What happened to Placer gymnastics?

By Finn Thomas

Messenger Staff Writer


Placer used to have other sports available for students to be a part of, such as gymnastics, rifle team, and field hockey. As gymnastics seems to be a sport that’s getting more popular across the nation, in college, and professionally, why don’t we have it here at Placer?

There are quite a few gymnasts around Placer campus that would possibly be interested in joining a gymnastics team here at Placer. There are two gymnastics businesses here in Auburn, Auburn Gymnastics Center and Miyagi Gymnastics Academy. Since the two gyms have plenty of students, quite a few here at Placer, or on the road to attend Placer.

“I would, I am already on a gymnastics team, but I would be willing to support the school, and continue on with Placer,” stated Carley Mickel, Placer High School student and gymnast, in response to if she would join a team if it was available.

However there are reasons that Placer doesn’t have a team for gymnasts like Mickel. Problems include gymnastics being dangerous, and expensive are issues that are hard to get around.

“Proposition 13, which was in the late seventies, early eighties, cut taxes and cut funding towards schools in the state of California,” started Mark Lee, Placer High School Athletic Director.

Proposition 13 was voted by California citizens as a yes in 1978. The proposition made property tax decrease, which at the time was what payed for most of school financing. Later this type of financing was declared unconstitutional. This made it harder for schools to have sports and other activities, that would cost a substantial amount of money, to continue on.  Of these activities, gymnastics was one of them.

“Almost all the high schools dropped gymnastics because it was to expensive because of liability insurance. So even if you to start up right now, I’m not sure our insurance company would allow us to have that on our campus,” continued Lee, “They are worried about the liability. With gymnastics it would be trampolines, flips, all those type of things,” Lee said.

Maybe there could be a way around this if the gymnasts did not practice at the high school.

“They could work something out at a certain gym where they could rent out the gym for a couple hours on specific days at a certain time to practice, and there could also be equipment to set up in a gym, and they are easy to take down,” stated Carley Mickel.

Currently, other Placer sports practice and compete outside of Placer School, which could possibly happen for new sports.

“We do that a little bit with rodeo, and with our FFA program, some of our kids compete that way,” Lee stated, providing information that other Placer programs do their sport or program outside of school grounds.

More problems could come along with trying to find other schools to compete with, considering most schools closed their gymnastics program down years ago.

“If you had a gymnastics team there would be no way to play because no one else in the state of California has a gymnastics team because of the same reasons. So it’s basically all came down to money,” Lee stated.

Maybe someday gymnastics and other sports that stopped could start up again if the word got out. However, insurance issues and expenses can always pop up with school related activities.

“I’m sure if we got the word out that some schools are starting it up again we be able to make teams, because there is a lot of gymnastics around and local gymnastics centers, and I know a lot of high schoolers would probably want to compete if they do the gymnastics, just classes. I think it would be a good chance for other girls and boys to do it,” Mickel said.

Gymnastics would bring more variety to Placer High Schools sports program. However, because of the issues with insurance, liability, and the expenses, gymnastics will most likely not be a possibility anytime soon.