Policy & Procedures
Bartlett Cheerleading Association (BCA) Policies and Procedures have been written as a guideline to govern the sport of cheerleading under BCA’s bylaws. The BCA Board of Directors will refer to our bylaws and guidelines set by the Illinois Recreational Cheerleading Association (IRCA) and Illinois High School Association (IHSA) regarding any situation not covered in this handbook. BCA complies with the rules and guidelines set forth by IRCA.
Bartlett Cheer Association “BCA” Mission Statement:
Our mission is to be the league of choice for recreational cheer in Bartlett and its surrounding communities. Our focus is to teach the fundamentals of cheerleading, paying close attention to safety and proper technique. We are a feeder program to the high schools in the area and pride ourselves on our cheerleaders leaving BCA with the skills needed to try out for the high school cheer team. Our cheerleaders will gain self-esteem, confidence, understanding of team work and most importantly, sportsmanship.
Together Everyone Achieves More……..TEAM!
BCA Board and Committee Members:
The officers of this association shall be the duly elected Board of Directors. The Board of Directors shall consist of eleven (11) members. The Board of Directors shall be elected for a term of two (2) calendar years with five (5) members being elected odd years and six (6) being elected in even number years. A calendar year begins with the first meeting in January and ends with the last meeting in December. A candidate for election to the Board shall have been an active participant of BCA for at least one season prior to election.
An active participant of BCA is a parent or guardian of a registered cheerleader in the league for the current season, or a coach in the league for the current season. Active participants do not include parents or guardians of Junior Coaches. They do not need to have a child in the program, but will need to be an active part of the organization such as a coach in the most recent year and continue coaching while on the Board. If a Board member will not be able to attend a Board meeting, he/she shall notify an Executive Committee member prior to the meeting. If any board member has 3 or more absences from Board meetings or league functions, the remaining Board members will decide if that Board member will be relieved of Board member duties and shall not be allowed to vote on any issue before the Board. The Board of Directors shall have the sole authority to enter into contracts, agreements or any other long-term commitments of BCA funds after a vote of the Board of Directors (a quorum being present). Each year, the Board of Directors, from their number, shall elect a President, a 1st Vice President, a 2nd Vice President, a Secretary and a Treasurer. These five elected individuals will represent the Executive Committee.
Board of Directors Election:
Candidates are to submit a paragraph stating who they are and why they want to run for the BCA Board. All candidate paragraphs will then become part of the ballot for the election. The election will take place at the Year End Banquet. Each family shall have one vote and a member of the family must be present at the time of the voting. The votes will be counted by the Executive Committee members who are NOT running in the current election.
BCA Board of Directors:
The Executive Committee consists of the President, 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary. Each position will have a person or persons nominated and voted on by the current Board. If only one Board member is nominated, a vote still needs to be taken.
President: needs to be the senior advisor for all activities that support the BCA infrastructure.
1st VP: needs to be the advisor for all activities that support the community’s perception and the way we want to position BCA to the community.
2nd VP: needs to be the advisor for all activities that support the community’s perception and the way we want to position BCA to the community.
Treasurer: needs to be the senior advisor for all activities that specifically target revenue.
Secretary: needs to be the senior advisor for all activities that presents the cheerleader to the organization and within the organization, and the league communicator.
BCA is a non-profit organization. The money we receive from participants is not used to pay coaches or administrative costs. A majority of the costs, including but not limited to, competition registration fees, cheer camp, choreography, league tee-shirt, indoor facility, insurance, uniform and shoes must be paid in advance. Therefore, there will be absolutely no refunds of any amount granted for any reason (including, but not limited to physical injury, mental health issues, job transfer, relocation, etc.) after final registration date. Negotiations will not be entertained under any circumstances.
Participant & Parent Code of Conduct:
All participants, including cheerleaders, parents, or legal guardians, guests, coaches, judges, and officials in any youth sports activity have an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the highest standards of sportsmanship. The essential elements of character-building and ethics in sports are embodied in the concept of sportsmanship and six core principles: trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and good citizenship. The highest potential of sports is achieved when competition reflects these “six pillars of character”. Please keep in mind that everything you do, in either a positive or negative manner, can reflect upon the Jr. Hawks, BCA, or our affiliate’s reputation. Aggressive or unsportsmanlike conduct affects all our participants. Please remember to be respectful of all participants, parents, BCA Board Members, volunteers and instructional staff, as well as our partner businesses and sponsors and all members of other participating organizations.
The Bartlett Cheerleading Association program is built on integrity and respect for others; therefore it is very important that each participant and parent uphold these standards. Your instructional staff will treat every parent and child with respect. In return, we expect every parent and child to follow the rules and regulations that have been set and respect the authority of BCA and its instructional staff.
We, as a non-profit organization, have organized a league that is managed solely by parents and volunteers, whose primary interest is giving these young participants the opportunity to participate in community events, clinics, and competitions, as well as learn the meaning of teams, promote sportsmanship and a solid foundation for physical and mental fitness. Every BCA Cheerleader is extremely important to us. Our coaches have been trained to run a program where safety and wholesome fun comes first. Certain behavior is inconsistent with our goals and the obligations of BCA to our participants and could result in the removal of that participant from the organization with no refund. Behavior deemed inappropriate is outlined, but is not limited to:
- Any participant, parent, spectator, coach, judge or official at any BCA practice, meeting or event who initiates a fight, scuffle, or any type of physical abuse or threats of abuse towards any cheerleader, coach, official, parent, guest, or spectator may be banned from attendance at all youth sports events within BCA for a period not exceeding 12 months from the date of the incident.
- Any participant, parent, spectator, coach, judge or official at any BCA practice, meeting or event who is physically or verbally threatening, abusing or confronting coaches, cheerleaders or officials, may be banned from attendance at all BCA events.
- Any participant, parent, spectator, coach, judge or official at any BCA practice, meeting or event who verbally abuses cheerleaders, members of the coaching staff, board members or spectators, including the use of obscene or profane language or gestures, or racial, ethnic, gang symbolism, or inappropriate sexual slurs or behaviors, may be reprimanded from the date of the incident and shall be subject to discipline as provided by the applicable code of conduct.
- Any participant, parent, spectator, coach, judge or official at any BCA practice, meeting or event who engages in disruptive conduct deemed as directed to other cheerleaders, parents, spectators, coaches, team Managers, directors or board members, including but not limited to disrespect, insubordination, negative attitude, fighting, destruction of property, equipment or uniforms, lying, forgery, and any behavior deemed as criminal, including but not limited to theft, smoking, drug or alcohol use, will not be tolerated and subject to dismissal from the program.
- Any participant, parent, spectator, with questions, comments or concerns for IRCA, must bring these issues to the BCA Board. The BCA Board will address all issues with IRCA on behalf of the league if deemed necessary. Participants, parents or spectators are NOT to contact IRCA directly and failure to comply will result in dismissal from the league. As a parent or legal guardian of a BCA participant, the following actions must be followed/ abided by:
- a) I will not force my child to participate in sports. I will remember that children participate to have fun and that the sport is for youth, not adults.
- b) I will be a positive role model for my child and encourage sportsmanship by showing respect and courtesy, and by demonstrating positive support for all cheerleaders, coaches, board members, and spectators at every practice, meeting, or other sporting event
- c) I will teach my child that doing one’s best is more important than winning, so that my child will never feel defeated by the outcome of a competition or his/her performance. I will praise my child for competing fairly and trying hard, and make my child feel like a winner every time.
- d) I will never ridicule or yell at my child or other participant for making a mistake or losing a competition. I will emphasize skill development and how they benefit my child over winning. I will also deemphasize competition in the lower age groups. I will promote the emotional and physical well-being of the athletes ahead of any personal desire I may have for my child to win.
- e) I will respect the coaching staff and their authority during practices, meetings or competitions and will never question, discuss, or confront coaches at the practices, meetings, or competitions, and will take time to speak with coaches at an agreed upon time and place. As a parent, or guardian, I understand that the coaching staff makes the best decisions for the team and those decisions stand. I understand that my opinion about my cheerleader’s roll in the routine should not be questioned.
- f) I will never question, discuss, argue or confront any judge, official, or ruling member at any competition.
- g) I will refrain from coaching my child or other players during practices, meetings and competitions, unless I am one of the official coaches of the team.
- h) I will not encourage any behaviors or practices that would endanger the health and wellbeing of the athletes; I will teach my child to play by the rules and to resolve conflicts without resorting to hostility or violence. I will not engage in any kind of unsportsmanlike conduct with any official, coach, cheerleader, or parent (either BCA related or affiliated with any other organization) such as booing and taunting, refusing to shake hands, or using profane language or gestures.
- i) I will sign all waivers issued throughout the season by any outside source for camps, clinics, and competitions, including but not limited to: BCA, IRCA, Athletico, Layton Athletics. Failure to sign original unedited waivers will result in your cheerleader not participating until all waivers are signed. Failing to sign altogether will result in dismissal from the league with no refund.
Practices and Schedules:
Cheerleading is a team sport and it takes the entire team to have a successful year. When someone misses practice, it makes it difficult for the team to work on stunts and prepare for competition season. Team practice schedules are requested from each of the coaches and are sent to the Head of Coaches and the Facility Director. The Head of Coaches will finalize the practice schedule to the best of his/her ability and assign practice times to each team as close to their requests as possible. The schedule is final and there will be no changes made. It is extremely difficult to accommodate everyone, but every best effort is made to do so. The coaches can ask for additional practice times and they are allowed if space is available. Practice begins the last week of July or the first week of August. Per IRCA rules, practices may begin as early as July 1st. Practices are 3 times per week for 2 hours for 5th-8th grade and 1 hour and 30 minutes for Kindergarten – 4th grade. Coaches may opt to add additional practice time. All practices will be at our indoor facility (TBD). The only excused absences from practice are religious education, sickness, injury, and school- related functions. Vacations or pre-excused absences must be cleared with the head coach. Participating in another sport is not an excuse and must be discussed in advance with the head coach. ONLY rostered Coaches and Jr. Coaches can help at practice. All registration fees must be paid in full before a cheerleader attends practice due to insurance reasons. Cheerleaders need to be on-time for practice; parents need to be on-time to pick-up. When dropping off the cheerleader(s) at practice, parents must ensure coach or team manager is there before leaving. Cheerleaders must come to practice dressed appropriately; shorts (cotton or spandex), t-shirts, hair pulled back in a pony tail (no hair clips or bobby pins), cheer shoes and socks. NO jewelry is to be worn; if cheerleader newly pierced ears, they MUST wear a band-aid over the earrings. Earrings MUST be removed completely for competitions.
The practice facility is available to BCA from approximately July 15th through mid-December.
Practice Schedules: Coaches have the schedule with dates and times.
BCA has (2) competition 42×42 cheer mats. Please take care of them.
For the safety of our girls, insurance purposes, and to not incur charges from the facility owner, rules will be strictly enforced. NO food is allowed in the facility at any time. ONLY clear drinks are allowed. NO one except a registered cheerleader and coach are allowed on the cheer floor. Parents and siblings need to remain in the parent viewing area.
Squads are rostered by school grade; if a squad has to have mixed grades then the squad will perform at the next higher level in competition (example: if a squad has a mixture of 7th grade and 8th grade, then this particular squad will perform at the 8th grade level). The BCA Board will determine and approve if it is necessary to have a mixed squad. This is the least desired form of action and will be the least favored decision unless absolutely necessary.
There will be a maximum of 36 girls per squad. After the maximum squad number has been reached (36), a waiting list will be formed. In the event an additional 12 athletes (for that grade level) have registered, an additional squad can be formed for that grade level. Squads are filled in order of registrations. The second squad will be formed with the athletes who have been noted on the waiting list. This will all be approved by the BCA board and pending available coaches for the additional squad. If two cheer squads exist for one grade level, the Board will ensure that each team is categorized differently so that BCA will not compete against each other in the same grade level. In the event that we do not have a coach for this new team, if the teams surrounding that grade level have openings, we can put those cheerleaders on that team, again making sure they will not be in the same category. Final rosters will be provided to the head coaches and all cheerleaders must be given their squad assignment and coaching staff within 5 business days of the final decision.
All BCA Coaching Staff –including Head Coaches, Assistant Coaches, Jr. Coaches and Team Managers
- Shall treat all cheerleaders with respect and fairness and will stress to their teams that cheerleading is a team sport.
- Shall not, under any circumstance, be responsible for the administration of medication to any cheerleader.
- Shall teach and encourage good sportsmanship to all participants.
- Shall not physically or verbally abuse any cheerleaders or participants.
Shall be required to demonstrate positive sportsmanship with respect to all cheerleaders, teams and parents. Any staff member that is unable to demonstrate proper sportsmanship shall be suspended from coaching/volunteering for BCA.
- Shall manage your team and promote league unity. Under no circumstances shall another team be negatively discussed with another coach or parent. We are one team and need to support
each other and the decisions that the BCA Board makes on our behalf.
- Shall ensure that each staff member’s attire for competitions be in good taste, represent the BCA league colors, and clearly illustrate that you are serving as a coach or team manager for BCA.
- Shall actively participate in practice, help spot when needed when stunting and be involved.
- When at practice, coaches must focus their attention on the squad and conduct any parent meetings or other conversation either before or after practice. Team managers should help keep practices focused if and when parents are present and ensure that the parents are not interfering with the practice.
- If there are any issues with coaches, please direct all issues to the Head of Coaches.
The role of the coach is to help maintain order, ensure safety at practice and competitions, oversee and help direct the junior coaches to motivate and teach our cheerleaders. They will respond to disciplinary situations, as appropriate. Coaches are IRCA certified. Coaches are responsible for the overall well-being of the squad, including ensuring the sportsmanship of their cheerleaders and parents. Coaches should act as role models for the cheerleaders and the Jr. Coaches, and help guide them in coaching and motivating the cheerleaders. All coaches must fill out a Coaches application and the BCA Board of Directors will approve and select the coaches for all levels. All teams will have one Head Coach and one Assistant Coach. If there is more than one assistant coach, the BCA Board of Directors will need to approve the team assignment. At least one coach per squad must have a child on that squad.
All coaches must be ASCEP, IRCA or NCA certified. There MUST be at least one certified coach in attendance at all practices and competitions. Parents are not allowed to stand-in and coach the squad when a coach(es) are absent. Another certified coach from another squad will need to fill-in. Coaches will attend a Coaches clinic/training course that is approved by the BCA Board. If a coach does not attend the training, they can’t be rostered. The date for the clinic is given when the coaches apply for placement and unless there is a legitimate reason they can’t attend the training, they will not be able to coach. All adult coaches (over the age of 21) are required to have a background check and must fill out the appropriate coaches application before they can be assigned to a team. All cheerleaders are under the direct supervision of the coaches and team managers at every practice and competition and BCA sanctioned event. Coaches will not leave a cheerleader unattended at any time.
If a written complaint is received for any reason, the Board and the referenced coach shall have a meeting to review the complaint and determine if any disciplinary action needs to be taken. If disciplinary action has been taken or a verbal or written complaint has been received, it can’t be assumed that the coach would be allowed to return to the current position. It is a privilege to be a coach and all coaches must adhere to the rules. All coaches must actively participate in practice, help spot when practicing stunts. When at practice, coaches must focus their attention on the squad and conduct any parent meetings or other conversation either before or after practice. If there are any issues with coaches, please direct all issues, in writing, to the Director of Coaches.
- Head coaches shall be the main contact for the team. Any and all correspondence with the BCA Board should go through the head coach.Shall be responsible for teaching the fundamentals of cheerleading.Shall be responsible for communicating the BCA Code of Conduct and policies to their coaching staff, team managers, cheerleaders and parents/guardians. When appropriate, cheer coaches should help BCA enforce the Code of Conduct policy by letting offenders know they are in violation and/or alerting Head of Coaches or another Board Member of any problem that arises at practice, competition or any other BCA sanctioned/hosted event. There is a NO TOLERANCE POLICY for any coach that does not follow the Code of Conduct and rules BCA has set in place for the league. If a head coach is relieved of his/her duties, the assistant coach will NOT automatically assume the Head Coach position. The board will determine the person that is most qualified to fill the position.
Shall be responsible for helping the board find an assistant coach who is approved by the Head of Coaches and the Board of Directors. This person should be suited to help the Head Coach.
Shall be responsible for selecting/appointing a Team Manager. This person will need to be approved by the Head of Team Managers and the Head Coach.
Shall be responsible for obtaining medical care for injured cheerleader(s) during practice or competition if parents are not present. Further, each Head Coach shall ensure that each cheerleader’s parent/guardian has executed the appropriate Medical Consent Forms in advance of any practices to allow for medical treatment in their absence. Coaches or team managers must keep such forms on hand at all times.
Shall treat all cheerleaders with respect and fairness and will stress to their teams that cheerleading is a team sport.
Shall make sure that someone on their team is responsible for stretching before practices and competitions and any other physical activity in which their team is involved.
Shall attend the mandatory coach clinic/training to learn proper techniques for stunting. Attendance is mandatory in order to allow teaching/instructing stunts to the cheer squad and enabling them to perform said stunts at practice and competitions.
The role of the Junior Coach is to model safety at practice, instruct cheers, skills, techniques, and motivate cheerleaders. The Jr. Coach is responsible for suggesting competition choreography and music accompaniment for the squad and is subject to approval by the Head Coach. The Jr. Coach is to report disciplinary situations and recommendations to the Head Coach. Jr. Coaches are expected to attend all practices throughout the season.
The role of the Team Manager is integral to the success of each squad. Team Managers work in partnership with the coaching staff to ensure open communication with the team. Team Managers shall report all injuries to the Medical Director and Head of Coaches within 24 hours of the incident and a medical incident report must be filled out and a copy of that must be given to the Medical Director within a 24 hour time frame.
BCA, as an organization, takes great pride in our cheerleading uniforms. The uniforms belong to BCA, not the individual cheerleader. Uniform pieces issued to your child will remain the property of BCA and will be returned upon request to BCA at the end of the season, date to be determined. Uniforms are loaned to the participants while they are on the team. BCA asks that you take care of the uniform that is issued to your child and keep in good condition. Please wash the uniforms in cold water with no fabric softener. DO NOT dry them in a dryer, please line dry the uniform. At the end of the season, return the uniform freshly cleaned and dried with button and all seams intact. Please do NOT remove any tags from the uniform.
A full competition uniform includes spankies, and hairbow (“cheer package”); these items are at the cost of the participant.
Cheerleaders will be sized and purchase the cheer package items at the time of uniform fitting, prior to the start of the season. These cheer package items – spankies and hairbow – remain the property of the participant after the season. Returning cheerleaders may have the option to use one or more of the cheer package items in following years however, the league reserves the right to make changes to these items each year to keep our uniform design current. In addition, white, no show socks are to be purchased by the individual and worn as part of the BCA uniform.
Additionally, clean, white cheer shoes are part of the competition uniform. BCA includes the cost of the shoes within the registration fee. Cheerleaders will be sized at the time of uniform pick up. After the season, the shoes are the property of the participants and do not need to be returned.
BCA collects a uniform deposit at the start of every season. If the uniform is not returned in the same condition as it was issued to your child, or is not returned by the uniform return date, you will be liable for the cost to repair and/or replace the uniform entirely, up to a charge of $180.00 plus legal fees, and may not be able to register your cheerleader the following year. Alterations are not allowed unless you receive written permission from the Director of Uniforms.
The uniform deposit is due at uniform fitting. No cheerleader will be issued a uniform until we have the deposit check. The amount of the uniform deposit is determined at the start of each season.
BCA Board will choose the date and location for Picture Day. Each squad will receive a picture form which will need to be filled out and paid in full when you return your form to your team. Coaches, team managers and Jr. Coaches will also need to attend picture days as they will be part of the team picture. All cheerleaders must wear full uniform. In the event pictures are outdoors, the current years cheer shoes are NOT to be worn. It is up to the individual cheerleaders how they want to wear their hair for the picture We encourage all cheerleaders to attend picture day.
Spirit wear is a great way to show your pride and spirit of BCA Jr. Hawks. BCA Board will have spirit wear available to purchase at open registration and uniform fitting.
Every year, the 8th grade team creates a “concert” t-shirt that lists all registered BCA cheerleaders. The t-shirts will be sold through the 8th grade team. More information will be distributed through email.
BCA hosts a showcase which BCA squads perform their competition routine. All family members are welcome to attend. The showcase is typically held before the 1st competition that BCA will attend. All squads MUST perform. BCA can charge an entrance fee for Showcase.
8th Grade Experience:
The 8th Grade Experience will be funded by the fundraising of the 8th grade squad. The 8th grade account is to be managed by a parent on the 8th grade squad and not the coaches. The Board Treasurer is also to be listed on the account. These funds are only to be used for the 8th Grade Experience and possible State Fees for the registered 8th grade cheerleader, not siblings also in the league. Any over fundraised money does NOT get returned to the cheerleader, but does get donated back to BCA, or it can be used to help another cheerleader on the current 8th grade team. The 8th Grade Experience MUST be scheduled around the league competition dates.
The number of grants that are awarded are based on the number of participants registered for the current BCA season. This should not exceed 5% of the total participants. One grant per family, i.e. if a family has three (3) girls in the organization, they are only allowed to apply for/receive one grant for the current season. Families are limited to two grants only through their BCA tenure.
In order to maintain the league and attend competitions BCA needs to schedule fundraisers. BCA has hosted the following fundraisers; sponsorship competition, football mania, bags tournament, hosted competition, etc. BCA Board will make the decision on fundraisers and how many fundraisers will be needed to ensure the league continues to be viable. It takes every family in the league to help with fundraisers and make the league successful.
BCA participates in “Football Mania”, the leagues mandatory fundraiser where cheerleaders receive cards that are paid for at registration and families can then turnaround and sell the cards to others. Families with multiple cheerleaders will receive 5 per first registered cheerleader, and 2 cards per each additional registered cheerleader in the family.
End of Year Banquet:
Each year BCA hosts an End of Year Banquet for all registered cheerleaders. The banquet includes dinner and dancing (DJ). The BCA Board will cover the cost for all registered cheerleaders. There is a cost for family members to attend the banquet. We encourage at least one parent to attend the banquet with their cheerleader.
BCA is a recreational cheer organization. Under the IRCA division/category, BCA will register as a “CREC”. BCA will remain a non-tryout organization, and all grade levels/squads will remain non- tryout.