For Parents New member! Can someone help me understand some specifics around meet directing?

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Proud Parent
Nov 18, 2018
Hello! I crossposted this information below to "Introductions," please let me know if this isn't allowed and I will remove. :)

I have two step children that are highly competitive gymnasts. The one thing I learned very rapidly is that gymnastics has its own ecosystem and politics. It's different, than say, soccer.

At this moment, I am trying to learn about some of the requirements, without stepping on actual parent's toes.

I am wondering how a meet director is elected/chosen. I understand for sanctioned events, the meet director has to have a USAG professional membership and have meet directing certification. Everything I have read says the hosting gym would choose? Often, it's the owner or the coach, as certain safety certifications are required. I am aware for sanctioned meets, meet director(s) will be named. (I am also aware some of the men's disciplines don't require meet director certification.)

Do parents end up spending a lot out of their own pockets when meet directing? (I am not talking out our personal fees for our children to compete.)

Without getting into too much background, is it possible for a meet director to have expenses reaching an annual cost of over 40k for meets - coming out of their own pocket? I know meet directing is sometimes fully volunteer, like, don't direct a meet if you're expecting to make real money. This person explained that it cost them personally over 40k in expenses this year, to direct meets, and that seems a bit high to me? Are staff reimbursed? If a company is contracted to direct a meet, I assume they would be paid? I want to help, but, I also don't want to call someone out who has been involved in this world for over 15 years. I fear they may be trying to keep me out, though I have certain skills that would be extremely helpful.

Appreciate thoughts and feedback! TIA.

P.S. is there a way to find out who directed some of the former meets? I found the "current sanctions" sections on USAG, but is there an archive for earlier meets?
jasjames -

Allow me to establish my credibility. I have been meet directing for over 10 years; everything from local meets to state and regional meets. I am a USAG Pro member (which you have to be to be a meet director. I am USAG safety certified and SafeSport certified. I also had to pass a meet director’s exam.

Let me begin by saying that any meet director that spends a dime out of thier own pocket without getting reimbursed from the meet income is a fool. And, I don’t see any possible way to be a meet director and spend the kind of money you refer to. A meet director’s job is really a low cost effort; the costs are primarily administrative. A meet director is not responsible for obtaining a meet venue or even equipment which is the only way I can see getting that kind of cost number.

As far as you having skills that could help, let me suggest that you offer your volunteer time and see where that takes you. Sometimes a meet director has things down to a science and they really don’t want/need to train someone new.

PM me if you have any specific questions.

Good luck.
Unless they're talking about the total cost of a meet and doing it for charitable purposes - no? Generally even when meets are done for charitable purposes it's the net proceeds that are donated.
Unless they're talking about the total cost of a meet and doing it for charitable purposes - no? Generally even when meets are done for charitable purposes it's the net proceeds that are donated.

No, they were talking about their annual costs as a meet director. I was kind of blown away, thus, my reason for popping up here. :)
Are they perhaps putting a (high) dollar value on their time that they feel their not being paid for?

I don't think so. I am going to talk (carefully) to some other parents that seem to know this person and see if that yeilds additional info.
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If they were paying for all the costs of putting on meets - sanction, awards, food for coaches and judges, judges fees, gymnast gifts, electronic scoring system rental, computer program, etc. the costs could add up to that over a few meets. Perhaps they are exaggerating and just including expenses not reimbursement?

Another option could be a meet director who invested in purchasing a computer program/system and electronic scoring display system on their own, to be used when hired to do meets. I have known meet directors for hire that did this. Maybe they are talking about this cost?

Or they’re just BSing. It happens.
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