The 2017-2018 competition was phenomenal! Now it is time to look forward to the future and see if there are additional changes we want to make to Rec Cheer in Washington state. I have had a number of issues/questions brought to me as the WSCCA Rec Cheer Director, and I want to discuss the following ideas with the rec coaches at the 2018 WSCCA Coaches Conference in May.
--Age checking/providing birth certificates. I brought this idea to the WSCCA Board and it was agreed that doing extensive age checking would be time-prohibitive. However one board member did point out that the WSCCA waivers have both the cheerleader's birth date and parent signature, so that should be enough to satisfy the requirement.
--We need to look at adding an age division, possibly a "mini" category.
Here is our current Rec Cheer definition for Washington:
The Washington Recreational Cheer Programs must be non-school affiliated teams that are attached to a bona fide City Parks Department, Boys & Girls Club, Pop Warner program, recreational association or youth sports program. Recreational squads MUST NOT be formed solely for the purpose of competition. Recreational programs must include a sideline squad that cheers for an organized sport.
The purpose of recreational cheer is to provide the entire youth community interested in a positive cheer experience at an appropriate level. It is expected that recreational cheer programs will offer participants the opportunity to have fun while increasing their physical fitness, learning new cheerleading skills, and learning teamwork, fair play, leadership, sportsmanship, time-management skills, cooperation, trust, and regard for others.
I am proposing the following additions to our definition/requirements for Rec Cheer, specifically for WSCCA Junior Rec State. Most of these use verbiage borrowed from USA or UCA Nationals requirements:
--The participant’s age as of August 1 of the upcoming competition year will be used throughout competition season. All team members must be within the age range for each division. (We have always followed this rule--I would just like to see it be officially added to the definition).
--All Recreational teams will need to provide a notarized letter from the City Director of Youth Leagues (Elementary School administration, AYC, Pop Warner, YMCA, Upward Bound, etc.) that proves legitimacy of the organization.
--The team must not compete as an all-star cheer gym/dance studio at any competition during the competition season (August 1st to July 31st)
--No more than three athletes that are registered at any time with the United States All Star Federation (USASF) during the competition season may also compete with any one rec team at a WSCCA event.
I look forward to a lively discussion Friday night at Conference! Our Rec Cheer discussion time will be from 8-8:40pm at the Hotel Murano.