The key to a successful tryout is having your team selected by qualified judges. Some coaches feel comfortable selecting their own teams. Most, however, agree that having someone else elect the squad works better.
Regardless of the format you choose, everything should be chosen by your administration prior to the tryout process.
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Most tryouts utilize three judges and total their scores. Confirm your judges by phone, and then by letter early since demand is great during peak months. In your confirmation letter, include map to the gym, and the date and time you expect them to arrive. If they can reach you at the gym or by mobile phone, leave them your number in case of any last minute emergencies.
If you find that Murphy’s Law of “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong” applies to you, you may choose to consider getting one more judge than is necessary. It is better to have all four judges show up than to have only one or two judges because of traffic, wrong turn, etc.
In most cases, cheerleading judges should receive some compensation for the service they provide. How much compensation depends on the amount of time they will spend at your tryouts. Most tryouts should only take two hours to complete. If you have a large number of candidates, or more than one squad being selected, the tryout may take up to five hours.
Be sure to get each judge’s personal information in order to request a check. If possible, it is better to give them a check at the tryout rather than mail it afterward.
Universal Cheerleaders Association offers their instructional staff as professional judges. UCA will provide you with the names and phone numbers of the staff in your area. To reach your local representative, call 800-238-0286.
Area Cheerleader Coaches
If you have area cheerleading coaches that can help you, you can make arrangements to judge each others tryouts. You can either exchange services, or be paid the standard judges fees. Make sure this is approved by your administration.
Conflict of Interest
The credibility of your tryout process is very important. Ask your judges if they have worked directly with any of the candidates. While there is no way to keep from general contact (games, camp, etc.), any training activities or acquaintances directly with an individual should be avoided.