The Beginnings In the mid 1980’s, the MGJA partnered with the Midwest Amateur Gymnastics Association (MAGA), to help promote and grow gymnastics at the local club level for athletes 6 years and older. It all started with five clubs who had the foresight to create an organization that would last and benefit thousands of young athletes. We THANK and tribute the “Founding Fathers” of MAGA…Rob Esse (Willmar), John Evans (Northfield), Craig Sundberg (New Prague), Mike Taylor (Faribault), and Scott Young (St. Louis Park). To date, there are around 60 clubs and more than 160 teams competing in girl’s gymnastics with more than 1,500 registered athletes!
The Season From November to February, the MGJA judges take the time on weekends to car pool throughout the state. Talking about gymnastics and life along the way. In a professional and fun manner, we judge kids of all levels and many of Minnesota and Wisconsin’s future high school gymnasts. It is a great way to learn the intricacies of judging and helps to create the consistency and expertise among our association that we have come to expect. To date, our association officiates more than 90 competitions, we can have up to 30 judges working on a particular Sunday, and as a group we give more than 27,000 scores per season!
The Championships Throughout the regular season, teams are given a ranking based on scores from each gymnastics meet which sets the stage for the Ten (10) Team Divisional Championships and Individual Championships throughout the month of March. We are extremely proud that the MAGA has chosen to have our Association exclusively officiate for each Championship meet! We continue to demand and strive for consistent and efficient judging in an enjoyable manner for each of the four weekends. We currently utilize up to 20 different judges during these four weekends.
The Value MAGA has become one of the largest feeder programs of young athletes to high school gymnastics. This has become evident in the last 10 years as we continue to see the scoring gap between Class A and Class AA decrease at the high school level. With close to 60 clubs throughout Minnesota and the Midwest, it employs numerous coaches and for many allows them to stay involved in the sport they love. It creates the opportunity for our judges group to get to know each other, talk about gymnastics, debate decisions, and create a consistency that is unparalleled. And best of all, it creates the opportunity for kids, many from very small towns, the opportunity to get involved in the sport of gymnastics!