USASF Age Grid Updates (October 2011)

The USASF sent the following email to Gym Members:

Dear USASF Member Gym:

As most of you know, the USASF conducted several “regional” meetings throughout the course of the summer to gather feedback from constituents and to educate members on initiatives the USASF is undertaking. As a result of these meetings there were several issues related to the 2011-12 rules and age grid that needed clarification and changes made to them. In addition,rules and “International” division changes to the 2012 Cheerleading Worlds were recently announced that impacted the current USASF age grid.

The USASF Rules Committee reviewed issues from the regional meetings, and both the USASF Rules Committee and members of the NACCC Board reviewed the current age grid in the context of the recently announced changes for “International Open” divisions at the 2012 Cheerleading Worlds. As a result of these meetings the following clarifications and changes have been made effective immediately to the USASF Age Grid:

Special Needs Teams

  • Teams are limited to Level 3 rules, with the additional restriction of no basket tosses being permitted
  • Event producers may allow a team to perform an “exhibition” or to “compete” against other Special Needs teams

All Star “Rec” Divisions

The USASF recognizes that increased participation in the all star activity may result of the inclusion of these divisions. However, there is not enough information at the present time to standardize these divisions across the nation. Therefore, event producers may offer them for the 2011-12 season, but must request a “waiver” to do so and must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • All event producers must offer “All Star Rec” divisions as non-sanctioned divisions at their event
  • Event producers are mandated to request a waiver from the USASF to offer these divisions at sanctioned events
  • Event producers must provide to the USASF a definition of what constitutes an “All Star Rec” team
  • “All Star Rec” teams must follow the level rules by age group as now mandated on the USASF/IASF Age Grid (in other words a Mini team may not perform Level 5 skills)
  • “All Star Rec” divisions must be listed as “non-sanctioned” on the performance schedule
  • An event producer may not offer an “All Star Rec” division arbitrarily to accommodate a team whose motive is to avoid competition
  • Performances will not count toward the maximum number of teams for the 2012 Cheerleading World bid requirements for event producers

Open Level 4 Trial Division

Many coaches at the regional meetings requested that a division be developed that would allow older participants an opportunity to continue with the sport without having to move to the skill set offered by International Open Levels 5 or 6. For the 2011-12 season a “trial” division — Open Level 4 — will be permitted if an event producer wishes to offer it. Event producers must request a “waiver” to offer this division and must adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Teams consist of members 17 years of age and older
  • Team consist of 5-24 members
  • Teams consist of 1-15 males if the division is split into co-ed
  • Teams will be permitted to perform as a “trial” division only for the 2011-12 season. Teams may perform for exhibition (no scoring or comments given) or evaluation only (score/comments given), but may not be ranked against any other team
  • Teams may not be given a placement based upon their performance
  • Teams may be given a “participation” award if the event producer so chooses, but this award must be the same for all teams performing in the Open Level 4 division
  • Performances will not count toward the maximum number of teams for the 2012 Cheerleading World bid requirements for event producers

None of the divisions above are listed on the official 2011-12 Age Grid as they are divisions that may only be offered by “waiver.”

International Open Level 6 — Number of Males for “Co-Ed”

As a result of the recently announced change to the 2012 Cheerleading Worlds “International” rules, this division will be changed immediately on the 2011-12 Age Grid to allow 1-15 males when split into a “co-ed” division.

Please note that the review by the USASF Rules Committee and NACCC Board did not result in a recommendation to change the birth date requirement for International Open Levels 5 & 6 on the current 2011-12 USASF Age Grid. Therefore, teams wishing to follow the new birth date rule that is specific to these divisions may use “substitutions” and/or “alternates” per the Cheerleading Worlds guidelines to allow competitors who meet the birth date standard to perform at the Cheerleading Worlds. The “substitutions” and/or “alternates” may only be used to comprise a team for the Cheerleading Worlds.

A new rule was added to the 2011-12 USASF Age Grid to deal with the potential use of “Tag Out” athletes at competitions. This rule states:

The athletes, who perform a routine, must remain the same from start to finish and MAY NOT be replaced by another athlete at anytime during the performance.

The updated 2011-12 USASF Age Grid, in addition to the update sent last week to the USA Cheer Level Rules has been posted on the USASF website and can be accessed by following this link.

An e-mail to event producers informing them of these changes/clarifications/updates will also be sent today.

We hope that this e-mail provided you with information that will help to ensure a successful competition season ahead. Thank you for your continued support of the USASF.