Tag Archives: Jim Chadwick

USASF Announces New Executive Committee Member

The USASF Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Board Member and ACE Cheer Company (AL) gym owner Happy Hooper has been elected as Secretary/Treasurer of the USASF and a member of the Executive Committee. Outgoing Secretary/Treasurer Jeff Fowlkes remains a USASF Board Member.

USASF LogoThe Executive Committee, consisting of President, Vice President and Secretary/Treasurer, serves as Officers of the USASF and has the primary responsibility of budget oversight. The USASF Board is the nominating committee and elects officers by majority vote.

USASF President Jim Chadwick explains “the addition of Happy brings balanced representation to the Executive Committee now comprised of an event producer, gym owner/coach and a USASF staff member” . Jim adds “Happy is a well respected gym owner and has served on the USASF Board and various committees. While Happy will be a great addition to the Executive Committee, we will miss Jeff Fowlkes’s wise advice and counsel and for that reason are pleased that he will remain on the Board.” Mike Burgess of United Spirit Association (USA) completes the Executive Committee as Vice President.

Congratulations, Happy!

2012-13 USASF Cheer Age Grid Posted

USASF LogoThe final 2012-2013 USASF Age Grid for cheer teams is now posted at USASFrules.com following a USASF Board of Directors vote to keep the Age Grid as previously posted. “In the USASF’s position as the governing body for All Star, we have the responsibility to do not only what is right for the industry, but also what is consistent with prior rulings,” says Jim Chadwick, USASF Chairman. “This Board decision does not change the US Age Grid, keeping it consistent with the grid that had already been established and in line with the industry consensus in the US for appropriate ages for each division,” he continues.

Two issues were discussed by the Board: 1) The bottom age for Senior teams Levels 1-4 (and Sr 5 Restricted), and 2) The bottom age of the International Open 5 divisions. The Age Grid establishes 10 (as of August 31, 2012) as the bottom age for competitors in Senior teams and 15 (as of August 31, 2012) as the bottom age for competitors in International Open Level 5.

“US teams that will be competing for bids to The Cheerleading Worlds will follow the IASF Age Grid after they have received their bid to Worlds and use “the year of competition” as the age cutoff,” explains Mike Burgess, USASF Board Member and Rules Committee Chair. “This allows them to adjust their rosters (after they receive a bid) to include 14 year old competitors on International Open Level 5 teams at the 2013 Worlds only,” he continues.

To view the Age Grid, click here.

For questions and clarifications, please contact Les Stella: [email protected]

Males—Minimize Exaggerated or Theatrical Movements

Slate published Males—Minimize Exaggerated or Theatrical Movements.

But cheer is an activity in which it’s always been OK for boys to shimmy. The USASF’s new rules have threatened to destroy that safe space. Gadke is still waiting to see the promised revision to the guidelines, and he’s still talking with the ACLU and GLAAD. He wants not just a revision but an apology. After all, cheerleading is a sport that’s built on trust. At this weekend’s championships, children and adolescents will toss themselves in the air on the assumption that a teammate will be there to catch them. If the USASF doesn’t right itself soon, the entire sport will be in for a hard fall.

A Message from USASF President, Jim Chadwick – May 2012

USASF LogoI wanted to thank everyone involved in the 2012 Worlds-from the incredible athletes, coaches, and choreographers who competed and the families, friends and spectators who supported them, to the event producers who made it possible along with the judges and staff. Overall, we had an incredible event.

While most feedback has been very positive, our policy has always been to evaluate all aspects of the event to identify areas that can be improved for the following year. As such, we will be working with the World’s Advisory Board and the NACCC to identify ways in which we can make Worlds even better next year. We welcome your feedback and input as we work towards continued improvement of our event and organization.

Worlds LogoOn a personal note, I am committed to addressing the behavior of some of the athletes on Sunday night at the Block Party and later at the All Star Resort. I will be seeking feedback from officials, parents, gym owners and coaches to determine the best path forward so that the athletes can enjoy the celebration in an appropriate environment.

We have also updated the Image and Etiquette literature that upset some in our industry. It was not our intention to offend anyone with these suggestions, and we are sorry if that was the result. Our core philosophy has always been to create an environment open to all athletes regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. In fact, we believe that no other sport can match our track record of fairness, openness, and inclusiveness, and we are firmly committed to maintaining this direction for all star. Here is the link to the updated document.

Again, I appreciate all who made Worlds possible and all of those who will be helping to make the decisions to shape the future of this amazing event.


Jim Chadwick, President

A Message From the USASF Board of Directors – April 5th, 2012

The Board appreciates the recommendations recently made by the Rules Committee and, as always, gave them serious consideration before issuing the revised rules that we feel are in the best interest of our sport and its athletes. Given the feedback we received, it seems appropriate to now address the developments that led the Board to initially issue these rules.

USASF LogoThe Board has a deep respect for the technical qualifications of the members of the Rules Committee and sincerely appreciates the hard work of every member. The Board believes that much focus has been given to important detailed technical points; however, there are broader issues involving the rules that deserve immediate attention. Because of this, the Board felt compelled to address what it believes are critical and urgent issues. Addressing these issues is consistent with the mission of the USASF, which is to create a safe and positive environment for All Star athletes and to grow the sport.

An inordinate number of injuries in tumbling appears not to have been adequately addressed by the rules. All technical areas (stunts, pyramids and basket tosses) have restrictions to enhance safety. When particular skills are deemed to be unsafe for the vast number of athletes involved in our sport, rules and restrictions need to be created. If there are skills that appear to be creating injuries, then it is the responsibility of the USASF to address these skills for the overall benefit of our athletes and our sport.

In recent days, some have advocated leaving decisions on what specific skills can be performed by an athlete strictly to the coaches and athletes themselves, thereby eliminating any restrictions. The result would be allowing virtually any skill to be attempted. The Board believes that this approach would have a devastating effect on our sport (envision four high pyramids, basket tosses from shoulder stands, and double or triple backs with multiple twists on the floor and in baskets).

The Board is also concerned about the continued lack of serious competition in many of the divisions that have been created. While the concept of level play has been positive for our sport, the very large number of divisions inherently creates a lack of serious competition in many circumstances. There are now more than 140 divisions. This is counter to creating what is an essential element of any legitimate sport, which is competition. The Board believes that decisions must be made over the coming months to create a more balanced and robust competitive environment.

The image and appearance policy addresses the increasing criticism about the general appearance of our athletes during competition and the unflattering media stories that have focused on how our sport is presenting its athletes, particularly those in the younger age groups.

Regarding process, the Board appreciates the procedure whereby the NACCC recommends rules to the Rules Committee, and the Committee then considers these recommendations, as well as those the Committee develops itself. The Rules Committee then recommends specific rules to the Board, the vast majority of which have historically been passed. However, the Board has always reserved the right to pass certain rules it develops itself if such rules are deemed to address issues of important and immediate concern. Going forward, in an effort to advance the USASF’s mission in a more substantial and timely way, the Board will give as clear a direction as possible to the Rules Committee as it relates to the development of rules.

While fully respecting and appreciating each individual’s right to freely express themselves, it is imperative that those who are involved with the USASF on an official basis or project conduct themselves constructively and professionally with respect for their peers working within the organization. Based on the developments that have recently transpired regarding these rules, the USASF will soon be issuing its own standards of conduct relative to official work being done on behalf of the USASF. To hold an official position, including a USASF committee position, the USASF will require that members discuss and address these issues within the organization’s official structure.

Finally, the Board, which is composed of both event producers and coaches, believes that it is imperative to put the overall good of the sport before personal or company interests. This includes event companies and gym companies. The Board believes everyone should keep this principle at the forefront of our future efforts in furthering the USASF’s mission to create a safe and positive environment for All Star athletes and to grow the sport.

Board of Directors

Jim Chadwick (Chairman), Mike Burgess (USA), Justin Carrier (NCA), Brian Elza (Premier Athletics), Jeff Fowlkes (CHEERSPORT), Mack Hirshberg (Mac’s Cheer), Gwen Holtsclaw* (Cheer Ltd.), Happy Hooper (Ace All Stars), Dan Kessler (Jamfest), April LaFramboise (JAM Brands), Colleen Little (IEP), Jody Melton (Cheer Athletics), Catherine Morris (UDA), John Newby (UCA), Elaine Pascale (World Cup), Steve Peterson (IASF/USASF), James Speed* (GymTyme), Lance Wagers (ACA)

*Consultants to the Board

A Message From the USASF Board of Directors

NACCC: Attention: All Star Coaches, Athletes and Families

The members of the NACCC, along with Les Stella and Jim Chadwick met on a conference call Thursday to discuss the actions of the USASF Board and the new rules they put in place on Wednesday, March 28th, 2012. Specifically, concerns were addressed to the new limitations of tumbling skills allowed in Worlds Divisions.

The members of the NACCC are all gym owners and coaches. It is our goal to share the voice of not only ourselves, but also that of our colleagues and athletes. It was a general consensus that the way in which these new rulings were decided and then communicated (or lack thereof) fell out of line in the vision of the “voice” of our industry.

Three proposals were drawn up, which will be brought back to the USASF Board for their consideration of compromise. Please keep in mind that the USASF rulings and the new NACCC proposals of compromise have been created with the best interest of our athletes at heart. Although many disagree with the rulings handed down on Wednesday, it is our duty to remain professional and communicate our opinions in the appropriate forums. We appreciate and value the opinions we have heard, and hope that the integrity of our sport will thrive forward.


Members of the NACCC:

Elaine Pascale & Joelle Antico (World Cup), Victor & Kristin Rosario (Top Gun) Morton Bergue (Cheergyms.com), Kathy Penree (CNY Storm), John Hebert (POWER), Roger Schonder (Stingrays), Debbie Love, Jamie Parrish (GA Allstars), Cheryl Pasinato (East Celebrity Elite), Theapia Best (Spirit Explosion), Brett Hansen (Spirit of Texas), Julie Gillaspie (Cheer Central Suns), TJ Sawyer (EC Cats), Tanya Roesel (Midwest Cheer Elite), Craig El (Ultimate Athletics), Kimberly Dickenson (Cheer Express), Cherokee Greendeer (Green Bay Elite), Jeff LeForce (Oklahoma Twisters), Becky Herrera (CheerForce)

National Advisory Board Nominees

The NAB is the democratically elected Board within the USASF that determines the agenda for the organization moving forward. Virtually every major initiative of the USASF in the past 5 years started with, or was significantly improved by, the work of the NAB.

USASF LogoThere was a primary election this year because of the large number (64) of nominated and qualified candidates. With 880 total votes cast, the election was very close in every race.

Please join me in congratulating the finalists for election to the USASF National Advisory Board (NAB).

Midwest Region:

  • Nicki Baker – Nebraska Cheer Center
  • Keith Johnston – N.E.O. Cheer & Dance
  • Michelle Reisdorf – Ultimate Athletics

West Region:

  • Amy Grey – Desert Elite
  • Raul Lerma – Nor Cal Elite
  • Derick Paterson – Cheergyms.com

Northeast Region:

  • Tara Cain – Maryland Twisters
  • Lee Grobstein – Star Athletics
  • Tim Morgan – USA! All Stars

Southeast Region:

  • Kyle Bright – Stingray All Stars
  • Cory Hines – Top Gun All Stars
  • Sean Sutton – CheerForce One

Southwest Region:

  • Brad Habermel – Cheer Athletics
  • Erin Johnson – Spring Creek Athletics
  • David Urmie – Tribe Cheer


  • Dawnn Doychak – First Friday
  • Kevin Jones – Spirit Innovations
  • Jason Silverman – Powerful Words
  • Shane Womack – Inside Cheerleading

Event Producers:

  • Craig Davis – World Spirit Federation
  • Darren DeMoss – WSA
  • Matt Goto – Varsity All-Star/USA
  • Karen Halterman – NCA/NDA
  • Ann Lehrmann – Cheer & Dance Extreme
  • Tres LeTard – Varsity All-Star
  • Mike Pare – Spirit Cheer
  • Tara Patton – The JAM Brands
  • Elizabeth (Liz) Rossetti – Americheer
  • Mike Stamper – American Cheer & Dance Academy (ACDA)

Voting will begin on Monday, January 9th and close at 5 pm PST on Wednesday, January 25th.

Recognizing the strong qualifications and desire of every candidate to contribute to the USASF , those not voted to the NAB will be invited to participate on their USASF Regional Advisory Board (RAB) charged with guiding the implementation of important USASF programs locally.

Jim Chadwick