Us Finals Question

Discussion in 'Rec Cheerleading' started by whitneyb, May 15, 2014.

  1. whitneyb

    whitneyb I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    I'm a little concerned about an organization that has attended US Finals the past few years in the rec division. They are very talented and have been very successful in years past. However it has been brought to my attention that some of the teams are coached by people getting paid. They do not get paid by the organization itself but one of the coaches uses an unlicensed facility to give tumbling instruction to most of the kids on the team. All transactions are done by cash. They have the option of having "private lessons" or attend one of the classes the coach teaches. I have been out of rec cheerleading for several years and I am very proud of the instruction my daughter received while she was part of this program. The team that is doing this has never once lost. It disappoints me because I feel this is not the way to teach these children. In order to be humble and want to work harder a child or team should know that you can't win all the time. The children believe no one will ever beat them. If team was being coached by me, I would bump up to the next age group.
    Is it allowed for a coach to be paid to tumble the kids?
    Any advice or information would be greatly appreciated.

     
  2. cheernerd5678

    cheernerd5678 Slow your roll, Sparkle. Bracket Winner

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    How is this different than if a rec kid chose to take tumbling at an allstar gym on the side?
     
  3. whitneyb

    whitneyb I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    Because the instructor is their coach. The only connection between them is the rec team.
     
  4. SarahS

    SarahS Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    There is nothing in the rules for JamBrands (the EP for US Finals) that says rec coaches must be volunteers. Rec teams can have their own gyms, can charge tuition, can have tryouts, can make tumbling classes mandatory, etc. The only requirements for rec at JamBrands events are that the program be associated with a community youth organization (YMCA, Boys and Girls club, Parks and Rec department, etc) and that they cheer for a youth sport (and this requirement can be waived with a letter from the president of the youth organization stating why the team doesn't cheer for youth sports).

    Just because a rec team is successful doesn't mean that they are cheating. There are a few simple rules to determine a rec program, and if they're following them, they're all good in my book. My rec team came in 4th out of 14 teams at US Finals and a couple of people from other teams were complaining that all the top teams were all star teams, just because they look like all star teams. No, you can be a true rec team and still teach proper technique and progression so that the athletes look like all stars. The teams that beat us were better than us on that day - they didn't cheat. (They better watch out next year, though ;) ) I really respect the rec coaches in my area - they take kids from tough circumstances and train them to be champions, while still following the rules.
     
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  5. whitneyb

    whitneyb I'm new. Don't Hurt Me

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    I am curious as to how many "rec teams" do cheer an entire season for a sport. Not just 2 or 3 games, or hold practice while a game is going on. I am just shocked to see how many teams enter the "rec" division that cheer 2 or 3 games to qualify as rec. Also, if they are being supported by the local park and recs, would it be acceptable for coaches to be paid. I see to many teams today who are more focused on winning than teaching good sportsmanship. Its very disheartening.
     
  6. SarahS

    SarahS Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    We cheer a whole football season. The Jam Brands rules only state that you have to cheer for a sport, so cheering one game counts.

    I don't understand the opposition to paid coaches. I'm not paid, but I have no problem w rec coaches who are. If they're paid anything, it is likely peanuts and they probably pour their hearts, souls and entire paycheck a into their teams. It takes money to go to coaching clinics and get certifications and take training/safety/CPR courses. I would rather compete against rec teams that have qualified coaches and teach their kids proper progressions and safe stunting than against train wreck teams that have coaches who don't take the time to understand the rules and how to safely teach/coach this sport.


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  7. coach4gold

    coach4gold Cheer Stalker

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    Pop warner team's, true rec team's that cheer for football, are not allowed to have tryouts and are not allowed to have paid staff. Guess where a lot of those teams place at us finals - the bottom. The scoresheet is so focused on tumbling that no matter how clean and tight you are, a team with majority tumbling is going to beat you even when they drop several stunts. Granted most of those teams don't know how to max their l/d/t . But the ones that do know how to hit the scoresheet still can not get past the disadvantage of not being allowed tryouts or paid choreography. I wish that the usasf would take up defining the rec division, it should be more than a team that cheers for one event. It should be for those who cheer for a sport all season and is also inclusive of all abilities. The scoresheet for rec should not be so heavily weighted on tumbling-bring back the recreational in rec cheer. Otherwise what is the point of having the division.
     
  8. SarahS

    SarahS Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    We have tryouts. We take everyone, lol, but we have tryouts (mainly it is a time for the kids to "try out" my style of coaching, and see my expectations - too tough at tryouts? Probably not the team for you... although I've never had a kid quit at tryouts, haha). I wouldn't be opposed to making tryouts for rec teams illegal... in theory. In practice, what does that really mean? Now EPs have to verify that rec programs don't have tryouts? They don't even verify that the rules they currently have in place are followed. What ARE tryouts, even? What if you have a rec program that has enough kids to make a couple of teams - are you not allowed to have skill evaluations to make sure kids are placed at the proper level? Do you make rec teams by age only? If so, how do you know what level to put them at? What if you have enough kids to make two teams in the same age division - what level? Do you place them randomly? That doesn't seem fair, or safe, for the kids.

    I guess the whole idea of this kind of regulation from competition companies or the USASF is kind of absurd, to me. If you want to ensure that you only compete against Pop Warner teams that have to follow the same rules that you do, then only go to Pop Warner competitions. Totally simple solution. I don't take my team to comps that don't follow USASF rules, or have crazy score sheets, or that are unsafe in some way, in the same way that I don't take my team to travel comps (except for Va Beach at the end of the year). It doesn't work for my team.

    As for tumbling being a huge part of the score sheet... Cheer Ltd still has non-tumble rec divisions. Other EPs and local competitions have different score sheets that de-emphasize tumbling. True, if you want to compete Jam/Varsity, your team will be held to the same standards as all star teams. So be it. Keep your teams level-appropriate. All you had to do last year at Jam to max out standing tumbling synch score in level 1 was synch forward rolls. Your difficulty would be lower than max, but if you had BWOs at all in the routine, it would increase the difficulty score. If you did team synchronized running round offs, you would get into the max range for running (team synch added .5 to Jam's running score last year). Technique/execution at the lower levels can win out nearly every time, as the difference between min and max difficulty range was usually less than a point but min/max execution scores could be much more than that, when taking into account the "overall impression" scores of the category judges.

    You just have to know how to massage the score sheet, aka beat it into submission, for your team. (I can't wait for the USASF regional meeting to find out more about the new unified score sheet so that I can start planning how to best teach my kids the skills they need to know to be successful.) I don't pay for choreography, I do it myself, and we won best choreography at one comp in a session with a bunch of all star teams that *did* have paid choreo. I don't think not being allowed to pay for choreo is an excuse. Choreo is my favorite. If I could do it all day and pay my bills, I totally would, lol. I don't cheat. My rec team does well because I am a fanatic about finding the best way to score the most points by using the skills they have, in addition to making sure they are prepared to learn new tumbling skills and *expecting* that they learn new skills with proper training and conditioning.

    Aaaaaand, with that, I'm done with this novel, haha. I guess I'm a tad bit passionate about this subject ;)
     
  9. coach4gold

    coach4gold Cheer Stalker

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    Pop warner team's are split by age groups with a minimum and a maximum age. I don't think these teams should have to stick to pop warner comps. What exactly is the point of having a rec division at all if in practice it essentially is allowed to be an all star division that may cheer for a sport or just at one event. The first change I would make would be to set the music at 1:30 so there has to be a cheer. Don't want to compete with a cheer? Then why not compete in all star. Why can't rec be left rec and team's training like all stars go compete in the all star division? Why should pop warner, the largest youth rec cheer organization, have to go elsewhere?
     
  10. SarahS

    SarahS Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I coach at a military base. I have coached rec all over the country since 1999 and never for Pop Warner. There are more unaffiliated rec teams than there are Pop warner teams. So you're saying that PW teams, which have their own set of comps, should take over all of rec cheerleading at independent companies? Why should the majority of the rec world have to "go elsewhere" (where would they go? At least PW has their own events.)

    We are a rec team because:
    - We are sponsored by a youth organization
    - We cheer for a youth sport
    Additional information:
    - We take every single child. Even those with special needs, even those who cannot do a forward roll or do a jump. Everyone gets to participate.
    - We don't have our own practice facility. Sometimes we're squished into a dance room with no mats and low ceilings. Sometimes we have to cancel practice because other sports have precedence for facilities.
    - These kids cannot afford all stars. Heck, some can barely afford our program, and it costs $30 per YEAR and the program pays all comp fees.
    - Coaches are not paid. Choreography is done by coaches. We rely on sponsors for music.
    - We LIKE the all star style of cheer. We LIKE the way the score sheets focus on tumbling and don't require a cheer. Just because that doesn't fit your idea of rec doesn't mean that we are not a true rec team.

    Basically what I'm saying is that competitions ALREADY exist that have the rules you're looking for - so why don't you go to those? Why does everything have to be made into Pop Warner, when PW already exists as a competition option? Why not have options? PW teams are still allowed to compete at other events - they just might not do as well. What is wrong with that? Why does everyone have to win? Why is it unfair that my true rec team is good at this particular score sheet? We wouldn't be great at one that required a minute long cheer - so we don't go to those comps. Easy solution.


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  11. coach4gold

    coach4gold Cheer Stalker

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    I'm not looking at this from a personal perspective, my own team has won us finals even though it was difficult. But when I look around at the division it is becoming an all star division and it should not be for exactly the reasons you brought up. Not everyone can afford to be an all star. Some team's that compete in this division look, train and travel just like all stars. How many true rec parents can afford an expensive uniform, makeup, tumbling instruction, paid choreography, and most of all can afford to travel to multiple major nationals as some do? If a program can afford all that then why don't they just compete in the all star division? My girls like the all star format as well but I think this division needs some work to level the playing field for rec parents/ team's that can't afford all star level training and facilities.
     
  12. eliteathletics

    eliteathletics I make my own voiceovers

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    My rec team was a true rec team in that we cheered for football(only sport our youth league had) and competed in local comps, we had amazing uniforms- parents did not pay for them we fundraised for them and returned them every year. My kids wanted more for their time and dedication than the 9 town comps we did over 6-8 weekends. We started doing national rec comps. We won us finals a few times, jamfest a few and UCA hs nationals. we trained in a sub gym with folding mats, ceilings never allowing for sr teams pyramids or baskets. Us coaches were not paid, heck- I never cheered a day in my life. We werent allowed to go to pop warner comps so we found other cmps to attend, we didnt complain about it- its what we did. Once the girls found 2:30 of music they loved it so much we changed from cheering to all music. The girls motivated each other to go to tumbling, but we never ever maxed out our score sheet in tumbling. However what we had we used wisely and maxed out the rest of the score sheet. We did not go level 4 because we had 1 janky layout as I see so many other teams do. We maxed out the score sheet by hitting all of our elements on an appropriate level.
    Being clean, being tight and being knowledgable took these teams far, Although I have left rec and am now coaching allstar ( finally getting paid) I still miss the days where it was for fun and believe it or not I do miss the poms and cheer.
     
  13. Cheer Dad

    Cheer Dad Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    Wow, 9 comps in 6-8 weekends? I think that leaves rec behind and enters all star status


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  14. eliteathletics

    eliteathletics I make my own voiceovers

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    No our local youth council each town hosted a competition from middle of oct through thanksgiving. The only saving grace was that they had mini sessions where age groups went. 8 and under 9-10. And 11-14 so it wasn't as long of a day as an allstar competition.
     
  15. Cheer Dad

    Cheer Dad Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    You said you couldn't do Pop Warner so were you AYC instead?

    Seriously though that is still a lot of competitions on a short time. How do you find the time to practice? When does your season start and how many games do the kids have to cheer at?


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