Tag Archives: Gyms

Observations After Answering Rules Questions

I’m one of the people that can reply to cheer rules questions sent to the USASF rules email address. I haven’t done much of that this summer, until recently probably spending less time in the account since Worlds than I do in a typically month during competition season. I recently returned to the account and replying to questions, which reminded me we needed to inform coaches of the Cheer Questions page on USASFRules.com. It also brought me back to an article I wrote last year, Rules Questions: Help Me Help You. In short, if you want a ruling you need to send a clear video of exactly what you want a ruling for, emphasis on exactly.


USASF LogoResults from the recent USASF and NACCC vote have been released. See USASF Cheer Rules Poll Results and What’s Next for details.

If you haven’t already, it’s time to renew your USASF membership. Details for Programs, Coaches & Professionals, and Athletes can be found on USASF.net.

OverStretch – September 10, 2014

Do Your Part For All-Star Cheerleading!

I think it would be safe to say that we all agree on one thing…we want the number of children participating in All-Star cheerleading to grow! I believe the solution may be something so simple.

The JAM BrandsWe need a reminder! We need to remind ourselves of the many great aspects of our sport. The MAJORS is what got me thinking about this. While promoting this event, I had the opportunity to meet many of the athletes, parents, coaches and gym owners. During this time, I learned that all of these athletes have so many things in common. To hear these athletes talk about things like their love for their teammates, love for their coaches, love for their parents, their desire to be the best, their desire to be better athletes, the commitment they have to their team and sport and their tremendous respect for the teams they compete against is both amazing and inspiring. These athletes have learned so much about life by being an All-Star cheerleader and they truly love the sport of cheerleading!

What I noticed during The MAJORS was that, to these athletes, cheerleading is about so much more than just winning. It’s about the journey, the friendships, the hard work, the education and being a part of a team. These are the things we must remember and continue to promote to those outside our sport to encourage growth. We need all gym owners and coaches to understand and live by this thought process. Coaches have the unique ability to be involved in a child’s life for a decade or more, to watch these children grow as a person. If these values are instilled into our athletes, “success” will happen both on and off the floor.

All-Star Cheerleading is not a “main stream” sport. Getting kids to walk into gyms is tougher than getting them to play in a basketball league. Because of this, cheerleading needs our “community” to rally around each other now more than ever. I saw this happen during The MAJORS. Thousands of athletes, coaches and fans came together to celebrate the athletes competing. But how do we show the kids and parents outside of our industry that All-Star cheerleading can and should be picked over soccer, basketball or any other “main stream” sport?

TOGETHER! We have to take to heart why these kids truly get involved in sports. They love making friends, they feel good when they accomplish goals and they are working hard but having fun doing it. They love the feeling of being a part of a team. If we all remember this and promote this, the participation in All-Star cheerleading will grow. I truly believe it is that simple. We HAVE to remember, cheerleading is about so much more than the placements at events, just like Little League Baseball is about so much more than getting to the Little League World Series. I believe one of the main goals of youth competitive sports is to teach life lessons to children.

Coaches – are you giving adequate importance to values, ethics and life skills training? Or, are these messages getting lost amid the pressure to win? We all know that it feels good to win and be rewarded for the effort and time put into practice. But we have to remember that not everyone can win every time and there are many more lessons learned from a loss than a win. Are we teaching our athletes these lessons?

WE NEED TO CHANGE – Gyms and teams all across the United States and the entire world need to realize that to grow cheerleading, we need to be in this together! You may share a city with multiple gyms or there may be a gym just two miles away. All gyms have a responsibility to grow All-Star cheerleading in their city. Remember, you are not competing against other gyms for athletes; you are competing against those other sports for athletes. The more kids that choose the sport of cheerleading, the more athletes in your gyms!

IF all of us can focus on the wonderful things All-Star cheerleading provides for the youth. IF we can embrace every child for what they contribute to their team. IF we all work together and support each other as an industry, our sport WILL grow to new heights. We know how great it is…now let’s show everyone else why All-Star cheerleading is a great sport for kids. Please…Do Your Part!

Dan Kessler

Co-Owner, The JAM Brands

Do Your Part for All-Star Cheerleading!

USASF Age Grid Updates (October 2011)

The USASF sent the following email to Gym Members:

Dear USASF Member Gym:

As most of you know, the USASF conducted several “regional” meetings throughout the course of the summer to gather feedback from constituents and to educate members on initiatives the USASF is undertaking. As a result of these meetings there were several issues related to the 2011-12 rules and age grid that needed clarification and changes made to them. In addition,rules and “International” division changes to the 2012 Cheerleading Worlds were recently announced that impacted the current USASF age grid.

The USASF Rules Committee reviewed issues from the regional meetings, and both the USASF Rules Committee and members of the NACCC Board reviewed the current age grid in the context of the recently announced changes for “International Open” divisions at the 2012 Cheerleading Worlds. As a result of these meetings the following clarifications and changes have been made effective immediately to the USASF Age Grid:

Special Needs Teams

  • Teams are limited to Level 3 rules, with the additional restriction of no basket tosses being permitted
  • Event producers may allow a team to perform an “exhibition” or to “compete” against other Special Needs teams

All Star “Rec” Divisions

The USASF recognizes that increased participation in the all star activity may result of the inclusion of these divisions. However, there is not enough information at the present time to standardize these divisions across the nation. Therefore, event producers may offer them for the 2011-12 season, but must request a “waiver” to do so and must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • All event producers must offer “All Star Rec” divisions as non-sanctioned divisions at their event
  • Event producers are mandated to request a waiver from the USASF to offer these divisions at sanctioned events
  • Event producers must provide to the USASF a definition of what constitutes an “All Star Rec” team
  • “All Star Rec” teams must follow the level rules by age group as now mandated on the USASF/IASF Age Grid (in other words a Mini team may not perform Level 5 skills)
  • “All Star Rec” divisions must be listed as “non-sanctioned” on the performance schedule
  • An event producer may not offer an “All Star Rec” division arbitrarily to accommodate a team whose motive is to avoid competition
  • Performances will not count toward the maximum number of teams for the 2012 Cheerleading World bid requirements for event producers

Open Level 4 Trial Division

Many coaches at the regional meetings requested that a division be developed that would allow older participants an opportunity to continue with the sport without having to move to the skill set offered by International Open Levels 5 or 6. For the 2011-12 season a “trial” division — Open Level 4 — will be permitted if an event producer wishes to offer it. Event producers must request a “waiver” to offer this division and must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Teams consist of members 17 years of age and older
  • Team consist of 5-24 members
  • Teams consist of 1-15 males if the division is split into co-ed
  • Teams will be permitted to perform as a “trial” division only for the 2011-12 season. Teams may perform for exhibition (no scoring or comments given) or evaluation only (score/comments given), but may not be ranked against any other team
  • Teams may not be given a placement based upon their performance
  • Teams may be given a “participation” award if the event producer so chooses, but this award must be the same for all teams performing in the Open Level 4 division
  • Performances will not count toward the maximum number of teams for the 2012 Cheerleading World bid requirements for event producers

None of the divisions above are listed on the official 2011-12 Age Grid as they are divisions that may only be offered by “waiver.”

International Open Level 6 — Number of Males for “Co-Ed”

As a result of the recently announced change to the 2012 Cheerleading Worlds “International” rules, this division will be changed immediately on the 2011-12 Age Grid to allow 1-15 males when split into a “co-ed” division.

Please note that the review by the USASF Rules Committee and NACCC Board did not result in a recommendation to change the birth date requirement for International Open Levels 5 & 6 on the current 2011-12 USASF Age Grid. Therefore, teams wishing to follow the new birth date rule that is specific to these divisions may use “substitutions” and/or “alternates” per the Cheerleading Worlds guidelines to allow competitors who meet the birth date standard to perform at the Cheerleading Worlds. The “substitutions” and/or “alternates” may only be used to comprise a team for the Cheerleading Worlds.

A new rule was added to the 2011-12 USASF Age Grid to deal with the potential use of “Tag Out” athletes at competitions. This rule states:

The athletes, who perform a routine, must remain the same from start to finish and MAY NOT be replaced by another athlete at anytime during the performance.

The updated 2011-12 USASF Age Grid, in addition to the update sent last week to the USA Cheer Level Rules has been posted on the USASF website and can be accessed by following this link.

An e-mail to event producers informing them of these changes/clarifications/updates will also be sent today.

We hope that this e-mail provided you with information that will help to ensure a successful competition season ahead. Thank you for your continued support of the USASF.

Gym & Studio Rentals

A couple weeks ago I had a few conversations with gym owners about gym rentals and how the work at their gyms. I took a few different things away from those conversations:

  • Always charge for rentals, with the possible exception of teams that are already consistent clients of yours. Even then the consensus was still to charge, but charge less.
  • Things to consider when setting a price is what the space would be used for if not rented, if the rental will extend hours for any staff members, and if the rental is something that will improve your relationship with a customer or expose new customers to you.
  • Have them sign a Rental Agreement accepting responsibility for whatever happens during the rental time.
  • Make sure you are covered by insurance, whether it’s via your insurance policy or by being named as an Additional Insured on their policy, or both.

How Should My Company Use Facebook?

With over 500 million users and being the website people spend the most time on, Facebook can be a great tool to reach your existing and potential clients. The question many businesses struggle to answer is how to use Facebook. We have a few suggestions to get you started:

  • Give recognition to clients. As a gym or studio you can highlight individuals that gain new skills and win awards. As an event producer you can congratulate individuals for showing exceptional skill and teams for how they place and awards they receive.
  • Games and Contests. Facebook can help facilitate contests such as the Hit a Ray contest or those involving taking pictures in your gym, studio, or event producer clothing.
  • Re-Distribute information posted on your website. Many of your clients check Facebook several times a day. They probably don’t check your website nearly that often so you may want to use Facebook to let them know when you’ve added something important to your website.

This is a follow up article to Should My Company Be On Facebook?

Should My Company Attend Worlds?

Yes, your company should attend Worlds. Networking is an important part of the Cheerleading and Dance industry, making events such as Worlds “Must Attend” events. Worlds is the only event that will be attended by every major Event Producer, Gym, Dance Studio, Choreographer, Music Producer and Vendor in our industry, giving those attending to network with everyone in a single weekend. You’ll also get to see the best cheerleading and dance routines of the year.

As a Coach, would you like to see the top routines and meet the people that put them together? Would you like to schedule them for your teams or do you want a new sound for your teams? As a Choreographer, do you want to meet the Coaches and Gym Owners that could be your next client? Do you want to see the top teams in action to get your wheels turning? As a Gym Owner, do you want to meet the Event Producers that have events in your area? Do you want to meet other Gym Owners to see if there are any partnerships that can be formed? As an Event Producer, do you want to meet the Vendors that can that can help you improve your events?

The are other places where some of this can be done, such as JAM U or the Varsity Gym Owners Conference, but none will have as many people in one place as Worlds.

USASF: Voter Requirements Announced for Eligibility to vote on 2011-2013 Rules

Summary: The USASF member coaches, who are current as of November 1, 2010, will be eligible to vote on the proposed rule changes for the 2011-2013 seasons. Voter eligibility will be verified via an on-line registration process from November 2, 2010 through December 1, 2010.

Memphis, TN – October 8, 2010 – Only current USASF coach members, in good standing, will be eligible to vote during the 2011 NACCC meeting. All membership dues must be paid on or before Monday, November 1st to be extended voting privileges. A gym member, who pays their dues after November 1st, will not be eligible to vote in the January 2011 poll.

“This is an opportunity for all coaches in the all-star industry to have a voice in the rules that will be in place for the next 2 competitive seasons”, said Les Stella, USASF Executive Director, Rules.

Coaches who are employed by a USASF Gym Member or coaches who have joined the USASF as an individual Coach Member will be considered eligible voters. All eligible voters will need to register to vote on-line at www.USASF.net. Voter registration will begin Tuesday, November 2nd and will continue through December 1st. Eligible voters who fail to register before December 2nd will not be permitted to vote on the proposed rule changes for the 2011-2013 seasons.

Coaches, who are members by virtue of working for a USASF member gym, must be listed as coaches on the gyms’ USASF member profile prior to attempting to register on-line starting November 2nd. Gym owners have access to the member profile and are responsible for listing all active coaches in their gym. Gym owners, who need instructions logging into or editing their profile, should contact Angela Jones at [email protected] or (901) 251-5914.


The United States All Star Federation, a Memphis, Tennessee based non-profit corporation, is the governing body for all star cheer and dance. The mission of the United States All Star Federation is to maximize the number of participants benefiting from the positive life experiences of all star cheerleading and dance by developing competition rules and all star gym training guidelines consistent with the latest best known safety, educational, and ethical practices. To learn more about the U.S. All Star Federation please visit our website www.USASF.net.

Contact Info:

Amy Clark

National Director of Membership
United States All Star Federation
(330) 402-0895
[email protected]