Cheerleading Rule Changes, March 2012

This article is about the sweeping rule changes that were recently implemented affecting both high school and all star competitive cheerleading.  I’m going to address the situation in general terms, understanding that there might be exceptions, but if I went into great detail to every specific aspect of the changes, this article would be way too long.  So, with the disclaimer out of the way, here we go…

What we’re really talking about are limitations that have been placed on what skills cheerleaders are going to be allowed to perform.  That, and some age restrictions and I think a uniform restriction down the road.  If you want to know my opinion about the uniform restriction, look up my article called Dress For Success.  As for my opinion on the age limitations, check out the article called Age Appropriate.  THIS article is going to focus on skill restrictions, in general, that have been put in place.

People are understandably upset about the changes.  A lot of coaches and athletes have worked their butts off to master difficult tricks that they want to perform.  They want to stand out.  They want to shine.  What’s more, they want the competitive advantage that they have earned with the blood sweat and tears that they invested in training to progress to the point that they can execute the toughest cheerleading skills around.  After all of that hard work, the rule changes have taken that away from them, and they don’t think that is fair.

They are right.  IT IS NOT FAIR.

However, it is still the right thing to do.

Yes, I know I just said it wasn’t fair.  But it is still right.  It is the only solution to a serious problem.  The ends justify the means in this case.  And even though you might not be the cause of the problem (or at least you might not THINK you are), you have to pay the price for the greater good.  We need a safer environment in cheerleading.  The status quo was not an option.  And the coaches, the parents, and the event providers were not getting it done.  This is the result, and once again, it was absolutely the right thing to do.

Before you tune me out completely, let me explain with an example.  10 years ago, people who earned $40,000 a year were allowed to borrow $400,000 to buy a house that was only worth $250,000.  Whether or not you’re a financial expert, you can probably figure out this is an example of a “high risk” loan.  Banks were allowed to make as many of these loans as they wanted.  They were very profitable.  The problem is if the borrower couldn’t pay back the loan, the banks would lose money and the borrower would lose their house.  A lot of bank took a responsible approach to high risk loans.  They used honest appraisers to determine the value of the house.  They looked at the borrower’s future income, credit history, etc.  They limited themselves to only making so many of these loans so that if some of them went bad, the bank wouldn’t get hurt too much by it.  The problem is, most of the bank were not responsible.  They gave out billions of dollars to people who could never repay it, figuring they’d just take the houses back and still make a profit when they sell them.  But then housing priced crashed.  The banks couldn’t sell the houses.  The people couldn’t make the payments.  Before you know it, we have a global financial crisis.  Folks who worked their whole, honest lives saving to retire saw their home and investments lose all of their value overnight.  Folks started getting laid off.  People’s dreams and futures were crushed.  Let’s face it.  Life as we know it changes and may never be the same.

Now, banks aren’t allowed to loan money like that anymore.  Not just the banks that screwed it up.  None of the banks.  The rules had to change because too many people were taking advantage of the lack of rules.  Is it fair that the banks that did the right thing lose the chance to make a good profit on the occasional high risk loan?  No.  It is not fair.  But the chance that someone else might is just too great.  We can’t afford another financial melt down, so before it happens, the rules had to change for everyone.  To the “good” banks, thanks for being responsible, but you’re going to have to make your money another way.  By the way, the big banks that messed everything up got bailed out by the tax payers for the greater good.  That also wasn’t fair, but it looked like the only way out of that mess.

The rule changes in cheerleading are kind of like that.  Hey, there are lots of good coaches out there doing things the right way and teaching their kids the hardest skills around properly and safely.  Those programs should not be punished with the programs that have failed to be responsible.  But just like with the banks, you can’t make that distinction.  The rules had to change for everyone before cheerleading had a meltdown of injuries.  And if that happened, the changes that would have been made could have been much more drastic.

By they way, before you assume your program is one of the innocent ones, maybe you should think again.  Do cheerleaders in your program start working on standing tucks before they have perfect standing back handspring series?  Do bases base with arched backs but no one says anything because at least the stunts are still hitting?  Are there 10 or 20 kids in the gym that cross compete of multiple teams because it is easier and quicker to have a few kids doing all the flying than taking the time to instruct every flier on the team?  Are kids that should be on youth (by age and size) getting pulled up to juniors and even seniors so the team can do harder stunts?  Believe it or not, high school girls CAN base other high school girls.  It just means they have to be taught good technique instead of being given a flyer the size of a Barbie doll.

You might have double downs in your gym, and do them safely, but if your program does those things (listed above) and other similar things, your program is cutting corners.  That makes you part of the problem too.  Cutting corners contributes to the environment where we have teams believing they have to attempt crazy hard tricks to be remotely competitive, and if they aren’t competitive, their kids will go to another gym, and then what are they going to do?

We have an environment where cheating is accepted.  Hate to say it, but it is true.  There will be teams at Worlds with 20-something year old guys on the mat competing in the senior divisions.  You and I know this is going to happen.  In fact, some of the programs complaining about the rule  changes have every intention of cheating in this way.  Cutting corners.  Instead of teaching young kids, they hang onto the ones who should be moving on.  The programs that do this and the event providers who look the other way, you’re responsible for forcing these changes just as much as the coaches who push kids past progressions and put dangerous stunts on the mat.

So now that I’ve made everyone made, please just take a deep breath.  Now exhale.

It isn’t fair.  It is not.  But it was right.  It had to happen.  Cheerleading is going to go on.  And now, maybe, cheer programs will have to find more creative ways to stand out.  Maybe programs will have to focus on teaching the less experienced kids how to keep up instead of mostly focusing on teaching elite kids a standing double full.  Seriously, where are all of the complaints about that discrepancy?

This is the new environment, cheerleaders.  The rules have changed.  You are challenged in a new way.  And that is pretty exciting.  The real competitors inside you will see that.  You have to stop feeling like a victim and move forward.  This is going to make a better cheerleading for all of us in the future.  Find new ways to stand out.  To shine.  Move forward.  You can do it.

Explore posts in the same categories: Competition Advice, Stories and Opinions, Stunting, Tumbling

33 Comments on “Cheerleading Rule Changes, March 2012”

  1. Jessica Lee Says:

    I agree that some changes needed to be made. However I disagree with punishing programs doing things correctly. I think that the credentialing is a joke. Anyone can walk in to the credentialing session and regurgitate the information they read in a book. There needs to be extensive education for coaches. We are probably the only industry that offers a certification with out formal education. The USASF has done nothing to foster and create a learning environment for coaches. The USASF director in my state has never even been a cheerleader! So I find it tough to swallow when she is the person passing people for their certification.

    I only have 3 crossovers in my entire program. I would have even avoided that if at all possible. I also have a senior team made up of ONLY high school aged kids. I do this for my own personal beliefs. I think that as adults we talk about things going on in our lives. Guess what… kids do too. So I am against teams with many different ages because the have nothing in common!

    The USASF would be far better adopting an extensive education course for coaches then ruffling feathers with rule changes. I am talking an 8 hour course just to become certified in level 1. Do the same for EVERY level. Teach a standard! Of course there in more then one way to teach a standing tuck. But if every coach had the same basic education and standard to fall back on our industry will unite and grow.

    • Jessica, thanks for the comment. Like I say in the article, it is not fair to hurt everyone for the sins of a few. But the stakes are just too high. Education would be the ideal solution, but it has not happened in the years since eliminating double downs was first proposed. It’s not going to happen.

      I completely agree with what you say about credentialing. I actually witnessed a coach get a credential when they could not explain even the most basic stunt technique. The credentialer just did not want to fail them. And like you say, anyone should be able pass a credentialing exam with a little preparation and almost no comprehension. Credentialing has serious problems. But that doesn’t fix the issue of safety.

      Here’s the thing. Kids have been seriously hurt and killed attempting skills they were not ready for. Personally, I’m not OK with that. I believe 100% that these rule changes are going to save a life. I hate that good, safe programs get hurt by this, but it will save lives. I think it had to happen.

    • Tim Feagles Says:

      Jessica Lee said, “The USASF would be far better adopting an extensive education course for coaches then ruffling feathers with rule changes. I am talking an 8 hour course just to become certified in level 1. Do the same for EVERY level. Teach a standard! Of course there in more then one way to teach a standing tuck. But if every coach had the same basic education and standard to fall back on our industry will unite and grow.”

      I completely disagree. You talk about a “standard!” there is no standard when there is no accountability. It’s unfortunate that as an industry we didn’t have enough people holding themselves to high ‘standards.’ The USAG and AACCA certifications are easy to get too. It’s not about busy work in a class.

      You learn by doing, which includes mistakes. Not by sitting in a class. As coaches we are like our athletes; it takes repetition to find the right mix. I had mentors who taught me. They taught me about progressions, lines, conditioning, flexibility and how to peak an athlete at the right time. Then I took that information, the information from AACCA and USASF as well as information I read in books about/by the greatest coaches/athletes from all sports and how they built teams and succeeded.

      I use the idea of apprenticeship while training my coaches. It’s their responsibility to get the ‘book smarts’ enough to pass the test. But I make my coaches log all their hours in each level, which they need to get signed off on safely spotting specific skills. I take it one step further and require the coach to shadow the experienced coaches and ask questions.

      The USASF tells us how many hours we need to have coached at a certain level before being certified but I know a lot of gyms/ owners just sign the paper and pay the money. Count those hours up and try to tell me that’s not extensive..

      Lastly, I completely respect your cross-over policy and think having senior aged girls with youth aged girls is one reason why our girls grow up too fast. I wish more people adopted your policy.

  2. I enjoyed your letter. May I post a link to it on my web site and also on my FB page?

  3. Karen Says:

    you dont explain WHY you believe the current rules would cause cheerleading to “have a meltdown of injuries”. You just state it, like there’s no other possibility. Yes, sadly, there will be injuries, as in all sports. That should always be monitored, but limiting skills is a very serious response, it has particularly drastic implications for a sport in its infancy. It is defining. IF that was necessary, the case would have to be made in a very obvious way. The decision should be transparent, the basis of the conclusion should be demonstrated. I haven’t seen anything yet that would cause me to connect those dots. At best, this decision was made with good intentions, executed very poorly. There’s so much more to be done. Elite tumbling is, and I believe should be, an important element in competitive cheer, for the USASF to so quickly limit it is disturbing.

    • Karen, thanks for the logical and well-written response. You are right that my article includes several assumptions. I am trying to keep my responses as brief as I can so folks won’t mind reading them, which sometimes leaves gaps between dots for the readers to connect. So here is my brief response to your post. There are plenty of elite skills still available. How about toe touch front. How about standing handspring fulls that are laid out and pretty. As for elite tumbling, the higher quantity we’ve seen in cheer, the lower the quality has been. Even elite programs rarely have halfway decent execution by gymnastics standards. I think cheer teams have plenty of challenges and improvements they can make without worrying about standing fulls. So safety aside, I think these changes will lead to a more pure performance. It may also lead to all star coaches spending more effort helping the average to below average kids in the their program instead of pushing the top 10% to get a standing double.

  4. Jamey Harlow Says:

    ABSOLUTELY agree 100% and I AM a “rule follower” I DO teach EVERYTHING in proper progression. These changes are so necessary for the well being of our children and our sport! To every parent, child, and gym owner complaining I say “count the braces on your level 5 team and the braces on every 5 you compete against in a season. Maybe then you can talk about this logically”.

  5. Kim Says:

    You have an interesting thought process here and I appreciate you trying to “make sense” and justify this in a way to help people accept it in a way for them to move on.
    My personal reason that I won’t just accept that this is just one of those things in life that isn’t fair but in the long run is best for the greater good is because of these three very simple and basic concepts:
    1. The excuse that these exact tumbling moves are the cause of the majority of the cheer related tumbling injuries is NOT TRUE!

    2. If we are TRULY going to address the most dangerous contributors to cheer injuries then we would need to drastically overhaul and ban most stunts and address collision risks during tumbling passes. (The statistical information out here isn’t the best either though. A simple example is when my cp had to go to the ER at Children’s hospital for a severe concussion from stunting, they reported it repeatedly as caused by tumbling even though we corrected them 3 times.)

    3.The fact that they did not remove or address any stunting and that they didn’t follow due process shows that the motivation isn’t pure and is a facade for a personal agenda which is not just, “not fair” but potentially even more dangerous in the big picture of this sport.

    If we really want to address these real issues of making this a more respected, legitament organized sport then we can’t give into cop outs like, credentialing can’t/won’t be done correctly so we should just eliminate the difficult things all together. (To truly follow that logic we should immediately ban stunts since there are so many people that don’t know how to teach stunting properly. You even showed that with your example of how many bases have their backs arched and or are using substantially smaller flyers to be get by.) I would rather fully support and be charged more to support implementing a strict and thourough credentialing and enforcement system rather than eliminate everything that could be dangerous if not taught properly. Can you imagine if we were to REALLY DO THAT…….either these teams would resemble a POP Warner type style look, perhaps with some type of soft padded head gear!?! or this sport would just die and go to strictly school cheer as everyone’s only options.

    Respectfully yours,

    • Kim,
      Great response! I love the dialogue being generated here.

      I can’t dispute your observation that stunts were not touched in all stars. However, on the high school side, double downs were banned, and that is a big deal. I’m frankly surprised they weren’t banned in all stars as well.

      But to your point about revamping credentialing, I couldn’t agree with you more. That would be ideal. The problem with that is that it would be cost prohibitive. Also, my personal opinion is that at LEAST half of all current cheer coaches couldn’t pass credentialing at their current team’s level. We’d lose so many coaches nationwide participation in cheer would suffer huge!

      I see you point about other motivating factors possibly being at work. Maybe one is to level the playing field. Maybe another is to eliminate “ugly” tumbling that is extremely difficult and replace it with prettier tumbling that is less hard. These aren’t bad things either. But I agree that if they are factors they should be explained instead of disguising this as purely a safety issue. Again, that is an “IF.” I do not know if that is the case.

      At the end of the day, the changes are disappointing to a small minority of cheerleaders, and I really feel like that is a shame. The exact same thing happened to me when I was a competitive cheerleader. Double backs in college were banned in the middle of the season when I was on the verge of getting mine. So I sympathize. But ultimately, it was the right thing to do.

      Thanks again for your comment!

      • Kim Says:

        Sadly, the mentality that proper credentialing can’t be accomplished for whatever reason ( cost, consistency, ect.) as well as not haveing a consistent, across the board judging, scoring and points system, is what will forever keep this sport from being respected and anywhere close to being an olyimpic sport. I really hate to see people accept these things as unfixable. To me it is giving up and throwing in the towel.

      • mschaefe2 Says:

        I would have to disagree here, for cheerleading to become an Olympic sport you would have to develop a consistent score sheet and rules used specifically for Olympic trials and competition. That’s already in place, the ICU has already done this. They have developed the standard for the Olympics and so far it works. What hurts is that if someone wants to cheer in the olympics they might not be use to the rules because in all stars they were allowed to do so much more or they aren’t use to the style. The current format is in very similar to UCA College Nationals. The olympic dream will probably happen but it will just fall inline with the rest of the cheerleading world as another division of cheerleading with it’s own standards much like the all star world has different standards than the high school world of cheerleading and how even within each division there are differences in the expectiations from company to company.

      • To tell you the truth I don’t know if cheerleading belongs in the Olympics. There are lots of sports, like American football, that lack the international participation to be appropriate for the Olympics. Cheering is getting more widespread, but I don’t think it is there yet. If you’re not familiar with College Stunt, I think that is a version of cheerleading that could more realistically become an Olympic event one day.

      • mschaefe2 Says:

        That argument is flawed though that it doesn’t belong because of how popular the sport is. The past summer olympics was the last olympics that baseball and softball will be a sport. The reason was that no one was really interested in it other than the championship game and one country, the U.S., was winning the gold. Both sports are huge world wide, it’s third only to soccer and basketball and it won’t be an olympic sport anymore. The olympic committee isn’t looking for popular as much as competitive and being able to put it into a couple day time frame. That still works against cheer because the U.S. basically owns everyone but if you look at the other divisions that the U.S. doesn’t compete in it can be competitive and several countries have proven that they can compete with the U.S. and can probably give them a run for their money in the next couple of years. Plus a cheer competition can be done in a short period of time. The stunt idea is also good but it is it’s own sport, there is no reason why you can’t have both sports in the olympics and so far cheer is way farther along than stunt.

      • I could be completely wrong but I just don’t see the Olympics adding cheerleading anytime soon, if ever. In fact, with the global economy struggling like it is, the Olympics are more likely to be getting smaller rather than expanding. Just my opinion.

      • mschaefe2 Says:

        The soonest it would be is probably in another 8 years, a usual probation or test period for a sport to be added is 10 years and so far we’ve had 2 years that counts towards that. What the ICU has to show is that the sport is competitive, there is a general interest abroad, and that participation is growing. I know it’s only been two years but so far it’s been working. If sports like synchronized swimming, curling, badminton, and table tennis can be olympic sports there’s no reason why cheerleading can’t be.

      • Kim,
        It is just a matter of being realistic. Yes, it could be done, but the cost would be prohibitive. It is like trying to raise the Titanic from the bottom of the ocean. Sure, we have the technology to do it. But it would cost too much.

        And I disagree with your opinion that an imperfect credentialing system hurts cheerleading’s creditability. The fact is, other contact sports played at the recreational and high school levels have the same situation. There are lots of football coaches out there that lack the expertise that we would want them to have. The answer to that problem has been adding limitation to high school football that you do not have in college or pro football. The sport is made safer at the high school level to compensate for the fact that high school athletes are not as well trained and high school coaches are not as knowledgeable as their college and pro counter parts. That’s what just happened to cheerleading.

        Yes, in a perfect world with unlimited resources, every coach, teach politician and parent would have the training and resources to do their jobs perfectly and effectively. But this is a world of limited resources. Being completely honest, cheerleading will always have a LOT of coaches who are not experts and not safe. Be honest. You know that isn’t going to change. You and I wish it would change, but it isn’t.

        Good, experienced coaches and programs have to take this one for the team. If not, people are going to be seriously hurt. And if that happens, we’ll see much worse restrictions placed on cheerleading.

  6. Julie Says:

    Your post is a welcome relief after reading many immature and inflammatory posts, tweets, etc. regarding the rule changes. You really seem to just “get it,” and your comments regarding “cutting corners” are so spot on. Thank you!

    • Thanks Julie.
      Truthfully, the changes seem very abrupt and lacking due process. As I point out, that is not fair. But sometimes the ends really do justify the means, and I think this is one of those cases. I do feel sorry for kids who are disappointed that they won’t get to throw their favorite tricks. Hopefully this will be a learning experience and a character builder for them and their coaches. More importantly, hopefully this creates a safer environment for cheerleading, moving forward.
      Thanks for you post!

  7. mschaefe2 Says:

    Totally agree with your post. But, i think there are a ton of problems that have lead to coaches trying to get their kids to do things that they 1) couldn’t teach properly and 2) that the kids weren’t ready for. As an employee of varsity aka “the mother ship” aka “the cheerleading monster” i notice that there are some extensions of this company that encouraged more difficult skills over quality of skills and there are other extensions of this company that encouraged quality over difficulty. As a coach i can remember loosing a competition put on by one company that we lost based on difficulty and another we won because of the quality stunting and tumbling we put out on the floor. I think if everyone scored the same and gave weight to certain areas the same that rule changes wouldn’t be “AS” necessary. A coaches mind set is to always max out the score sheet and if tumbling difficulty is only 5 points but execusion is 10 i’m going to put a good quality layout on the floor over a piked full or a full that only hits 50% of the time.

    I also like the analogy that you used because it’s exactly what has happened and what needed to happen. I know there are those coaches out there that will be upset but credentialing and more education can only do so much. Really how will you regulate credentialing? Is the investigation unit from USASF going to go to every gym in america and check credentials? are you then going to check credentials at the door? “sorry but your level 5 team can’t compete because you’re only credentialed up to level 4” for some reason i don’t see that happening at all. I can tell you that no company or governing body wants to put regulations out there like credentialing that will prohibit people from becoming a coach, the more the better, which is really why we’re in this situation now.

    • Great comments! Thanks for chiming in. I had a discussion with Jim Lord about the topic of score sheets and how they reward attempting difficulty too much and fail to penalize sloppy execution enough. I think everyone agrees that this WOULD have been a good move a couple of years ago, but it didn’t happen, so now we’re where we are and changes had to happen.

  8. Mark Coleman Says:

    Awesome article, Jeff! Regardless of where you stand on this issue it is refreshing that open, intelligent discussions can be had on the internet. After all of the knee-jerk and immature bantering on social networks, I was concerned that such was not possible.

    I don’t know exactly where I stand on this issue, but I will watch and see how it all plays out. I definitely agree that one child lost is too many, but I also don’t know if tumbling restrictions are where the greatest safeguards are found. I also agree that proper education and a more rigorous certification process for coaching is sorely needed.

    Love your blog, and keep up the good work!

    • Mark, it’s great to hear from you! And thank you for the compliments. I totally understand how you can be on the fence with the changes that have been made. It is an imperfect attempt at solving a complex problem. Some say it is also meant to do more than encourage safety but also enhance competitiveness. I can see that coming from this too. Either way, I agree that we all need to wait and see what happens. Also, people need to remember that the USASF is going to do that too, and if they think they have “over-corrected,” I’m sure they will try to fix that too.

  9. lifeinidaho Says:

    Your article was like a breath of fresh air. I keep reading posts and responses that are mostly (and blatantly obviously) from young participants upset that their tumbling passes that they have been perfecting can’t be used.

    Perhaps if they were taught appropriate passes rather than the huge, sloppy messes that they refer to as tumbling, then we wouldn’t have these issues.

    I have spent most of the last 3 years at cheer competitions and practices, both All Star and high school. High school rules are already much stricter than All Star. I have had cheerleaders that transfers over from All Star to high school disappointed because of things they can’t do or wear. Instead we teach them to perfect what we can do!

    Our high school team is small, had very little tumbling (because we just had very few tumblers) yet we were neat and clean in what we did and we beat bigger teams that tried to throw in lots of sloppy tumbling and elite stunts that just couldn’t ‘hit’.

    We have a local All Star team that does most of those underhanded things you mentioned. What bugs me the most is how they use 8-10 year old flyers (top people) on their senior level 5 team! They have 5 different teams, but mix and match out the same flyers for just about all of them.

    I’m also happy to hear that they may change the rules on uniforms. I’m not a prude, but I just can’t get into these athletes performing in underwear. No, I’m serious…the local All Star team has a uniform that is a black sports bra and a black pair of spankies! So some decorum would be appreciated.

    At our home competition, we invited local All Star teams to also participate in our cheer comp. I’m used to seeing this All Star team, but the other high school teams weren’t. We got complaints from other high school teams that were embarrassed because their parents were there to see these girls walking around nearly naked. {on a side note, they put t-shirts on at the next competition…apparently someone ‘up above’ got to them}

    I’m sure the pressure will be on the usasf to alter some of their rule changes. I sure hope they keep some of them for the safety of our athletes and to add to the integrity of the sport…which we hope will again be considered a sport!

  10. […] Daily published Cheerleading Rule Changes, March 2012,. It isn’t fair. It is not. But it was right. It had to happen. Cheerleading is going to go on. […]

  11. Gerry Richardson Says:

    My apologies to everyone here, but I am not a young participant and in fact have been involved one way or the other in the cheerleading world for more than 30 years. No, the rules should not have changed. Not the way it was handled at least. I was at one regional USASF meeting myself this summer and while items were discussed, there was never a time I felt like changes would be made by a small minority of people who frankly are too vested in the event production aspect of the sport. Some of the rules are not well developed (as in unintended consequences if implemented). And some the etiquette suggestions were down right offensive if not legally questionable. I also feel that too much emphasis is placed on the “level 5” athletes and not enough on the total package. If rules of this sport are to change, then let’s at least do it in a democratic process. Open, transparent and with full disclosure as to who voted how so that we, as members of the USASF, can know who we are placing in a power of position to vote for us.

    • Gerry, thanks for your comments. Sounds like you’re something of an insider. It’s good to know i have an insider reading the blog. 🙂

      Ok, now to be serious. Sounds like your biggest issue is that too much power is concentrated in the hands of a few strong event providers. And to be fair, they created this cheer industry; so they kind of earned the right to make the rules. Just like cheer consumers babe the right to go compete elsewhere if they don’t like the rules. So what do you think they should do? McDonalds doesn’t answer to consumers so long as people keep buying their burgers. Why should the USASF b any different than the rest of corporate America?

      Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

  12. cheergurl1597 Says:

    i honestly think in every sport u will get injurys, but i dont think that taking away a stunt is really the way to go with this. In soccer they get concousins and in football but u dont see them taking anything from these sports. Also the schools should be in charge if they want that stunt or not.

    • Thanks for your comments. There are valid arguments on both sides of this debate. Something that you need to understand is that putting limits on cheerleading legality is a long-accepted practice. It isn’t realistic to expect cheerleading to never make changes. It also isn’t realistic to allow every school to make their own rules.

  13. Cheermom Says:

    I just want to say that I support the new rules. My daughters are both in cheerleading and my oldest sometimes feels pressured to do stunts she is not comfortable with. Instead of allowing her the time to understand what is expected of her and safety that is there for her she is then grounded and another girl willing to take the chance without any regard to safety is in the air. She now has found her confidence and understanding with a high school team that is wonderful working with younger girls. I thank them all the time for showing what is right and safe, not what is in or would wow a crowd. I will share this with other cheer moms ! thank you

  14. A very angry all star cheerleader Says:

    These new rules #$^#$& suck!!! We can’t do cretin stunts and tumbling anymore I never knew a prep into a shoulder sit in a Pyrmaid and a stunt is considered dangerous!!! They even eliminated standing fulls, tucks and whip doubles that’s sick!!! We came along way to fight off the sterotypes of the sport we love. Even level two aren’t allowed to do series front and back handspring anymore only back walkover into a backhandspring. No jump tumbling combos and only seniors are allowed to wear half tops. No glitzy make up and nO bows over 3 in that’s pure insanity!!!

  15. live love cheer Says:

    I’m from England but about the coaching my coach is a prime example of what you said, she teaches pople back handspring and front handsprings when they have an insufficiant round off and do not have a back bend kick over or even a back bend or a handstand to bridge, she once tried to do a drill with a girl a handstand pop as she was learning a front handspring and she could not do it at all and she still went ahead teaching her a front handspring. She has tried to teach back handsprings to people who don’t have back walkovers and on top of that just spotting them and not explaining any technique or doing any drills then laughs when they do something completly wrong. People just think ‘its all about confidence’ and would love to learn ‘flips’ and stuff like they see people do. No one understands that in order to get those skills people follow progressions, they condition and they do drills and learn correct technique, the girl learning a front handspring has hurt herself multiple times, I think shes lucky not to have a serious injury, she threw it a competition and now she is back to using a spot. She litrally allows any random person off the street onto our level 3 team and does not take the time to teach them properly. She is teaching front tucks (to seat) to people who don’t have chartwheels. She shouted at me for not getting my prep lib when I was still scared of two leg preps, saying you’re gona hurt your bases well maybe she should have had me follow progressions. I asked to try a braced lib as I had never done one before and she said no this is a level 2 routine, not focusing on my progression. We went ahead and did a level 3 routine after a level 2 pyramid colapsing at a previous practice (the level 3 pyramid colapsed at comp by the way) she shouted at us for not getting level 1 stunts right in our level 2 routine instead of considering investing in time on reputitions of basics.

    She is qualified as a coach and I have had no coaching experience at all nor have I done any courses and I don’t really have very good people skills, I understand it is hard controlling a group of noisy kids or teenagers, coreographing routines and keeping people focused etc, but in terms of teaching skills sometimes I wish I could take over, including myself, I have all level 1 tumbling skills perfectly and now have a front handspring and front tuck. However I always struggle with my bhs and have had multiple mental blocks, I have one now, my coach did standing tucks and round off tucks with me instead of drilling me on bhs. She said I can do a ro bhs in the level 3 routine and I said to her I struggle with bhs technique so she said I could just do a ro back tuck, I have never been drilled on bhs technique, just told to lean back and maybe been pulled back the odd time. She doesn’t know how to lunge correctly for skills. So yeah coaches so need better training and need to not take short cuts and take time following progressions and teaching correct technique and drilling.

    I don’t think the rules apply here, are they still the same or have they been changed? We do handstand to shoulder sit to prep or extension.

  16. Bay Stormer Says:

    Btw about the prep lib part I had litrally only just started flying.

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