High School Advanced and Intermediate Divisions

Aug 18, 2015
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I noticed that NCA has novice, intermediate and advanced divisions but the UCA only has an advanced division (though it does have non-building and non-tumbling divisions for high school teams). Thoughts?
At the National Level, in HS my PERSONAL belief is “levels” should not be a thing.
Here’s why:
1. Many teams in HS are true intermediate or advanced teams but “bump down” to novice or intermediate to “win”… they continue to stay at those levels because they are winning easily in those divisions therefore severely undercutting teams who are truly at that lower level. This prevents skill growth and natural progression/perfection of skill.
I know many teams personally that have mid to advanced skills and go novice every year and repeat win. Where’s the goal setting? Where the preparation for the “next level”? How can TRUE Novice or intermediate teams accurately measure their ability level/technical ability next to teams that are consistently sandbagging?
2. Non tumbling and non building are not the same as “lower level”… the composition of those divisions are simply there to accommodate athletes or teams with limited resources or fall under circumstances that prevent them for competing tumbling/stunting. When considering these divisions you have to look at them as “inclusive” divisions- an area may not have a near by tumbling gym…May not have access to quality tumbling instruction or may be “ground bound”/ tumble restricted due to district or state regulations/funding, equipment or insurence restrictions. Example: My team went non tumble this year because we did not have facilities to accommodate full floor mating and had only limited access to spring floor.
It’s more or most common that teams go Non-tumble out of necessity, Not choice.
3. UCA has the integrity it does because while most all “levels” of performance are welcome to compete and often showcased at the National level- the most technically sound and most difficult routines typically win. This encourages skill growth, promotes proper education and enhances comparative progression. Simply put- you want to win? You need to get better, comparatively.
4. One might argue that “inclusiveness” would also require recognition for lower level teams. While this is correct in theory and is true for Allstar - One must consider HS kids are all pretty much competing within the same age bracket/range and when demonstrating need for adjusted categories within ability level relative to age…athletes are placed on FR, JV and Varsity teams. While Allstar is more broad-
From the ages 12-18 it’s reasonable to assume that in order to be considered “competitive” there SHOULD be a certain expectation of general cheer competency. Including “every level” of cheer at the same age range encourages- complacency, distortion of value of skill set and enables coaches who have little to no knowledge of fundamentals and safety to coach an age bracket they aren’t properly prepared to coach. EXAMPLE : If I’m cheerleader “ A” Who has been working prep level skills all four years of high school and have won multiple “national championships at a Novice level”- I’m going to assign false value to my level, likely not learn far beyond my current skill level and my skill set might not necessarily translate to say a “college” level of cheer.
EXAMPLE: I’m coach “B” who just graduated Hs… I’d likely be less inclined to “learn” or educate myself on progressions - if I remain coaching a Novice HS team instead of starting out with Pop Warner to gain experience and knowledge of fundamentals in order to grow WITH the level of skills and ages I am teaching.
5. Evidence of my above assessments can be shown in teams/areas who predominantly compete in non-level arenas (UCA) Vs teams who compete predominately (USA/NCA) -
UCA teams tend to push each other to the “next level” comparatively (this is why your east coast/southern and midwest states are so advanced) - want to win, learn more, work hard- get better… which more closely associates cheer to a true “sport”.
With soccer, softball, basketball or football athletes are placed in categories according to “school size”, “ages” and “performance record” creating a standardized generalized measure of value to skills. A basketball team wouldn’t “lower baskets” to accommodate a set of teams that aren’t as good at shooting… and if they did how many teams that were good at shooting just compete at a lower basket division to win? This is why in cheer, like other sports … we have JV and Varsity divisions- to stimulate that same GROWTH and allow athletes to safely “play within their level while encouraging progression to the NEXT level. Creating subsets of those levels dilutes and diminishes the activity.
Sorry for the long post-I’ve had obviously had thoughts on this for awhile :)
Want to clarify- I’m not against “levels” all together … but “levels” are already in place.
Fr, JV and Varsity
NCA/USA aren’t being inclusive by adding levels- they’re ultimately creating more opportunities for revenue through conflation of recognition.
 

Kentucky Girl

Original Poster
Feb 24, 2011
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Good point. And the same thing with college teams that compete in the NCA intermediate divisions when they in fact do 2 1/2 high pyramids, flipping into partner stunts and inverted basket tosses at football games simply because they want to win without the pressure to do these skills that teams who compete in the advanced divisions like Louisville and Texas Tech do.
 
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Aug 18, 2015
879
1,195
721
Fresno
Role:
Coach
Good point. And the same thing with college teams that compete in the NCA intermediate divisions when they in fact do 2 1/2 high pyramids, flipping into partner stunts and inverted basket tosses at football games simply because they want to win without the pressure to do these skills that teams who compete in the advanced divisions like Louisville and Texas Tech do.
100%
 
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