In October 2021, USASF announced the rule proposals for the 2022-23 season and the rules change process. The rules proposal outlines various changes for the 2022-23 season, not the current 2021-22 season. The changes range from tumbling skills, building skills, the age grid, Cheerleading Worlds divisions, and D1/D2 parameters.
New this season, USASF has included the process for these rule changes, a welcomed moment of transparency. See below.
The USASF Cheer Rules Change Process
- Member submits proposal with endorsements from three other members from different programs
- USASF staff member reviews for inherent safety concerns, duplication, unintended consequences, conflicts with other rules, etc.
- Present at national meeting for member feedback
- Rules committee discusses
- Publicly post proposed change(s) for transparency, and opportunity for feedback
- Poll members for feedback
- Rules committee considers all feedback
- Rules committee makes recommendations to the board
- Board discusses and votes
- Rule change(s), if any, are announced in February/March for early planning
- Implemented following season
In the footnotes of the USASF process document:
- Suggestions initiated by a Rules Committee member would begin the process at Step 3
- Proposals not skill-related or age-grid related, such as general policy or Worlds-specific suggestions, do not follow this path.
- This path may not be followed in special circumstances, including, but not limited to, the recognition of an imminent safety concern or unexpected events such as COVID.
USASF Rules Proposals 2022-23
Version 2, Updated 10-8-21
Multiple Levels Standing Tumbling
- Prep level 1 – stays as is
- Elite level 1 – allow 1 back handspring
- (Current rule: skills must involve constant physical contact with the performing surface)
- Elite level 2 – allow standing back handspring series
- (Current rule: Series front/back handsprings are not allowed)
- Elite level 3 – allow 2 (+) Back handsprings to tuck
- (Current rule: flips not allowed)
- Elite level 4 – allow 2 (+) Back handsprings to layout
- (Current rule: must be performed in a tuck position)
- Elite level 5 – allow 2 (+) Back handsprings to full
- (Current rule: up to 1 flipping and 0 twists allowed)
- Elite level 6 & 7 – stay as is
Level 1 Running Tumbling
Proposed rule: Allow a forward or backward roll immediately after a
Reasoning: Allows athletes to initiate tumbling backwards
Current rule: No tumbling is allowed in immediate combination after a round off or round off rebound.
Level 3 Running Tumbling
Proposed rule: Add front handspring (front connection ground skill including flyspring) to front tuck.
Current rule: No tumbling prior to front tuck is allowed.
Level 3 Pyramids
Proposed rule: Allow non-twisting/non-inverted release moves to extended if connected to one bracer at prep level or below.
Current rule: requires 2 bracers at prep level or below.
Reasoning: Level 4 may simultaneously release and twist to extended with one bracer. Fits progression.
Level 4 Running Tumbling
Proposed rule: Remove bounding into tucks and layouts.
Current rule: allowed
Reasoning: First level that you are able to tumble out of a flip, flip/flip is not a good progression.
Level 5 Running Tumbling
Proposed rule: Allow twisting flips after whip.
Current rule: twist must immediately be preceded by a round off, back handspring(s) or front handspring(s)
Reasoning: Level 4 may connect bounding flips, then level 6 may connect bounding skills into double twisting. Fit progression
Level 6 Stunts
Proposed rule: Allow rewinds in Senior 6 division with same restrictions as International 6 division.
Current rule: Not allowed in Senior division, only International 6.
Reasoning: Being performed safely in International divisions.
USASF age grid is calculated by year of birth. ICU and IASF age grids are calculated by age of year-end competition. Should they be aligned?
Remove Senior Open 6 Division
Reasoning: International Open 6 division may have exact same roster. Senior Open 6 was created because of uncertainty with where IASF was headed with scoring, rules, etc.
Allow IOSC and SOSC to have 5 males
Reasoning: The additional male athlete will allow for options when creating stunt groups that can complete at a competitive level with more age appropriate athletes. There’s a need to fly more aged appropriate flyers and another male will help field just that. The average team of 24 will do 5 stunts, this would allow for potentially putting 1 male in every stunt group. This would also allow for teams with stronger female stunting to add males with elite tumbling to join to help them in the tumbling categories. In these divisions the males are showcased heavily, one more male that may add to a category the team lacks in as a whole. There is such a jump from 5-12 males in the Large Open Coed 6 and 5-16 males in International Large 6 & 7, giving the Small divisions one more male will help close that gap.
Change Senior Level 6 Worlds division sizes to Small 5-14, Medium 15-22, and Large 23-30
Reasoning: This would allow all senior 6 divisions to have two leftover athletes after stunt groups are created. It also separates each division by 8 athletes. Currently we are allowed 38 athletes in level 6 but only 30 in levels 1-5. This does not make sense. There is more chance of injury with 38 athletes on the floor tumbling. This is especially true when these athletes are performing level 6 tumbling. The max team size should be lowered to 30 so it matches all other elite levels and reduced chance of injury. Also, most gyms cannot field a team with 30+ athletes. It is not needed. Reasoning – It would help level out divisions at worlds. Currently, large Senior has 4 teams and extra small has about 50. This change would essentially combine current medium and large teams into one division and create a better competition. The small and extra small teams would round out the new medium and small divisions.
Changes to DI/DII
- . Only count Elite athletes and lower the D#
- Count by location instead of program (Possibly in combination with suggestion 1)
- Raise the D#
Where We Are Now
As of November 10, 2021 – we are currently at the fifth step in the rules change process. The sixth step “Poll members for feedback” is up next. There have already been requests for the process to become more transparent and for USASF to release the member poll results.
Stay tuned for more updates.