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Cheer & Dance FAQ

Updated Wednesday January 21, 2015 by Grayslake Colts Football, Cheer & Dance.

Cheer & Dance Frequently Asked Questions

What squad will my child be assigned to?

Girls are placed on a team based on their grade in school. Some grades may be combined to form a full team. Final team placements will not be available until after the Colts open registration period has ended.

What is IRCA?

The Illinois Recreational Cheer Association primarily exists to support its member agencies by promoting cheerleading through standardized rules and regulations. It provides resources for its members to enhance the fundamentals of cheer and dance in a fun, safe and educational format.

The objective of the IRCA is to support its member agencies by promoting cheerleading through standardized rules and regulations. Additionally, the IRCA provides resources to educate its members, to promote safety, and to enhance the fundamentals of cheer and pom in a fun, safe and educational format based on the participant’s age and experience.

The Association is comprised of selected communities or local organizations or communities (referred to as "Member Communities") principally located within the State of Illinois but, open to any State organization that meets these objectives.

Lastly, the IRCA will develop and promote a State Championship that shall be open to any organization/association that meets the guidelines of the Rules & Regulations (in varying categories) that will be held annually in the month of December. The State Championship will follow competitive rules in order to determine placement and recognition of ateams’ hard work, athleticism and showmanship to earn recognition as the State of Illinois top performer. More details on IRCA can be found on their website at http://www.recreationalcheer.com/.

When Will My Daughter’s Coach Contact Me?

Coaches will contact their squads no later than June 30th to introduce themselves and to let parents know when their daughter’s practice time will be.

When does practice begin?

All practices will be held either outdoors or indoors at one of the following locations: D46 schools, D127 schools, Aquatic Center Field, Gymnastic Factory. 

  • K – 3rd Grade: 1 - 1.5 hours/2 days per week
  • 4th - 6th Grade: 1.5 - 2 hours/2 days per week & possible Saturday morning practices as competition nears (not to conflict with football games)
  • 7th – 8th Grade: 2 hours/2 days per week & possible Saturday morning practices as competition nears (not to conflict with football games)

Grayslake Colts will hold Technique Week in July (dates TBD) that will run Monday – Thursday of that week. Athletes in grades K – 3 will practice from 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM, while 4th – 8th graders will practice from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM. This first week of practice allows the girls a chance to bond with their team, learn sideline cheers, safe stunting, sideline dances, and pom techniques. More details will be given as the season nears.

Practices may be adjusted at the discretion of the squad’s coach and directors.

Additional practices could be added during the summer before schools starts and in the weeks leading up to competition for preparation. Every effort will be made to keep indoor practice consistent with outdoor practice days and times. Our younger athletes will be scheduled for the earlier time slots (5:00 PM-8:00 PM) while JV and Varsity levels will be scheduled for the later time slots (7:00 PM -9:00 PM) once we begin practicing indoors.

What if my child cannot attend practice?

We are aware that children have other responsibilities. However, you and your child are responsible for contacting the coach whenever you'll be unable to make practice, arrive late or must leave early. Your player’s coach will go over team rules at the beginning of the season that includes missed practices.

Missed practices could impact your child’s placement in a routine or participation in competition.

When does my child get her uniform and what does it consist of?

All cheerleaders and pommies will be issued a uniform and a warm up suit that is to be used during the season at Colts sponsored functions only. The uniform consists of a vest, skirt, and unifit and will be distributed to athletes at the Uniform fitting typically in April or May (date TBD). The warm up includes a jacket and pair of pants. Fittings for warm ups will occur at the shoe fitting typically scheduled in August (date TBD). Uniforms and warm ups need to be returned at the end of the season, clean and in good condition. If either are not returned or are returned in unusable condition, parents will be billed the following replacement cost of the item.

Uniform Shell: $100.00

Warm Up Jacket: $55.00

Uniform Skirt: $100.00

Warm Up Pants: $45.00

Uniform Unifit: $50.00

Cheerleaders will be given a sweatshirt, lollies, competition hair bow, game hair bow, and a pair of competition socks, which are theirs to keep.

Pommies will be given a sweatshirt, lollies, game hair bow, and dance costume for competition (which includes a hair bow or hair piece), which are theirs to keep at the end of the season.

All cheerleaders and pommies will need the following that are not covered in the registration fee:

Game Shoes

A pair of plain white shoes to be worn to outdoor practices and games. Game shoes do not have to be new but cannot have any other designs on the shoe.

Competition Shoes

All girls will need to purchase a specific shoe that will only be worn to indoor practices and competitions. These shoes will be available for purchase at our shoe fitting in August or can be purchased at Rogan’s Shoes in Mundelein.

Estimated Additional Expenses:

Cheer Competition Shoes: $35.00 - $55.00

Pom Competition Shoes: $45.00

Game Shoes $10.00 - $20.00 (can be purchased at any store)

There is a $15 charge if equipment is not properly cleaned prior to return.

What if my child has health problems or allergies?

If your child has any health problems or concerns such as asthma, allergies (especially to bee stings), etc. parents should make sure that the player has appropriate medication available to them during practices and games which is clearly marked with their name. Parents should also ensure that the coaching staff is always updated of a players health conditions before and during the season and have appropriate medical forms completed and on file with the Team Coordinator.

How are changes to practice times or cancellations communicated?

Though each coach will establish the team’s primary communication process for team specific changes, the Colts will use a telephone/text service called "Call Em All", the Colts Website, Facebook and Twitter to communicate any program-wide information. Some individual teams might use phone trees, shutterfly sites, e-mail, etc. E-mail is becoming the preferred and most effective way to communicate quickly and effectively; some coaches require parents to check their e-mail for possible practice schedule changes as short as 30 minutes before scheduled time.

It is the athletes and parents responsibility to understand the system used by their team and contribute to its effectiveness.

What happens in inclement weather? What is the policy?

The Colts have a heat policy that addresses what we do when the weather gets warm. The important points to remember include:

We will assess conditions at 4 pm using the heat index in Grayslake as our guide.

If practice needs to be adjusted or cancelled, we will blast out a phone message by 4:30 and post on Facebook & Twitter.

For a heat index under 100, practice will be held as normal.

For a heat index between 100 and 104, practice will be modified and limited.

Water breaks will be every 15-20 minutes.

Practices will be limited to light activity.

Coaches will focus on instructional training and walk throughs

For a heat index 105 or above, practice will be cancelled.

Parents ultimately have the discretion of determining when to send their children to practice. If your child is unable to make it to practice, please let your coach know.

At the sight of lightning or the sound of thunder, practice or games will be suspended for at least 30 minutes and athletes will be moved to a sheltered location. Practice or games can continue when 30 minutes have passed since the last sound of thunder or lightning sighting. Normally practice will be called in the event of thunder or lightning.

When will we get a game schedule?

Our squads will cheer and pom for our Grayslake Colts Football teams. Games are played on either Saturdays or Sundays late August through early November. Football game schedules are established by the Chicago Youth Football League (TCYFL). We ask your patience, as scheduling all of the games is a very difficult process for the TCYFL; it requires a lot of coordination and takes time. Big 10/MAC game schedules are usually available first; they are easier to schedule since all towns have only one team at each weight class. Pac 10 games pose the greatest challenge since most towns have 2 or more teams at each level. The TCYFL not only juggles scheduling games but must also work with the various communities to find available field space for all required games each weekend. This is not an easy process; it requires a lot of coordination and takes time. While the competitive team schedules for the entire season are usually posted by the first game, the schedule for the instructional teams in the TCYFL are slower to be published and may take several weeks from the beginning of the season to be posted. Please be patient. Typically for the first four weeks of the season the game schedule for that weekend will come out the Thursday before game day. Keep in mind all members of the TCYFL and Grayslake Colts are volunteers. The web site for the TCYFL is www.tcyfl.net

Cheerleading squads will cheer the entire football game and perform a half time routine. Pommies will perform a half time routine during their scheduled football game. Travel will be limited for the pommies.

How do I contact my athlete’s coach with questions?

Coaches will tell the team and parents how they wish to be contacted. It could include home phone, work phone, cell phone, e-mail, etc. E-mail is becoming a preferred method of communication. It provides the coach with the opportunity to respond when he can concentrate on your question. Please be sensitive as to the topics you choose to discuss with the coach on the practice field when other players/parents are present.

What is the refund policy?

A no-cause refund of 75% will be granted when requested in writing to the Colts President by 11:59PM on July 15. Please note - there will be no registration refunds after this time.

My athlete will go to North High School. Can she still cheer for the Colts?

Absolutely! Grayslake Colts is a feeder program for both Grayslake Central and Grayslake North High School. Playing for the Grayslake Colts allows your athlete to cheer along side with many of the athletes at the schools they will face in the Fox Valley Conference.