2022/2023 Parent/Athlete Handbook
Welcome to Cheer Militia. The purpose of this handbook is to clearly outline the code of conduct and expectations for the season. We understand that some of the guidelines in this contract may seem excessive but it is for the benefit of the team and individual athlete.
The teams are all coached by experienced cheer and tumbling coaches. All coaches have gone through the USASF Green light safety background check. Our Athletes safety and progress are always our main concern.
We are excited for the upcoming cheer season and seeing all the progress our athletes make. We understand that communication is essential to have a successful program. To make this possible it is important that all parties make the effort to keep one another informed. Our goal is to keep all athletes engaged, focused, committed and driven to perform their best.
ATTENDANCE POLICY: Competitive Cheerleading is a demanding TEAM sport, and it is essential that all team members report to every practice; therefore, all practices are considered mandatory. During the course of the season (May through April), an athlete is permitted a total of SIX (6) absences per full-year season; two (2) absences during summer (not including pre-approved family vacations, June through August), and four (4) during winter (September through May). If an athlete exceeds those absences, a parent meeting will be held, regardless of reason, to reach a resolution. During the months of June, July and August, we adhere to our “mandatory practice” regimen because this is our team placement/building phase. We understand that people have vacations scheduled, so we ask that you promptly provide us with any expected date(s) of absence (es). Please keep in mind that athletes must also be ON TIME; if an athlete is more than 30 minutes late to practice, it will count as an unexcused absence. If you are running late to practice you MUST call and inform the gym.
COMPETITIONS ARE MANDATORY.
If an athlete is missing from practice it affects the entire stunt group. This is unfair to the team. We understand that absences are going to happen but we ask that they are kept to a minimum. We keep our practices at a minimum to make it more feasible to attend them all.
There are legitimate reasons for an athlete to miss practice (see below for excused absences). As such, if an athlete is going to miss a practice, a parent must contact the gym/team rep as far in advance as possible. Parents must understand that there are certain times when it is unacceptable to miss practice (i.e. mandatory clinics, choreography, 2 weeks prior to ANY showcase or competition). If your athlete is ill during choreography or clinics, he/she may still be responsible for at least coming to the gym to view the practices so he/she is aware of the necessary routine changes. We believe with adequate lead time and cooperation between coaches and parents, we will be able to resolve most potential conflicts.
TSC will handle all situations on a case-by-case basis. We will be fair and consistent; however, please be advised that final decisions are at the gym’s discretion and we ask that parents and team members support the gym’s decision(s) – because it will be in the best interest of the TEAM.
Practices two weeks prior to an event are extremely important to the building, peaking, timing and execution of a routine. All practices two weeks prior to any competition MUST be attended in order to maintain your position on the team. Absences during the 2 weeks prior to any event may be met with the removal of the athlete from the event.
Excused absences include, but not limited to: ------------------------------------------------------- • Death in family • School-related function that reflects a grade • A contagious illness (sickness, pink eye, lice – must provide a doctor’s note)
Unexcused absences include, but are not limited to: ----------------------------------------------- • Injuries (athlete is still expected to attend practices and competitions (in full uniform) • Sickness • Social events (dances, birthday parties, concerts, banquets, family reunions, weddings, etc.) • School projects, homework, or tests • School sports practices or events • Traffic or long distance drive • Punishment Jobs . IF THERE IS AN ISSUE WITH ANY OF THE ABOVE TALK TO NICOLE OR ROBIN> WE MAY BE ABLE TO HAVE A FILL IN
Cheer Militia is an advocate of well-rounded, educationally sound athletes and advocates your athlete’s academic and school life. We understand that your athlete(s) may have school functions (i.e. homecoming, prom, concerts.); some of which are considered major events, and others “mandatory” for grading purposes.
While typically we frown upon an athlete missing practice for anything other than what is listed as “excused” above, we will try our best to accommodate “special” school events. If CMA is unable to accommodate a change in practice for your athlete’s event, you have four (4) absences – please use them wisely. • Athletes must be ON-TIME to all activities, including practices and competitions. • Tardiness is defined as15 minutes late to practice • Excessive tardiness and/or absences will result in the dismissal from your team. • Please plan vacations during scheduled gym breaks. • If an athlete will be missing a practice, a suitable replacement approved by the team coach must be sent • Please submit all planned vacations and absences in writing to CMA management at the beginning of the season. • You may not be absent during mandatory camps and events.
All tuition is divided into the program duration: 12 monthly installments. All families will be auto drafted. Competition Fees must be paid according to the timeline issued at the time of registration. Invoicing is done on a monthly basis and tuition payments are due by the 1st of each month. These fees cannot be pro-rated or reduced. Once you accept a position on one of our teams, you will be responsible for all fees for the season. Any athlete that is out of practice/competition due to an injury, or extenuating circumstance, must still pay all fees and competition fees. All families are REQUIRED to have a credit/debit card or bank account on file. Your card/account will be AUTOMATICALLY debited on the 1st of each month(unless arrangements are made separately in writing). Any account balances past due within 3 days of the due date will receive a $25 late fee. A voided check must be submitted at the time of registration.
If your athlete’s gym account is 10 or more days past due, the athlete will be suspended from practice until the account is current. Along with suspension from practice, if your athlete’s gym account is not current CMA will exercise its right to: 1. Withhold services (i.e. participation in clinics, competitions, private lessons, tumbling classes, etc.) 2. Withhold uniforms, practice wear, warm-up, pro-shop purchases/pre-orders, etc. This rule will be strictly enforced
If accounts are not paid by the 25th of the month in full (this includes all fees, not just monthly tuition), please be advised that your credit card/debit card on file will be charged accordingly. If fees are not brought current, Cheer Militia All Star reserves the right to file a report with the small claims court of Levittown, Bucks county.
RETURNED CHECK FEE Any “returned checks” will be subject to a $35 returned check fee. In addition, CMA will no longer be able to accept a check as payment from any customer that has previously submitted a returned check. All payments will need to be made via money order, credit card or cashier’s check.
CMA is pleased to offer a fundraising committee to help offset the cost of cheerleading. The Booster Club offers year round fundraising and sponsorship opportunities for all of the CMA athletes and many of our athletes pay for their entire competition by utilizing this wonderful organization!
REFUNDS There will be no refunds of any kind given to any athlete who quits or is dismissed from any CMA cheer team or class. Any athlete who quits either the CMA full-year or half-year all star cheer programs will be assessed a $500/$250 restructuring fee, accordingly, which will be automatically charged to the credit card associated with the family’s gym account. Anyone who leaves or is dismissed is responsible for all season expenses, debts and legal fees. In the event of the season ending sooner than anticipated there will be absolutely no refund of any fees. However, in certain instances there may be a credit towards next season. No fundraising money will ever be refunded.
RESTRUCTURING FEE If an athlete quits after committing to a team, there will be a $500 (Traditional) or $250 (Tiny) fee assessed to the family’s gym account. This fee is non-negotiable. When an athlete leaves a team, choreography has to be changed and another athlete must be found to take the spot of the departing athlete – THIS IS A GREAT INCONVENIENCE and costs CMA money.
The following are grounds for immediate dismissal and forfeiture of all funds: Smoking, drinking of alcoholic beverages or use of drugs. Challenging the authority of the coach or person in charge, by competitor or parent. Abusive behavior, lying, or any other negative form of behavior. Any negative behavior towards a CMA All Star member or to another gym, via any medium (i.e. internet) Inappropriate pictures or language used on the internet or social media.
EXTRA TUMBLE Extra Tumbling classes will be added for individual teams and members that may not have all of the required skills for his or her routine. These classes can be done with private lessons, open gym or group tumbling IN ADDITION to team tumbling..
FLYER STRETCH CLASSES Mandatory Stretch/Body Position classes will be added for flyers as coaches feel necessary. If your child is a flyer and is sent home with a notice, you are responsible to enroll your child as soon as possible. If your child does not improve, it is possible she will lose her flying spot on a team. This won’t be necessary if all team members participate in our daily conditioning/flexibility Facebook challenges
PRACTICE SCHEDULE Practices may be changed or added at any time during the season. Please be accommodating. It is the parent’s responsibility to know what is going on with your team. Check your emails, texts, the website, and/or Facebook regularly for updates and schedule changes. Withholding a child from a practice or competition should never be used as a form of punishment. You are not only punishing your child, but every other team member on the squad. Teamwork is a valuable lesson we hope to instill in our cheerleaders. We will do our best to work with your extracurricular activities.
TEAM APPAREL In order to help us protect our trademark rights and strengthen our corporate and brand identity, we revoke all usage of our company name and logo; in whole or in part and do not authorize any use without our permission. The CMA logo or any other CMA Team Names/ Divisions may not appear on or in the publication of any apparel, product or material without prior written consent.
Program Policies good will and unaware of the restrictions noted above, however, we are asking that all customers respect this request and understand that it is unlawful to reproduce the CMA name, team names/divisions and/or logos. WE HIGHLY ENCOURAGE PARENTS TO WEAR CMA GEAR TO COMPETITIONS TO SUPPORT THE ATHLETES! We have a Pro shop both in gym and occasionally online. If there is something you are looking to have talk to Robin or Nicole.
JEWELRY AND DRESS CODE Athletes will maintain the proper appearance with no extremes in apparel, hair, make-up, piercings, or tattoos. The coach's decision is final. Sneakers must always be worn in the gym and while in uniform. (No slippers, flip flops or excuses). You will not practice without sneakers. It is your responsibility to wear the appropriate practice wear to every practice. Practice wear will be designated by the coaches. Jewelry is not to be worn during any class or practice while at CMA. If an athlete is asked to remove jewelry, athlete will be responsible for the security of that/those items. CMA is not responsible for items that are lost, stolen or damaged.
COMPETITION DRESS CODE Cheerleaders should arrive to competitions in their warm-up with their CMA bag. . All hair and make-up must be complete before meet times. All hair must be up nicely in a ponytail when entering the competition venue. Cheerleaders are expected to wear their uniform all day, including award ceremonies. Please do not unzip skirts, roll up sleeves or remove shell tops. You must have your cheer sneakers on during award ceremonies. Under the USASF guidelines, athletes are now required to cover their midriffs while not competing and/or going to and from warm-ups. You will be required to wear your warm-up jacket or other appropriate coverup as determined by the coaches. The minute you arrive at the competition, you are representing CMA All Stars. All cheerleaders, parents and fans must present themselves in such a way.
TEAM PRACTICE ATTIRE Every CMA cheerleader will be given practice clothes and will be required to wear the assigned outfit to every practice. Athletes will also need to wear cheer shoes and have their hair pulled back at all times for safety (girls must also wear the appropriate bow at every practice). If an athlete loses an article of clothing, he/she will be required to purchase a new one from CMA’s pro shop. ALL practice wear is mandatory.
CROSS-OVER Certain cheerleaders may be asked to be on more than one team for the season. If asked and the cheerleader agrees to be on multiple teams, that cheerleader is responsible for all practices and competitions and fees. A cross-over cheerleader may be removed from the 2nd team at any time at the sole discretion of CMA or upon new athletes joining.
COMMUNICATION WITH THE COACHES/GYM CMA encourages an open-door policy when it comes to its parents, athletes and gym concerns. If there is a concern or problem that requires immediate attention, please contact Nicole or Robin. CMA discourages parents from interrupting a practice to speak with a coach about a problem. We are happy to schedule meetings at a mutually convenient time for both parent/athlete and coach
COMPETITIONS CMA will provide specific details to all parents via email typically the Wednesday prior to competitions. PLEASE NOTE: there are times when we receive last-minute changes; we will inform you as soon as we receive the information via my studio app. All athletes should be “comp ready” upon arrival at the competition venue unless directed otherwise by the gym. NO PARENT is permitted to directly contact any competition venue or judge—EVER—for any reason. Athletes are required to attend all competitions. This means through the awards ceremony. If parents are unable to stay for the whole competition, other arrangements must be made so that the athlete can stay.
Proper traveling attire will be discussed with team prior to an out of town competition. CMA All Stars will reserve a block of rooms at a hotel of our choice. You will make payments directly to the hotel. The only time we will travel unexpectedly is if we receive a bid to a National Championship. It is the coaches’ discretion whether the team will attend. For away competitions, teams’ curfews will be determined by the coaches. The coach/gym director/owner will reserve, at any time, the right to remove any team from any competition for any reason.
SPORTSMANSHIP Encourage good sportsmanship by demonstrating positive support for all athletes, coaches, fans and judges during all practices and competitions. Place the well-being of your child and their team before the desire to win. CMA coaches, athletes and families will be the example of how to both win and lose gracefully. Every athlete at every gym works hard. CMA will enforce a “zero tolerance” policy when it comes to engaging with negativity toward competitors; please advise us immediately if you observe any of this type of conduct. During practices, CMA enforces a one (1) strike rule when it comes to a disrespectful athlete and/or parent. After one strike, athletes will be dismissed from the program. All parents are asked to model respect and treat all staff with respect, including the Team Representatives.
TRAVEL and TRAVEL EXPENSES All travel expenses for competitions are the responsibility of each athlete and his/her family. Each cheerleader must have a chaperone at every competition. It is not the coach, or CMA All Star STAFF'S responsibility to be your child’s chaperone. Travel arrangements will vary per away/overnight competitions. Details will be given as needed.
INJURIES AND CONDITIONING All of the athletes in our program are expected to be in top physical condition and care for their bodies. This includes flexibility, strength and endurance. Therefore, cheerleaders are expected to stretch and condition outside of practice time. Please note that cheerleading is a highly competitive and dangerous sport. Stunts and tumbling could lead to injuries. These injuries include, but are not limited to: bruises, pulled or strained muscles, torn or strained ligaments. CMA All Stars takes every precaution to limit these injuries and provide the safest environment for our athletes. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent them all. In the event that your child is injured, we will take every necessary step to ensure your child’s wellbeing. We strongly encourage every athlete
OTHER IMPORTANT POLICIES AND GENERAL INFO
to have their own insurance coverage to defray medical or other expenses. CMA All Stars is NOT liable for any expense rising from injuries or illnesses resulting from participation in our program.
INAPPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR Insubordination in the gym is unacceptable—from anyone. This includes but is not limited to outbursts, profanity, poor attitude, and disrespect for others, etc. Any inappropriate behavior may result in the removal of offender from the program.
ADVERTISING I give permission for photographs and or video of my child to be used in print, media, or electronically as deemed appropriate for the promotion of any CMA activity.
INCLEMENT WEATHER CMA reserves the right to close the facility at any time for inclement weather. Should the facility close, CMA is not obligated to make up any team practices or tumbling. Please check our website for closing information.
PARENT ROOM Only cheerleaders and coaches are allowed in the gym. If your athlete is scheduled for a private lesson, parents are permitted in only the private lesson viewing area. While in the parent viewing area please refrain from any negative remarks as you represent our program. CMA has the right to close the area at any time, without notice, at the discretion of the owner and staff. For those new to the cheer world, this is NOT uncommon practice. We know from experience that, oftentimes, children are more nervous with their parents watching, and it tends to be a distraction from the coaches’ instruction. Parents must remain in the parent
room for the duration of practices/classes. Do not yell onto the floor or try to speak or make contact with the athletes from the parent viewing area. This is extremely distracting for all involved.
CLOSED PRACTICES CMA reserves the right to close practices to any spectators. If closed practices occur, only cheerleaders, coaches, and CMA staff will be permitted in the building. NO routines are permitted on social media unless coaches do so.
LOST AND FOUND A lost and found container is located in the kid’s room. Please check it periodically to see if any of the items belong to you. CMA is not responsible for lost or stolen items.
CUBBIES Athletes are to keep all personal belongings inside of the athlete cubbies. No bags, water bottles, or other items should be on the floor. All cell phones should be turned to silent. CMA is not responsible for items that are lost or stolen including from the athlete cubbies. We recommend leaving all valuable items at home and keeping all personal items zipped in a closed bag.
SOCIAL MEDIA ETIQUETTE Please be mindful of your and your athlete’s social media presence when representing CMA. CMA staff members are constantly watching social media; not only for negative comments about competitors, but also for INAPPROPRIATE pictures and/or videos. If any member of CMA implies anything defamatory against CMA (or any other program – directly or implied), you will be dismissed from CMA immediately with NO REFUNDS (whether tuition or fundraiser-related). You are a reflection of CMA, so we expect you to carry yourself in a respectful manner. CMA WILL conduct athlete/parent meetings to discuss anything that is found to be inappropriate on any social media platforms. PLEASE DO NOT POST VIDEOS OF CURRENT SEASON’S ROUTINES without direct permission from a coach!
TEAM FACEBOOK PAGES OR GROUPS Cheerleaders and parents are not permitted to create Team Facebook pages or Parent Group pages. All CMA Facebook pages and groups will be created and maintained by our staff.
VIDEOTAPING AT THE GYM CMA does not permit the videotaping of any practice or other event at the gym unless prior consent is obtained by coaches.
PARENTAL SUPERVISION If an athlete is not practicing or in a class they must have parental supervision. Siblings of CMA athletes may not be left in the gym unattended.