Increasing Competition – Part 2 – Ages & Levels

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

  1. Mcfierceburger

    Mcfierceburger I text ACEDAD all the time

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    Personally I really don't like 4.2, if you can't do it then dont...
    and why only 4.2? if they are really stupid they'll have a .2 for every level
    its just like Level 3 Non Tumble... Seriously?? ahh so so lame!

     
  2. tumbleyoda

    tumbleyoda Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    They can compete but not be competitive. Look at some of the Videos from the lower placing teams at CheerSport and ask yourself honestly - are they competitive with the top end teams in the division? My point is just because you have 30 teams in a division does not mean all 30 are competitive with each other. What is the complaint heard from mostly athletes every year from CheerSport, NCA, Jamfest and Worlds? "I don't want to see teams that are barely level 5. They have no chance - why are they doing that to the kids?" Beyond the selfishness of the statement, the true issue is that there are teams that are competing Level 5 that are not deemed to be competitive with the top end teams. They have their reasons, so I refuse to demean them by saying they should drop a level.

    Did I say that I wanted a top spot at Worlds? You are assuming something that I did not say. And the restricted Division is right now in its second year. With the adjustments made from last year to make it less inviting for teams to stack their restricted teams with athletes that are on their Worlds teams, or could be on the Worlds teams of many other gyms but because sheer numbers have not made their current gyms Worlds gym.

    You are assuming that I want the Restricted division to make it easier to win. Can you please show me where I have ever said that? You are reading an intention into my post that is simply not there. In the 6 years of posting on different cheer boards I have never once advocated or pushed for any division to make it easier for any gym to win. About judging fairly and without favoritism? Guilty. About recruiting at competitions by large gyms away from small gyms? Guilty? About abuse of crossovers to stack the deck against true level athletes? Guilty. Some coaches and gym owners able to get legalities argued down to performance errors while others get hit with the same legality? Guilty. But on making it easier to win? You will never find that in any one of my posts ever on this subject.

    You will find that I was against the 4.2 division because I have never had a real problem getting high school athletes to tumble. At the time the gym I was at did not have a problem with keeping seniors on Senior 2. I did not buy the argument that they were quitting because of not being able to do the extended stunts that they could do in high school because they couldn't tumble. I thought it was a cop out, another excuse to minimize tumbling. I could see the college aspect but that was it. Yet the division works for a lot of gyms in a lot of ways.

    If you eliminate the restricted division it would continue to make it hard for smaller gyms to compete (not win!) in the Level 5 division. You are going to still limit competition just in a different manner. Gyms will less than stellar Level 5 teams will lose their top athletes to other gyms. This still eliminates a team or two out of the division, just not on the mat. You still will also have those gyms that are the type to avoid competition going to different ones to avoid too tough a test so you still would not of solved anything there. More important in my mind is safety. You will have gyms, coaches and athletes pushing for skills that they are not physically or mentally ready for, just to not look like they are a level 4 team going Level 5.

    But if you are willing to mandate that any level 5 athlete must compete at least a running full and BHS to Full 3 times in a USASF Sanctioned competition before competing a Double Full then I will compromise on the Restricted division. It allows them to work on the skill at anytime, yet they have to show they have competed it before they can compete the higher skill. They could compete the full at the early year competitions and be ready for the big national season. You would be implementing a safety requirement that I believe is critical to every athlete regardless of what team they are on.

    Now I don't expect this would ever happen. But it is a process coaches, athletes and parents should think through carefully, adjust to their environment and implement on their own. If safety is truly a concern, then make it so that every athlete can progress safely. This to me is the greatest benefit of the Restricted division. Those athletes have a better opportunity to progress safely without the demand of they need so and so many doubles to hit majority on the score sheet.
     
  3. Spazz

    Spazz Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    So is the main reason for restricted a safety issue? Because if so, I think that means that coaches need to be more responsible rather than a new division implemented.

    I agree with you about 4.2 as well. It's just one of those divisions that I think shouldn't exist. I understand how it might be able to help some gyms out, but I think that helping out gyms keep their business running isn't a great reason to have that division.

    Smaller gyms in general often struggle to get off the ground, but even so I think I'm opposed to the "small gym" division. A gym doesn't just come out of nowhere and place well - they need to work their way up. Giving them a chance to "compete" with other gyms that are more closely matched in skill just seems silly. All it does is let them say they placed well at a competition to try to entice new athletes. It seems like that buys into the whole 50 national champions deal. I just feel like there's a better way to help small gyms out than just giving them a different division.

    And you never did explicitly say anything about winning, but you kept saying how teams "couldn't compete" without a ton of doubles, and to me that just sounds like "can't win." Coming from a team that doesn't have a single double on the floor right now, I know that you can still be competitive without them. And competition is after all seeing who has the best skills! :p

    ALSO - this is a bit off topic but, does anyone know why/what the rules are on splitting divisions? I noticed that at Cheersport Atalanta they had things like Small Senior All Girl 5 A and B. Why not keep them all together? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of competition? And how do they fairly decide who does in which? Is it a seeding process?
     
  4. SharkDad

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

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    CHEERSPORT advertises that they will always split divisions with greater than 15 teams and/or in accordance with USASF guidelines in the cases of splitting/combining Small vs Large and Coed vs AG. Small Senior had 18 so they had an A and B. They have also stated that they randomly draw who goes in what division when they split.
     
  5. Spazz

    Spazz Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    Maybe the USASF should ban splitting into brackets like that? Idk, personally I would love to see 20 teams in a division battle it out. For example, if the first place team in bracket A scored lower than the last place team in bracket B (improbable, but very possible!), I just feel like that's not a real triumph. *shrug* I just think they should leave all the teams together to create a large pool of competition.
     
  6. SharkDad

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

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    That is a valid idea, but the USASF does not control how the EPs run their events. Their main control is over the integrity of how the Worlds Bids are given out to ensure it meets with Worlds rules
     
  7. Spazz

    Spazz Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    Ohhh I see. Hmm, didn't know that. You'd think an EP would be proud to announce that they have a huge competition pool. As a competitor, I'd definitely be drawn more towards a pool of 20 than a pool of 2. It's not nearly as fun competing against fewer people.
     
  8. SharkDad

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

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    With over 940 teams I think they are doing alright. I suspect they want to balance having deep competition pools (splitting at 15 gives at least 7/8 per division) with giving more teams a chance at a jacket - makes more gyms/teams happy.

    The times I have seen only 2-3 teams in a division is when there is no rule to make them combine with another. i.e. 1 Mini L3 team, 1 Youth 5 restricted, 2 youth 5
     
  9. tumbleyoda

    tumbleyoda Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    You want divisions to be deeper, and I have no problem with that. My point is that as long as they are competitive it is a great thing. With so many different competition companies and choices on any given weekend, this is unlikely unless many more companies merge or go out of business. We simplly disagree on what it means to be competitve.

    When I say compete I mean compete. When I want to say and mean win, or winning I will say it. :) Just personally speaking I am not obsessive over winning. I want them to hit their routines, I want them to have zero deductions, I want them to perform and have fantastic energy. If they do that and place top 3 that is wonderful and right where we want them to be. And yes you can be competitive in other areas of the score sheet, and if you are very strong there it will cover up most tumbling lack. No doubt there, esp with as you said the minimizing of the tumbling percentages.

    I agree with you 100 percent with the coaches being more responsible. But can I tell you how many times that "Suzy" has learned a janky full (or any tumbling skill for that matter) on her own on her trampoline at home being pushed by mom or dad to get the skill so she can keep up with "Henrietta", then comes into the gym trying to throw it without a coaches permission and there goes a needless injury, sometimes surgery and rehab? Or they leave your gym because you are trying to keep them safe in their progressions to go elsewhere and then either get hurt or lose all their tumbling? So even sometimes with coaches trying to be responsible, some athletes and parents alike deliberately choose to go around a coach that is not letting them do what they want to do.
     
  10. gymcatmomx2

    gymcatmomx2 When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    Smaller gyms in general often struggle to get off the ground, but even so I think I'm opposed to the "small gym" division. A gym doesn't just come out of nowhere and place well - they need to work their way up. Giving them a chance to "compete" with other gyms that are more closely matched in skill just seems silly. All it does is let them say they placed well at a competition to try to entice new athletes. It seems like that buys into the whole 50 national champions deal. I just feel like there's a better way to help small gyms out than just giving them a different division.

    If you are referring to "honest" competition, then having a small gym with less than 75 athletes competing against a large gym with over 200+ athletes is like having a 2A football program compete against a 5A football program. Yes, that 2A school may get lucky and beat that 5A school occasionally, but the odds are against them. Unless you've actually cheered or coached at a small gym for any length of time, you don't understand the challenges that they face.
     
  11. Spazz

    Spazz Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    The first team I went to Worlds with had a mere 5 teams, and the gym I am with now has 25, so I've been on both ends of the spectrum. We did just fine without needing to be in the "small gym" division :p
     
  12. gymcatmomx2

    gymcatmomx2 When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    Holy Smokes - 25 teams! Wow that is huge.. and impressive!! I completely agree that small gyms can do "just fine" however for the long haul, doing just fine will cause the small gym athletes to go to the larger gyms to be more successful. I believe that if the EPs were to eliminate the small gym division it would hurt the industry. I would think that the number of athletes registered under small gyms is most likely higher than the large gyms... but I could be completely wrong about that... especially if they all have 25 teams. :D
     
  13. Spazz

    Spazz Last Pass... on International Open 1

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    That's probably true - I was thinking of it purely from a "creating more competition" standpoint (since that's what this thread is, haha!). But there is definitely something to be said about huge power gyms with upwards of 20 teams and how that affects smaller gyms. I guess the small gym division is the EPs answer to their cry for help, but I can't help but think that putting them in their own division doesn't do them any good except separate them from the big competitors.

    Personally I think that any gym, no matter how small, can raise a really talented gym full of athletes with the right coaching staff. A lot of smaller gyms are just mismanaged IMO.
     
  14. Kermo

    Kermo I shimmy daily

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    I do like the "Small Gym" division and we are a small gym. We live in a small city in Kentucky. We will register in the Small Gym division when given the option. One thing I never understood is (from our experience) they do not offer SG division for Level 5. Which, granted, our Lg Junior 5 and LG Sr Coed 5 hardly ever see competition anyways so I kinda understand why they choose not to split it further.

    As far as restricted 5. The only appeal the restricted division brings to our gym is the fact it doesn't have an age minimum. It gives us an option if we did choose to combine our J5 and SC 5 one season and also field a Lv 3/4 Senior team with the rest of the non 5 athletes.

    Anyone know when the new set of divisions/rules will be published for the upcoming season?
     
  15. Morgankay88

    Morgankay88 I shimmy daily

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    I agree with you. At an American Championships Nationals our small Senior 2 team's division got split. There were only 10 teams to begin with... so they split it 5 and 5. My team was very disappointed because they wanted to go against all of the small S2 teams. We won the small senior 2A division and would have won even if they had gone against all small s2 teams. The team that had won the 2B division would have been in 4th in the 2A division. 10 teams is definitely too small to split into two divisions. My team had worked their butt off and did amazing and a team scoring a lot less than them gets the same award as we do.

    I feel that by splitting the divisions we are rewarding mediocrity and cheapening the reward of actually winning.

    Side note: When they split our division they did it by size so teams with 15 athletes and under were in 2A and 15-20 athletes in 2B. However, that only put 4 teams in 2A and 6 teams in 2B. So the next smallest teams in 2B both had 17 members. So they took one of those teams and put them in 2A. The team that got put into the 2A division would have won the 2B division. I wouldn't be too happy if I were them.