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In Review News

In Review – June 2020

Welcome to the 2nd half of 2020. In late June the USASF announced the standings in their Worlds Divisions Points Championship and the 2020 Scholarship Recipients. Here’s some of the other news from June.

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In Review News

In Review – May 2020

Welcome to June. Both USASF & IASF have publicly posted their Divisions and Rules for the upcoming season, something USASF hasn’t done in a couple seasons.

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Editorials News

Switch It, Change It

Another experimental thing I’d like to see some event try is switching panels after day 1. I don’t know that this is a great idea, but I believe it would be worth trying at some events. The apparent downside would be getting inconsistent scores across days when performing the same routine. I believe this is possible and even likely.

I also believe if it would happen when switching panels by day it would happen if switching panels by event and getting the quicker feedback of seeing it happen by day would make it easier to address. Right now it’s rare for a judge to see another judge’s scores for a routine. Would seeing another judge’s scores lead to more consistency across judges and panels? I don’t know, but it would give an opportunity for a judge to see if they are high or low compared to someone else, which would make it easier for the judges that want to be great to look into why.

It would also give the coaches more feedback which I believe would be greatly appreciated at early season events, although I admit it may not be what they are looking for at major events. It would make judges watch day 2 routines with “fresh eyes” because they wouldn’t have their notes from the day before and it would incorporate more opinions into the final results, both of which I believe are good things.

Like I said at the beginning, I don’t know if this is a great idea that would lead to significant positive adjustments, but I don’t see it causing problems so I’d like to see some events try it.

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Announcements News

USASF: Personal Development Has Gone Virtual

Personal Development & Leadership Training coming to you Virtually!

USASF Logo 2018Now is the time to invest in yourself! The IMPACT Leadership Workshop, designed for All Star Professionals like yourself, has been redesigned to be even more accessible and affordable!. Developed by the IMPACT Leadership team, you will be taken through a series of introspective lessons designed to provoke thought, deepen one’s sense self worth, and strengthen and empower your voice as a leader and role model.

Topics Include

  • Integrity Matters
  • Defining Leadership Strengths
  • Your Role, Relationships and Responsibility
  • Your Voice Matters
  • Creating Your Own Path for Personal Success

Participants Receive

  • A Digital Workbook
  • 6 Hours of training + a two-hour advanced leadership training post-workshop
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Opportunities to apply for Advanced Leadership Training

To register, log in to your Member Profile and look for the Upcoming Meetings section for a complete list of events for which you can register.

Share With Your Athletes!

The BOLT/MARCH Workshop is designed for USASF Cheer and Dance Member Athletes who are entering 9th through 12th grades. Developed and led by alumni of the USASF Mentoring Leaders program, BOLT/MARCH will set athletes on a path to success and is now more affordable and more accessible than ever before! Athletes will register directly from their Member Portal!

  • 6 Dates to Select From
  • Only $60 per person
  • 6 Hours of Training

Athletes are: eligible to serve on the USASF Athlete Advisory Council, able to participate in the Healthy Kids Out of School project, receive advanced leadership training, and earn additional points for USASF Scholarships!

Coaches, encourage your athletes to continue their personal and leadership development by attending a VIRTUAL training. To share this information with your athletes, copy the link below and paste in your favorite platform (email, BAND, text, etc).

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Editorials

Chance & Me – Part 1

When I sat down my plan was to write an article about how to get into judging, but I don’t have an attention span so my mind started wandering. As I thought about what to write I drifted from how to get into judging, to how I got into judging, to the journey to judging major events, and somehow that looped around to how I got into cheerleading to begin with. This trip down memory lane reminded me of the role chance played during the journey.

For example, would have thought my ride leaving Doug and I at UCA work week in 1995 would turn into good luck and play a role in me judging Worlds in the 2010s.

The role chance played became more intriguing to me so I started outlining that article and realized that’s going to take a long time to write. Even if I break it into parts the first alone will take a long time to write. I’m going to write and publish that story, especially now that I’ve said I’m going to, just not today.

I want to leave you with a thought a friend left me with when I spoke to him about writing the article about the role of chance.

“It sounds like you had good luck because you built good relationships.”

To be continued…

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Announcements News

Season Ending Update III

Since publishing Season Ending Update II a couple weeks ago the International Cheer Union (ICU) and IASF have cancelled their World Championships and Varsity cancelled the combined Summit event mentioned in that second update. To our knowledge there are no in person cheer or dance competitions remaining scheduled as part of the 2019-2020 season.

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In Review News

In Review – April 2020

Welcome to May. We should be recovering from Worlds and starting the all level end of the year events, but instead most of us are still sitting at home. USASF cancelled Worlds 2020. IASF hasn’t announced a definitive plan, but is leaving the door open for having the event in conjunction with the ICU Championship in the fall. Varsity has announced A Summit will take place combining their end of the year events into this single event.

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Announcements News

Season Ending Update II

Since publishing our Season Ending Update, USASF has announced Worlds 2020 is cancelled, but IASF is continuing to considering having the International teams compete in the fall with the ICU Championship.

Varsity announced a “One of a Kind” Summit that will combine or replace The Summit, D2 Summit, Dance Summit, and The US Finals. The event will not require a bid and will be open to Worlds eligible teams.

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Editorials News

Execution First

Execution wins. I’d really like to stop writing with just that, but I feel like some sort of explanation is expected. On most of today’s scoring systems the difficulty portion is outlined enough that it’s hard to separate yourself from other teams on that side of the score sheet. In All Star Cheerleading if a team can’t get in the high range in every category that states specifically how to get in the high range, it becomes questionable if they are in the correct level. Of course there are exceptions, like teams put together to push kids or allow them to perform skills above the team average, but generally if you are trying to be competitive in a division you should be able to hit the high range in all difficulty categories.

With just about everyone that’s going to be competitive in a division being in the high range in difficulty it leaves execution as the deciding factor and the place you can separate your team. If you think of the teams and programs that consistently win does their difficulty or cleanliness come to mind. For me it’s cleanliness, aka execution.

How many teams can you think of that you would say the primary factor of their success over their competition is being more difficult? How about having better execution. What about being more creative? I can only think of 2 teams in which I think their creativity is what sets them apart from the other teams in their division and both of them rely on precise execution of their creative elements to ensure the skills are performed legally and are viewed by the crowd and judges the way they were intended to be. I can also only think of a couple teams that I feel like difficulty is the thing that consistently separates them from the competition and even within this group the most consistent ones also execute very well. Execution is the thing most of the highly successful teams I see use to set themselves apart from the competition.

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Announcements News

Season Ending Update

The past week contained several updates to end of the season events.

  • Worlds (Update Page)
    • Plan is to reschedule for late June
    • Will provide update by Friday, April 24th
    • Would consider virtual championship before being rescheduled to July or later
  • Summit(s) (Update Page)
    • Plan is to reschedule for late June
    • Will provide update by April 24th
    • Would be cancelled before being rescheduled to July or later
  • US Finals
  • The One

Update:

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In Review News

In Review – March 2020

What a month! Here’s some of the news that is not related to the season pausing.

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Editorials News

Jury of Their Peers

Another experiment I would like see is programs judging their own divisions, specifically at an event like Majors with a few teams in high level divisions. I’d prefer to pay to hear the coaches of F5, Orange, Panthers, Senior Elite, and Shooting Star discuss and rank each team in the division in each category of the score sheet more than paying to watch teams perform. Same with Cheetahs, Steel, and TGLC (and might as well bring back Cali Coed and Warriors while I’m wishing).

I used the Senior Large divisions as the example, but would like to see this for several divisions. Since I know this idea lives in a galaxy far, far away, my idea that is in a galaxy just far away is to have a different division judge the division, like Large Senior judging Large Coed and vice versa or Medium Senior judging Large Senior and vice versus.

When it comes down to it I just want to get inside of the heads of the coaches of the top teams by listening to them discuss where teams should rank in comparison to each other and most importantly why.

Does this sound like entertainment to anyone else?

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News

Season Ending?

About a week ago the season for many sports started falling apart. For me it started with several conference basketball tournaments announcing they’d be played without fans and picked up speed while watching an NBA game get postponed just before tipoff, after the players had warmed up. It spread quickly to other games and then to other sports and really hit home when March Madness, a personal favorite, was cancelled.

Between the Center for Disease Control recommending “cancelling all events of 50 or more people” for 8 weeks on March 15th and the White House suggesting everyone “avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people” for the next 15 days on March 16th, pretty much everything sports related I’ve seen was cancelled or postponed, except for the Iditarod sled dog race.

This responsibly, but unfortunately includes the scheduled end of the cheer and dance season. Since March 16th I haven’t seen any industry event scheduled before the end of May saying it would remain on it’s original date. This includes:

  • ICU & USASF/IASF Worlds
  • All Varsity Events including NCA College, Summits, and US Finals
  • Many and possibly all Independent events. I’m not aware of any continuing, just not able to conclusive state I’m aware of all being postponed or cancelled.

Updates:

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Editorials

Building Blocks

In recent days I listened to a podcast that led me to the idea of treating each thing I learned as a building block, like a Lego. Each is a piece that isn’t that impressive on its own but can be combined with other blocks to make something impressive.

I imagine the most blocks came from my past coaches. Coaches are there to teach skills and lessons through sport and I’ve had several great ones that I appreciate. I’ve also had some experiences in which coaches showed me what not to do, but those were still lesson that could be used in the future. If blocks came in different sizes the blocks from coaches would probably be the largest ones and used as the foundation of whatever is built on top of them.

Several blocks also came from teammates. I cannot count the number of times a teammate gave me a tip, many of which I later shared with someone.

Teaching summer camps gave me a different perspective of the blocks. I was now switching from getting tips on how to do things to how to get others to do things. I don’t think I could over value the things learned during my staff years. First, learning every part of so many stunts instead of only learning my part. Next, being taught how to teach instead of just do. Doing and teaching are not the same skillset and learning both has been very useful. Third is actually talking skills. In watching coaches work and when I’ve given the USASF credentialing test in the past I’ve seen many coaches struggle with articulating how to perform skills. They can mark is exceptionally well, but using their words to say what’s being done wasn’t easy for them and I feel like this is a key part of coaching.

Now most of the blocks I add come from random interactions with coaches, judges, and athletes. They are harder to come by now that I have so much industry experience, aka being old, but I think I appreciate each block as I get it now more than even.

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Announcements News

USASF: Worlds Events Concerning Outbreak

Cheerleading Worlds LogoAt USASF and IASF, nothing is more important to us than the safety of the athletes, coaches, friends and families that attend our Worlds events. We are closely monitoring the potential impact the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), may have on upcoming Cheerleading and Dance Worlds events and will continue to make decisions based on recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control, local health officials and our event Partners. At this time, we have not received any indication that there is cause to cancel the upcoming Cheerleading and Dance Worlds events. We will notify you if circumstances change.

Dance WorldsFor what you should know, timely updates and more information on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.