All Star Gyms With Open Teams Near Boston

Discussion in 'Allstar Cheerleading' started by Amlynn25, Jun 13, 2021.

  1. Knowcheering

    Knowcheering Somewhere... some one.... is giving me a slow clap

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    363
    Shimmys Received:
    478
    I see your example. But Ski Jumping and Cross Country are actual sports on their own. Non-Tumbling isn't a separate sport, it's just a cheerleading routine that's missing the tumbling. The best cross country skiers compete in the cross country ski event, not in Nordic Combined. If we're comparing this to cheer, it would be like saying the best stunters do the NT division instead of a division that combines tumbling+stunting, which isn't the case. The stunting in NT is no more advanced than that in a "regular" division. NT teams often consist of Level 4/5 or 4.2 kids who are just moving up to Level 6, or athletes who are too injured or don't feel like doing a full routine anymore. NT is pretty much the same as a regular routine, they just leave out all the tumbling

    Nobody is saying NT teams don't have skill and that it's easy to do a routine where there are no breathers during tumbling sections (many tumblers would disagree that these sections provide a breather). Surely there are some fantastic NT teams with great Level 6 skills, and it takes a lot of stamina to do a Level 6 NT routine. It's totally understandable why this division was created.

    But there are also legitimate concerns about including this division at Worlds. Tumbling is a huge part of Allstar cheer's identity--- it was a big reason why kids left their School/Rec competition teams starting in the 1990s to join Allstar gyms where they had access to spring floors and trampolines and could learn to tumble. Keeping kids motivated to do Level 6 tumbling skills is important, unless we're okay with the sport possibly going backwards long-term. Some people might be fine with that, I understand. It might help keep some kids in the sport, but it will also surely chase some out. There are differing opinions on this. I'm sure there are plenty of boys, especially, on NT teams that can do fulls, etc, and it's just wasted talent when all their gym offers for Level 6 is a NT team.

    There is irony in that the easiest way for a lower level athlete to get to Worlds is to just stop tumbling all together. But I'm not too concerned right now about how NT might affect cheerleading as a whole long-term, because as long as only 3 teams from the US advance to Finals in the NT divisions, there's still a big incentive to enter a "regular" division instead.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  2. catlady

    catlady Slow your roll, Sparkle.

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,584
    Shimmys Received:
    6,004
    I am a(n)...:
    Parent
    You totally ignored my business points and I think if you relented to the fact that first, before anything, sports are business. The only "legitimate concerns" I hear are from a sport point of view and that is always secondary to paying the bills. There are many reasons it is incredibly smart for cheer to offer both tumble and NT divisions:

    1) Gym owners can keep and gain athletes that either can't or don't want to tumble.
    2) EP's have more flexibility with more level 6 divisions to acquire/fill a venue
    3) Customer expense. Tumbling while bringing in many customers, also, excludes many customers. There's a reason some call it the "Million Dollar BHS" and you exclude a lot of people because of it
    4) Health records haven't talked to each other for very long, and much like concussion awareness killed youth football, there are pediatric PT's and surgeons very concerned with the intensity of youth sport wear and tear on their bodies long term. Medical records are now talking to each other and organized youth sports are relatively young. They don't know many times you can cut and sew ligaments, before you can't cut and sew ligaments anymore. They have legitimate concerns about growth plates and wear and tear on joints, as well. If football taught sports anything, it's being proactive is smart.

    Lastly, we are talking about primarily a kids sport. I often have to talk myself off of the ledge, because I really enjoy watching cheer. With that said, if kids prefer cheer without tumbling, if more parents can afford cheer, if it causes less injuries, if athletes can enjoy cheer longer, if EP's can fill venues, if gym owners can gain/keep athletes,... then mission accomplished. How do you think all of these individual ski sports came to be? Stunt? Sports break off and evolve based on what athletes enjoy. Enjoyment, lol, what a concept.
     
  3. quitthedrama

    quitthedrama I buy my Insta followers

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    5,409
    Shimmys Received:
    19,440
    I am a(n)...:
    Parent
    to answer the original post, ECE Tewksbury has an established NT team as well as 2 additional worlds teams and they are within 30 miles of Boston. I am not familiar with any other NT teams within an hour of Boston.
     
  4. Knowcheering

    Knowcheering Somewhere... some one.... is giving me a slow clap

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    363
    Shimmys Received:
    478
    I didn't ignore your business points- you raise solid points and I know this is a business first. We literally refer to cheer as an "industry" before we call it a sport, which is kind of sad, but also reality. I don't hear other sports calling themselves "industries" even though they are all indeed businesses. I don't see other sports with 45893 event producers. My passion is more with the sports side, not the business side, so that's what I chose to discuss. You're right, this is a kids sport, but it's still a serious sport and not a recreational league where everyone is just here to have fun. Not every division needs to be at Worlds.

    As I said before, I understand why the NT division came to be and why it's offered as a division. I understand why some athletes want to be on a NT team. I also know there are some athletes who have great tumbling who are stuck on a NT team because that's all their gym is able to field. And once a gym starts placing all their Level 4s/5s/6s onto a NT team, the odds of that gym ever building up to a "regular" Level 6 team are likely reduced because there's much less incentive to work towards obtaining Level 6 tumbling.

    There are male athletes who already feel pushed out of cheer because of the current tumbling restrictions (no passes like ro-bhs-full-double, no double back flips). Lately I've seen some fans questioning if boy enrollment is down because of said restrictions. When a gym can only offer a NT Level 6 team, that makes the situation even worse for talented boys who primarily like to tumble. So as I said previously, yes, the NT divisions may help keep some kids in the sport, but it may also push others out.

    Many cheerleaders have vocalized that they think there are too many divisions at Worlds, that NT shouldn't be there because it doesn't give athletes enough incentive to work towards a "regular" division. Worlds needs to maintain its prestige/exclusivity/difficulty level in order to keep people interested in it. Cheer fans primarily discuss the Worlds tumbling divisions; there's much less interest in NT divisions. So even though the NT division is popular and athletes enjoy participating (and yes, some NT teams demonstrate great Level 6 stunting), they aren't what's keeping cheerleading on the map. A few NT teams aren't even Level 6 at all and they have Level 3/4s dangerously chucking Level 6 stunts just to take advantage of the easier road to Worlds.

    Millions of kids in the US participate in gymnastics because of elite gymnasts they watch on TV (speaking of TV, when is The Cheerleading Worlds airing?). Cheerleading has to maintain the same sort of elite level in order to keep kids participating in the sport. Sports are constantly trying to progress their skill level forward, not backward. If you "water down" what is considered World level, will that eventually cause a decline in the number of "regular" Level 6 teams? We shall see. The NT division is too new yet to know what type of overall effect it will have on the sport. I'm not saying the NT division doesn't serve a purpose and should go away, I'm just saying it maybe shouldn't be a Worlds division, that's all.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2021
  5. catlady

    catlady Slow your roll, Sparkle.

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,584
    Shimmys Received:
    6,004
    I am a(n)...:
    Parent

    Here's what I can promise you, the divisions you think deserve to be there will have the same exact "prestige" whether or not NT is at World's. A Bugatti La Voiture Noire doesn't lose its prestige because it's at the same car show with a Ferrari. Those rings represent hard work, exceptional teamwork, and a well executed routine to everyone that knows AS cheer. What they don't represent is the world's view on cheer's legitimacy based on who is or isn't invited to a primarily children's sporting event, for a ring most couldn't identify. The same kids that entered the sport for the love of tumbling will continue working hard toward their dream team. Those that didn't enjoy, blocked or peaked with their tumbling and typically burn out or move backward can now continue their cheer years working hard with elite stunting. In your words, "forward not backward." Whether or not people feel they deserve to be at World's has no bearing on cheer, nor what the ring represents.
     
  6. Knowcheering

    Knowcheering Somewhere... some one.... is giving me a slow clap

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Messages:
    363
    Shimmys Received:
    478
    What you're saying makes total sense. My point was more that in looking towards the future, will there be fewer teams in the "main" divisions because so many people are doing NT instead? Aside from XS Senior, there aren't that many Level 6 teams, relatively speaking, and I hope there aren't even fewer down the road.

    If you make it much easier to qualify to the Olympics, people will stop caring so much because it doesn't feel as special (and some athletes will stop working as hard because they don't have to be as extraordinary to qualify). We all follow the Olympics because we feel like we're watching something practically superhuman, not just the regular run-of-the-mill athletes you could find on any school varsity team. Likewise, the more divisions we keep adding to Worlds, the closer it becomes to a regular competition. Worlds still has a special feel with or without NT divisions, but when will they stop adding divisions?

    Yes, we frequently hear stories about kids going to a dream team. But reality is that many people don't live within an hour or so of a "dream team" or even any ordinary Level 6 team, and Mom & Dad make them cheer somewhere close to their house. Most kids don't pick their college choices based on cheer gym location either. So yes, sometimes talented tumblers are stuck on a NT team, and it's either that or nothing. And I could see why some of those kids end up quitting or doing their school competitive team instead.

    One could make decent arguments for and against having NT divisions at Worlds. The division is still too new to know what lasting impact it will have on the participation in the other divisions, if any.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2021
  7. catlady

    catlady Slow your roll, Sparkle.

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2012
    Messages:
    2,584
    Shimmys Received:
    6,004
    I am a(n)...:
    Parent
    Earlier you mentioned a lot of these kids were 4.2 athletes which I would agree with. Prior to 4.2, which is basically JV, many of these athletes would quit because they were put on level 2 for several years and leave AS, because they could progress on their HS JV team. Being that both of my kids ended their cheer years on 4.2 (between the two of them, 5 years in that division), I feel comfortable saying many of these kids were multi year athletes that had either: started cheer later in life (my kids began at 14 with no tumbling), they progressed slowly or stalled with tumbling, they didn't enjoy tumbling, and a good portion were high level 4-6 athletes that had blocked. Many were working on getting over a block, many had given up on their backward tumbling and began working on forward tumbling, and many had running tucks but didn't have enough level 3 elite skills to make a level 3 team. I can't speak for every level 4.2 team, but these kids were able to enjoy stunting while working on what they needed in tumbling class. My kids were in weekly privates until their Sr. year, as well as, weekly tumble classes.

    As far as divisions, I'll go back to filling venues and gym owners. If you are an EP and have grown to the point you need an extra day, but don't have enough yet to fill another day, you are going to look for ways to fill that space. If you are a small gym owner and are losing people to aging out or not being able to get past certain tumbling because of lack of coaching resources in your area, you are going to ask for divisions that help keep customers. As qualified coaching resources continue to grow in more remote areas and globally, you will have less use for all of the divisions.