USASF: DI/DII Decision for the 2018-19 Season

Dear USASF Program Owners:

Member Input and Data Collection

Following months of member discussions, webinars, focus groups, and finally a survey of owners regarding a potential change in Division I and II guidelines for the 2018-19 season, the Board of Directors met on April 4, 2018 to review all information and determine next steps for DI/DII.

Board Review

First, the Board recognized that an unprecedented number of owners actively participated in the most recent webinar and survey, demonstrating the importance of this topic. While the Board hoped to hear from every owner, 20% of owners attended or watched the webinar and responded to the survey. This is nearly double the participation of previous webinars and surveys.

After reviewing and discussing all of the information, these were the four most compelling takeaways:

  • A majority of owners indicated in the survey that there should be a DI/DII separation, but there is no clear majority for the number that should define a DI/DII separation.
  • There are quite a few changes happening for the 2018-19 season, including bottom ages and brand-new division progressions with FUNdamentals, Novice, Prep and Elite. Let’s see how/if All Star shifts and settles with these new opportunities and revisit the DI/DII discussion next year.
  • A strong majority (65%) of survey respondents agree that DII programs should be permitted to opt in to compete DI.
  • A clear majority (72%) of survey respondents agree that, if a DII program opts to compete DI, they should remain DI for the entire season.

What This Means

The Board decided to defer the decision about a number that defines DI/DII until more member data and input can be gathered and broad member support and consensus is clear. The DI/DII split will remain at 125 for the 2018-19 season. Given that allowing DII teams to opt in to compete DI was supported by a clear majority of owners, the Board voted unanimously to allow that provision for the 2018-19 season. Here are the details:

Division II (DII) Definition – 2018-19 Season

  • A “Division II” PROGRAM is defined as having 125 or fewer athletes registered in its competitive cheer program.
  • Novice and FUNdamentals athletes do not count toward the 125 or fewer athletes.
  • Exhibition teams, crossover athletes, exceptional athlete teams and dance teams do not count toward the 125 or fewer athletes.
  • All Star Elite athletes and All Star Cheer Prep athletes are counted toward the 125 athletes or fewer.
  • It is up to the event producer’s discretion as to how to monitor “Division II” status for their particular event(s), given the definition provided above.
  • Multiple-location programs must follow the Program Classification as outlined in USASF PROGRAMS: Classifications and Program Definition
  • Once a program has 126 or more competitive cheer athletes, the program is no longer eligible for Division II status for the remainder of the competitive season, regardless of the number of athletes they may have in their program at any given time.
  • NEW for 2018-2019:
    • Programs that qualify for DII based on their competitive cheer athlete count (125 or fewer) may select to compete DI at USASF Sanctioned Events.
    • The selection to compete DI will apply to all teams in the Program.
    • Once the program selects DI, they will compete DI for the remainder of the season at any competition where a DI/DII split is offered.

Prep Update

Additionally, broad member consensus is to maintain consistency in the midst of the significant new opportunities with FUNdamentals, Novice, Prep and Elite. To better measure growth and create a clearer path for future opportunities with the new progressions, Prep guidelines regarding competing once at two-day events will remain the same from 2017-2018 through 2018-2019.

What’s Next – Member Involvement

The Board is optimistic about the combination of the new opportunities in divisions for 2018-19, and the stabilization of DI/DII for another season while more data and input are gathered. Allowing FUNdamentals, Novice, Prep and Elite to establish, without a shift in DI/DII at the same time, will allow members to more clearly evaluate next steps for DI/DII. We look forward to continued member dialogue that will reach the decision that will put All Star on its best footing for growth. Here are two direct paths for dialogue:

  1. The National Meeting will be the optimum occasion for face to face dialogue with your peers, Regional Directors, Connection Leaders and the Rules Team about how you can grow and strengthen your program through the four progressions (FUNdamentals, Novice, Prep and Elite), and how to best position your business for longevity in our sport.
  2. The USASF Connection, the new online community accessible through your member profile, is the ideal social platform for conversation, debate and opinion sharing directly with USASF members and staff.

We look forward to YOUR input and involvement!

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!

In Review – October 2017

October has come and gone, bringing showcase season and Halloween with it. Here’s the rest of the news:

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