Handling of legality issues at competitions

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King

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Dec 4, 2009
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So currently it seems like in cheerleading that the bigger the competition you go to the more strict legal people. While I am all about being strict to the rules, I think it is frustrating when programs go to a companies regionals/classics or other companies nationals that are all members of the USASF and do not get a deduction or even a warning that what a team is doing is illegal.

If a team is competing something all year long they think is legal and finally get to the 'big dance' and do not place well because of this legality being called it can a lot of times feel like they are cheated by the system they are relying on to tell them if they are doing things correctly.

So, as an industry what can either the competition companies or the USASF do to help out coaches to know if their routines are legal or not?
 
What about when you are deducted for a "illegal" and the rules state that it clearly is? Or when comment sheets say to add elements that are not even legal in your level? This seems to be a problem I have seen a lot of compaints about lately.
 
Gyms can send skills to Les Stella for review. This isn't perfect because the skill may not be performed in competitions the exact same way it was performed in the tape. Performance differences also occur from competition to competition and contribute to something being called at one event when it isn't called at another.
 
Kingston said:
So, as an industry what can either the competition companies or the USASF do to help out coaches to know if their routines are legal or not?

Start sending coaches to the safety judge certifications.
 
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Andre said:
Kingston said:
So, as an industry what can either the competition companies or the USASF do to help out coaches to know if their routines are legal or not?

Start sending coaches to the safety judge certifications.

as always an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure... but its oddly reassuring if you go to a competition and you do not get called on any elements.

i think increasing the strict adherence to the rules at smaller competitions would be a benefit as well as some type of tracking system on legality submissions. like a support ticket when you call up people for help. you can submit videos and descriptions and actually discuss the question in general. then everything would be tracked and logged... not just an email to email thing.
 
Legality judges need to have to be certified in legalities by the USASF.... a special certification to be able to be a legalities judge. And they need to be tested on the rules, know the rules front and back, and be able to spot deductions at ALL levels
 
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What if every competition has USASF people onsite and all legality deductions are handled by the USASF. No event producer has any control over legal things, just their own scoresheet and deductions. This wasy the USASF is responsible and people dont go to one competition over another because the rules are looser.
 
Kingston said:
What if every competition has USASF people onsite and all legality deductions are handled by the USASF. No event producer has any control over legal things, just their own scoresheet and deductions. This wasy the USASF is responsible and people dont go to one competition over another because the rules are looser.

I think that would be a GREAT idea. Having a representative of USASF who is expert in legalities for every level at every competition would solve the problem of one particular stunt/move, etc being legal at one comp and not at another. It would certaintly put a stop to teams competing a routine all season to get to WORLDS and findout all their hardwork is a bust.

Perhaps there could also be required quarterly coaches training on these types of things in order to be certified as a USASF gym as well.
 
Cheermuse said:
Kingston said:
What if every competition has USASF people onsite and all legality deductions are handled by the USASF. No event producer has any control over legal things, just their own scoresheet and deductions. This wasy the USASF is responsible and people dont go to one competition over another because the rules are looser.

I think that would be a GREAT idea. Having a representative of USASF who is expert in legalities for every level at every competition would solve the problem of one particular stunt/move, etc being legal at one comp and not at another. It would certaintly put a stop to teams competing a routine all season to get to WORLDS and findout all their hardwork is a bust.

Perhaps there could also be required quarterly coaches training on these types of things in order to be certified as a USASF gym as well.

The idea is good, but there aren't enough experts right now to pull it off.
 
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Andre said:
Cheermuse said:
Kingston said:
What if every competition has USASF people onsite and all legality deductions are handled by the USASF. No event producer has any control over legal things, just their own scoresheet and deductions. This wasy the USASF is responsible and people dont go to one competition over another because the rules are looser.

I think that would be a GREAT idea. Having a representative of USASF who is expert in legalities for every level at every competition would solve the problem of one particular stunt/move, etc being legal at one comp and not at another. It would certaintly put a stop to teams competing a routine all season to get to WORLDS and findout all their hardwork is a bust.

Perhaps there could also be required quarterly coaches training on these types of things in order to be certified as a USASF gym as well.

The idea is good, but there aren't enough experts right now to pull it off.

The lack of people who are trained is just a matter of training them. If the solution seems like a good one, why not start building it up?
 
Kingston said:
The lack of people who are trained is just a matter of training them. If the solution seems like a good one, why not start building it up?

I agree with you. I think we should start/continue down the training experts path, but we have a long way to go. Right now we probably have 5-10 rules experts. Les Stella, Mike Burgess, Justin Carrier, & Julie O'brien are the only ones that come to mind, but I'll assume I only know about half of them. The next closest thing we have to rules experts are the legality judges coaches and fans are complaining about now.
 
Andre said:
Kingston said:
The lack of people who are trained is just a matter of training them. If the solution seems like a good one, why not start building it up?

I agree with you. I think we should start/continue down the training experts path, but we have a long way to go. Right now we probably have 5-10 rules experts. Les Stella, Mike Burgess, Justin Carrier, & Julie O'brien are the only ones that come to mind, but I'll assume I only know about half of them. The next closest thing we have to rules experts are the legality judges coaches and fans are complaining about now.

Agreed in that saying that we don't have many experts isn't that great of an excuse for not using them.. all the more reason to train more. Though I will say it's a little difficult to become an expert when the entire process is as confusing as it is right now. I could easier find out how and actually participate in the process to become an NCAA College Football Ref than a rules/legality judge of cheerleading.
 
Another thing that needs to be addressed is who is paying for everything. Right now if I wanted to be a safety judge I would have to pay to attend the meeting and take the test. (I don't remember if these costs are separate or not since I did not get certified last season and I don't know if allowing people to attend the meeting without getting certified changed anything). The closest 2 meetings to me are 200 and 375 miles away, so I would likely need to get a hotel room for at least one night. How many people that have the potential to be experts are willing to pay to become one. Is there a structure that can be set up so they don't have to pay that is reasonable to those that pay for them?

How long would the training session need to be in order for it to be sufficient? If it could be done in a weekend there could probably be several session around the country, reducing travel costs. If the training is a work week, I would guess there would only be few options, likely increasing the cost of getting the expert candidates there.
 
When I was certfied to judge gymnastics I had to pay for the materials myself. The State Branch of the National Judging Organization set up study sessions in locations where several of us could attend at reasonable cost. Once ready to take the test again we went through the State and they submited everything up the chain.

Safety certification was done in a similar manner.
 
njgymrat said:
When I was certfied to judge gymnastics I had to pay for the materials myself. The State Branch of the National Judging Organization set up study sessions in locations where several of us could attend at reasonable cost. Once ready to take the test again we went through the State and they submited everything up the chain.

Safety certification was done in a similar manner.

Do you think the USASF is currently capable of following this model?
 
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