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United States Cheer Officials Survey Results

By Shelley Pope-Keitt Edited by Melissa Hay


CONTENTS History of Judges Survey .............................................................................................................................................................. 2 Survey Methodology.................................................................................................................................................................... 2 Demographic data ....................................................................................................................................................................... 3 Training ........................................................................................................................................................................................ 3 Rubric ........................................................................................................................................................................................... 4 Compensation .............................................................................................................................................................................. 4 Hours of work .............................................................................................................................................................................. 5 Travel reimbursement ................................................................................................................................................................. 5 Judging panels.............................................................................................................................................................................. 7 Varsity All Star Association .......................................................................................................................................................... 7 Treatment of judges .................................................................................................................................................................... 8 Verbatim ...................................................................................................................................................................................... 9 Conclusions ................................................................................................................................................................................ 11 Recommendations ..................................................................................................................................................................... 12 Bibliography ............................................................................................................................................................................... 15


UNITED STATES ALL STAR CHEER OFFICIALS SURVEY ANALYSIS INTRODUCTION When competitive cheerleading began in the 1980’s, the competition environment was limited to recreation and school cheerleading. Many in the sport were dissatisfied with the failure of school administrators to not only fund; but also support cheer competitions. Athletic Directors and School Sports Associations placed strict rules on stunts and tumbling, often times grounding teams, which prevented the development of true competition. Out of this discontent was born the sport of All Star Cheerleading. All Star Cheerleading, born in 1986, was the answer to the frustration for lack of support for competitive school cheerleading. Athletes pay to be a part of a club which the only job is to compete in cheer competitions. In 1987, the National Cheerleaders Association hosted the first All Star Cheerleading competition. Since then the sport has grown immensely and currently 1.5 million participate in the sport. Although dominated by the United States, the sport has grown internationally. Recently, because of the creation of the Cheerleading Worlds, participation has grown by about 200,000 additional participants in several countries around the world (Cheerleading; 2013). Varsity Brand, Inc. and JamBrands are two corporate conglomerates that encompasses all facets of the sport of cheerleading. From cheer uniform and footwear to competitions, these two companies dominate almost every aspect of the sport of cheerleading. In the last ten years, both companies have purchased all but a few of the major cheerleading companies that host All Star Cheer Competitions. Every aspect of cheer officiating has changed considerably since the inception of cheer competitions. For example, when cheer competitions began in the late 1980’s, judges for competitions were selected from cheerleading camps, many of which are still a part of the judging circuit today. The demands and expectations of a cheer judge has drastically increased, because judges are now subject to extensive training of the scoring rubric, deductions and safety rules. Despite an increase in revenue generated as a result of greater participation in the sport, cheer judges’ salaries have not increased. In fact, judges have seen a downturn in the level of pay since the buyout of competition companies by JamBrands and Varsity. In addition to lower salaries, judges are also required to work longer hours with little or no rest periods. In essence, the sport of cheerleading has become a multi-million dollar professional business, but the “camp staff” mentality of how judges are treated has remained the same.

HISTORY OF JUDGES SURVEY Adjudicators of the sport of All Star Cheerleading have been absent from the discussion and decision making process as it relates to pay, working conditions and the overall direction of the sport. Judges have expressed opinions behind closed doors for fear that industry leaders would blacklist outspoken judges from the sport.


The purpose of the survey is to provide a mechanism to open the door of communication as well as provide positive constructive feedback to the industry. The survey also provides for the following: • • • •

Allows judges to convey their opinions without fear of reprisal from the leaders in the cheer industry. Provides for concrete suggestions for change that are backed by data. Represents an overall opinion of a large sector of the cheer adjudication pool. Provides data that will justify changes to current pay and working condition practices that will aid in bringing cheer competition companies into compliance with Independent Contractor laws set forth by The Department of Labor. Prevents a mass exodus of trained highly skilled judges from the sport of cheerleading.

SURVEY METHODOLOGY Questions were developed based on various issues raised by judges. These issues include the following subjects: • • • • • •

Demographic data Pay Payment practices Hours worked Training and knowledge of rubric Opinions about the Varsity All Star Association

The survey was disseminated using the following methods: • • • •

The survey was disseminated on June 11, 2013 and closed on June 19, 2013. The data was collected using an online tool. Judges were not required to answer all questions. Participants took the survey under the auspices of anonymity.

Judges were asked questions in the following format: • • •

Multiple choice (choose one) Multiple choice (choose all that apply) Range question

Data was analyzed using the IBM SPSS Statistics. Text analysis was analyzed using IBM SPSS Text Analytics. It is estimated that there are approximately 250 judges in the All Star Cheerleading Industry judging pool. The number of judges participating in this survey total 106, and as a result, the response rate of this survey is estimated to be 42%. This is a strong response rate for a first time survey because the typical satisfaction response rate of this type usually yield a rate between 10-15% (Survey Gizmo, 2013). Because judges were not required to answer all questions, the survey contains nonresponse data. Each question in the results will refer to the number and percentage of participants answering the individual questions.

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


DEMOGRAPHIC DATA When participants were asked, how many years have you judged All Star cheerleading, 36% stated that they have judged 610 years and 29% stated 11-15 years. This data suggests that 65% of survey participants range from intermediate to elite level judges (Refer to Question 2 of Survey Data Appendix). Intermediate level judges have consistently judged levels 1-3 and elite level judges have judged levels 1-5 consistently. When asked the question over the course of your judging career, which competition companies have you judged, 70% answered they have judged for Varsity All Star, 62% answered Jam Brands and 45% stated Spirit Sports (Refer to Question 3 of Survey Data Appendix). It can be assumed from this data the vast majority of judges have judged both Varsity and Jam Brands, which are the two largest competition companies in the US, at some point in their careers.

TRAINING Survey participants were asked a series of questions regarding the training they have received. Of the 88 participants that answered the question, the responses were considered mostly positive (62% or higher) as it relates to the rubric, score sheet, use of the computer as well as how the training impacted their judging abilities. However, 50% of those answering the question, answered negatively about the feedback they received at the conclusion of the competition (refer to Fig. 1). This information suggests that judges are interested in hearing positive constructive feedback to supplement the training they receive. Providing feedback will also allow judges to gauge their level of knowledge and to help focus subsequent training on a judges’ area of weakness. Judging feedback also helps eliminate identify judges who cannot or will not improve their judging skills. Fig. 1: Range Questions Based on Training Received during the 2012-2013 Competition Season Number of Responses I need training each year to keep up with changes to the scoring rubric

3%

When required to use a computer, I receive appropriate training on how to use the judging application

6%

12%

15%

7%

I have been properly trained on the score sheet

2%

I have been properly trained on the skills rubric

2%

I have a good understanding of the rules set forth by USASF

1% 6% 6%

10%

21%

32%

11%

35% 26%

23%

Overall, I feel the training I have received from competition 5% 6% companies has positively impacted my judging abilities = Strongly Disagree

26%

9%

12%

I receive constructive feedback on my judging skill at the conclusion of competitions

31%

= Somewhat Disagree

27%

21%

20%

= Neutral

18%

46%

= Somewhat Agree

Rating Score*

36%

88

3.9

37%

88

3.8

45%

88

4.1

38%

88

4.0

59%

88

4.4

9%

88

2.6

20%

88

3.7

= Strongly Agree

Providing feedback reinforces a positive work atmosphere and collaborative work environment. Positive motivation, including increased workplace opportunities, is more effective than instilling fear or making threats (Steinmetz 1983).

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RUBRIC When participants were asked their opinion of the scoring rubric, the 88 participants that answered the question, answered positively on each of the questions. For example, 41% answered positively that the rubric promoted safety, 43% answered positively that the rubric promotes mastery of skill at each level and 33% state the rubric is clear and easy to understand (refer to Fig. 2). However with regard to how midseason rubric changes are communicated, 52% answered negatively. In addition, 65% of participants answered negatively when asked their opinion if all companies have the same interpretation of the skills rubric. This data suggests that the rubric does a good job promoting safety and mastery of skill. However, when clarifications occur midseason, all Brands should consider a more meaningful method of disseminating updates. In addition, judges would like to see better training and interpretation communication to event producers and brand owners to prevent their own interpretations of the skills rubric. Verbatim analysis supports the suggestion of Event Producers impacting competition outcomes as a result of their own interpretations of the skills rubric. Reducing the amount of individualized changes of scores due to coach complaints, and keeps a clear consistent message and in turn, more standardized judging results across competition brands. Fig. 2: Range Questions Based on the Scoring Rubric during the 2012-2013 Competition Season Number of Responses

Answer The scoring rubric promotes safety

9%

The scoring rubric enforces mastery of skill at each competitive level

11%

The scoring rubric is clear and easy to understand

12%

14%

10%

Mid season rubric changes are communicated in a meaningful way All companies have the same interpretation of the skills rubric = Strongly Disagree

13%

= Somewhat Disagree

27%

7% 19%

23%

88

2.6

9%

88

2.5

5%

88

2.3

9% 3%

88

1.7

88

1.4

28% 29%

32% = Neutral

14% 34%

13% 11%

32% 5% 5% = Somewhat Agree

Rating Score*

= Strongly Agree

COMPENSATION Participants were asked questions about the amount of pay they received for their services. When asked on average, how much are you paid for a one day competition, 54% answered that they received $100-$199 for a one day competition. When asked how much they receive for a two day competition, 42% answered that they received $300-$399. When asked how long did it take to receive compensation, of the 86 participants answering, 55% of participants stated they received compensation at the conclusion the competition they worked. However, 44% of participants stated they did not receive their compensation until two weeks or more after the competition. This data suggests that there are inconsistencies in the way companies are processing payment for their services. Verbatim analysis identified the following concerns amongst judges: • •

The amount of pay is not predetermined and agreed upon by both parties – Judges mentioned that the amount discussed before accepting a job was different than the amount actually received. Judges are not aware of how much they will be paid until after the competition is completed and in most cases when this has occurred, judges would not have accepted the job if they were aware of the amount of pay.

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


The Compensation policies of the US Gymnastics Association Officials was reviewed in order to establish an adjudicator compensation industry standard. US Gymnastics Association Officials are compensated $130 per session (US Gymnastics Association, 2012), which would be the equivalent to each division in All Star Cheerleading. In addition, cheer competition companies outside of the US provide significantly higher pay and require less hours of work. For example, Cheer Evolution, a Canadian Cheer Brand, pays $1,200 for a two day competition.

HOURS OF WORK Survey participants were asked a series of questions regarding the number of hours they worked and the number of breaks they received while performing judging services. Of the 82 participants answering the question, how many hours are you required to work, 73% of survey participants answered that they work 8 to 12 hours and 26% stated they work 12 hours or more. This data suggests that the vast majority of participants of this survey work beyond a normal 8 hour work day, often two days in a row. When participants were asked the question, how long are your lunch breaks during a cheer competition, 55% responded that they received a 20 to 40 minute break for lunch and 29% responded they received less than 20 minutes. This data suggests that despite working greater than 8 hours each day, officials are receiving less than a full hour for lunch. Research has established a correlation between the number of hours worked and the level of output. When workers go beyond the typical 8 hour work day, their optimal level of productivity decreases drastically. One reason is that workers simply become less efficient the longer they go past a typical 8 hour work day. Their maximum efficiency during any given work day may become substantially less than what it was during normal working hours as their work hours increase. Thus, overworked employees may simply be substantially less productive to the extent that the additional hours they are working provide no benefit (and, in fact, are detrimental). In addition to a decrease in the level of productivity by the number of hours worked, worker burnout and disengagement is a contributing factor to judges’ dissatisfaction with working conditions. Burnout is defined as the suffering of workers from exhaustion (physical energy) and disengagement (emotional energy) necessary to perform work tasks (Jaber, Al-Zoubi; 2012). Sensory considerations for loud music, low level lighting and distance of the stage could have an impact on the judges’ concentration. In addition, requirements of travel, late night meetings and early report times also have an impact on judge productivity. The verbatim data received from judges stated that the number of hours they are required to work is excessive. Many judges have full time jobs and work 40 hours per week in addition to officiating cheer competitions on weekends. Long work hours on the weekend in addition to their full time work schedules contributes to exhaustion, worker burnout and disengagement. Verbatim response suggest a number of retirements will occur as a result.

TRAVEL REIMBURSEMENT The survey yielded predominantly negative responses when questions were asked about travel reimbursement. When asked if participants were compensated for their time traveling to and from competition, of the 82 responding to the question, 72% answered negatively, 51% answered negatively about baggage fees, and 44% answered negatively about dining expenses (refer to Fig. 3). Verbatim responses suggested that brands have varying policies even when they exist under the same Varsity umbrella. The data suggests a desire that Varsity and Jam Brands to have a more consistent travel reimbursement policy that covers all expenses incurred by judges.

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Fig. 3: Range Questions Based on Travel Reimbursement during the 2012-2013 Competition Season Number of Responses

Answer I am compensated for the time I spend traveling to and from competitions

47%

25%

I am reimbursed for my baggage fees

56%

I am reimbursed for my parking fees I am reimbursed for mileage of competitions more than 40 miles away from my home

36% 19%

10%

10%

The per diem I receive covers my dining expenses for my entire trip I receive catered meals at competitions = Strongly Disagree

= Somewhat Disagree

20% = Neutral

18%

13%

14% 2%

82

2.0

10% 2%

82

1.9

10%

82

2.6

19%

82

3.2

14%

82

2.6

19% 3%

82

2.0

82

3.0

23% 30%

25%

48% 18%

12%

19%

34%

I am reimbursed for tolls

15%

9%

24% 3%

10% = Somewhat Agree

Rating Score*

14%

42%

7%

= Strongly Agree

The travel policies of judging officials for Tennis and Figure Skating was reviewed to obtain an officiating industry standard. Officials of these sports work directly with a contracted Travel partner to select their arrangements. Giving officials control over their travel arrangements allows for scheduling their judging activities in accordance with their full time profession. In addition, judging officials are given a daily per diem. All miscellaneous travel expenses, such as parking, baggage and mileage are also reimbursed. This policy is available to all judges and officials participating in a sanctioned event. (USTA, 2013). When given the opportunity to provide verbatim feedback, judges commented about inconsistencies with the overall travel policy of Varsity. In particular, judges experienced problems with the following: • • • •

Late travel Information – Travel instructions which include airline, airport transfers and reporting instructions were received as late as the day before the event. Hotel deposit requirements of $400 to $600 – At the Spirit Sports event in Palm Springs, judges were asked for a room deposit $400-$600 despite the room being paid for by Varsity. Airport and Venue Transfers – Judges mentioned inconsistencies in the airport and venue pick up. Judges often were left stranded and had to incur costs by obtaining a cab. Room sharing – judges mentioned that this philosophy is archaic and represents a summer camp mentality. Judges view themselves as professional independent contractors. Business typically do not require contractors to room with other contractors and cheerleading judging should not be an exception.

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


JUDGING PANELS Judges were asked a series of questions as it relates to the numbers and types of people hired to judge. When presented with the statement Competition companies hire the appropriate number of judges for their competitions, of the 82 judges responding, 46% answered negatively, 41% answered positively and 10% answered neutral. Of the 82 people that answered this question, the data is split amongst those answering positively and negatively (refer to Fig. 4). Fig. 4: Range Questions Based on the Judging Panels during the 2012-2013 Competition Season Number of Responses

Answer Competition companies hire the appropriate number of judges for the number of teams competing

20%

I am able to stay alert and focused through the entire competition

26%

14%

I receive the appropriate number of breaks

32% 26%

I receive the appropriate length of lunch break to eat and feel refreshed Being able to concentrate is important to judging results = Strongly Disagree

10%

35% 6%

30%

82

2.8

7%

82

2.9

13%

20% 3%

82

2.4

10%

21% 2%

82

2.3

80%

82

4.6

12% 35% 34%

32%

4% 2% 1% 10% = Somewhat Disagree

= Neutral

Rating Score*

= Somewhat Agree

= Strongly Agree

When commenting about the statement I am able to stay alert and focused during the competition 46% answered negatively and 39% answered positively. This data shows that the majority of people taking the survey do not feel they are able to stay alert and focused. Verbatim data suggests that this is a result of the number of hours required to work. When presented with the statement, I receive the appropriate amount of breaks 56% responded negatively. When asked about the appropriate length of a lunch break, 64% answered negatively. This data suggests that having the right amount of time to take a break to regain composure is important to those answering the survey. When asked if being able to concentrate is important to judging, results show 80% answered positively to this question. This data suggests that having the right number of judges so that panels can have adequate breaks, especially for lunch, is essential to accuracy in judging results. This is also supported by verbatim responses of participants.

VARSITY ALL STAR ASSOCIATION Communication about the Varsity All Star Association (VASA) at the time of the release of the survey was limited. Participants did not have adequate knowledge about the Association and what it means to their opportunity to judge, their training, and their pay. Therefore the results of the questions asked regarding the association are mostly neutral. When participants were asked if they felt VASA will select judges based on merit, of the 82 judges responding to this question, 38% answered negatively and 35% were neutral. Several verbatim responses spoke to the issue of judging selection. Responses seem to suggest that judges are not selected on merit, but rather their relationship and standing with the organization for which they adjudicate.

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Fig. 5: Range Questions Based on the Varsity All Star Association during the 2012-2013 Competition Season Number of Responses

Answer The Varsity All Star Judges Association will select judges for competitions based on merit

15%

The Varsity All Star Judges Association will pay me appropriately for my expertise

18%

The Varsity All Star Judges Association will provide training that will improve my judging skill

7%

8%

The Varsity All Star Judges Association will improve the integrity of judging results

10%

The Varsity All Star Judges Association will contribute to the improvement of the sport of cheerleading

9%

I will join the Varsity All Star Association

35%

31%

7%

The Varsity All Star Judges Association will improve the quality of judging results

= Strongly Disagree

23%

34%

45%

14%

19%

37%

12%

= Somewhat Disagree

34% = Neutral

7%

82

2.8

7%

8%

82

2.6

9%

82

3.3

24% 6%

82

3.0

7%

82

3.0

9%

82

3.2

15%

82

3.3

24%

39%

13% 4%

18%

30%

46%

= Somewhat Agree

29%

31%

Rating Score*

= Strongly Agree

Participants were asked the question, Will VASA pay me appropriately for my expertise, 49% answered negatively and 34% answered neutral. Verbatim data provided spoke to the fact that despite an increase in the number hours worked, pay has decreased. Many state they will not return to judging for Varsity and will look for other judging opportunities. When participants were asked the question would, VASA would improve their judging skill, 45% answered neutral and 39% answered positively. This data is consistent with the earlier questions surrounding training and if judges felt they were appropriately trained. Verbatim data suggest that judges feel like they have received more than enough training, but are not sure whether the VASA will increase their knowledge base. When asked the question if, VASA would improve the quality of judging results, 46% answered neutral while 36% answered positively. When asked if VASA would improve the integrity of the judging results 37% were neutral and 31% were positive. Verbatim data was mixed on whether or not VASA would play a role in improving the quality and integrity of results. Participants were also asked if they felt that, VASA would improve the sport of cheerleading, 38% were neutral and 39% were positive. They were also asked if they will join VASA and 41% answered positively while 35% are neutral.

TREATMENT OF JUDGES Participants of the survey were asked a series of questions about how they are treated while adjudicating. When presented with the statement, I am treated fairly by event producers, of the 79 judges responding, 70% answered positively. This data seems to suggest that judges feel respected by event producers.

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


When asked questions about judging selections, the results were mixed. When presented with the statement that, event producers select judges based on strength of knowledge, 45% answered negatively, however when presented with the statement, judges are select based on level expertise for high stakes competition, 55% answered positively. When asked if competition companies stand behind the decision of judges 47% answered positive and 37% answered negatively (refer to Fig. 6). Fig. 6 Based on Treatment of Judges during the 2012-2013 Judging Season Number of Responses

Answer I am treated with respect by competition company event producers

7%

13%

Competition companies select judges based on strength of knowledge

39%

18%

Competition companies selects judges based on level of expertise for their high stakes divisions

16%

Competition companies stand behind judging decisions

12%

Judges should have the final determination of the outcome of competitions Competition companies will use the results of this survey to improve working conditions for judges = Strongly Disagree

7%

5%

27%

17%

12%

= Somewhat Disagree

10%

21%

10%

15%

26%

29%

17%

37%

27%

21%

= Neutral

22%

= Somewhat Agree

29%

Rating Score*

31%

79

3.7

11%

79

2.8

26%

79

3.3

10%

79

3.1

56%

79

4.3

13%

79

3.1

= Strongly Agree

Verbatim analysis suggests that there is some discontent amongst the participants about how judges are selected and why they are selected. When presented with the statement, judges should have the final say, 87% answered positively to this statement. When asked if they felt the results of the survey would be used for improvement of judging conditions, 42% answered positively while 33% answered negatively. This data suggests there is a divide amongst the participants about whether or not they feel results of the judges’ survey will be used for the better of the judges working experience.

VERBATIM Of the 106 survey responses, 36 comments were received. The verbatim analysis for this survey was conducted in the following manner: • • •

Comments were analyzed and each assigned a category Data was sorted and organized by theme Comments with multiple themes were broken up into their respective themes

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Fig. 7 displays the number and percentage of each theme in the verbatim responses. Keep in mind that the total number of respondents providing text data does not equal the number of participants. Fig. 7: Verbatim Analysis: Number and Percentage of Total Comments Theme

Number

Percentage

Brands

2

5%

Communication

3

8%

Ethics

6

15%

Judge Selection

2

5%

10

26%

Positive

2

5%

Hours

2

5%

Room sharing

4

10%

Rubric

4

10%

Survey

1

3%

Training

1

3%

Varsity

2

5%

39

100%

Pay

Total

The above figure shows that 26% of the verbatim responses were focused on pay and compensation. The comments were centered on the amount of pay and Varsity’s payment practices. Several judges were forced to wait two months for their pay when it was originally promised within two weeks. In addition, judges have noted that since Varsity took over, their pay has been reduced considerably. Many do not know how much they are getting paid until they receive their checks in the mail. The second highest percentage of comments were based on ethics. Several comments were presented regarding the treatment of judges by high ranking Varsity employees. Judges commented that they were treated and spoken to in a disrespectful manner on numerous occasions. Judges also commented that scoring changes have been made by Varsity and Event Producers to accommodate large gyms. Room Sharing and Rubric received 10% of the comments. Judges feel that room sharing ultimately affects scoring because of varying sleep habits, lifestyle and health issues, etc. Room sharing with complete strangers is unacceptable and in some cases unsafe. Judges are professional experts and should be treated as such and should not be treated with a camp staff mentality. Comments regarding the rubric also received 10% of the comments. Judges regard the rubric as a matter of counting skills which does not allow for judges impart their opinion of the how the skills are performed. Comments received stated that the current rubric does not allow for subjectivity and judges’ opinion. Taking away judges’ opinion does not allow for assessment of technique and creativity and places the bulk of the score on the number of completed skills. This is a disservice to teams as it does not promote excellence in skill execution or promote safety. As a result of many of these comments, judges stated that they would not be returning to judge in the future.

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CONCLUSIONS The results of this survey provides an outline of the comments, issues and concerns of cheer judges as it relates to their adjudication experiences. It is important to note that these issues have been raised with Event Producers by individuals in the past. It is not enough to look at each concern as an individual isolated incident. When exploring these issues in their totality and with fact based data, we have a clearer understanding of their impact on scoring and ultimately judging results. Historically, it has been believed that faulty and inconsistent judging results stemmed from poor knowledge of the rubric by judges. This survey concludes that inconsistencies that exist in scoring results are not a function of lack of education but a function of the following factors: • • • • • •

Judge fatigue and burnout Decreased pay Inconsistent interpretation of the rubric by Event Producers Nonexistent judges skill assessment Judge retirement Level of judging experience

Judges commented that they felt they have received adequate training; however, they are lacking constructive feedback about their judging skills. Constructive feedback for judge abilities is essential for increasing the level of knowledge of judges. It focuses their training to their specific knowledge based needs. This is especially important for new judges or judges in a category outside their comfort zone. Despite wanted feedback, most judges feel that their training is adequate and that they have a solid understanding of the rubric. However, changes that occur in the rubric midseason create inconsistencies across brands. This inconsistency prevents teams from being able to assess their performance from event to event. It also gives teams the false impression that judges do not have adequate interpretations of the rules. Inconsistencies in rules interpretation by Event Producers also has a negative impact on results across brands. For example, Event Producer A may call a stunt that loses its balance but does not fall a bobble, and Event Producer B may call that same stunt a fall. This inconsistency in this deduction call not only affects the final score, but it creates differences in results across brands. This prevents coaches from having an accurate pictures of their teams’ performance. Compensation has become a subject of concern amongst judges for several reasons. Judges feel their pay is inadequate, below industry standard and is not justified by the number of hours they work. Failure to disclose the amount a judge will be paid prevents a judge from determining whether or not there is a financial pay off in accepting the position. In addition to low amount of pay, the failure of competition companies to reimburse all expenses further cuts into the financial bottom line of a judges’ wages. In other words, the already low pay that judges receive is reduced drastically by expenses assumed by judges. The survey results also uncovered the issue of ethics of Event Producers. Judges have stated that Event Producers change scores or reverse deduction and safety calls. It is believed by many adjudicators that the motivation for reversing calls by Event Producers is financially driven. Large gyms that bring multiple teams threaten not to return to their competition as a result of a deduction or safety call and ask for the call to be reversed. As a result, Event Producers are placed in the precarious position of having to choose between a judge call and their financial bottom line. The Varsity All Star Association is an attempt to centralize the training and judge selection process in hopes that it will aid in reducing fluctuations in results. However, the VASA does not address the issues and concerns of judges regarding pay, work hours and room sharing. Typically, when companies train their workers, all expenses are covered and workers are paid for their time while being trained. Cheer competition companies should assume the cost of training as well as any 11 | P a g e

United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


travel cost associated with training particularly due to the various rules and standards i.e. score sheets organizations may have. In general, it can be said that job satisfaction, fairness and autonomy in any work environment will have a positive impact on morale, motivation, commitment and engagement. Improving these areas of concern will reduce burnout and discontent, bringing the best and brightest adjudicators back to the sport year in and year out while ultimately providing a positive influence and a consistency of scoring results. The survey also highlights the issue of compensation and effects it has on the judging pool. Increasing the amount of work while reducing pay has a negative impact on judging results. The best and brightest in cheer judging are deciding to either judge for non-Varsity brands or are refusing to judge entirely. The results of judge retirement have had a far reaching impact especially in the 2012-2013 competition season. Companies that normally enjoy having more than enough judges were scrambling in the last weeks leading up to competitions to contract judges. The results of this survey demonstrate that this is a function of low and inconsistent payment practices as well as the low comfort level of the requirements of judging. It also suggests that many judges on the panel are “not highly qualified”. Judges love the sport of cheerleading and the job they perform as an adjudicator. The vast majority of judges approach their job in a very professional manner, take great steps to ensure their adjudicating is fair and accurate, and take their position in the sport very seriously. However, in recent years, the concerns of judges, the impact of working conditions, autonomy, as well as a lack of professionalism of Brand owners, have diminished the love and desire for judging. Many are working professionals in their full time professions and understand how professionalism and respect influence their worklife balance. They would rather retire from the sport they love, then continue to work under these uncomfortable conditions. Because of the high learning curve of obtaining the skill necessary to judge, especially at the higher levels (levels 4 or and 5), it is imperative that competition companies address the issues outlined in this report. Losing a large part of the judges who are considered to be high performing at the elite level will have detrimental effects on scoring results for the next several years to replenish.

RECOMMENDATIONS Based on the results provided above, the analyst of the survey recommends the following: •

Standardize the judge selection process across brands – Judges should be selected by a centralized process based on experience and level of expertise and each level. This removes arbitrary selection based on relationships and loyalty to each brand. For instance, implement a test for each level to ensure that adjudicators have the knowledge required to judge certain levels under the category of their expertise.

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Implement a judge appraisal process- Develop a process that assesses the strengths and weaknesses of each judge. o The process should set a baseline standard for judges to meet at each judging level of their expertise. o The process should analyze judging calls to ensure accuracy. For example, spot check deductions and safety calls. o The process should include targeted training to address a judges individual improvement opportunities. For example, if a judge does not have strong comment writing skills, provide training to improve this skill. o The process should reward those who improve and excel with higher level judging positions. For example, if a judge is consistently at a particular level, allow the judge to test for the next level above. o The process should allow for termination of judges that do not meet the standard after receiving supplemental training. Note: This should be applied to each specific Brand’s scoring system.

Develop more meaningful communication of rule changes and clarifications - As midseason rule changes and clarifications to the rubric occur, use technology such as video and pod-cast to disseminate information.

Develop a judging organization that is separate and distinct from competition brands – The judging organization should control the selection and placement of judges for each competition. This will ensure the selection of judges will be based on merit as opposed to relationships with event producers and owners. It will also ensure that the best judges are selected especially for high stakes events.

Provide for a Head Official at each event – Head Officials should have complete control over the outcome of the event. Removing control of event outcome from Event Producers alleviates the burden of making a decision that affects their financial bottom line, and thus gym owners cannot threaten not to return to events in order to influence the results.

Implement a consistent travel reimbursement policy - All expenses incurred such as baggage, airport parking and mileage should be fully reimbursed, no more than 14 days after the conclusion of an event (I would write: …fully reimbursed no more than 7 days after all receipts are submitted and no more than 14 days after the conclusion of an event if no Direct Deposit account was provided [See Voucher System below]). A legitimate per diem policy based on the city location (See General Services Administration (GSA) per diem rates) should be adhered to. For example, per diem for NYC should be higher than Lexington, KY.

Develop on online voucher system – This system should allow judges to submit invoices for pay and receipts for reimbursements for their services online. Once vouchers are received, competition brands should remit pay through direct deposit for pay within 3 days of the conclusion of the event , if not paid onsite, and for travel reimbursement no later than 7 business days.

Develop a travel arrangement site that gives judges control over their flight selection – Most Brands have a travel agency access which allows them to plan trips through specific travel sites. Allowing judges’ access to these sites allows judges to incorporate their full time work schedules with their judging schedules more effectively.

Develop a pay negotiation process - A method of negotiation for salaries based on level of experience and established reputation instead of blanket pay for all judges. The amount of pay should be determined and agreed upon in writing before the event travel begins.

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Provide Judges Break Rooms for all competitions – Judges should have access to break rooms away from coaches and competitors to eat and take a break.

Implement a judging hour maximum – Judges should judge only 8 hours or less in order to prevent fatigue, which in turn impairs decision making and concentration. Judges should never be required to eat meals at the judges table or sacrifice restroom breaks due to scheduling issues.

Close registration of competitions the week before scheduled competitions – This allows competition companies to secure the right amount of judges, give proper notice to add panels and negotiate pay if necessary. It also prevents judges from having to work over the 8 hour time limit.

Provide a pay amount consistent with industry standard – Gymnastics, Ice Skating and Tennis level of pay should be considered when determining a more appropriate amount. Pay should be reflective of the amount of hours worked as well as level of experience and the level being judged. For example, highly qualified judges pay should be set at $50 per hour (generally levels 4 & 5), intermediate at $40 per hour (generally levels 4.2 & 3 for not highly qualified) and novice at $30 (I was making more than this as a Sixers dancer in 1993. $20 is too low) per hour (generally levels 1 & 2 for not highly qualified). Any judge who judges at the level 4 and 5 level anytime during the cheer season is considered “highly qualified” and should be paid at the top scale. A highly qualified judge may judge levels 1 and 2 and still would receive $50 per hour due to their qualifications. All judges working specialty national competitions such as Worlds and The Summit, should be paid at the top range at $50 per hour with no level distinctions due to the nature of the competitions. Participants are either invited and/or considered to be the best in the world at their levels. The best qualified judges should be adjudicating at these competitions and would earn top pay. With an 8 hour schedule, highly qualified judges would be paid $400 or more per day. Pay needs to be more consistent with officiating industry standards as well as International Cheer competition standards.

**

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. "Cheerleading." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 13 July 2013. Web. 14 July 2013. 2. "Survey Response Rates." Online Survey Software Survey Gizmo Survey Response Rates Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 July 2013. 3. Steinmetz, Lawrence L. Nice Guys Finish Last: Management Myths and Reality. Boulder, CO: Horizon Publications, 1983. Print. 4. 2012-2013 Women's Program Rules and Policies. Rep. USA Gymnastics, n.d. Web. 15 July 2013. 5. Crunch mode: Programming to the extreme, The Relationship Between Hours Worked and Productivity, Retrieved on July 9, 2013 from http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu/~eroberts/cs181/projects/200405/crunchmode/econ-hours-productivity.html 6. Jaber, Fares, and Mawan Al-Zoubi. "The Relationship between Work Burnout and Employees’ Mental Health as Measured by GHQ-28: A Field Study Using a Sample of University Lecturers." The International Journal of Business and Management 7 (2012): n. pag. Print. 7. "Welcome to U.S. Figure Skating." U.S. Figure Skating Travel and Expense Polity. U.S. Figure Skating, 01 Mar. 2012. Web. 15 July 2013. 8. "Travel | USTA." USTA Travel Policy. United States Tennis Association, n.d. Web. 15 July 2013.

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Appendix I – Survey Response Data Q1: Judging Positions Held by Respondents* by Percentage of Respondents

Panel Judge

95%

Point Deduction

68%

Safety

51%

Head Judge

66%

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

90%

100%

*Respondents were given the option to check all that apply, therefore percentage total will be greater than 100%

Q2: Number of Years as an All Star Judge by Percentage of Respondents 0 to 5 years

14%

6 to 10 years

36%

11-15 years

29%

16 years or more

16%

No Response

5% 0%

5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

40%

Series 1

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Q3: Competition Companies Judged for by Respondents* by Percentage of Respondents Varsity

69%

NCA

35%

Jam Brands

62%

United Spirit Association

9%

WSF

37%

Spirit Sports

45%

Cheersport

43%

American Championships

28%

Cheer Power

19%

Spirit Cheer

23%

One Up

9%

Cheer and Dance Extreme

21%

All Star Challenge

25%

Spirit Festival

25%

Athletic Championships

42%

Pac West

16%

Champion Spirit Group

27%

Other

46% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

*Respondents were given the option to check all that apply, therefore percentage total will be greater than 100%

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Q4: Judges Opinion of Statements Related to Training by Percentage, Number of Responses and Overall Rating Number of Responses

Answer I need training each year to keep up with changes to the scoring rubric When required to use a computer, I receive appropriate training on how to use the judging application I have been properly trained on the score sheet I have been properly trained on the skills rubric I have a good understanding of the rules set forth by USASF I receive constructive feedback on my judging skill at the conclusion of competitions Overall, I feel the training I have received from competition companies has positively impacted my judging abilities

3%

12%

6%

7%

2%

10%

2%

12%

15%

31%

21%

26%

9%

32%

11%

35%

1% 6% 6%

26%

23%

5% 6%

27%

21%

20%

36%

88

3.9

37%

88

3.8

45%

88

4.1

38%

88

4.0

59%

88

4.4

9%

88

2.6

20%

88

3.7

18%

46%

Rating Score*

Q5: Range Questions Based on the Scoring Rubric during the 2012-2013 Competition Season Number of Responses

Answer The scoring rubric promotes safety

9%

The scoring rubric enforces mastery of skill at each competitive level

11%

The scoring rubric is clear and easy to understand

All companies have the same interpretation of the skills rubric

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12%

14%

10%

Mid season rubric changes are communicated in a meaningful way

= Strongly Disagree

13%

= Somewhat Disagree

27%

7% 19%

23%

88

2.6

9%

88

2.5

5%

88

2.3

9% 3%

88

1.7

88

1.4

28% 29%

32% = Neutral

14% 34%

13% 11%

32% 5% 5% = Somewhat Agree

Rating Score*

= Strongly Agree

United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Q6: Average Pay for One Day Competition by Percentage of Respondents Less than $100

0%

$100-$199

54%

$200-$299

25%

Greater than $300

0%

No Responses

19% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

Q7: Average Pay for a Two Day Competition by Percentage of Respondents Less than $200

2%

$200-$299

11%

$300-$399

42%

$400-$499

22%

Greater than $500

5%

No responses

19% 0%

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5%

10%

15%

20%

25%

30%

35%

40%

45%

United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Q8: Average Length of Time to Receive Compensation by Percentage of Respondents

At the conclusion of the competition

55%

Within a week of the competition

24%

More than a week after the competition

44%

0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

Q9: Range Questions Based on Travel Reimbursement during the 2012-2013 Competition Season Number of Responses

Answer I am compensated for the time I spend traveling to and from competitions

47%

25%

I am reimbursed for my baggage fees

56%

I am reimbursed for my parking fees I am reimbursed for mileage of competitions more than 40 miles away from my home

36% 19%

10%

10%

The per diem I receive covers my dining expenses for my entire trip I receive catered meals at competitions = Strongly Disagree

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= Somewhat Disagree

20% = Neutral

18%

13%

14% 2%

82

2.0

10% 2%

82

1.9

10%

82

2.6

19%

82

3.2

14%

82

2.6

19% 3%

82

2.0

82

3.0

23% 30%

25%

48% 18%

12%

19%

34%

I am reimbursed for tolls

15%

9%

24% 3%

10% = Somewhat Agree

Rating Score*

14%

42%

7%

= Strongly Agree

United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Q10: Average Number of Hours Required to Judge by Percentage of Respondents Less than 8 hours

9%

8 to 12 hours

73%

More than 12 hours

26% 0%

10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

70%

80%

Q11: Average Length of Lunch Break by Percentage of Respondents Less than 20 minutes

29%

20 to 40 minutes

55%

40 to 60 minutes

20%

More than 60 minutes

2% 0%

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10%

20%

30%

40%

50%

60%

United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Q12: Range Questions Based on the Judging Panels during the 2012-2013 Competition Season Number of Responses

Answer Competition companies hire the appropriate number 20% of judges for the number of teams competing I am able to stay alert and 14% focused through the entire competition I receive the appropriate 26% number of breaks I receive the appropriate 30% length of lunch break to eat and feel refreshed Being able to concentrate is 4% 2% 1% 10% important to judging results

26%

82

2.8

7%

82

2.9

13%

20% 3%

82

2.4

10%

21% 2%

82

2.3

80%

82

4.6

10%

32%

35% 6%

12%

35%

34%

Rating Score*

32%

Q13: Range Questions Based on the Varsity All Star Association during the 2012-2013 Competition Season Number of Responses

Answer The Varsity All Star Judges Association will select judges for competitions based on merit

15%

The Varsity All Star Judges Association will pay me appropriately for my expertise

18%

The Varsity All Star Judges Association will provide training that will improve my judging skill

7%

8%

The Varsity All Star Judges Association will improve the integrity of judging results

10%

The Varsity All Star Judges Association will contribute to the improvement of the sport of cheerleading

9%

= Strongly Disagree

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35%

31%

7%

The Varsity All Star Judges Association will improve the quality of judging results

I will join the Varsity All Star Association

23%

34%

45%

14%

19%

37%

12%

= Somewhat Disagree

34% = Neutral

7%

82

2.8

7%

8%

82

2.6

9%

82

3.3

24% 6%

82

3.0

7%

82

3.0

9%

82

3.2

15%

82

3.3

24%

39%

13% 4%

18%

30%

46%

= Somewhat Agree

29%

31%

Rating Score*

= Strongly Agree

United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Q13: Based on Treatment of Judges during the 2012-2013 Judging Season Number of Responses

Answer I am treated with respect by competition company event producers

7%

13%

Competition companies select judges based on strength of knowledge

16%

Competition companies stand behind judging decisions

12%

Judges should have the final determination of the outcome of competitions Competition companies will use the results of this survey to improve working conditions for judges

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39%

18%

Competition companies selects judges based on level of expertise for their high stakes divisions

= Strongly Disagree

7%

5%

27%

17%

12%

= Somewhat Disagree

10%

21%

10%

15%

26%

29%

17%

37%

27%

21%

= Neutral

22%

= Somewhat Agree

29%

Rating Score*

31%

79

3.7

11%

79

2.8

26%

79

3.3

10%

79

3.1

56%

79

4.3

13%

79

3.1

= Strongly Agree

United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


Appendix II – Verbatim Results Answer

Respondent

Rules should apply to all judges, not just some. Anonymous I see a lot of judges on the panel that have connections to the team on the floor. The companies I judge for have high standards and stand by the judges decisions. I appreciate the pay, number of breaks and I hope that the information given here will provide input for an even better Anonymous 2013-14 season. I understand that there needs to be issues and maybe even changes addressed mid season but as a judge it's extremely fustrating when it's not clear, and consistent across the board, regardless of the cheer company or companies, cause in the end the only person/persons who take the hit are the Anonymous teams and that's not fair to them cause we as industry leaders can't get it together and get it right. I feel that we are in such a rush to get the info out that we don't take the time to get it right in the first place. Hotel and Overnight Roommate Pracitices: There needs to be consideration for sleeping and privacy issues for those who need them. We work 40 hours a week in our careers - and willfully judge on the weeekends. But to be subjected to sleeping with strangers or people who do not share similar sleeping conditions undermines the intention to have energetic & focused judges throughout the weekend. EP's need to understand judges with different sleeping habits, health issues, and or lifestyles will not Anonymous benefit from double occupancy stays. Loss of sleep will also mean there will be a loss of consistent focus and attention. Having separate rooming situations can also prevent judge/event producer gossip during the competition weekend. ONE SOLUTION: Using hotels that are cheaper and further away from competition centers. THese hotels could be cost effective and keep judges away from cheerleaders, parents, and coaches who will gossip, undermine fairplay, or risk competition integrity. I REALLY enjoy working for Epic Brands. I always feel adequately compensated for my time, respected by the judges coordinator and event managers, and not over-worked. They really try to schedule breaks with the judges in mind. At their national competition, they do take into consideration the expertise of the judges and put the best ones on the appropriate panels. On the other hand, I refuse to judge for JAM Brands any longer. The pay is minimal, the hours are looong with limited breaks, hardly anyone on the panels really knows the score sheet/rubric and I often feel like a slave instead of respected as a professional. I find they change scores when anyone complains and often without asking the judges. I don't know enough about the new Varsity Judge's Association to make knowledgeable judgements about it. There definitely needs to be a more universal training and qualification for judging. Tired of sitting next to judges who are judging just because they know so and so. I find there is a completely different judging experience based on the venue, and sometimes specific events, for which I judge. I feel there is not a consistency throughout the Varsity brands on pay. You judge for one company that compensates adequately for the work performed and the next weekend judge for a different varsity brand, work harder, work more hours with less breaks, and don't receive appropriate compensation in fact you are paid less (UCA Allstar was about $12/hr). I work for multiple companies and have started to judge for companies that treat me appropriately. I have seen the extremes on both sides. Companies should definitely be more accommodating to their judges who have full time jobs with travel requests. In previous years I have had to consume most of my vacation time to accommodate for a "cheaper fare". I now only work for companies who help accommodate me as I work hard to get it right. I also will only work for companies who hire other quality judges. It's who you know and what college cheer team your on to get to judge. Directors pick their friends not who's loyal to the company. Varsity is the absolute worst in paying their judges. I wanted almost 2 months to get paid! I can tell you for a fact that at NCA All Star Nationals, Cheer Sport Nationals and UCA All Star Nationals.. big gyms are granted extra lien because of how many teams they bring. NCA/Varsity will change scores of judges and not tell judges until the next day. NCA All Star Nationals last year 2012 "made" the judges change world rankings so that certain

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Anonymous

Anonymous

Anonymous

Anonymous

Anonymous

United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


teams traveling to Dallas got the Paid Bids. I complained about this to NCA and no one listened. Mr. X of Varsity lead the way in this change... Judges should not have to room with complete strangers. This does not always present itself to be Anonymous safe. we don't need high priced hotels that cost a lot of money. The problems I see is day 2. Many of the judges go out drinking. I have had to wake up judges and tell them the section of the score sheet they are judging is currently being performed at that moment. May responses... difficulty points remain the same so I do not need to pay attention. What if they changed the routine??

Anonymous

2nd problem is timing between teams. Many event companies do not have 2 panels and force you to keep them one behind the other. It is impossible to give team the correct difficulty scores when you do not have time to calculate them This year I was not selected to do any competitions for any Varsity Brand companies, even ones that I had judged for years for prior to them taking over. That being said, I judged many competitions, both nationally and internationally and didn't have any of the issues that I heard many of my friends talking about. I was always paid on time, supported in my decisions when judging and given Anonymous adequate breaks when needed. The companies that I worked for were very respectful and treated their judges with respect. If there were concerns regarding a scoring issue, it was brought back to the judge for an explanation and IF the judge was able to justify the score then it stood. I served on several World's bid judging panels and these were high level groups. The panel was given the adequate time to make the appropriate choices for who should receive the World's Bids. - Staffing Administration for the Brands can be a lot better. Communication is KEY and travel information to include confirmations should be provided at least 2 weeks prior to departure. All communication is very last minute and is not a good way to do business. - Competition companies need to keep in mind that working professionals are taking time away from their fulltime jobs to perform as service and should be compensated in that manner. Anonymous - Judges should receive their compensation at the event if they are Independent Contractors. They work has been completed. No one should have to wait almost 2 months to receive compensation. - The Brands need a consultant that understands the ends and outs of staffing because this is truly an HR component. I would be more than happy to render my services since I oversaw a staffing department for one of the major event producers. As a judge this season, I have never received more mistreatment than ever before. Because Varsity is dominating the market and buying out companies that I worked for, they have to follow Varsity's rules now. We are paid less; we have been stranded coming and going to the airport; been forced to pay a room deposit in the amount of $600 without notice; placed at hotels so far away from the venue while event officials stay at the hotel which is idiotic because judges can't go to their rooms to Anonymous rest on the brief breaks to relax and rest up to continue on & have to get up extra early to catch transportation; NOT BEING PAID UNTIL OVER A MONTH OR MORE AFTER THE EVENT! That was a constant issue this season. The pay was ridiculously low. Arriving at the venue at 7am and working until 10pm at night for only $180 while not telling the judges ahead of time that more teams were added. Therefore, not allowing the judge the option not to judge. It's a disgrace & can be considered SLAVE LABOR!! UCA/UDA paid the least and worked us the longest hours. Was very disappointed in this EP and will never judge for them again. I personally feel counting skills take away from the ability to see overall technique and causes a disservice to the team competing. I have sat by judges that finish counting and then turn to me and ask, "how was their tumbling technique?" That is sad!

Anonymous

I believe that judges need to be compensated more and have more of a say in travel times, etc. Respect for time and appropriate compensation both need to improve in order to continue to increase the quality of judging panels.

Anonymous

I do think most companies try to treat the judges as professionals. In several events in the past couple of years the services & pay the judges received has been reduced. I wish that cheer judges

Anonymous

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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


were treated more like other professionals. I do not like having to room with someone I do not know. I do not think reimbursement for gas is the way long distance travel should be handled. Judges are treated like third class citizens, being yelled and cursed at is unacceptable under any circumstances. Some of the judging coordinators lack the experience when dealing with a group of contracted employees and therefore lack propriety when speaking to them. I feel Varsity has a long way to go in this area and will lose quality judges. I also feel that Varsity will then have to hire Anonymous inexperienced judges which will then result in inaccurate scores and then snowball into gyms not wanting to come to their competitions and they'll will lose money as well as respect. If someone doesn't figure out that without quality judges there is no outstanding competitions then Varsity will be doomed. In the past I have always be treated as a knowledgable professional. This past year at one competition I was treated as a child and talked to like a second class citizen. This was by a Varsity employee, not the event owners.

Anonymous

It seems that since Varsity has overseen companies, that the working conditions and pay have gone downhill. I do not feel I am treated as a professional and I certainly am not paid as a professional. The individual companies try hard to make you feel appreciated but they are unable to show their appreciation because of Varsity's rules for pay, number of judges based on participants and perdium. It is sad when the kids that work the competition (watching to make sure no one pulls the fire alarm) from visiting cheer programs get paid the same as a judge who has to sit and provide meaningful critique to coaches for 8-10 hours straight! There should be a separate survey for each competition company.

Anonymous

I feel there should be a "rule" put in place that any competitions that have over 8 hours of judging involved should use a two-panel, division rotating panel.

Anonymous

There is a perception among companies---specifically Varsity that it's similar to a "good ol boy" network. If you're in you're IN---if you're OUT, it's hard to break through. It's less about how good you Anonymous are, but who you know and if you did staff, etc. And with Varsity being so large that should be addressed. Hopefully the association will alleviate this issue. As an All Star judge for many years, this past season was by far my worst experience. On numerous occasions I (along with the entire judging staff) experienced pure disrespect from a well known Varsity employee. On top of having to deal with that, I waited for more than a month to recieve compensation for one competition. I was not compensated correctly for baggage/travel fees as outlined and had to contact the event producer who was "unaware" of this compensation schedule. I Anonymous am uncertain if I will return to the judging panel next year. I have a deep passion for All Star Cheer and Dance but I refuse to be disrespected and regarded as a nobody. I believe the All-Star industry will see a serious decline in the quality of judges, as many of the experienced judges will choose not to return as a result of their bad experiences. Need improvement on CLEAR rubric understanding across the brands! Last season it was not clear at all - I was appalled to see the differences across the brands...

Anonymous

I hate the rubric's. I feel that it has taken away all creativity and the sport of cheerleading has become boring. I hope they will give this sport the freedom it deserves and give more of the opinion back to the judges, otherwise they should just calculate what teams are doing by computer and not Anonymous even have judges. All this counting is ridiculous. As a judge you miss so much because you needed to count every full or tuck on the floor. It is exhausting. The biggest complaint I have is that not all Varsity companies interpret the Varsity scoring rubric the same. When we were trained at the beginning of the season and told one thing that would change at Anonymous each competition. It needs to be a consistent interpretation across the board. For many of these questions it was hard to answer..some companies were good with payment and judging expertise and placing judges. While others were just horrible. It is sad but there are many companies I just do not judge for because of the way I've been treated or how horribly they have paid me. I don't expect a lot but I expect to be treated with respect as I do to others and get paid in a decent amount of time for the judging I have done.

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Anonymous

United States Cheer Judges Survey Results


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United States Cheer Judges Survey Results

United states cheer officials survey analysis results final 7 24  

Adjudicators of the sport of All Star Cheerleading have been absent from the discussion and decision making process as it relates to pay, wo...

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