All-Star Age talk

catlady

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Jun 6, 2012
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While I believe everyone would agree with you, US 7-15 and INT 8-16 encompass the majority of athletes in a gym. Ultimately, the Jr age group is the most cost effective division which is extremely helpful to smaller and start up gyms. Most gyms end up narrowing the age grid on their own when they're able just because it's a coach, athlete, and parent preference.

Fun Fact: When my oldest began, there were no minimum ages in the age grid, only maximum. Technically, a 19 yr old could have been on a team with a 1 yr old. The good news, as the sport continues to grow, the age grid continues to narrow.
 
Feb 4, 2010
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More importantly, I shouldn't be on a team with a 30+ year old back spot flying a 13 year old. Open divisions should at least be 16 and up.

I would agree if Open teams were still filled mostly with adults like in the olden days. But nowadays “Open” tends to just mean a regular Senior team with a couple or few kids who have recently aged out. With the majority of a typical Open team being under 20 years old, 16-20 would probably be too small of an age range for many gyms to make good teams. The age for Open got raised to 14 this year, and I don’t think it would be good to raise it even further- gyms might struggle to form Level 6 teams at all.

I don’t think there are enough 30+ year olds in the sport for them to make rules based on that age group. The Open divisions have exploded in popularity, not because a bunch of 30 year olds are cheering, but because kids still want to cheer right after they age out, and it’s easier for gyms to make good teams when the age range is a bit wider and they don’t have to turn away 18 and 19 year olds who happen to have a birthdate on the wrong side of the age cutoff.
 
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cheermomforever

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I would agree if Open teams were still filled mostly with adults like in the olden days. But nowadays “Open” tends to just mean a regular Senior team with a couple or few kids who have recently aged out. With the majority of a typical Open team being under 20 years old, 16-20 would probably be too small of an age range for many gyms to make good teams. The age for Open got raised to 14 this year, and I don’t think it would be good to raise it even further- gyms might struggle to form Level 6 teams at all.

I don’t think there are enough 30+ year olds in the sport for them to make rules based on that age group. The Open divisions have exploded in popularity, not because a bunch of 30 year olds are cheering, but because kids still want to cheer right after they age out, and it’s easier for gyms to make good teams when the age range is a bit wider and they don’t have to turn away 18 and 19 year olds who happen to have a birthdate on the wrong side of the age cutoff.
Open has been 14 but u don’t have to turn this until December of year u compete……so 13 yo are at Worlds.
 
Feb 4, 2010
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Open has been 14 but u don’t have to turn this until December of year u compete……so 13 yo are at Worlds.

The minimum age is listed as 13 on last season’s age grid and 14 on this year’s. But yeah, either way 13 yr olds are still making Sr Open teams depending on their birthday. And I have no issue with this because most gyms’ “Open” teams are the same ages as “Senior” teams anyway with just a few aged out athletes (and often these athletes are barely aged out, they’re rarely 30 years old).
 
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Apr 2, 2011
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I would agree if Open teams were still filled mostly with adults like in the olden days. But nowadays “Open” tends to just mean a regular Senior team with a couple or few kids who have recently aged out. With the majority of a typical Open team being under 20 years old, 16-20 would probably be too small of an age range for many gyms to make good teams. The age for Open got raised to 14 this year, and I don’t think it would be good to raise it even further- gyms might struggle to form Level 6 teams at all.

I don’t think there are enough 30+ year olds in the sport for them to make rules based on that age group. The Open divisions have exploded in popularity, not because a bunch of 30 year olds are cheering, but because kids still want to cheer right after they age out, and it’s easier for gyms to make good teams when the age range is a bit wider and they don’t have to turn away 18 and 19 year olds who happen to have a birthdate on the wrong side of the age cutoff.

I don’t think I agree with this. The open teams I’ve been on the past 5 years have generally been about half senior aged athletes and half athletes that have aged out. Obviously there are gyms where that’s not the case but when I’m at competitions a lot of the people on the other teams definitely look old enough to vote.

Regardless I don’t really care about wether or not gyms field open teams. What I care about is adults and minors intermingling. It Makes it was too easy for predatory people to start to build relationships with minors that don’t draw attention. Every open team I’ve been on has had a team snap chat group chat for taking about hair, meeting times, sharing videos, etc and every season I refuse a dozen add requests from high school or even middle school aged children. It’s unacceptable.

It’s how people like Jerry get access to children.

Adults and minors should not be on a team together. Not enough adults for a full team? Don’t field the team. I don’t care.
 
Feb 4, 2010
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I don’t think I agree with this. The open teams I’ve been on the past 5 years have generally been about half senior aged athletes and half athletes that have aged out. Obviously there are gyms where that’s not the case but when I’m at competitions a lot of the people on the other teams definitely look old enough to vote.

Regardless I don’t really care about wether or not gyms field open teams. What I care about is adults and minors intermingling. It Makes it was too easy for predatory people to start to build relationships with minors that don’t draw attention. Every open team I’ve been on has had a team snap chat group chat for taking about hair, meeting times, sharing videos, etc and every season I refuse a dozen add requests from high school or even middle school aged children. It’s unacceptable.

It’s how people like Jerry get access to children.

Adults and minors should not be on a team together. Not enough adults for a full team? Don’t field the team. I don’t care.

Adults and minors are together on all Senior teams, not just Open teams, since 18-19 year olds are technically adults. I get what you’re saying, but I just don’t think there are enough 30+ year olds on Open teams that they’re going to revolve the rules around them. People that old might be coaches at the gym too, so whether they are athletes themselves or coaches, adults and kids will be interacting and have access to each other.

At least at the gyms I’ve been at, there hasn’t been a ton of mingling at practices; you’re there to work and perform cheerleading skills. The younger kids tend to interact with younger kids, and the older athletes tend to interact with people more their age (sometimes they take on a protective/older sibling type role towards the younger ones too). Beyond that, it’s up to parents to make sure their 13 year olds aren’t in group chats or hanging out with grown men outside of practice.

Jerry preyed on kids from different gyms while at competitions. As an athlete in a sport full of minors, he had plenty of access to kids whether or not they were directly on a team with him.

There are 16 year olds who look 20, so it’s hard to know the age of teams just by looking at them. I’m familiar with the makeup of a few Open teams and they are mostly Sr age eligible with a few aged out kids, but I’m sure there are also plenty teams that are more half & half as you mentioned. The gyms affiliated with colleges like GymTyme I’m sure have more aged out college athletes than a typical Open team. I assume International Open teams have more aged out athletes than Senior Open as well.

Gyms have to be able to form competitive teams that can handle all the difficulty, not every gym has 16+ year old flyers growing on trees. It’s easy to say just don’t form teams then and turn athletes away, but gyms are in business to form competitive teams. The Open divisions are so popular these days, they’re obviously filling a need that gyms have. The wider age range gives them better flexibility to form teams.
 

catlady

Cheer Parent
Jun 6, 2012
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I don’t think I agree with this. The open teams I’ve been on the past 5 years have generally been about half senior aged athletes and half athletes that have aged out. Obviously there are gyms where that’s not the case but when I’m at competitions a lot of the people on the other teams definitely look old enough to vote.

Regardless I don’t really care about wether or not gyms field open teams. What I care about is adults and minors intermingling. It Makes it was too easy for predatory people to start to build relationships with minors that don’t draw attention. Every open team I’ve been on has had a team snap chat group chat for taking about hair, meeting times, sharing videos, etc and every season I refuse a dozen add requests from high school or even middle school aged children. It’s unacceptable.

It’s how people like Jerry get access to children.

Adults and minors should not be on a team together. Not enough adults for a full team? Don’t field the team. I don’t care.
No one should ever trust anyone, or any business, to care about their child more than they do. With that said, story time:

I've posted this before, but my youngest's psychics tutor was arrested (my daughter was not a victim). He was a teacher, well respected, quiet, friendly, married with kids, and came highly recommended as a tutor. I sat in the car at every session at Starbucks even though she was 17 and could drive. About 4-5 sessions in, when I went to pay him he said, "She has a test in 2 days and we covered a lot of material. If it's okay with you, I can give her my number and she can call me if she has any questions." Never in a million years would I have expected this person to be a predator, and with my permission, he gave his number to my daughter. Thank goodness, my daughter had more sense than I did, and said calling him would have just felt "too weird." If it's that easy to gain access right in front of me, ....and I'm not a trusting person hence the reason I was driving her, imagine what these predators can do hiding behind social media and messaging. Trust no one. <arrest article>
 
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