Ingymmom--Right now, my daughter is using hair clips at practice becuase she is growing out side bangs(her mature style?) and she has to keep them back out of her face. Same clips she uses at meets that you can get at any WalMart etc.
Blackie--Before you stress over hair(and I know where you're coming from!), check with the coaches about what they require or prefer for meets. I think on little ones, just a nice curled pony looks sweet and it doesn't cause a major meltdown for the parent!
BTW---Any of you real hair experts know of something that can be put in or on the hair to hold the curls of the pony over a long day? My daughter has very straight fine hair, so just getting it to curl is an issue. Usually if its a traditional format meet, by the end of the 2nd event, the curls have started to unwind and look droopy.