Wildcats News · Novi HS Varsity Gymnastics 2019-2020


Interested in having a great winter season?  Well then sign up for Gymnastics and that’s exactly what you’ll have!  Please read information below and if you have any questions, please contact Coach McWatt at:  erin.mcwatt@gmail.com

“The name on the front of your jersey is more important than the name on the back.” 

How do tryouts work? 

  • Season officially begins Monday, October 28, 2019 
  • Basic and minimum skills for participation must be demonstrated 
  • Girls will be asked to perform their most difficult skills independently on each event (safety spots are ok) 

What do I need before practices begin? 

  • Updated physical on file dated after April 15, 2019 (turn in to Erin unless one is already on file at Novi HS for Fall 2019 sports) 
  • A registration form/waiver and accompanying check for practice facility use must be turned in to MAG office staff (or Erin); this is for the 2 weekday practices 
  • A waiver for practice facility use must be turned in to Oakland office staff (or Erin); this is for Saturday practices 
  • Novi winter sports registration ($30) and all information typed into FinalForms (set up your account on the Novi Athletics page) 

How long is season and what is the practice schedule? 

  • The season officially begins Monday, October 28, 2019 and ends after the Regional competition Saturday, February 29, 2020; for girls who qualify to Individual States, their season ends Saturday, March 7, 2020 
  • We practice 3 days per week for approximately 2.5 hours each practice 
  • We practice 2 days during the week at Michigan Academy of Gymnastics (MAG) in Westland, days TBA, time likely 4-6:30 pm 
  • We practice every Saturday that we don’t have a tournament from 12-2 pm at Oakland Gymnastics in Novi 

What are valid reasons for missing practice? 

  • Illness/severe injury 
  • Family emergency or pre-arranged event (e.g., family vacation, driver’s test) 
  • School-sponsored event (e.g., band/choir concert, NHS meeting) 
  • Specific situations that have been brought to my attention & approved prior to the absence 

**Club gymnasts may substitute one day of scheduled HS practice to attend club instead 

What are unacceptable reasons for missing practice? 

  • “I have too much homework” 
  • “I have to study for a test tomorrow” 
  • “I have practice/competition for another sport” (other than club gymnasts) 
  • “I have tutoring/study group” 
  • “I have to work” 

**We only practice 2 days during the week and once on the weekend; plan accordingly and manage your time. You are committing to a varsity sport! 

What are meets like? 

  • We compete a LOT! We typically max out our allowable competitions per season (15), which means at least 1 per week; we start competing in December 
  • Dual meets take place during the week (~2 hours, start at 6:30 pm) 
  • Tournaments are on Saturdays (all-day event); these include post-season meets — KLAA Conference/League Meet, Regionals, Team/Individual State Meet 

**At most tourneys, each team can only compete a max of 5-6 gymnasts per event; at tri and quad meets, each team can compete up to 7 gymnasts per event; at most dual meets, each team can compete up to 14 gymnasts per event (A & B team) 

What are meets like (cont.)? 

  • No earrings, jewelry or nail polish (clear, nude, light pink is ok) 
  • Sports bras/underwear cannot be visible; hair must be tied back neatly 
  • Must have attended at least 1/2 day of school on day of meet in order to compete 
  • All team members expected to be at every meet! 

How do I earn my varsity letter? 

  • Earn a minimum of 75 points (all scores on each event combined) OR qualify for Regionals on at least 1 event 
  • Participate in the program for the entire season without violating the athletic contract 
  • Attend all practices/competitions and achieve passing grades in school (fulfill academic eligibility) 
  • Novi coaches reserve the right to make final decisions regarding the award of letters 

What if I’m also a JO/Xcel gymnast? 

  • Can substitute 1 high school practice for a club practice during the week 
  • Per the MHSAA, club gymnasts can ONLY participate in 2 non-high school meets during the competitive season after her first high school meet 

What’s the difference between A and B teams? 

  • A team scores count toward the team total; B scores do not, but they still count as qualifying scores for individuals (4 QS per event per gymnast is the goal for getting to Regionals) 
  • A team = “starters” whereas B team = comparable to JV level 
  • Girls can move between A and B teams from meet to meet; in other words, one’s position in an A or B team lineup is not permanent 

What are qualifying scores? 

  • In order to qualify for and compete at Regionals, a gymnast must earn 4 [each] of the minimum qualifying scores below—or higher!—per event in order to compete at that post-season meet 
  • The QS are as follows: VAULT: 7.9; BARS: 6.8; BEAM: 7.4; FLOOR: 7.8 
  • A team must earn a team total of 120 or higher on 4 separate occasions to qualify for Regionals as a team 

*An individual may qualify for Regionals or Individual States even if her team does not 

What’s the difference between Division I & Division II? 

  • In general, there is a difference because high school gymnastics encompasses a range of experience and ability, and it’s important to level the playing field 
  • Gymnasts are Division I for life if they have ever competed Levels 8-10; they are DI’s for at least 2 years if they have recently competed Level 7O 
  • For Xcel gymnasts, it is coach’s preference (mine is that Xcel Diamond girls are usually DI) 
  • Most high school gymnasts are Division II 

Philosophical Considerations 

Novi Gymnastics is a VARSITY sport. We do not offer a Freshmen or JV team. Therefore, the gymnasts on this team truly earn their competition time. I understand that it’s difficult to accept your child’s not competing as much or where you would hope. Regardless, please accept that the coaches at Novi are professionals and make judgments based on what they believe to be the best for all involved—this is a team sport. With that, such things as play calling, team strategy and lineup decisions are left to my discretion and are not open for discussion, so thank you for your cooperation! 

Parent Involvement 

As your children become involved in the athletic program at Novi, they will experience some of the most rewarding moments of their lives. It is important that they understand there also will be times when things do not go the way they, or you as parents, wish. I encourage parents to schedule an appointment/email/phone call—outside of practice/competition —to discuss with me the following (by no means all-inclusive) if you wish: 

*The treatment of your child, mentally and physically 

*Ways to help your child improve *Concerns about your child’s attitude/behavior/health 

*Academic support/college opportunities 

Attitude & Sportsmanship 

The way you act and conduct yourself as an athlete during your athletic career reflects upon your school, coaches, organization, family and self. It is a privilege, not a right, to participate on a school sports team. You will be expected to have a positive attitude within and outside of this organization at all times. Negative attitudes do nothing but bring the atmosphere and makeup of this team down to a level that is not conducive to success. It is imperative that our athletes maintain a positive attitude toward their teammates, coaches, as well as with respect to their participation & preparation. Chronic complaining, poor effort during practices/competitions, and disrespectful attitudes toward any staff members, teammates, officials, or the sport in general will not be tolerated.