Increasing Competition – Part 2 – Ages & Levels

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

  1. 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
    A few years ago I would agree with you. I agree that there aren't many out there but the ones that are are providing a place for athletes to go. I guess until you have one at your gym it's hard to explain it but this is our first year and has been a positive for our program.
     
  2. 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
    That's why I'm truly not about closing any division, as soon as you do it hurts someone that needs it. I'm not knocking anyone that can field a sr 1, especially if it takes care of all those late-to-the-sport juniors and seniors that just won't fit on a polished upper level team.
     
  3. Aussiekat

    Aussiekat Moderator Staff Member National Champion

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Messages:
    1,252
    Shimmys Received:
    4,301
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    This might be a naïve post, but in my understanding young kids' bodies are pretty similar and it's not until puberty that boys become physically stronger and gives them a competitive advantage. Is there any benefit, then, in splitting youth and junior divisions into coed and allgirl at any level?
     
  4. SharkDad

    SharkDad Most Positive, Best Parent '12 Staff Member National Champion

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2009
    Messages:
    4,260
    Shimmys Received:
    5,940
    Location:
    Las Vegas
    Web:
    Twitter:
    shark_dad
    I am a(n)...:
    Parent
    I know there are positive experiences for every division right now and we can find a fit for almost every situation.

    Right now there is a "everybody should have a team" mentatlity that has created the 38 different divisions. This leads to the small numbers of teams that compete against each other at competitions.

    At some point particpants in the sport need to decide what is more important - chances for all or better quality competition? A third possiblity is some compromise of both. Either way there will have to be some desisions to focus the sport on what's best for the athletes.
     
  5. MissBee

    MissBee Slow your roll, Sparkle.

    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2010
    Messages:
    2,055
    Shimmys Received:
    4,360
    I am a(n)...:
    Industry Professional
    There NEEDS to be minimum ages on Senior and International/Open teams. Senior minimum should be 12 and International/Open minimum should be 18, with a waiver for 17 if you've graduated HS and are not doing Super Senior. The skills done at Level 6 are just too complex and difficult for someone younger to be doing, they simply lack the maturity necessary. This is why HS has more limited skills than College on the school end of cheer.
     
  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
    As much as I may agree with you ultimately this is a business. I feel that the root of the issue isn't that "every KID needs a place to go" but "every team should win". If a child wants to cheer, I'm in favor for them to be able to compete whether it's a level 1 or 6 athlete. But if their skills aren't as good as another teams then they should lose and at some point I feel every team should have to face one another so that the "best" can be determined. We have that at level 5 senior ONLY, that is unfortunate.
     
  7. 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
    The issue with this is that International breakdowns are different. I agree, but until we are unified across the world, I don't see this happening.
     
  8. flipmac

    flipmac Last Pass... on International Open 1

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    369
    Shimmys Received:
    172
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    MMmmm hMMMMM!!!!!
     
  9. MyDaughterCheers

    MyDaughterCheers When all else fails.... I shimmy In Memoriam

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2011
    Messages:
    647
    Shimmys Received:
    834
    I am a(n)...:
    Parent
    I definitely feel there is a place for restricted 5. As someone said above, the jump from 4 to 5 is very high. What if a CP was Sr. 4 last year and has level 5 skills, but she does not have a double and is not ready for one? If she's placed on 4 again, she would not have used her level 5 skills in practice or in competition, so that would mean many privates to maintain her skills and to progress. I know in our gym, there are many girls that fit that example. I think restricted 5 is the bridge between the 2 levels.
     
  10. Spazz

    Spazz Last Pass... on International Open 1

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Shimmys Received:
    178
    I am a(n)...:
    Athlete
    IMO - if there is a need for a "restricted" division because the skill jump is too high, then the levels and skills should be adjusted. Restricted divisions really never made sense to me. If your team can't be level 5, don't be level 5! Coaches should know better than to push a team/individuals when they clearly aren't ready.
     
  11. tumbleyoda

    tumbleyoda Slow your roll, Sparkle.

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    1,970
    Shimmys Received:
    5,388
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    The problem is not the skill jump from Level 4 to Level 5 at the bottom end. That is manageable and doable by the majority of gyms. You can get from Layouts to Full. That is a reasonable progression from competing Level 4 to competing Level 5. I am talking about technically sound tumbling and not "janky throwing the skill cause we need it to hit the score sheet better and maybe they wont see it if we hide it" type tumbling skills. Minimal deductions to none at all.

    It is unreasonable to expect to get from competing Layouts to competing Double Fulls as the next realistic competitive progression (which is where we are currently not on the rules but by what is on the mat) to be competitive in Level 5 if you remove the Restricted Division. The problem is the skill jump from being truly competitive in Level 4 and being truly competitive in Level 5. Not just competing Level 5 but being competitive which are two different things. Until a team is competitive technically you still really don't have competition, just more teams in your division.

    The assumption that the majority of gyms can hold a majority of athletes and their parents happy competing in Level 4 until they can get running Double Fulls, Specialty to Double Fulls, Standing Fulls and so the intricate stunting that it takes to be competitive Level 5 is flawed IMO. Especially for the gyms that are trying to build a level 5 program. That is what takes currently - based on looking at videos of the top projected teams in each division - to be competitive with the top 10 teams in any current Level 5 division other than Junior or Youth. The restricted division bridges this wide skill divide gap that exists in Level 5 and allows safer progressions to take place.

    Can you compete a squad of fulls with against a squad of double fulls? Yes of course. Will it be competitive? Not if the squad of double fulls hits. Same thing goes for the stunting. In my thinking we are not just talking about adding teams by taking away a division; it is about being competitive when you do so. It may work with other levels but it don't work with level 5. Will there be gyms that will put their teams in regular 5 knowing that based on skill alone they don't have a chance to win but do it for experience? Sure. And we should not beat them up for it or ridicule them - which is what routinely happens on the boards by telling them to go back to level 4, they didn't have a chance, etc.
     
  12. whatsupWILLIS

    whatsupWILLIS Cheer Stalker

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2012
    Messages:
    92
    Shimmys Received:
    50
    Location:
    KC Cheer :)
    I really just like it the way it is right now!!
     
  13. Spazz

    Spazz Last Pass... on International Open 1

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Shimmys Received:
    178
    I am a(n)...:
    Athlete
    I think this argument is flawed for a few reasons. First of all, you really can be competitive without full team doubles. On the Worlds score sheet, tumbling only counts for FIVE percent of the entire score. Having a few doubles on your team alone won't win Worlds, that's for sure.

    Second of all, doubles are hard, and that's why there aren't so many of them. Imagine if you had a division where you HAD to have doubles, not just fulls. I can't even imagine there would be more than a handful of teams nationwide that would even qualify for that division. And really, how many teams have full team standing fulls/doubles? I honestly can't even think of one. If we're basing divisions off of a hypothetical situation that hasn't even happened yet, then there's something terribly wrong.

    Lastly, you seem to be making an argument for gyms with new level 5 programs. No matter what level, you can't expect new small gyms to come out of the gate winning every competition. Older teams have been raising athletes and training them for much longer, so obviously they're going to be more experienced.

    The biggest thing is that I can't help but feel that your post promotes like...and equal chance at winning, not an equal chance at competing. A team that just graduated from level 4 to level 5 really shouldn't be able to suddenly appear and start winning Worlds. There should be a natural progression. What you seem to want is that dreaded "50 National Champions" at one event. The nature of competition is that some teams will vastly out skill the others, and that's what working hard and training is all about.

    To sum it all up - a team with fulls certaintly can compete against a team with doubles - there's a lot more to a routine than just tumbling. But if you want one of the top spots at Worlds, start working harder, not clamoring for a new "restricted" division.
     
  14. flipmac

    flipmac Last Pass... on International Open 1

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Messages:
    369
    Shimmys Received:
    172
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I am a(n)...:
    Coach
    I think you missed the point...
     
  15. Spazz

    Spazz Last Pass... on International Open 1

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2011
    Messages:
    143
    Shimmys Received:
    178
    I am a(n)...:
    Athlete
    Which is what? I'm not being sarcastic, I'm actually really boggled as to why people advocate for the restricted division.