Parents... Coaches... Judges... Gymnasts...
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Jun 16, 2009
As I stated previously my daughter competes in the YMCA league in Maine. What is the differance between YMCA and USAG? I believe we do the same routines. Is there an advantage competing in USAG?
USAG is the current US gymnastics governing body….the only way your daughter or son could go to the highest level in the US and potentially be on the Olympic team would be to be a member and participate in this organization. We just went with what was within 40 min of where we live.

I don't know about the YMCA leagues I believe they follow the USAG but I'm not sure.

There is also the AAU program in gymnastics but in my area they really don't exist as far as I know and they have their own levels etc.

You have High School gymnastics again a different set of rules/levels and College gymnastics. I don't know if they are part of USAG but I'm sure someone here will know that.
We live in Maine and there isn't High School gymnastics anymore. The focus in High School has gone to cheering. My daughter dreams of the olympics but I am know that is not going to happen. I think if she stays with gymnastics which I think she will it could be a college scholarship someday. She is very dedicated and wants to train everyday. Does anyone know of a USAG program in central/eastern Maine?
I compete both. The USAG is a lot more competitve and has better teams/gyms. The gymnasts also seem to get farther in gymnastics if they go to a Private gym. In YMCA the gyms aren't as good, they have tiny gyms, and it seems to be that there are more older gymnasts in lower levels. Also YMCA's are less expensive in monthly rates and competition fees. I got 10th at USAG state and 1st at YMCA state by a landslide. If your daughter wants to get farther and get a college scholarship I would suggest doing USAG rather than YMCA. I went to a private gym (competes USAG) that closed and merged into a YMCA so they allowed us to compete both seasons if desired.
My granddaughter also competes for a Y. They compete only USAG meets, with USAG judges, rules, coaches and routines. Previous to coming to this gym, she has only competed/trained at private gyms. The difference between the private gyms and the Y is that the tuition is cheaper at the Y and the girls and parents all seem to be less catty and petty. Y Nationals is the only meet I know of where all the teams are from Y's
In Wisconsin we have a YMCA season and a USAG season. In YMCA only Y's can compete but in USAG, Y's and private gyms can compete. The judges are the same for both seasons, though the scores do seem to be a bit more inflated at Y meets.
Y's generally speaking are less 'winning' oriented and more 'child centered'.
I was at a private gym and there was lots of cattienss and favoratism and my kid was miserable.
I am very happy with the values I am instilling in my child learning at the Y.
Everyone there is very positive, the kids are helpful and cheer each other on. It is more professional than i could ever imagine....extreemly high standards...

Our Y competes only USAG because that is all we have in Fl. and we are in a very competitive state. We happen to beat most private gyms for girls and boys in USAG....Our coaching staff kicks butt....(I feel it is really a private gym in a Y)

Just as you find less competitive coaching in private gyms, the same goes for Ys.
I think you are just in a state that does not have the quantity of programs for you to choose from....I think there is Maine Springers?

It just depends how good your team is, if it is really good, go for the best USAG. If it is strictly recreational then go AAU. I don't think Y do too much competing against one another anymore because of sheer numbers.....The YMCA National Championship is it really and this is totally for fun....It does not get you anything for USAG.....
BUT I am sure my kid will be very happy winning something at a 'NATIONAL" meet.....After all this sport is done for the love of it..right?

If you DD really loves it, find a gym that is good....you would be surprised what a kid can accomplish with good coaching...
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We've done meets at

GYM NATION Kennebunk and at

this one was outstanding.

Don't know if they are near you or not.
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