Our sport has grown quickly in North America mostly through the foresight and creation of the USASF. With this growth and maturation, the landscape of governance in both North America and internationally is also changing. Canada is in a unique position in the world of cheerleading, having a shared border with the USA. We fully hope that one day age grids throughout the world will be consistent, however, the reality at this point, is that many of our Canadian teams compete in the USA and the age grid followed are those of the USASF, which currently are different from those of the IASF. Accordingly, Cheer Canada has reviewed several age grids, including that of Australia and examined the needs of our participants.
Cheer Canada is pleased to publish formal age grid for All Star cheer for the 2018-19 season. This age grid lists the many divisions that may be offered by an event producer. If a division is deep, the event producer may elect to subdivide the divisions based on team size.
You will note that for the most part, the All Star age grid below follows that of the USASF, but there are some notable differences highlighted in yellow.
Cheer Canada has created opportunities for young adults to continue to compete after they “age out” of Senior divisions by offering new Open categories for athletes aged 17 and older, as well as non-tumbling divisions enabling Long Term Athlete Development and cheerleading as a Sport For Life.
Cheer Canada has increased some of the lower ages of certain age ranges. One difference is that an age category such as “youth” does not have the same minimum age in prep divisions as youth in level 5. The principle was to allow flexibility and not impose higher minimum ages on all divisions, but, ensure safety and the social development of athletes is paramount.
We have included specific IASF divisions to provide the opportunity for teams competing at International competitions such as Summit, where the IASF age grid are followed.
As this is Cheer Canada’s first standardized age grid for All Star cheer, we know there will be many comments. This, we expect, will lead to additional clarifications, but Cheer Canada will not be making changes to this age grid for the 2018-2019 season. Rather, the Cheer Canada All Star committee will review and analyze this over the next season, recommending any changes. We hope that this will provide you with the stability we all seek.
The age grid for Scholastic divisions will follow based on the Cheer Canada Scholastic and University committee.