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Certifiably Challenged

I’ve worked scoring and deduction challenges at several events in the past, usually on the deductions side, but occasionally on the scoring side. In doing this I’ve been part of and have overheard many discussions related to scoring and rules in our industry and it has left me with an idea for an experiment.

I’d like to see what would happen if a major event required the coach to be certified in that category to be able to challenge a score. Using legality deductions as an example, only USASF certified judges would be able to challenge a legality issue. The exception I would add for legality concerns is if the skill was sent in via the USASF Coach App. If you aren’t certified and didn’t send it in there is no opportunity to get a legality deduction reviewed. Similarly on the scoring side, you’d need to be a certified building judge to challenge your stunt score, etc.

I believe this would accomplish a couple things. First, I think it would incentivize coaches to better educate themselves regarding the scoring system or rules. Some coaches are already doing a great job of this on their own, others have shown up to challenge scores and as I was showing where what was performed fell on the scoring rubric, they asked where I got it (the rubric) and asked if they could get a copy.

Second, I believe this would reduce the number of baseless challenges giving the challenge representatives more time to work with coaches on the legitimate challenges. And to help keep the number of baseless challenges minimal I would also have a method for revoking a certification a lack of knowledge is demonstrated in a coaching role just as it is if a lack of knowledge is shown in a judging role.

On top of that to keep the interactions professional I’d reserve the right to revoke the certifications of those not being professions, removing their ability to challenge for the remainder of the season. There are several logistics that would need to be worked out to make this a reality, but I think it would be worth trying.

By Andre

Andre Carter is one of the Founders of Spirit Company and Spirit Post. Andre has been involved in the Cheerleading industry since 1993 as a participant, coach, gym owner, judge, rules official, event producer, and consultant. Andre also works with the USASF.