High School and gymnastics

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Aug 8, 2007
West Coast
High School and gymnastics
I have a daughter who loves being on her club gymnastics team. She is now looking at high schools. Our club has an early start to their training, it's about a 1/2 hour earlier than the full day at most schools. A lot of the high schools (private, parochial and public) are giving us negative feedback to the idea of having her leave school early for another sport that their school doesn't offer. Has anyone had this experience? At the moment my daughter is very serious about continuing at the club level. I just don't want to tell her she has to quit to go to high school after putting in 7 years and advancing so far. What have parents of high schoolers done? She's a great student too!

At my highschool, you can get out of school one period early, and take another class somewhere else. Usually it is to take a college level class at the community college, but you can take other sports instead of PE also. My friend plays professional sports,and gets out early to go practice. There are requirements, such as a certain number of hours a week, but that would not be hard with gymnastics.
Aug 3, 2007
You cannot blame a high school for frowning upon the idea of kids leaving school early to go do a sport or anything else. They are there to educate, and students and their parents must abide by their rules and standards. Especially in today's society where organized sports have taken control of too many family's schedules and budgets. Someone has to draw the line and stick to it, and school should come first. The gym really and truly should take this into consideration. If they are not willing to adjust their practice time, then they should not have a problem with girls coming into practice late, meaning AFTER they complete the regular school day. Maybe if enough kids come in late enough to inhibit the team's progress, then the coaches or owners will take the hint and adjust the practice schedule. Last year, my daughter was usually a half hour late for practice because her (private) grade school ended later than the high schools, where most of her teammates attended. I did not have a problem with this and they didn't either. Besides, it was only temporary until she completed the 8th grade. So, that's my $.02 worth.


I was able to leave school early throughout high school; however I only left an hour early and I was a straight A student. My school was very selective about letting students leave early for sports, and would only allow it as long as the students were able to keep their grades up. Many schools will allow students to leave early for a sport by considering it a PE contract, in other words, their gym time is their PE time. If that is the case, you'd have to talk to the guidance counselor and the owner of the gym/or the coach and they would have to sign forms detailing what work out activities were down and how much. With PE class these days, your daugther would probably be getting more out of the gym workout than the PE class...no offense to PE teachers out there. All in all, I don't see a problem with leaving school a period early, but only if they student is able to keep up the grades (after all education is more important than sports because at some point the sport will have to come to an end and many jobs these days require strong educational foundations).
Sep 9, 2007
My school is really strict about not just leaving early, but getting time off for meets, physio appointments etc. I've lost count of meets I can't go to because I'm not allowed to miss class time but school does come first...


Wow--i'm surprised that they're that strict for missing class! Where do you live again?


I'm in Chicago. The gym we go to is a half hour out of the city on a good traffic day:)


*Sigh* it is sad but true, schools and club gymnastics - any club sports - tend not to get along. In my state, in the long run, this conflict led to girls gymnastics being discontinued as a state-sanctioned sport in high school, despite Title IX considerations*. It turns out that public schools are just looking for a reason not to have to pay for an expensive sport like gymnastics (expensive in both equipment and liability). The argument between clubs and schools over a gymnasts' schedule is a perfect excuse.

Gymnastics and schools can co-exist, but there has to be good will on both sides to make it work. BTW, I have no advice on how to promote that good will, having failed miserably in my own state! I can tell you this much, almost all of the gymnasts who end up on college gym teams have a private or home school background...or attend a public school that (correctly, in my view) sees a child's education as consisting of more than just what they learn within the school's walls.

*To be fair to my state's high school athletic association, they have had to put up with a lot from club sports. Not so long ago, a couple of starters for a high school's girls basketball team actually skipped their high school's game for the state championship in order to attend a volleyball Junior Olympic training session, or some such. Yes, the team lost (big) and club sports received a black eye.
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