see body positioning, then why the ultra eye catching leotard designs that distract from it?

Little Girls in Pretty Boxes came out in 1995. It’s weird to see so many people straining reason to justify the boxes.

I’m sure that wearing leos which are so high cut that they require a bikini wax is TOTALLY so the judge can see a bent leg. It would be laughable that some can’t see it, that is, if it wasn’t so sad.
 
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