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Shorts During Competition

Aussie_Gymnast

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I think in women’s gymnastics there is a lot more dance elements than in men’s gymnastics so this is where the lines come in especially on things like splits. I don’t think I have ever seen dancers wearing shorts over their costumes, they seem to wear more of a dress or skirt and leggings but not shorts.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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I agree with this. I absolutely agree that this should be an option. BUT I see a lot of gyms not even offering it or even letting parents and girls know there are options. You wouldn’t believe the amount of gym transfers we get from another local gym because they won’t let the girls wear shorts with their practice leos. I’m sure there were multiple other reasons for leaving, but the no shorts policy is always the deal breaker, and these girls are typically aged 12-14 when the transfer happens.
None of the "serious," "big name" gyms in our area allow shorts at practice. It's interesting. Our gym allows shorts and technically they're supposed to have a "no shorts" practice the week of the meet, but the coaches usually forget, and it's *still* never an issue for them to perform at meets.

A lot of the early teens seem to be sensitive about their bodies at that age. It seems like most of them feel more comfortable in the shorts, but there are also some that feel uncomfortable with the shorts on leotards because on many girls wearing shorts on top of a leotard can make them look and feel fatter. So there can also be an issue of body imagine. For most girls with widening hips the shorts on top of leotards puts a lot of emphasis on the hip and thigh area making it look a lot wider. 3/4 or full length tights solve that problem a little bit and they are a better look which can also give a better line.
I mean, my basic takeaway is that there should be choices for girls. Give them leggings and shorts and tights and let them decide what they're comfortable with.
 

mom2newgymnast

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None of the "serious," "big name" gyms in our area allow shorts at practice. It's interesting. Our gym allows shorts and technically they're supposed to have a "no shorts" practice the week of the meet, but the coaches usually forget, and it's *still* never an issue for them to perform at meets.


I mean, my basic takeaway is that there should be choices for girls. Give them leggings and shorts and tights and let them decide what they're comfortable with.
I agree. I feel like at one point our gym said they didn't allow them for higher levels at all, but that seems to have gone out the window. I am sure that they had the rule about no shorts during meet week also, and yet that also seems to be forgotten. Ever since coming back from the covid break having grown (height and weight) and having started her cycle, my daughter has worn shorts to every single practice. It hasn't been an issue at meets yet either (although she has been lucky so far and hasn't had her period during a meet yet). But she would love the option to wear shorts at a meet for sure. She's 13 and very self conscious now about wearing just the leo. I signed the petition.
 

M214

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I think in women’s gymnastics there is a lot more dance elements than in men’s gymnastics so this is where the lines come in especially on things like splits. I don’t think I have ever seen dancers wearing shorts over their costumes, they seem to wear more of a dress or skirt and leggings but not shorts.
My son has a split in his floor routine. The judges don’t have any trouble judging his split while he’s wearing shorts.
 
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gymgal

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A lot of the early teens seem to be sensitive about their bodies at that age. It seems like most of them feel more comfortable in the shorts, but there are also some that feel uncomfortable with the shorts on leotards because on many girls wearing shorts on top of a leotard can make them look and feel fatter.
And some gymnasts just don't like the feel of the gym shorts. dd hated wearing them during practice. She's in college and still doesn't wear them during practice. So in that regard, I would not want to see an all or nothing rule but am all for the ability for *gymnasts* (not gyms) to choose none, shorts, or leggings
 

Aussie_Gymnast

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My son has a split in his floor routine. The judges don’t have any trouble judging his split while he’s wearing shorts.
I wasn’t meaning splits on the floor. I was talking about more about split leaps and jumps they are a lot faster and dynamic. It can sometimes be hard to see the split angles and hip alignment in time and the shorts can be a distraction. Without the shorts it is easier to see the movement at the hip joint.
 
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amanda.christine

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I wasn’t meaning splits on the floor. I was talking about more about split leaps and jumps they are a lot faster and dynamic. It can sometimes be hard to see the split angles and hip alignment in time and the shorts can be a distraction. Without the shorts it is easier to see the movement at the hip joint.
For the record dancers do wear shorts, maybe not so much in ballet but in many other styles/disciplines its incredibly common.

I think if tight shorts are so distracting that you can't judge a split line then you probably need more practice as a judge. Personally I feel like it's actually easier to see the line with shorts, and definitely not a hindrance unless they were like super sparkly or something gaudy.
 

Carabistouille

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I think we should differenciate between the shorts the men usually wear for floor and vault, which are not tight fitting, and the tight, spandex shorts female gymnasts wear for practice.
I feel like the men version does prevent the judges from seeing splits angles. It could also be a safety issue on bars (during hip circles in particular). The spandex version, however, are just fine. As a judge who trains in shorts every single day (and so do my teamates), I can see lines, handstands and split angles just fine.
I am very much in favor of shorts being allowed both in practice and competition, as long as they are stretchy and tight fitting.

I don't care about the colour. I don't feel that black shorts look particularly bad even with a coloured leo and gymnasts should not be judged on their look anyway.
 

amanda.christine

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I think we should differenciate between the shorts the men usually wear for floor and vault, which are not tight fitting, and the tight, spandex shorts female gymnasts wear for practice.
I feel like the men version does prevent the judges from seeing splits angles. It could also be a safety issue on bars (during hip circles in particular). The spandex version, however, are just fine. As a judge who trains in shorts every single day (and so do my teamates), I can see lines, handstands and split angles just fine.
I am very much in favor of shorts being allowed both in practice and competition, as long as they are stretchy and tight fitting.

I don't care about the colour. I don't feel that black shorts look particularly bad even with a coloured leo and gymnasts should not be judged on their look anyway.

I agree with this 100%. I rarely see girls in the gym wearing loose shorts these days anyways (rip Soffe shorts) so I think most girls would opt for the tight shorts over loose ones anyways and I think that's a perfectly reasonable thing to allow. I'm still confused why anyone would be against this tbh.
 

TumbleTimes4

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Even if this passes and shorts are allowed, it will still be up to the gym to decide competition attire. As most gyms like a uniform look, I doubt many gyms will allow the option of purchasing shorts and having some in shorts and others not. I prefer the leotard only aesthetic, but I’m not opposed to shorts at all. My DD does not like wearing shorts at this point and is one of the few in her group who do not wear them to practice in. She finds them to be uncomfortable.
 

ProudGymnast

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I know that it would be thoroughly appreciated by many gymnasts if this became an available option. Many gymnasts do not feel comfortable, or modest in just a leotard, for personal and religious reasons.
 
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MILgymFAM

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I know my older daughter’s absolute favorite thing about getting to college club gym was competing in shorts for the first time. She said she was just so much more relaxed.

Oddly enough, my younger daughter always wore shorts to gymnastics practices and hated competing without them. Then she became a dancer and shorts and skirts are now allowed in rehearsals all the time- and most of the time she chooses to not wear them (though she nearly always performs in a tutu or full costume). But then she started a recreational tumbling class a few months ago, and she always wears leggings there, right over her ballet leotard and tights (she goes directly from an 8 hour day at the studio to the 1 hour rec class). It’s weird how they each make her feel different. I think it should always be the gymnast’s choice- maybe it’s time for the judges and coaches to adapt to the girl’s having agency over the choice for a change- leo only, leo and shorts, or leo and leggings.