Increasing Competition – Part 2 – Ages & Levels

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

  1. Spazz

    Spazz Last Pass... on International Open 1

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Shimmys Received:
    178
    I am a(n)...:
    Athlete
    I think you're right. If any alterations happen with international, we need to think about the ACTUAL international teams first :p

    Also, things like "restricted" divisions are just silly imo. If you're not a level 5 team, then don't be level 5.

    I'm not quite sure what I think about age groups. In theory, if they're doing the same skills, they should be able to be judged equally. But on the other hand, you can't expect a mini 1 to be as clean as a senior 1, so that's not really fair. I still think doing something about size would be one of the easiest ways to create more competition.

     
  2. thecheernerd

    thecheernerd They call me Susie

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    Messages:
    89
    Shimmys Received:
    79
    Location:
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    I love the above! I have a very young Mini 1 team this year and I am finding a lot of my competition is on the higher end of the age grid. I agree that there is a huge difference in 6 and 8 year olds-developmentally-physically and mentally!

    My other idea is to have a level 0 for Tiny teams and leave the age grid as is-then talented kids can be placed on a mini 1 team, and those just starting out have a chance to really learn the sport and basic fundementals. No Cradles, No elevators unlessed braced, etc... (Totally Personal opinion!)
     
  3. GreatWhite92

    GreatWhite92 Slow your roll, Sparkle.

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,176
    Shimmys Received:
    5,369
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I am a(n)...:
    Athlete
    I think all Youth teams should be required to be restricted.
    Juniors should have the option to go restricted. I know my gym Juniors is where you go to prepare for Senior level 5. However its hard to compete because they don't have enough doubles yet. But on the other side some gyms have enough junior age girls to compete with doubles. So there should be an oprion.
    Seniors I think there should be no restricted division! By that time, You should either be level 5 or not.
     
  4. cheermommaRN

    cheermommaRN Slow your roll, Sparkle.

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    3,865
    Shimmys Received:
    9,873
    Location:
    Arlington, TX
    I am a(n)...:
    Parent
    I like the idea of only splitting divisions by age and level. This past weekend at Cheer America they had in one division..1st place small gym small junior 2, 1st place small gym large junior 2, 1st place large gym small junior 2, and 1st place large gym large junior 2. Then each of the small and large gym divisions had grand champions. To me that's a lot.
    I think Tiny should be 6 and under, level 1, and an exhibition division. It should be purely a fun recreational activity that they can learn the basics. This was how it was back in the day with my oldest, then all of a sudden tiny teams started having choreography and were stacked with 5/6 year olds. If they are 5 or 6 and have a back hand spring they should go to mini 2, if a small child is that driven to get one they are focused enough for a mini team.
    I think ultimately to increase competition we need to increase participation in the sport as a whole. To do that we need to make steps to legitimize our sport, i.e. universal scoring across EP's.
     
  5. tumbleyoda

    tumbleyoda Slow your roll, Sparkle.

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,970
    Shimmys Received:
    5,388
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    While eliminating the restricted divisions will increase competition (IMO more so in Level 4 than in Level 5) IIRC weren't those divisions created in effect for safety and to allow gyms to actually build a Level 5 program safely? How can you truly compete a team with 1/4 - 1/2 squad fulls with nearly squad doubles and or crazy specialties to fulls which many of the top teams in each division has? Looking at my current gym at last year tryouts if you eliminate the Restricted division we would of had a Level 4. Which means we probably would of lost our top 10 - 15 tumblers (mostly Junior age) to other programs who would of had the ability to create a workable level 5 team with them that we couldn't because of sheer numbers alone. All the boys would be gone. That would of set us back another 2 - 3 years.

    Having the restricted division allowed us to keep those athletes, train to compete in a division that most closely represents where they are skill wise and prepare them to enter full time into the regular 5 division in a year or two. It has allowed us to develop these athletes to the point those who are getting the skills faster can use them and those that are not can keep plugging in there. This then has increased competition for local gyms of this area as well. When they enter into regular 5 division in a year or two they will be competitive in every area of the rubric not barely Level 5 which is also a major complaint in lack of competition. Yes you want to compete against more teams but you want it to be competitive too. What joy is it in beating a team that should of been a Level 4 team instead of Regular 5?

    Now could they of still competed in the regular 5 division even though skill wise there is no way they would be competitive based on the rubric? Yes. Would they of won? If we creatively selected competitions for them to attend that maximized that possibility yes. But there is no way that they could of competed in Oct, Nov, Dec and Jan in regular five and be competitive based on the rubric. Would they have remained in the gym and competed one more year as Level 4? Possibly but honestly I doubt it, especially when they have so many other gyms available for them, offering scholarships, recruiting, etc.

    For me it is not about winning - which is the argument used by so many for having so many different divisions. I want to be able to train my athletes safely, progress them properly, and prepare them to jump into that big pond in a couple of years. If I put a full or a double on the floor it is because they have it, not because they hope to hit it that day. When they jump in that pond I want them to be competitive - winning is just what may happen if they hit their routine with perfection - but being competitive with zero deductions is always the goal. We may not win and we are preparing them for that but they will be competitive. Sit tight and leave the light on for us! We will be there shortly :D
     
  6. yojaehs

    yojaehs Slow your roll, Sparkle.

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,190
    Shimmys Received:
    4,242
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    Verified Member:
    Shea Crawford
    Florida Wildcat Tumbling Director
    I just don't think the kinks with the Restricted divisions have been ironed out yet. I feel Youth 5 should be restricted across the board. I feel there should be a Junior Restricted (which still makes no sense to me why there is a Youth and Senior Res but not a Junior?) I wasn't a fan of the Restricted Division originally but I coach a Restricted Senior team and for MY gym, it's been very positive.

    As far as age, WHY oh WHY is there no MINIMUM!? I think EVERY division should have a minimum. I remember kingston listing a good breakdown a while back. Basically a year or two overlap between divisions. I just don't get it!?
     
  7. King

    King Is all about that bass Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Messages:
    14,091
    Shimmys Received:
    19,108
    Web:
    Twitter:
    fierceboard
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    Verified Member:
    King Harrison
    Georgia Tech Coach
    Figuring out the right boundaries will really help the sport. Kinda how the medium division came out and is a FANTASTIC hit. Heck... there are more medium teams at NCA than Small Senior. That is kinda crazy.
     
  8. NJ Coach

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

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Messages:
    6,363
    Shimmys Received:
    19,706
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    I'd like to see youth level 5 only offered in Restricted. I don't think a Junior restricted is needed, cause there's no bottom age on the Senior Restricted. I'm thinking Large Senior 5 is gone very soon, and it should be.

    I'd like to see Tiny's max age bumped up a year to 6 & under....keep all other ages the same (though I wouldn't be opposed to a bottom age on all senior divisions).

    Just noticed on the age grid that they have open level 4 listed as a trial division. Nice :)
     
  9. GreatWhite92

    GreatWhite92 Slow your roll, Sparkle.

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2011
    Messages:
    2,176
    Shimmys Received:
    5,369
    Location:
    Tennessee
    I am a(n)...:
    Athlete
    I know my gym moved our Junior 5 team to Senior restricted because there was no Junior restricted. Those kids just came off our youth lvl 4 team and are competing the the senior division...
     
  10. yojaehs

    yojaehs Slow your roll, Sparkle.

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2011
    Messages:
    2,190
    Shimmys Received:
    4,242
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    Verified Member:
    Shea Crawford
    Florida Wildcat Tumbling Director
    Would you agree with a Junior Restricted IF there was a bottom age? As I said before I coach a Senior Restricted and honestly I feel like if there were a Junior Restricted it could save the ALSO dying Junior 5 divisions.
     
  11. hopskipandjump

    hopskipandjump I named my pet Sir Fierce-a-lot

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2010
    Messages:
    527
    Shimmys Received:
    423
    I am a(n)...:
    Gym Owner
    I so could shimmy this a million times. I have had people leave our gym because the parents feel it is just too much for their 6 year old to enter the more competitive world of minis. The intention is to come back at age 7, but by then, we lose them to other things.
     
  12. NJ Coach

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

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2010
    Messages:
    6,363
    Shimmys Received:
    19,706
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    If a minimum age was put on seniors, I wouldn't be opposed to a restricted Junior 5. I may ruffle some feathers with this one, but I'd actually like both youth and juniors to potentially only be offered as restricted. Not that I think that'll happen, but I'd vote for it.
     
  13. Jessica

    Jessica Last Pass... on International Open 1

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    772
    Shimmys Received:
    186
    I am a(n)...:
    Retired From Cheer
    I personally really like the senior restricted division. I think the gap between senior 4 and senior 5 is huge. You go from standing tucks to toe fulls and layouts to one to doubles... its not really practical. I think that SR5 is a great division.

    I would agree that I would like international age to be 17+ but i get it because of actual foreign teams so that is what it is.

    I would not mind seeing youth 5 and youth restricted 5 go away completely. Too sparse. No competition. If you have a really great kid of two that is youth aged, bump them up to JRs.

    I also would like to see large sr go away. Too sparse as well. What 4 teams? Seems really silly but at the same time I doubt they will be gone next year due to the influential teams in that division.
     
  14. Spazz

    Spazz Last Pass... on International Open 1

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Shimmys Received:
    178
    I am a(n)...:
    Athlete

    I couldn't agree with you more! When I first started all star cheer Senior was 12-18, no matter what level, and that made sense. I just can't justify an 8 year old on a senior team. Even if a younger child has the skill, Senior teams are expected to have a different level of maturity and discipline that younger ones simply don't have. Putting a minimum on the age would probably actually decrease competition a bit, but personally I would like to see the right ages in the right divisions.
     
  15. cupieqt

    cupieqt Person everyone wants to meet this season National Champion

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011
    Messages:
    7,112
    Shimmys Received:
    20,963
    Location:
    Louisiana
    Twitter:
    cupieqt
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    I'd definitely keep the restricted divisions. It was created to promote safe progression and it is serving its purpose. I would also vote for Y/Jr being restricted. Tinys 6 and under? Absolutely. And minimum age is a no brainer to me, mostly bc I dislike seeing Tinys on a Jr team, but also bc I think kids should have to wait to be a mini, youth, junior or senior. My athletes look forward to aging up and "qualifying" for that older team. It adds to their anticipation for next year.
    And FYI, If you can't teach junior age kids how to stunt with older youth or other junior age kids, then you're doing it wrong and need to take some classes on proper stunting techniques.

    I could do without senior 1. I just don't see that many teams that couldn't be a decent level 2 at least.