All-Star Why An Execution Score Is The Most Important Thing In Cheerleading

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King

Is all about that bass
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Dec 4, 2009
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I was watching more college cheer videos from NCA this past weekend and I was really quite concerned with the level of skills teams are attempting that do NOT look ready for them. I LOVE college (well... level 6) baskets pyramids and stunts, but I am not a fan attempting skills people are not ready for. Looking at the scoresheet for NCA it hit me... there is no execution score. Yes execution plays into the score in some piece, but anytime one score has to represent two separate 'things' one will suffer. Baskets and jumps used to be the same category (because college cheerleaders dont jump I guess) and people would throw hard baskets to make up for the jumps. Well, in all pieces of college cheer people throw harder skills to make up for the lack of execution.

THIS IS DANGEROUS!

Have you ever seen that girl throw that full that should not be thrown? She is just one crazy full away from an ACL tear? 10 years ago we would still reward that team because they had another full.. now on the best scoresheets they will get eaten up in the execution portion. This is a great thing! Coaches are forced not to put skills not ready for a routine because of the points the would lose if performed... even if landed. Yes there are examples of coaches still keeping it in, but as a whole I would say allstar cheerleading is 'safer' because of our execution (and spring floor!) requirements.

Thoughts?

Small rant - The fact that jumps now have their own category in NCA college cheer, but only score highest if you full after them is the DUMBEST thing they could have done. Do you know how many ACL injuries this is gonna cause? They are already on a hard floor, and the quality of jumps is already terrible. Level the playing field and make jumps an execution score! I could write a novel about why this is idiotic and will cause more injuries.
 
Execution scores were the only thing that held my teams back this year. They were sharp but I am guilty of allowing bent knees in back walk overs, and slightly irregular body positions slide for the difficulty/quantity points.
We are focusing more on strength and flexibility now to help improve our execution.
 
Execution scores were the only thing that held my teams back this year. They were sharp but I am guilty of allowing bent knees in back walk overs, and slightly irregular body positions slide for the difficulty/quantity points.
We are focusing more on strength and flexibility now to help improve our execution.

I think King was talking about NCA College Nationals
 
@kingston I 100% agree with everything you said. Until execution is weighted at least as much as difficulty, coaches will continue putting dangerous skills in a routine. Some of those NCA college routines were downright scary. On the Allstar side, until there is a universal scoresheet with execution being equal to difficulty, there are some coaches that will continue to allow kids to throw dangerous skills.
 
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Execution scores were the only thing that held my teams back this year. They were sharp but I am guilty of allowing bent knees in back walk overs, and slightly irregular body positions slide for the difficulty/quantity points.
We are focusing more on strength and flexibility now to help improve our execution.
I think King was talking about NCA College Nationals

In general for all cheerleading really. It isn't about holding your team back. It is about that those bent legs in backwalkovers become bent legs in handsprings and eventually bad fulls. Now you have to put time and energy into better backwalkovers and it will produce BETTER tumbling in the future. This is one of the few times I will be a lil holier than thou... but trust me it works wonders for our program (Stingrays). Everytime you are forced to work harder and more intricately on your execution you get better and more comfortable with the skill and it becomes safer!

This doesn't mean there wont be injuries. This is a sport and there are accidents. What it does mean is there will be less accidents and not as severe. We cannot get rid of injuries, but if we can reduce them by 50% across the board that is a good thing! The best way to do that is make everyone work on execution.
 
I'm just a mom without a ton of knowledge, but it bugs me when the team whose jumps look like popcorn get first place, or those "heel stretches" that are a bent leg straight out...ugh. It makes me question everything. I guess now I know. I wish it mattered more. Our gym would never allow back head springs, but I see it all the time and my gut has always screamed "unsafe!". I don't think it's just college nca...
 
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Execution also creates more cheerleading business for gyms. If a high school scores very low because they have bad execution, they are going to look and bring in experts on how to execute better. Not just look at cool hard stuff on youtube and attempt it without any consequences. It makes cheerleading gyms more important!
 
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I'm just a mom without a ton of knowledge, but it bugs me when the team whose jumps look like popcorn get first place, or those "heel stretches" that are a bent leg straight out...ugh. It makes me question everything. I guess now I know. I wish it mattered more. Our gym would never allow back head springs, but I see it all the time and my gut has always screamed "unsafe!". I don't think it's just college nca...

It is any competition that does not have an execution score itself OR is not strict on that execution score. The stricter they are about it the SAFER cheer becomes.

And this is a low cost solution. It is trickle down, all the way to the small gym. It costs nothing to implement.
 
kingston said:
10 years ago we would still reward that team because they had another full..

I remember first transitioning to all-star (about 10 years ago) and trying to understand "What do you mean even if it basically falls we still get the points 'cause we tried it?" I love the execution score and I think it's made such a big difference in the quality of performances. I agree that sometimes watching college teams can be a bit nerve racking. Just because you are allowed to do those stunts, doesn't mean you should. The basket tosses especially make me so nervous. If you can barely get enough height for a back tuck basket, please don't try anything else!
 
Another great post, Kingston. I hate "holding my breath" during a stunt or skill. I agree it's dangerous an irresponsible for a coach to let those skills (or lack thereof) be done on the matt. I agree (especially after coming home from Oregon) that execution and technique are critical in any stunting, pyramids, tumbling (notice I didn't say Cheer).

... HOWEVER..if a person spits or mispronounces a word while cheering on the floor, they should get deducted (I know....warped sense of humor). Good night...
 
Since I was a gymnast for forever and a day, I am a big believer in clean execution...I don't believe a level 3 team with more jank tucks should score in the same general area as a team with less tucks, but executed in the correct manner...I believe pushing your team is necessary, but having them perform sloppy elements isn't benefiting whatsoever.
 
I'm all for NCA over UCA (throwing "big" skills over "clean" ones) as a spectator,but as a coach/judge when it comes to safety, "perfection of routine"/execution should definitely be taken into consideration!!! I'd rather see a clean full up lib than a 1-1/4 up (or higher) to scorpion where the flyer almost dies or barely has a scorpion. That's just me. I can understand for throwing crazy things foe stunt-off's and tumble-offs but not in routines. A routine should be difficult and safe, not have the audience scared if the athletes are going to get seriously hurt trying skills they aren't ready for (I still cringe when I see a scary full/double). Hopefully at the college level coaches will have the sense to play it safe for the sake of their athletes! Again, that's just my opinion.
 
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I'm all for NCA over UCA (throwing "big" skills over "clean" ones) as a spectator,but as a coach/judge when it comes to safety, "perfection of routine"/execution should definitely be taken into consideration!!! I'd rather see a clean full up lib than a 1-1/4 up (or higher) to scorpion where the flyer almost dies or barely has a scorpion. That's just me. I can understand for throwing crazy things foe stunt-off's and tumble-offs but not in routines. A routine should be difficult and safe, not have the audience scared if the athletes are going to get seriously hurt trying skills they aren't ready for (I still cringe when I see a scary full/double). Hopefully at the college level coaches will have the sense to play it safe for the sake of their athletes! Again, that's just my opinion.

The problem is there isn't reward for playing it safe. Look at the jump category! Gotta full after your jumps to max jumps? WHAT THE HECK DOES A FULL HAVE TO DO WITH JUMPS?!?!!
 
So let me throw this question out there - what is the right balance between rewarding difficulty and encouraging proper execution in a scoring rubric?
 
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