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In Review News

In Review – November 2019

This weekend is the busiest weekend of the year per USASF sanctioned events.

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Editorials

Long Live Loyalty

I spoke with some parents that were disappointed their daughter was removed from a team mid season. The team was the type of marquee team that could win any event they attended, including Worlds. Their daughter had been a member of the program for several years, finally making her dream team and deservedly so.

The mom admitted the daughter was no longer tumbling as well or sharp as she when was placed on the team and early in the season. The mom also said she thought the stress of tumbling not remaining as easy was causing her daughter’s stunts to struggle. Still the mom was upset the daughter was removed from the team leading up to major event season, citing the loyalty the coaches should have shown to them given their past together. The mom let me know one of the team coaches was also a coach of her daughter’s last team and another was her main tumbling coach for years and who they were doing privates with to work through the current tumbling frustrations.

The mom reiterated her frustration and couldn’t get over her coaches being so disloyal to remove their daughter from the team when they had been so loyal to the program.

I understood where the mom was coming from. I asked her if I could try to explain where the coaches may be coming from. I wasn’t part of the program and didn’t talk to these coaches about the situation, just spoke from experiences I’ve had and spoken to other coaches about. I pointed out the mom said their daughter wasn’t keeping up with what the team was doing. I then asked if she thought it was possible the coach was really showing loyalty to the team and more specifically the to other athletes on the team. This family’s daughter wasn’t the only one that had been with the program for several years before making the dream team and the coaches could be showing loyalty to the majority of them by only keeping people on the team that were pulling their weight. I don’t think the mom saw it that way, but it seemed like the dad was thinking about it.

As a coach you have an opportunity to give a limited number of athletes a chance to reach their goal. If someone isn’t doing their part removing that 1 may be the best way to be able to give the rest of the athletes the best chance. It may not be disloyalty to the 1, it may be loyalty to the rest.

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In Review News

In Review – October 2019

Here are your October articles as you enjoy your Halloween candy:

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Editorials

More Random Ideas

Here are some more random ideas I’ve had. I don’t anticipate any getting implemented, but think they’d be interesting to try.

Benefit of the Doubt

I’d like to try not giving teams the benefit of the doubt about what skills were performed. Instead of a team with 5 groups performing 2 true double ups, 2 1-3/4 ups, and having a 5th group falling while attempting a twisting stunt getting scored as if 5 true double ups were performed only giving that credit to a team that clearly performs 5 true double ups. I think this would lead to the truly elite teams separating themself from the pack.

 

Coaches Decide

Sometimes following events we hear about how the judges got it wrong and it was super clear the placements should have been ___. This gave me another random idea. How about before results are known giving the coaches from the programs in a division an opportunity to agree on the results? If the results really are super clear the coaches should be able to agree, right?. If not we’ll assume the results aren’t super clear and it goes to the scores. I think it would be interesting to see how often the programs agree and even more entertaining to hear the conversations about who should place where.

 

Non Tumbling

Instead of teams in the Non-Tumbling divisions getting a penalty for tumbling why not try just leaving tumbling off the score sheet. That way tumbling skills that are being used for overall effect could still be done, but not given credit specifically for being tumbling.

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Announcements News

USASF: Are You Competition Ready? (2019-20)

USASF Logo 2018Dear USASF Coaches and Program Owners,

Competition season is upon us. Are you competition ready? Join Regional Directors Glenda Broderick and Robin Galik as they walk you through the steps to ensure you are prepared for your 2019-2020 events and fully understand compliance, eligibility, rostering, and more!

SELECT THE TIME THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU

  • October 16, 2019 at 12:00pm EDT
  • October 16, 2019 at 9:00pm EDT

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Can’t join us at the times listed? Register anyway and we’ll send you the recording.

Be sure to check The Connection for a posting of the webinar and further discussion.

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Announcements News

USASF: Scoring for Senior Divisions at The Dance Worlds 2020

Dance WorldsLearn about the USASF Dance Score Sheet for the Senior Divisions at The Dance Worlds used by Worlds judges by watching the NEW Scoring Webinar, hosted by the Worlds Senior Panel Directors.

To learn about the Rules, Divisions, and Scoring System for the Open & Junior divisions, visit iasfworlds.com.

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Editorials

Beautiful or Invisible

Everything in your routine should either be beautiful or Invisible. Many apply the beautiful part to the major skills in their routine, stunts, pyramids, tumbling, etc., but sometime skip the details, motions in the air, landing the tumbling, and timing of skills.

There are a few options for making something invisible, taking it out, hiding it, or distractions. For taking something out think about whether or not it’s really necessary, does it add points to your routine. The first thing coming to mind in this regard is motions. You are scored on the motions you do, not what you could have done, so if a motion isn’t being performed beautifully take it out. Who says tops need to hit a motion or do choreography in the air? If it can be done well, great, but it not take it out so it doesn’t leave a bad impression.

For hiding skills, tumbling comes to mind, specifically landings. If you have an athlete that can perform a tumbling pass, but does it with their legs apart or lands a little funky, put them in a group and in a position within the group where those won’t be as noticeable.

For distractions, formation changes come to mind. If you can’t make the change beautiful try doing something to draw my attention away from the formation change. Put up a quick stunt so my attention shifts there instead seeing the athletes scurry across the floor.

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In Review News

In Review – September 2019

September has come and gone, bringing back school and football. Here’s some of the news that came along with it.

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Announcements News

USASF: 2020 Worlds Cup Race

USASF Worlds Cup Race LogoAll Level 6 and 7 teams entering one or more of the following USASF Sanctioned Events will receive points based on the size of their division and placement rankings. At the end of the season, the Level 6 and/or Level 7 teams with the highest point totals will win 3 Paid Bids and 3 At Large Bids to The Cheerleading Worlds, 2020.

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Editorials

You Can’t Do Everything

What do you focus on when trying to make your team elite? You can’t do everything, at least not all at once, so you need to decide where to spend your time first. There are 15-16 scores on the major scoring systems I looked at. Some scores separated difficulty from execution, stunts and tumbling for example, and others are combined into a single score, like dance.

If the score sheet categories were the menu items at a southern bbq joint, where you could get a plate with 3 meats and 2 sides, what would you order for your ideal routine? Would spectators and judges be able to identify those items based on your team’s routine and performance? Does your practice regimen reflect that order?

Mine would be stunt execution, pyramid execution, and stunt difficulty with a side of building creativity and running tumbling execution.

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In Review News

In Review – August 2019

Summer is ending. It’s not cheerleading or dance specific, but ESPN published Study: On Average Child Quits Sports at Age 11.

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Editorials

Past Ideas

Several of my past ideas centered around trying to increase the average number of teams within a division.

First is making the standard team size 24. Forget XS, Small, Medium, and Large divisions and make a single sized-based division with a maximum of 24 athletes. Second is reducing the number of mainstream levels from 5 (last season) or 6 (next season) to 3, excluding Level 6/7. Tumbling wise  the first would require hand support (walkover and handsprings), second would be flips without twisting (tucks, layouts, whips), and third would be flipping and twisting (fulls and double fulls). Building wise we could start with next season’s Level 2, 4, and 6 rules.

Third is changing from the 5 age groups (Tiny, Mini, Youth, Junior, and Senior) we currently have to 4, Tiny (6 & Under), Youth (4-10), Junior (8-14), and Senior (12-18). Fourth is defaulting to every team within the same level and age group competing against each other until there are enough teams to split them. This puts every Senior 4 team, coed, all girl, small, and large, in 1 division until there are enough teams to warrant a split. Fifth is raising the number of teams remaining on each side before a split is made from 2 to 8.

The intent of each of these changes is to increase the average number of teams per divisions at competitions. Implementing any of these changes would have a small impact on increasing the number of teams competing against each other and all of them should have a significant increase.

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Announcements News

USA Cheer College Rules Released

USA Cheer LogoThe 2019-20 USA Cheer College Cheerleading Rules have been posted at USA Cheer.

The college rules process uses an “odd year/even year” rotation between addressing major and minor changes. 2019-20 is a “minor changes” year, with the addition of a sign rule in which top person and middle layers may not release hard signs to the ground.

In addition, the performing surface rules and basket toss rules have been slightly reworded for clarity without changing the implementation of the existing rules.

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Announcements News

USA Cheer: High School Rules Updates

USA Cheer LogoThe 2019-20 high school rules were published to the USA Cheer site on May 1 and are available here.

An update has been made to the new rule regarding signs for high school teams and younger. Bases are not allowed to hold props that are made of hard material or have sharp corners or edges. Stunts and pyramids that use these types of signs should choreograph them so that the top person comes down with the sign legally or hands them to a person on the ground who is allowed to hold signs.

The NFHS has released their current “Comments on the Rules“, which include this change as well.

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Announcements News

USA Cheer: Fall Safety Update!

One of USA Cheer’s primary objectives is to “promote safety and safety education for cheer in USA Cheer Logothe United States.” It is a responsibility that is central to everything we do, including growing cheer participation and representing the USA in cheerleading internationally.

This safety update includes information on updated high school rules and the new rules course, as well as the recently released college rules.

Thanks to the combination of appropriate safety rules, ongoing safety education, and increased safety awareness by all, cheerleading has been ranked among the lowest risk high school sports for ten years!

We are excited to provide this safety update to our members, partner organizations, and friends!

Jim Lord, Director of Education and Programming