All-Star Attendance Policies?

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International Cheer Correspondent
Staff member
Cheer Parent
Jul 10, 2010
I am having really bad attendance problems with my team at the moment and me and the other coach want to establish written attendance policies. So I was wondering: what are your gym's attendance policies like (how often are you "allowed" to miss practice / what happens if you are not at practice / are tardies counted / etc.)? What do you like/dislike about them (as athlete/coach/parent)?
well during the summer, the rule here is that if you're in town or can make it you WILL be there, if you can't the coaches should know before hand in a written note specifying the dates of practice you will miss!
it only gets into the fall that the number actually matters
ours is 3 unexcused absences and your off of the team. you must have a parent or doctors note if you are going to legally miss a pracice.
In the summer, we understand if you have other plans and family vacations. When it comes to competitioon seasons, August - April, we are not allowd to miss any more than 2 unexcused practices. A girl last year, missed many more than 2 and got thrown off the team 2 weeks before going to UCA. She then moved onto another gym.
For almost everywhere I have cheered, it has been okay to miss in the summer due to family vacation and other family plans. Come competition season, school events for a grade are excused, sicknesses which are highly contagious or you are throwing up and weddings or funerals. Mostly, other than that you have to be at practice.
Once the season starts it's three strikes you're out, even with a valid excuse like essays, exams, work etc. If you're sick or injured you come and watch.
There are certain things that are excused absences: Contagious Illness, Wedding, Funeral, Serious illness of a close family member, or a school function that EFFECTS YOUR GRADE. School cheerleading, other sports, or plays don't count. If you miss three you get benched one comp.
3 missed practices before a competition and you're gone. In the summer if you're in town then you're expected to be there unless you have other plans. In the fall if you're sick, you have a contagious illness, something family related or a school thing that effects your grade is understandable but the coaches need to either have a text or and email about it.
I think one of the best ways to encourage attendance is to make the team closer. The closer the team, the more they understand how one person's absence will affect the whole routine and peer pressure (the good kind in this case!) will then work to make everyone more committed and raise attendance levels.
My cp has to be at practice unless she's been hospitalized or there is a death in the family. Choreography camp happens in July, so any vacations need to be taken before then and given notice in advance. Once camp hits, I believe it's three strikes you're out.

As a parent I'm ok with this. We take cheer very seriously because of the time, effort and money we put into it. And the policy helps build a strong competitive team.
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Thanks for everyones replies so far.
Our problem right now is, that our parents don't see the importance of their kids attending practice. They are between 5 and 11 years old, and they still depend on their parents to drive them to practice. Everyone thinks, that their "excuse" is the most important one and that their kid is an exception to our "you have to be at practice at all circumstances" rule. Some even don't give us any notice that their kid doesn't show up at practice. For the past year we applied to their common sense over and over again, but it didn't change anything. I think its sad, but it obviously doesn't work without written rules with stated consequences.
We're allowed 3 "unexcused absences" which is like being sick, too much homework, etc. Absences that won't count against us are for something like sickness with a doctors note, death in the family, or a school function with a note from an administrator. If you get 3 unexcused absences you can be suspended or dismissed from the team.
You should NEVER miss practice for any reason other than serious sickness... If you just aren't feeling good you should still be at practice but sitting and supporting your team. I hate when I hear a team mate is missing a practice cause they are at the beach or at Disneyland or they just can't find a ride cause there is always someone who can pick you up. The minute you pay and your on a team its a dedication... I have been on a team before where I've had to quit in August because my family was suppose to move and I would rather quit in August then December when I was "suppose" to move. Never ended up moving and I missed out on a season of cheer which I have always regretted but back to the point... Don't miss practice unless your contagious or sick and can't get out of bed or you have a doctors note saying you need to stay in bed :)
One thing you may want to do is find out (if you can) what the attendance policies are like at gyms that are in your area. Then balance what you believe will work for your program with theirs. Once you put a ploicy in place be prepared for it to be challenged. If you are stricter than those gyms around you be prepared to defend with logic and not just emotion.

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