This month is your perfect opportunity to spread the word about cheerleading safety and to make sure your program follows recognized progressions and safety rules. Click here to take the iCheerSafe Pledge, learn about certifications, review your emergency plan and spread the word about safety in cheer!
February came and went along with some of the largest events in our industry. The most tragic news of the month was the fatal plane crash in California involving a small group returning from a cheerleading competition (Washington Post, ABC, People). Here’s the other news you may have missed:
- Cheerleading’s Peculiar Path to Potential Olympic Sport (The Conversation)
- Former Cheerleaders Sue the NFL, Alleging Conspiracy Over Unfair Wages (ABC News)
- The Evolution of NFL Cheerleader Uniforms Over the Decades (AOL)
- A Brief History of NFL Cheerleaders (Techfeatured)
- Local Cheerleading Group Sees Big Growth as Competition Lands in Calgary (CBC News)
- Cheerleader Brain Damaged After No One Caught Her Fall During Stunt, $20M Suit Claims (Oregon Live)
- Cheer and Present Danger: UCLA Cheerleader Falls Twice in a Matter of Seconds (AOL)
- 2017 National High School Cheerleading And Dance Team Championships Honor Top Teams (Yahoo!)
- ‘It’s a Lot More Than Rah-Rah’: The Athletics of Cheerleading (WGXA)
- Is Cheerleading Coming to the Olympics? (Boston Globe)
- Black History Firsts: Savannah State University Takes Home National Cheerleading Award (Essence)
Six deserving U.S. teams will be awarded At Large bids to compete in the Jr. Dance Division at The Dance Worlds! If your team wants to apply for qualification, read all the details here.
Deadline for submission is March 1, 2017.
Do you have an idea for a Dance Rule Change? Submit your proposal here.
Deadline for submission is March 1, 2017.
Cheer & Dance National Advisory Board elections are coming up! If you’re a current USASF Professional Member and your email address is accurate in your member profile, you’ll receive the ballot to vote for coaches in your region! Remind your co-coaches to update their profiles!
Clarifications from post summer training were reflected in the 8/22/2016 draft. However, the rules have been reformatted and cleaned up a bit (no changes / no clarifications) for improved user experience and released on 11/1/16.
The USASF Cheer Rules Team has compiled a list of Legality Violations by level as reported by the USASF Legality Official onsite at USASF Sanctioned Events. This can be a wonderful resource for you to not only see what areas the violations are occurring, but to go back to the rules and review for your own teams/skills routines.
As always, when in doubt about the legality of a skill, members are encouraged to submit a video for review.
On or before next Tuesday, the Block Schedule and Final Team Listing will be released. Since there have been several questions lately in regards to division splits, I wanted to clarify NCA’s process. Throughout this entire journey, we’ve remained compliant with the USASF mandates, as well as our own internal philosophies and processes. We’ve also tried to be very transparent and go out of our way to communicate with everyone during each stage of the process. Below you’ll find insight into Division Splits.
The USASF mandates that we offer the standard division listing. For example, that is why the forms you filled out did not allow you to register for a Level 2 Small Junior D2 Division. The only option it gave you was a general, “Level 2 Junior/5-32 members” Division. It did not include Small or Large and it didn’t include D2. Divisions for D2 teams at NCA All-Star Nationals are NOT guaranteed. In some instances, Small/Large splits aren’t either.
Initial Small/Large Splits
USASF mandates that we can split a division (i.e. Level 2 Junior/5-32 members) based on size into Small (5-20 members) and Large (21-32 members) once we have enough registrations in-house to warrant a split. With the size of NCA All-Star Nationals, that was easily achieved in most potential divisions.
Team Listing Emails
During the week of January 22nd, Rachael Alexander sent a personalized email to each program to verify divisions, participant totals and crossovers. On January 26th, I sent out the first Team/Division listing with most Small/Large splits to review. I sent out another updated Team/Division listing on January 30tth.
Given the prestige and reputation of our event, coupled with our desire to have DEEP divisions at Nationals, we decided to only split divisions with 16 teams or more into A/B or D2. For a division to split into D2, there must be at least 16 teams in a division with at least 5 eligible D2 teams. Once D2 splits are complete, we look at the remaining teams and consider A/B splits.
- Divisions with at least 16 teams are split into A/B.
- Divisions with at least 25 teams are split into A/B/C.
- Divisions with at least 36 teams are split into A/B/C/D.
We use a snapshot of enrollment on the official Split Day of February 1st to make final splits. We do not further split L5 and L6 Worlds divisions, as Worlds Bids are up for grabs and most teams that travel across the world to compete against the best at NCA would be disappointed to find out some of their favorite competition ended up in a “B” division instead of their division.
I know that understanding this side of the sport is complicated and confusing at times. We’ve tried to remain as consistent and transparent as possible in our processes leading up to these splits. For us, it is a challenge to balance NCA’s goal of providing every team a fair chance to be competitive with our mission of retaining NCA All-Star Nationals’ reputation as the most prestigious competition of its kind in the industry.
We know many of you choose NCA for that reason, because people that think NCA is the ultimate – where winning means something because you competed against the best of the best. I’ll be back in touch soon!
Cheer & Dance Updates
Scholarship Opportunities – USASF Scholarships are available to young athletes to help offset expenses associated with participating with USASF member programs. Share the opportunities with your athletes! Deadline to apply is March 1, 2017
Are These Dates On Your Calendar Yet? – Plan ahead and connect with USASF members at a USASF Regional Convention this summer!
Who Is Going to Worlds ? – Check out the list of talented teams who have qualified for The Cheerleading and Dance World Championship! The list is growing every week!
Is This Legal? – Don’t risk legality points at an event when you could have your skill reviewed before you compete and know if it’s legal or not!
Cheer Rules Overview – If you haven’t registered yet, please join us on Thursday, February 2nd at 1pm EST, 12pm CST, 10am PST for a webinar to review the 2017-18 Cheer Rules, Age Grid and Program Definition.
You must register for the webinar, as space is limited.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have questions after having reviewed the new Cheer Rules documents, you can submit them online prior to the webinar.
Cheer Worlds Cup Race – Check out the standings for the Worlds Cup Race, the newest opportunity for Level 5 and 6 cheer teams to earn their way to The Cheerleading World Championship!
Submit Your Proposal – Do you have an idea for a Dance Rule Change? Submit your proposal here. Deadline for submission is March 1, 2017.
Category Designation – The Contemporary/Lyrical category is being offered for the second season at USASF Sanctioned Events, and for the FIRST time at The Dance Worlds in 2017. If you have any question as to which category you should register your routine at any USASF Sanctioned Event, and especially if you’re competing for a bid to The Dance World Championship, please submit a form at least one week prior to any sanctioned event. Our evaluation staff will review and advise.
Dance Worlds Junior Video Qualification – Six deserving U.S. teams will be awarded At Large bids to compete in the Jr. Dance Division at The Dance Worlds! If your team wants to apply for qualification, read all the details here. Deadline for submission is March 1, 2017.
Eastside Middle School will represent the U.S. in the Inaugural International Cheer Union Junior World Championship
Memphis, Tenn., January 30, 2017 – USA Cheer, the national governing body for cheer in the U.S., has announced that Eastside Middle School from Mt. Washington, Kentucky, will represent the U.S. at the International Cheer Union (ICU) Junior World Championship in the newly developed Junior Elite division, which will take place on April 26, 2017 at the ESPN Wide World of Sports at the Walt Disney World® Resort in Florida.
The ICU is the international governing body for cheer, and has members from 110 Member Nations. Their World Championship hosts athletes from around the globe. Last year’s World Championship included National Teams from 70 countries in the Elite (ages 14+) and Premier divisions (ages 15+). This year, the ICU has added Junior divisions for athletes aged 12-16.
The Eastside Middle School cheerleading team is coached by Carrie DeBold and Kristal Stillwell, who will also coach the team in preparation for the ICU World Championship. Currently, the team is focused on preparations for the National High School Cheerleading Championship (NHSCC). Eastside Middle School took first place in 2016 in the Small Junior High division, and was the Kentucky State Middle School Champions from 2013 to 2017.
“It’s exciting that the ICU is now including junior division in the World Championship. Engaging these younger cheer athletes helps build a solid foundation for future teams,” says Tony Nash, Director of USA Cheer, and Head Coach of the US National All Girl Team. “Eastside Middle School has a track record of success in Kentucky and at the National level. Carrie and Kristal have built a talented team that supports their school and stand as an example for other communities.”
“I am very honored and humbled that my program was selected to represent the U.S. at the ICU World Championship, said Carrie. “We are excited and ready for the challenge to take cheerleading to the next level on the world stage!”
For more information about USA Cheer, please contact Sheila Noone, [email protected]
About USA Cheer
The USA Federation for Sport Cheering is a not-for-profit national governing body for all disciplines of cheerleading (including Traditional Cheerleading, STUNT, and Club Cheer/All Star). USA Cheer has three primary objectives: promote safety and safety education for Cheer in the United States; help grow and develop interest and participation in Cheer throughout the United States; and represent the United States of America in international Cheer competitions.