All-Star Creating New Squad-questions? Help

Welcome to our Cheerleading Community

Members see FEWER ads... join today!

Nov 3, 2011
Hello! I am working with an established dance studio to start a new All Star Squad. We currently don't have one in our town and the closet gym/squad is an hour away. I don't expect anything huge but there are some questions I have researched but can't find the answers to.
  1. Do you have to have USASF coach credentials in order to compete in levels 3 or higher? If not how does that process work for entering competitions?
  2. Where should I start with competitions (as in searching out those which will be best for us) & how many do you recommend each year?
  3. Is there any advice you can give me for things that worked for you or didn't work for you?
  4. What was your first year like if you started from nothing to create a squad?
Thanks so much!
As far as competitions go, most gyms do anywhere from 6-10 competitions throughout the year (typically the ones competing at 8-10 competitions may be level 5 teams on the search for worlds bids). Most of the gyms in our area do 3-4 regionals and 3 nationals, however we are fortunate to be in a region where all of the competitions are fairly close. There's a couple of things to think about when choosing competitions such as:
- Are you designing your routine for the Jamfest scoresheet or the Varsity scoresheet? (and then slightly adjusted scoresheets for each brand under those 2 umbrella companies)
- How far would you be willing to travel for a competition? How often? (further than 1.5-2 hours away = added costs for hotels,food, etc. for families......we usually had 1 travel competition where a hotel/possibly flight was needed. Again this depends on your area though. Try to keep it as afforable as you can so that it is more accessible for more families!)
- Are you looking for competitions that offer "small gym" divisions since it is your first year?

These are the 2 major competition groups, that encompass almost every event producer:
Varsity brands:
Jam Brands:
There are also offers such as the Varsity family plan: if you compete at 3 competitions of their brands, you get rebates and such,
or Jam Rewards (be a member, compete at ____many of their comps and then get rewards)

Essentially the biggest national competitions in the nation are NCA nationals (dallas), Cheersport (Atlanta), and Jamfest sueprnationals (indianapolis). While they are probably a bit much for your first few years, they are a great venue to see what the best of the best in the nation can do in each division and what to work towards in the future.

Things I suggest also:
DO YOUR RESEARCH! Know the scoresheets, rules, etc. front to back. Scope out local competitions to see what the gyms in your state/region are like. Do some youtube/online research to know who wins in your area and why they win (are they highly skilled? are they the only ones at the competition? are they the only ones that are clean? etc). Since the cheer season starts anew right before summer, you have some time to study up at the national competitions that will be going on in jan/feb/march/april! You can even look up the results of regional competitions that took place in the past 2-3 months online that you may be interested in for your team next year. With a brand new team, you are probably looking at level 1 teams (back walkovers) or level 2 (majority of the team with backhandsprings), so you can even look up competition videos to get a better idea of what teams in those divisions are like on the wiki here on fierceboard, on youtube, or videos on under the competition videos tab.

I hope some of that helps!