USASF 2011-13 Rules – Level 1 Changes

The USASF recently released the rules that will be used during the 2011-12 and 2012-13 seasons. Spirit Post decided to list every change and give some insight into the impact each change will have. This article discusses the changes made to Level 1.

General Tumbling A

All tumbling must originate from and land on the performing surface. Exception: Tumbler may (without hip-over-head rotation) rebound from his/her feet into a stunt transition. Rebounding to a prone position in a stunt is allowed.

Example: Round off handspring and then a bump or contact from a base or bracer straight into a back flip would break this rule for levels 1-5. A clear separation from the tumbling to the stunt is needed to make this legal. Catching the rebound and then dipping to create the throw for the rotation is legal. This would also be true if coming from just a standing back handspring without the round off.

Clarification: Rebounding to a prone position (1⁄2 twist to stomach) in a stunt is allowed in Level 1.

This rule change should have little impact because the actual rule didn’t change, but the example was added to further point out there needs to be a clear separation between tumbling and stunting, unless going into a stunt transition without head over hip rotation.

General Tumbling D

Assisted or connected tumbling is not allowed.

Clarification: Double cartwheels and double forward rolls are allowed because they will be interpreted as stunts, not assisted tumbling. The USASF Rules no longer restrict assisted tumbling. However, assisted tumbling may negatively affect your score at the Event Producer’s discretion. For Legality Judges, when an athlete supports another athlete above the performing surface, it is considered a stunt and ruled according to the appropriate level stunt rules.

Example 1: An athlete spotting another athlete in a back walkover, would a.) not be a stunt because the athlete performing the skill is not above/off the performing surface and b.) be legal, because assisted tumbling is no longer restricted. However, a panel judge may view this as the athlete lacks the ability to perform the skill without assistance and therefore, may give a lower score.

Example 2: In L5, if 6 athletes did standing fulls, and 3 of them were spotted by other athletes, the judges should score only the 3 standing fulls and give really bad scores for 3 really bad inverted stunts.

This rule change, removing the assisted tumbling ban, should have little impact. I don’t think this was done to encourage spotted back handsprings, tucks, and fulls, but instead to allow more stunt entries, transitions, and set outs. Unfortunately I can’t think of any good Level 1 examples due to other rules.

General Tumbling F

Jumps are not considered a tumbling skill from a legalities point of view. Therefore, if a jump skill is included in a tumbling pass, the jump will break up the pass.

This rule addition should have little impact in Level 1 because of other restrictions.

Stunts D

During transitions, at least one base must remain in contact with the top person.

Exception: Leap frogs and leap frog variations are not allowed in L1.

This change should have a major impact. Only requiring one base to remain in contact with the top person opens up several entries and transitions including fake switch ups and stunts starting on a base’s back transitioning to stunts in their hand(s).

Stunts F

No stunt, pyramid, or individual may move over or under another separate stunt, pyramid or individual.

Example: a shoulder sit walking under an extension prep.

Exception: An individual may jump over another individual.

This change should have little impact in Level 1. It clarifies the only time a stunt, pyramid, or individual may pass over a separate stunt, pyramid, or individual is if an individual jumps over another individual. An individual may not push off the individual they are jumping over as they would if playing leap frog.

Stunts G

Pendulum and pendulum style transitional stunts, where the top person falls away from the original bases, must use at least three stationary catchers, at least two of which are not original bases. Physical contact must be maintained with all of the original base(s). When lifting a top person from the flat body position in a pendulum to the upright position, an additional base/spotter must be on the opposite side of the stunt and is responsible for catching the top person in the case of an overthrow. This additional spotter must be stationary, may not be involved with any other skill or choreography when the transition is initiated and must maintain visual contact with the top person throughout the entire transition.

This change should have little impact in Level 1. It states where one of the spotters must be when performing pendulum stunts.

Pyramids D

Prep level single leg stunts:

1. Must be braced by at least one person at prep level or below with hand/arm connection only.

2. If the person bracing the top person is standing on the performance surface, the bracer must be a separate person not involved with basing or spotting.

3. The connection must be made prior to executing the single leg prep level stunt. and must be made at or below prep level.

4. Prep level bracers must have both feet in bases’ hands.

Exception: Prep level bracers do not have to have both feet in the bases’ hands if they are in a shoulder sit, double base thigh stand, flat back, straddle lift or shoulder stand.

This rule should have a small impact. Parts 1 and 3 are the same as the 2010-11 rules. Part 2, “If the person bracing the top person is standing on the performance surface, the bracer must be a separate person not involved with basing or spotting”, separates the bracer from those involved in the stunt, which was an issue I saw several times during the 2010-11 season. Part 4, “Prep level bracers must have both feet in bases’ hands”, is a new rule that stops single leg stunts at prep level from being braced by other single leg stunts at prep level.

Dismounts A

Cradles from single based stunts must have a separate spotter with at least one hand/arm supporting the waist to shoulder region to protect the head and shoulder area through the cradle.

This rule should have little impact because it just further defines the region the spotter must catch when cradling.

Dismounts B

Cradles from multi-based stunts must have two catchers and a separate spotter with at least one hand/arm supporting the waist to shoulder region to protect the head and shoulder area through the cradle.

This rule should have little impact because it just further defines the region the spotter must catch when cradling.

Dismounts C

Dismounts to the performing surface from stunts and pyramids above waist level must be assisted by an original base. Bases may not intentionally pop, move or toss an athlete to the performance surface. Straight drops or small hop offs, with no additional skills, from waist level or below are the only dismounts allowed to the performing surface that do not require assistance.

Clarification: An individual may not land on the performing surface from above waist level without assistance.

This rule change should have a significant impact. Teams were often called for not assisting the top person to the ground after doing a smoosh down from a stunt, but letting the top person go after getting them to the smoosh. It seemed this was done so the bases could get to their next spot quicker, but was called because the top wasn’t assisted to the ground. Teams were also often called on this in dances in which they performed a thigh stand and the top person jumped off or they performed a minor lift and let the top person go. This does not allow you to toss a person out of a cradle or allow a top person to take a big jump off a stunt.

Dismounts F

No stunt, pyramid, individual, or, prop may move over or under a dismount, and a dismount may not be thrown over, under, or through stunts, pyramids, individuals, or props.

This rule should have little impact. I haven’t seen many dismounts of this type.

Dismounts G

No dismounts are allowed from extended stunts in pyramids.

Clarification: An extended stunt in a pyramid must be brought down to prep level before it can be dismounted.

This rule should have little impact because the only change was a clarification. This makes it clear that extended stunts need to come to prep level before dismounting.