USASF: Cheer & Dance Rules and Video Glossary

The USASF is thrilled to announce a brand new resource for members! You now have access to an exclusive Video Library that illustrates nearly every Rule and Glossary term for the USASF Cheer & Dance Rules & Safety Guidelines. Do you ever ask yourself “what exactly does that rule mean?” Just click the links and we’ll show you! Log in to your USASF member profile, go to the drop down menu in the top right corner, select “Visit USASF Rules Video Library” and start clicking!

Reference Check

As our industry has grown the knowledge has greatly expanded and so has the number of experts. People that have probably forgotten more than most will ever know, like James Speed and Debbie Love, have passed on what they know to so many and that next generation has expanded on the knowledge base and passed it on again. It’s been a great way to share knowledge with those that want it and make the industry better.

The concern is knowing who the new experts are or aren’t, and therefore knowing who to take advice from. Many people that portray themselves as experts aren’t and it seems like they are more likely to present themselves as experts than the people that truly are. Combine that with the ease of self-promotion via social media and suddenly every “expert” has a platform to spread their lack of knowledge. The takeaway from this should be to take advice with a grain of salt until you are sure the person giving the advice is credible.

In Review – November 2017

Happy Thanksgiving. Welcome to December and the first Cheer Worlds bid events.

USASF: Level 6 Credentialing

Coaches interested in a L6 Credentialing Session this season need to schedule your session now with Andre Carter! The goal is for the session to take place by mid-January. After that, the next session will take place next season.

USASF: Update Your USASF Profile, We’re Shipping to All Programs!

Membership boxes are being packed and ready to ship. We need to make sure we have your BEST delivery address in your program profile.

Log into your profile and make sure your delivery address is one that UPS can deliver to between 9 am and 5 pm.

For instructions on HOW to update delivery address, click here.

While you’re there…enter your athletes and update your coach profile so you’re ready for the season!

Don’t Delay — Log In today!

IASF: International Divisions Score Sheets Level 1-6

Early this week the IASF released the International Divisions Score Sheets Level 1-6. Mid this week they released a revised version, reversing some of the policies announced in the original version.

USASF: Athlete Protection Messaging

Dear USASF Members:

The USASF Board of Directors held their annual in-person meeting on November 6-7, 2017. One of the key discussions at the meeting was a thorough review of USASF policies and resources targeted at athlete protection.

The USASF mission includes “strive for a safe environment for our athletes.” To the USASF, safety extends beyond our Cheer and Dance safety rules for performance. We’re committed to equipping our members with the tools to create the safest overall environment for every All Star athlete, so we’ve established membership requirements and made resources available that are aimed directly at athlete protection.

As we enter the 2017-18 competition season, the Board strongly urges that all USASF members review membership requirements regarding athlete protection and make it a priority to implement the resources provided. The Board will continue to review our efforts to ensure that the most timely policies and resources are in place.

Membership Requirements

Professional Responsibility Code

The “PRC” contains the terms and conditions that all members agree to upon joining the USASF. From sportsmanship to a code of ethics to athlete protection, membership expectations are clearly defined here.

Athlete Sexual Abuse Prevention

The USASF requires that all member Programs have clear, written guidelines that prohibit adults who have contact with minors from engaging in conduct that is either inappropriate and/or illegal. We’ve partnered with the Positive Coaching Alliance to provide an applicable policy and protocol.

Electronic Communications Policy

The USASF recognizes the need to address the prevalence of inappropriate messaging between adults affiliated with a USASF Member program and athletes via email, texting, and social media. It is required that all member Programs adopt a clear and concise policy regarding Electronic Communication.

Addressing Bullying

USASF member programs are required to have an action plan to address bullying.

Background Screening

Implemented in 2015, the USASF requires background screening for anyone age 18 or older who accompanies a team into a warm up room at all USASF Sanctioned Events.

In close partnership with event producer, program owner and coach members, the USASF takes seriously our collective responsibility of the protection of the athletes in our care. The membership requirements and associated additional resources for implementation show our commitment to safeguarding All Star participants.

USASF Regional Directors conduct regular webinars to educate members on the protocols, policies and resources available to them. It’s true teamwork and takes diligent effort by all of us to ensure that All Star is, and remains, a safe and wholesome sport.

Thank you for standing together in support of our athletes!

USASF: Welcome Robin Galik as the Northeast Regional Director

Dear USASF Northeast Program Owners & Coaches:

I am writing to inform you of some staff changes that will affect the Northeast Region.

We are pleased to announce that Tim Morgan will transition from Northeast Regional Director to an operational role focusing on logistics and field staff development. Prior to stepping into the role of Regional Director in 2014, Tim served as a lead member of our credentialing team for eight years. Although his day-to-day interactions with our members will change, he will continue to play an important role in the operations of the USASF.

We have named Robin Galik as the new Northeast Regional Director. Robin has been with the USASF for two years as a member of our field staff as a lead credentialing instructor and Member Support Specialist, proving herself to be a valuable resource for owners and coaches. Her background as an All Star program owner and her working knowledge of the USASF will foster a smooth transition to her new role as Regional Director.

Please join me join me in congratulating and thanking Tim for his dedication and service to the programs, owners and coaches in the Northeast, and in welcoming Robin to her new role.

Amy Clark
Vice President, Membership, U.S. All Star Federation

First Look in the Mirror

I recently had a couple conversations about the reasons given for things not going as well as expected at a gym, such as lower than expected placements and athletes leaving a program. One coach talked about their program’s team placements being low, but as a program they didn’t have a great understanding of the scoring system. They looked at the judges as the problem, saying the judges needed more and better training, but didn’t have anyone on staff attend training on the scoring system, didn’t have anyone that judged, overall didn’t do anything specific to gain a better understanding of the scoring system, and left easy points on the table due to their lack of understanding of the scoring system. The judges may not have been ideal at their events, but this program wasn’t either by not excelling at the things under their control.

Another coach talked about the owner saying rising costs were the main reason athletes leave the program despite the owner being a large influence on the total cost by being the one picking expensive uniforms, competitions, choreography, music and clothes. Yes there are expensive options for each of the products and services, and some vendors are raising their prices year after year, but there are also less expensive options available that would allow costs to remain the same.

An owner of a different program also cited costs as being the reason most athletes left the program, but one of the coaches I know at that program questioned that stating several athletes that left the gym continue to cheer at other programs, including several athletes switching to a program that is a couple hours away and known to be more expensive. The coach said the main problem was more likely the lack of organization and the owners often coming in from vacation sun burnt while a pile of work sits on their desk.

I say all this to remind you that you are the main influence for your results. If athletes are leaving your program and blaming rising costs, you need to look internally to find where you can lower or control costs before blaming outside forces. If you aren’t getting the scores and placements you believe you should, you need to take steps to ensure you properly understand the scoring system before saying the judges need a better understanding of the scoring system. You need to start by evaluating the things you can control before looking to the things out of your control.

USASF: Jazz and Contemporary/Lyrical Category Designation 2017-18 Season

Dear USASF Dance Programs and Coaches:

Because of the nuances and similarities between the genres, the USASF is, once again, assisting its members in determining the appropriate category to enter that most closely matches the descriptions provided in the USASF Divisions & Categories document located in your USASF Member Profile.

If you have any question as to which category you should register your routine in at any USASF Sanctioned Event, and especially if you’re competing for a bid to The Dance World Championship, submit a Jazz and Contemporary/Lyrical Designation Form and at least one week prior to any sanctioned event. Our evaluation staff will review and advise.

Best of luck to you this season!