The following email was sent to the USASF by a parent. USASF’s Gena Evans’ response follows the parent’s email:
I am concerned about something that happened this last weekend in Mobile, Alabama. Jamfest held a National Competition in Mobile. Let me state here, that I am biased. My daughter competed in the Senior Level Two Division. My daughter cheers for Arkansas Cheer Company. Their only competition was World Xtreme Vipers from McDonough, Georgia.
The World Xtreme Vipers performed phenomenally. I was very impressed with jumps, timing, motion sequences, tumbling and teamwork. They were very impressive.
The outcome was about what we expected. While our squad performed flawlessly and great. They were just not as clean as WXV. We were under the mindset that to lose to a squad of their caliber was an honor. They were just that good.
During awards, the announcer called the WXV as the winners and their squad stood to go receive the trophy and banner. As always, we applauded the other squad that won. We were not real surprised when the announcer called WXV as the winners of another division that we knew the gym was competing in (Senior Level Four). Now, imagine our surprise, disgust and shock when all the same athletes stood to receive the trophy for that division. The same squad was competing at a Level Four and a Level Two!
Now, as I understand it, double competing is not against any rules. As a matter of fact, we have a few athletes that do this to help squads when another competitor quits or can’t make a competition for health reasons. But, how outrageous is it for a Level Four Competition squad to compete at a Level Two as well. In the Competition Martial Arts Industry, they call this sand-bagging. And, it’s equated to Pete Rose, Barry Bonds and Michael Vick type behavior.
What are they teaching athletes and students when they approve, or furthermore support, this kind of behavior?
I am writing to make USASF aware of such horrible behavior and to petition for a rule change. I would love to see a number or percentage quote that would limit the number of double competitors to a squad.
Please tell me of any possibilities. I am encouraging parents from our gym to petition your governing body and Jamfest. Itâ€™s just ridiculous to see what some gym owners and coaches will pull to win trophies and titles.
Gena Evans’ response:
I appreciate you information and want to commend you on such a well-written letter. I am equally impressed to hear that your program encourages such great sportsmanship. That isn’t always the case these days.
However, the cross-competing rules are up to each individual Event Producer to decide how they choose to handle that for their events. I am going to forward your email to each of the Event Producers so that they will have this valuable information as they start their planning process for next season.
USASF Area Director