I posted this in the parents forum also, but was wondering if any coaches knew anything about the CARA program in CO or has heard anything about it? If so, what are the differences between this and private?
I googled it and it appears to be an alternative to USAG, from the description a more recreational one. Teams that compete this probably practice less hours, and go to more local meets, and the requirements might be different or more relaxed. I'm not sure what you mean by "private," it is just another league that gyms can participate in and compete through. Some gyms may have a USAG team and then a rec team which goes less hours and requires less commitment. I think this is a great option, for awhile in my state we seemed to have few recreational alternatives that allowed an advanced gymnast (i.e. beyond class level) to stay in the sport, but I have seen them expanding, I know one gym that had started a rec alternative with just a few girls a couple years ago, now they have about 20 girls in it, the demand is definitely high especially as girls get older, the skills get harder and the hours longer, and they want to do other activities as well. Rec leagues can also provide a good introduction to competition for lower level girls who are just starting and may benefit from a more relaxed atmosphere at first.