Increasing Competition – Part 1 – Introduction

This is the first part of a series about increasing the average number of teams in a division at each event. This part re-introduces the idea that the average number of teams in a division is too low and provides statistical support for that idea. The next 3 parts will look at factors we have some influence over and the 5th and final part will outline the recommendations I’ll be sending to the USASF as proposals for the next rules change cycle.

USASF LogoLast season I kept stats on over 200 events in an attempt to get statistical information about the average number of teams in a division and the average number of teams at each event. Once the season got going, I selected 10 events per weekend, 5 being events produced by Cheersport, Jammy, or Varsity and 5 being events produced by other companies. In a minor attempt to steer the averages higher I selected all of the Worlds Bids events that put results online within a week of the event, and when choosing which events I went with what appeared to be the larger event. My goal in doing this was to make the statistics a best case scenario, assuming even the best case wouldn’t be as good as many of us would like it to be. Here’s a quick summary of the stats:

Average Division Size

  • Overall – 3.25 Teams per Division
  • Worlds Qualifiers – 4.65 Teams per Division
  • Non Qualifiers – 2.71 Teams per Division

Average Event Size

  • Overall – 70.34 Teams per Event
  • Worlds Qualifiers – 182.79 Teams per Event
  • Non Qualifiers – 50.17 Teams per Event

(Full Statistics on Google Docs)

My feeling is the average division size is not high enough and as an industry we need to take steps to increase it. I wouldn’t want to attend a baseball, volleyball, basketball, or soccer tournament in which my team was only competing against 4 other teams, but that’s above the norm for cheerleading competitions. I’d like to see a norm of 8 or higher, but only 1 event met that last season, Cheersport Nationals with an average of 9.02 teams per division. In fact, less than 10% of the events tracked had an average of 4 teams per division or higher, and only 10 events averaged 5 or more teams per division.

The average is what it is due to factors we have little control over, including the number of gyms/teams in existence and the number of events each season, and factors we have some influence over, such as the number of divisions offered. Over the next 3 parts of this series I’m going to discuss the factors we have influence over.

If you have any thoughts concerning this topic or suggestions regarding increasing the average please let me know.