Questions and Clarifications
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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions 
Winter 2020 Clarifications:

Before questioning your stunt/pyramid difficulty scores ask yourself the following:

·        Inversions: Was your flyer actually inverted?

o   In training Bill talked about that for the purposes of difficulty, flyers should be at a 45 degree angle or greater to be considered inverted. If you were attempting an inversion then transitioning/releasing to any level if the flyer does not start inverted OR is taken out of the inversion during a dip (i.e. feet/legs drop the flyer to a prone position) before the transition/release, then you did not perform an inversion transition/release to any level. Non-inverted transitions/releases tend to score a level lower.

·        Inversion transition to extended: At the moment your flyer hit a vertical position were the feet of the flyer above the bases heads?

o   If not, then you did not perform an inversion to extended level and would be scored for hitting prep level or below.

·        Twisting transitions to Side/Prone/Cradle: What level did you start at and how much did you rotate?

o   Starting at a load level and/or rotating less than 360 would be easier and would drop into intermediate. Starting at extended and/or rotating more than 360 would move you higher in Advanced.

·        Double Skill Tosses: Did you perform a Kick Kick or are the 2 skills questionable/unclear?

o   To hit Elite level with double skill tosses, the flyers must clearly performing 2 different skills.

·        Releases: Was the release executed in a way that the judges could clearly see all contact was lost between the flyer(s) and all athletes on the ground?

o   If not, it was likely not seen as a release skill, which typically scores lower on the progression

·        Majority: Did all of your flyers hit the same exact skill (same level, same body position, all release, etc.)?

o   If not, then it’s possible the skill was dropped a level for not hitting majority

·        Modifications: Use the videos on the NYSPHSAA website to see how skills within a certain level/progression should be performed. Some modified skill videos will be coming soon. If you perform that skill in a way that makes it easier then it has been modified and will be scored lower. How the skill was modified and where the non-modified skill is within a progression level would determine whether a skill drops within the progression level or drops to a lower progression level. 

·        General difficulty level of stunts: In general, if you look at the other skills within a progression level then compare that to how your team performed a given skill, ask yourself if the way you performed the skill is comparable to those other skills or if it’s easier.

o   If it is easier then it’s likely in a lower progression level. Remember the ranges judges use are simply a suggestion. The final difficulty score they give is ultimately to compare you and all of the other teams competing in terms of stunt or pyramid difficulty.


  •  “regarding the skill in the advanced twisting category “twisting transition to side/prone/cradle”
    Starting in load is much easier and should score lower, it is much more difficult to do from extended.  If starting in a load I would drop it to intermediate, from prep lower advanced and extended, higher advanced.
    With that said spinning from extended down to prone is hardest and within that a ½ rotation vs a ¾ verses a full (360) rotation would make a difference as well.  So you work with the grid you are in with the easiest going to the lowest score (or a few tenths out of that grid) and then work your way up.
    it is important judges pay attention to where the skill starts
    Also: when looking and paying attention to  tumbling skills to load into a stunt,  different loads would then make it count as a different stunt.  Example Round off to extended versus  a back hand spring to extended could count as two different skills towards their range.- there has been some inconsistency in this:


Statements of Clarifications-Fall 2019 
  • If a team, of any size, does not attempt to connect 2 flyers for at least 1 skill then they did not perform a pyramid sequence and will receive 0 for both difficulty and execution for pyramid.
  • Signage used in Cheer Portion: “should correlate to the school’s name, color and mascot”.  . The audience should know who the school is with the used of these signs.  Additionally, judges should decide the esthetics of the sign and how it is used, it should not detract from the cheer.  What is meaningful for you as a group, may not present well to others in the cheer.
  • Flipping transitions landing extended with minimal bases can start with 2 bases, 1 hands on spotter but must land with a single base and can either have 1 hands on spotter/1 hands off spotter or 2 hands off spotters. Teams that start with the skill single based before the flip would be higher in that super elite range.
  • Only skills/groups that “hit” count towards difficulty.
  • To determine difficulty range look at all skills and determine the level for each skill. If a skill was not performed in majority the level of that skill drops 1 level.
  • If a team missed their majority for a skill by more than 1 stunt group and that skill would still be used to find the range the judge has the ability to go below that range to appropriately score them comparatively.
  • Stopping the routine: the only time an official would stop the routine is for blood or vomit on the mat or for a very obvious injury.  Something that puts the athletes at risk


Winter 2019 Statements of Clarification:
  • Inversions – A flyer is considered inverted when both feet are at least waist level or above (over the head of the flyer). This interpretation is only in reference to setting ranges for skills and NOT in regards to the safety guidelines.  The safety guidelines will be followed as written and the definition used in the NFHS Safety Guideline book will be used when interpreting the guidelines from a rules perspective
  • The Needle to Extended Liberty is not an inversion to extended position because only 1 foot is above the waist of the flyer. This is just a transition to a liberty - intermediate skill.
  • Dance requirements clarifications- There is no mandatory count for dance. However, when all things are equal more counts could score higher. Judges will be looking for the dance indicators listed on the judges reference sheet and how well the dance is executed, not the style of dance. 
  • The statement in training about a 7 being a "C" only applies to the dance score, it does not apply to execution scores in all other categories.
  • Use of props is not required – If effectively used props could enhance your cheer. However, there are other ways to just as effectively enhance the cheer without props.
  • Loopholes/common sense placement of skills:
    • If you create a skill that meets the description of an Elite or Super Elite skill but it is a less difficult version the judge will use their knowledge of progressions to correctly place the skill.
    • Judges will give you a score based on what you did cumulatively, taking in to account number of participants, difficulty, and all other elements. Remember, it is a comparative scoring system.  
  • Remember that since NYS cheerleading as a comparative scoring system, the scores are based on what is performed that day. Therefore, you should not be comparing scores from competition to competition.
  • Jumps -
    • Basic Jumps: All have the same difficulty weight
      • Tuck
      • X-Jump
      • Herkie
    • Advanced Jumps: All have the same difficulty weight
      • Toe Touch
      • Pike
      • Left Hurdler
      • Right Hurdler
      • Double 9
    • FULL TEAM doing 3 DIFFERENT ADVANCED JUMPS would score at the top of the range
    • Just like the Tumbling, Stunt, and Pyramid ranges, the jump ranges are suggestive. A team that does a Triple Tuck (basic) Jump may not necessarily score in the 3.1-5.0 range.  
    •  The difference between a team that does 3 different full team advanced jumps and a team that does full team 2 of the same advanced jumps and one different advanced jump SHOULD BE MINIMAL
  • Use logical progression to place skills. For pyramid skills if you need to pull a skill from the stunt progression it could be in lower skill ranges based on whether it’s braced on one side or braced on 2 sides. Use logical progression, unbraced in highest, braced on 1 side is in the middle, braced on 2 sides is lowest
  • A review of the scores should occur at the end of every division with all members of the panel present, whether the scoring is done on paper or electronically.
  • Judges should be comparatively reviewing the scores within each of the elements they are scoring. Judges should not be reviewing the final placement of teams and changing score based on their opinion of which team should win.
  • Tumbling scoring: the tumbling score is obtained by the group synchronized tumbling. Then score is driven up by other amounts of tumbling (no counting, no majority, not concerned of recycling).