At EDE we have always background checked our coaches on an annual basis. But it came to the attention of the WSCCA (Washington State Cheer Coaches Association) recently that some rec programs weren't doing consistent background checks. The WSCCA has put out the official word on background checks for the upcoming competition season for all rec programs. If you are competing at all this season, you will need to provide a compliance letter that includes confirmation that your program has done background checks. Remember, this letter needs to come from the PARENT organization. Whomever you cheer for and/or are affiliated with.
From the WSCCA board: "All recreational teams will need to provide a letter, on letterhead, from the overseeing director of their league (City administration, Pop Warner, YMCA, Boys & Girls Club, Junior Football League, etc.) that proves the legitimacy of the organization. This letter must also include confirmation that background checks have been done on all coaches who will be working with the team during competitions. Please include the full names of those coaches. Please upload your letter using the file uploader at the WSCCA website."
There are multiple ways to accomplish this if your program has not done it already. A professional-level (or higher) USA Cheer membership is one possibility, but it is not the only one, Other entities also offer checks.
Washington State Patrol online background checks
There will be changes coming to the definition of Rec Cheer for next year, however the definition remains the same for this year so you can plan for competition season. Because we don't feel like there has been enough discussion, and because there was not a consensus among coaches at the two meetings we've had, we are going to keep this as is (essentially) for the upcoming year.
The definition of rec cheer will stay the same for the upcoming year (must have a sideline cheer squad as part of your program). However if your sideline program was down or canceled because of COVID, you may still have a waiver to compete this year.