USASF has announced a change to the definition and classification of a program and how multiple locations affect an individual gym’s classification.

A gym’s program classification is important because it affects whether or not an individual program is considered Division I or Division II based on athlete numbers. A gym’s division classification decides whether or not they’re allowed to compete in Division II divisions and at The D2 Summit.

Now, as of May 19th, USASF added two new Worlds divisions, Extra Small and Extra Small Coed. A gym is only allowed to compete in one of these two divisions if they do not have a Worlds team in any of the other 12 divisions.

The new classifications affect whether or not athletes are counted individually by gym location or together as one program. For next season, a franchise, which may not share athletes, is now considered a part of the same program. Therefore, if there’s more than one Worlds team, the Extra Small and Extra Small Coed divisions are off limits.

New Definitions

Effective August 1, 2017, there will be only two program classifications, as opposed to the previous three.

Single Location: A program that operates out of one facility and one facility only.

Multiple Locations: A program that has more than one location will be recognized as one program. This includes All Star programs that are franchised, licensed and/or branded.

Division I vs. Division II: 

The definition of a DI and DII program remains the same as before. If a program has 125 athletes or fewer, they qualify as DII. If a program has 126 or more athletes, they are considered DI. However, now any gym operating under the same brand name will count their athletes cumulatively even if they don’t share athletes between locations.

What’s changed? 

There is no longer an option for a program or franchise with multiple locations (and the same brand name i.e. Cheer Extreme, Pacific Coast Magic, Rockstar Cheer) to be considered singular programs even if they do not share athletes.

This change likely happened because of the new Extra Small and Extra Small Coed Worlds divisions. It’s safe to say that the new Worlds divisions were created to level the playing field for smaller gyms. The country’s largest gyms dominate Worlds divisions, and when you have enough athletes to field 10 or 12 Worlds teams, you obviously have a strong advantage.

While the new Worlds divisions aren’t restricted to DII gyms, they are restricted to gyms with only one Worlds team. Large gyms and franchises have several Worlds teams, so in many cases, it becomes a pseudo-DII division. A gym with more than 125 athletes may have an Extra Small Worlds team as long as it’s the only one.

To read more in-depth about the changes, please see USASF’s document here.

Previous Definitions

Previously there were three different program definitions and effective August 1, 2017, these will no longer be used.

Single Location: 

A program that operates out of one facility and one facility only. A program with 125 or fewer competitive cheer athletes will qualify as Division II. A program with 126 or more competitive cheer athletes will qualify as Division I, not including All Star Dance and special needs athletes.

Multiple Locations Sharing Athletes 

A program that has more than one location and shares at least one athlete between any two locations. All locations will be recognized as one program. To determine DI or DII qualification, all gyms athletes will be counted together. A program with 125 athletes or fewer will qualify as Division II and a program with 126 or more competitive cheer athletes will qualify as DI.

Multiple Locations Not Sharing Athletes

A program that has more than one location and does not share a single athlete between any of the locations. Each location will be recognized as one program. Multiple locations not sharing athletes will register each location with the USASF separately and therefore count athletes by single locations, not cumulatively. A location with 125 athletes or fewer will qualify as Division II and a program with 126 or more competitive cheer athletes will qualify as DI.

Tl;Dr

USASF has simplified the gym classification system. If a gym has the same name, logo, colors, or other identifying features, it will be considered one program and count their athletes together.

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