We have always tried to give parents an idea of how teams score compared to others. It is a pretty large complicated process, but we are going to try to give it to you in an easy to read, simple way.
There are guidelines on ranges, and how to score certain scores for each company. Some use similar/same scoresheets, and some are very different. We will be covering primarily what was referred to as the “unified” scoresheet (most common).
Tumbling, Jumps, Stunts are are judged on the number of athletes they have on the team and what percentages of those athletes are performing level appropriate skills (see USASF.NET for skill legalities). The larger the team, the more athletes need to perform level appropriate skills. It is all based on percentages.
For example, in the tumbling section, a team of 20 athletes needs to have 75% of those (15 total) perform level appropriate tumbling skills. In stunting the same principle applies. Judges want to see all of the athletes used in a stunt section. This means for a team of 16 you would need 5+ stunt groups and for a team of 20 you need 6+ stunt groups in a section.
Within the routine, you will be judged on stunts, pyramids, tumbling, jumps, dance and baskets (exception: no baskets in level 1 or prep routines).
Difficulty is out of a 9.0. Execution is out of a 1.0. This combines to 10 points per category generally.
Stunting needs at least four level appropriate skills to score an 8.5 or better in difficulty. The more and/or harder skills a team does within the level, the higher their score will be between 8.5 and 9.0. Just doing the minimum in level skills will generally get you an 8.5
Baskets require a full squad of a level appropriate basket and one additional basket to score a 9. If you have enough people standing around to throw another basket in this section, you will not score a 9.
Pyramids are connected stunts. Teams must do a minimum four different level appropriate skills, maintaining at least two structures (or “pictures” within the sequences). This will meet the requirement to score an 8.5. In order to score higher they need to do either more than four skills and/or skills that judges deem as the most difficult level appropriate skills within the division.
Standing and Running Tumbling are two different scores. Both out of a 9.0 for difficulty and a 1.0 for execution.
Standing – A minimum of 75% of the team must do two level appropriate standing passes, one of which must be connected to a jump. This will put you at an 8.5. Higher quantities and/or increased difficulty within range will determine where you fall between 8.5 and 9.0
Running – A minium of 75% must perform a level appropriate pass as well as specialty passes. For example in level 2, a round off back handspring is perceived as the “easiest pass”. To score higher than 8.5, you should have back handspring step-outs, multiple handsprings or another appropriate specialty pass.
To score well on jumps, a team will need to have a variety of four advanced jumps or three advanced jumps with one connected to a tumble skill (depending on the level). This will get you a 9 in difficulty. Majority of teams will score this, thus execution in this category is virtually the only part that sets one team apart from another.
How well you perform the skills above is the most important part. You have to have the difficulty to be in range to be competitive, however, generally most team are going to get into the range (8.5+). In order to score well in technique, you must perform the skills well! This is most often the score that causes teams to outscore another (if difficulties are similar and teams have no deductions). Standing Tumbling, Running Tumbling, Baskets, Pyramids, Stunts and Jumps all have technique scores of (0.0-1.0).
Jump technique – How high are the jumps? are the together? are their toes pointed? arms placed properly? timing?
Tumble technique – Do they land and take off together when synchronized? Are their feet together? Are their heads/arms/body positions in proper form?
Stunt technique- Do they go up and come down together? Are their body positions proper? Do they dismount with proper body/head/arm placement? Are they solid?
Creativity is 5 points per catagory. Judges want to see skills and transitions that are innovative, visual, different, unique, fun to watch, etc.. What sets you apart? Do you do the same thing as everyone else? Creativity is generally scored for both pyramids and stunts.
One of the most subjective scores that a team will score is overall impression/ performance. It can score up to 10 points. Judges want a high level of perfection and energy. Crowd support can often energize cheerleaders and give a better impression for these categories. If judges feel or perceive energy, they can often score better here! This is why we as everyone to support each team, because the team often carries over to more than just the athletes on the floor!
Often times the largest factor deciding between teams placements is the dreaded DEDUCTION. These are obvious mistakes in a routine. Tumbling touchdowns, stunt falls, etc. This can change a team from first place to last place even if their routine was harder than their competitors. Often you will may hear athletes say they “watered it down” or “took out my tumbling”. Simply put, if it isn’t clean or the coach isn’t positive it will hit on the competition mat, they will remove an element from the routine. It is better to perform clean as opposed to more difficult because these deductions will cost you huge points. Getting a ZERO in this category is the goal for EVERY one of our performances!
Often times parents or athletes think that if they hit a routine, they should win. This isn’t always the case. There are lots of subjective elements that go into scoring. We train our coaches to make the best decisions to put them in a place where they can win or do well considering the event and where the team is at that point in the season. Team performance isn’t the place to be selfish in doing certain skills for your own benefit. It’s a place to perform mastered skills to contribute to your awesome teams score and placements!