Increasing Competition – Part 2 – Ages & Levels

Discussion in 'Discussing the Cheerleading Industry' started by Andre, Feb 1, 2012.

  1. Andre

    Andre Batman at Justice League

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    This is Part 2 on our series on Increasing Competition in All*Star Cheerleading. This one focuses on the Age and Level options for All*Stars. There are currently 23 combinations for Levels 1-5:
    • Tiny (5 & Under) – Level 1
    • Mini (8 & Under) – Levels 1, 2, & 3
    • Youth (11 & Under) – Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5R, & 5
    • Junior (14 & Under) – Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, & 5
    • Senior (18 & Under or 12-18) – Levels 1, 2, 3, 4, 4.2, 5R, & 5
    • International (14 & Older) – Level 5
    These lists do not take into account Sized or Coed based divisions splits. Here is the same information listed by Level:
    • Level 1 – 5 (Tiny, Mini, Youth, Junior, Senior)
    • Level 2 – 4 (Mini, Youth, Junior, Senior)
    • Level 3 – 4 (Mini, Youth, Junior, Senior)
    • Level 4 – 3 (Youth, Junior, Senior)
    • Level 4.2 – 1 (Senior)
    • Level 5R – 2 (Youth, Senior)
    • Level 5 – 4 (Youth, Junior, Senior, International)
    Ages
    Age has 6 options. Some options, specifically Tiny and International, are limited in Levels, while Senior has 7 Level options. Here’s a breakdown of the percentage of routines performed at each Age based on the statistics we kept from the 2010-11 season.
    • Tiny – 3.71% of Routines (587/15827)
    • Mini – 10.57% (1673/15827)
    • Youth – 18.63% (2949/15827)
    • Junior – 23.42% (3706/15827)
    • Senior – 38.45% (6085/15827)
    • Senior Open/Restricted – 2.54% (402/15827)
    • International Open – 2.20% (348/15827)
    • Special Needs – 0.49% (77/15827)
    I’ve heard a few, but not many, calls to remove an Age group. I’ve heard many more people say the Ages are fine and there shouldn’t be too wide of a range of ages on the same team. I haven’t heard anyone say an age group should be added. What do you think? Do an Age need to be added or removed, or do we have it right?


    Levels
    There are currently at least 6 competitive levels. Here’s a breakdown of the percentage of routines performed at each level based on the statistics we kept from the 2010-11 season.
    • Level 1 – 22.41% of Performances (3547/15827)
    • Level 2 – 28.45% (4502/15827)
    • Level 3 – 21.85% (3458/15827)
    • Level 4 – 11.83% (1872/15827)
    • Level 4.2 – 2.34% (370/15827)
    • Level 5 – 11.94% (1890/15827, includes Restricted/Open)
    • Level 6 – 0.70% (111/15827)
    • Special Needs – 0.49% (77/15827)
    I’ve heard many people say more levels are needed because there isn’t a level for every major progression. I’ve also heard people say the opposite, there are too many levels and there should be a couple major progressions between each level. What are your thoughts?
    Overall, is this the right mix of Ages and Levels? If you had to add an Age or Level what would you make the grid look like? How about if you had to remove one, what would your new grid look like? Does the existing combinations of Ages and Levels promote the amount of competition you would like to see? Thoughts?

    Spirit Post Increasing Competition Series:
    • Part 1 – Introduction (Published January 1st)
    • Part 3 on Sized based splits (Small, Medium, Large) will be published on March 1st.
     
  2. CoachTamara

    CoachTamara Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    This is completely personal opinion, but I loved the idea of tiny being 6 and under and mini remaining 8 and under. There is a HUGE difference between 6 and 8 year olds on a mini team, and I would venture to say very competitive mini teams have almost all 8 year olds (at least the ones we went against). When I think about my tiny team moving up next year and going into the mini division, I cringe.

    It seems like moving up to 6 and under could possibly field more tiny teams. Obviously these talented 6 year olds can still go to mini if needed, but it seems like it would give more competition to the tiny division, while still keeping mini level 1 stacked like it is. Regardless, I don't see the mini division getting any smaller anytime soon.
     
  3. notimeforthat

    notimeforthat Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I think the Int 5 and 6 are silly... they both field few teams and the 14 age bar should be raised... My son is 14 and not mature enough to hang out with college kids ...
    JMO don't gang up on me!! I say combine the division somewhat or eliminate the level 6 (usually scary anyway)
     
  4. Mclovin

    Mclovin Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Just a couple of thoughts...

    Just because the Tiny division doesn't have much competition, I would not want to get rid of it. Most mini teams don't have many 4-5 year olds on them anyway.

    Eliminate the "restricted" divisions altogether. If you can't hang level 5, go level 4...

    I am all for international divisions but I believe they should be 18 and up for both level 5 and level 6. Anyone still in high school has plenty of options to stay on a senior level team.

    If you look at the NCA lineup there is ONE team in youth 4, ONE team in youth restricted 5 and TWO teams in Youth 5. Based on this and assuming those divisions have very little room for growth, I would eliminate them altogether. Winning a jacket because you've had ZERO competition all year is not fun. Eliminating those 3 divisions should increase the junior 4 and 5 divisions a bit as well.
     
  5. CoachTamara

    CoachTamara Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I don't want to get rid of Tinys at all! They are adorable. However, I think smaller gyms tend to put small ones on mini. We went against a mini team last year that had a 4 year old on it (I wish I were kidding). I'm thinking that if tiny became 6 and under, small gyms could possibly field more tiny teams and increase competition. If those kids are really good and should be on mini, they still can be.
     
  6. Mclovin

    Mclovin Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Oops, I didn't mean for my post to sound like it was directed at anyone else's post. I was just making a statement in general due to the statistics showing very little participation in that division. Sorry about that. And I could agree with you on making tiny's 6 and under. I don't see a problem with that at all.
     
  7. Emily

    Emily International Cheer Correspondent Staff Member National Champion

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    If you want to raise the age in international divisions you shouldn't go farther up than 16. I don't know about other countries, but here if you're around 16 years old you age out of "junior" and HAVE to move up to "senior" (which is your open division) - there is no option for another division. If you would raise the age to 18 there would be almost complete teams here that would have to leave about half of the team behind for worlds (if they could even start at all).
     
  8. BlueCat

    BlueCat Roses are red, cats are blue National Champion

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    It may be more work, but the biggest help, IMO would be the numbers breakdown by actual age/division. Some of the above stats may be a bit misleading: For example, the Tiny age group shows only 3.71 percent compared to Mini showing 10.57%. However, there are (at least) 3 different divisions for Mini, compared to one for Tiny. Tiny actually averages more PER DIVISION than Mini. Perhaps a table with age groups as one axis and level for the other? This would allow you to see how many Youth 3s there were, for example.
     
  9. Andre

    Andre Batman at Justice League

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    I have all of the results PDFs if anyone wants to go back and do it. Index of /media/results/2010-11
     
  10. BlueCat

    BlueCat Roses are red, cats are blue National Champion

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    Ahhh. PDFs. If anyone finds a good way to convert PDFs to spreadsheets (the format that scores SHOULD be report in) you would be my new best friend.

    (By convert, I mean do it so the tables work correctly - not just copy/paste all of the text. PDFs will often read text in tables "down" the page, when it should be "across".)
     
  11. JessicaL

    JessicaL I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot

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    I agree with all of the above but would like to see International at 17, not 18. For a child that graduates at 17 and goes away to college but would still like to compete allstar, International us usually a much less time consuming committment than a senior team. I'd hate to see them only be able to cheer senior.
     
  12. Just-a-Mom

    Just-a-Mom Best Overall Female Newbie

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    Wow. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Especially the restricted divisions...


    Agreed with this as well -- my daughter graduated in October (home schooled) and she turned 17 Sept. 30 - so she'll be 17 her first month of college at least.
     
  13. Mclovin

    Mclovin Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Definitely agree that college athletes (even if they're still 17) should be able to do international. I would just like to keep high schoolers on senior aged teams as long as possible. :)
     
  14. JessicaL

    JessicaL I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot

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    I agree with that 100%!
     
  15. NJ Coach

    NJ Coach 10's Across the Board....literally. Staff Member National Champion

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    I'm almost positive that the age of 14 for the International divisions is because of the actual International teams.