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What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By ATwirlerMom
On Wed May 05, 2004 04:47 PM
Made sticky by MIClogger (28613) on 2004-07-06 18:32:09

It wasn't till just a few months ago, as I started doing web searches about twirling, that I discovered USTA wasn't the only organization around. It looks like there are quite a few, with USTA and NBTA being the two I remember at the top of my head.

Why are there so many different organizations and what are the difference between them (besides numbers of members)?

At the USTA Florida State Championships, there were only 4 team organizations there, and with all the different categories of team and individual events, most only had 2 or 3 entries (there were a few with 5 entries). Why is this sport so fragmented?

44 Replies to What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?

re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By wavelegs
On Wed May 05, 2004 07:52 PM
Well twirling mom... I am a NBTA twirler and have been for the past 11 years and i know that in USTA there is gymnastics aloud and in NBTA you can not to gymnastics...each organization has different events that they do and i know there are different organizations because of differences in opinons and the way people feel about certain rules and it is something that baton twirling has always delt with since NBTA took tumbling or any gymnastics out of their twirling for the safety for the twirlers. that's as much as i can tell you about the situation but i'm sure many others can elaborate.
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA? (karma: 2)
By SesameSt79
On Wed May 05, 2004 09:26 PM
Here is a copy of a post I did earlier... It's too old to reply to now, but apparently you can still cut and paste :)



I'm from Florida and we are pretty well split between the two. It would be almost impossible to give you all of the differences in one simple post, so I'm going to highlight the big ones...

USTA uses an opening pose which goes with the routine, NBTA salutes

USTA runs on a set system, NBTA runs open lanes

USTA uses set music, NBTA uses continuous marching music

USTA allows gymnastics, NBTA does not

USTA strut is three distinct parts (soon to be two) with releases and tricks, NBTA strut is an X formation with required marches and no releases

USTA does not have standard deductions for drops, break, etc., NBTA does

USTA offers solo, strut, 2-baton, 3-baton and dance twirl as their primary events, NBTA offers dress modeling, costume modeling, solo, strut, 2-baton, flag baton, hoop baton (I'm not sure if 3-baton is a national event for NBTA or not)

These are a few of the most noticable differences, not all and not completely explained, but it should help. As a USTA coach, here are a few more facts regarding it only...

We have a competitive acheivment system starting a C and moving to Elite which are much like figure skating or gymnastics compulsories
Our world championships are sponsered by WBTF. Our athletes compete in the compulsory portion (soon to be the short program on the National level) and the freestyle portion (one baton to own music, not a show twirl with props). It is a separate competition from our local, state, regional and national competitions.
USTA requires a membership to compete in our organization.

Let me know if I can be of any more help.

Michelle
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By SesameSt79
On Wed May 05, 2004 09:39 PM
Edited by SesameSt79 (55766) on 2004-05-05 21:42:38
Something else I forgot to mention is that the different organizations have larger home bases in different areas.

USTA dominates MD, OH, CA, NY.

NBTA has FL, GA, AL.

But, pretty much in any state where twirling is present you are going to find USTA and NBTA in large numbers.

DMA is huge in FL and WV.

TU and WTA are big in MI, OH and PA.

As for FL, we aren't a huge USTA state as far as the number of athletes, but we are a strong state in many other ways. We have a large national presence and great coaches. Our catagories at state were small, but the athletes were well matched.
differences
By FLTWIRLERMOM
On Wed May 05, 2004 09:48 PM
WOW that was a great post ..thanks michelle

That really explained alot...being new to baton this year it is really confusing..being I have asked my daughter's coach many times what is with all the organizations and why she only does NBTA,her explanations have been very brief and she will tell you it is a personal choice, however she also has said it is where more of the competition is (re: our NBTA Florida State Championships had numerous entries in all divisions and age groups )(my daughter was part of the tiny tots team that won the FL.ST.Champ.small dance twirl division and they competed against 6 other tiny tots teams.also she won ST.STUT (NOV) and her (NOV) SOLO age 7-9 with 11 and 7 entries repectfully)..I guess like the results of the "vote" I recently saw on here...the majority of people twirl NBTA...but until now I never knew what some of the actual differences in the rules between the two were.

Thanks for a great job in explaining !!
I am just so pleased that I have found dance.net..What a great web site !!I will be speading the word in our twirling community.
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By momtotiff
On Thu May 06, 2004 12:27 AM
Michelle, do you really think DMA is that big in Florida? We twirled in it prior to 2 years ago and I think the NBTA is as big if not bigger. I know the competition in NBTA is MUCH more difficult then in DMA (this is not a slam).

When we were in it most of the twirlers came from PA, Ohio & Michigan. I think there were 4 or 5 teams in Florida and most of those teams have dropped in size.
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By TwirlSportJunkie
On Thu May 06, 2004 02:42 PM
ALso as far as California goes, No Cal is definately USTA country where So Cal is primarily NBTA/DMA country. HTH
TSJ
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By TwirlSportJunkie
On Thu May 06, 2004 02:43 PM
ALso as far as California goes, No Cal is definately USTA country where So Cal is primarily NBTA/DMA country. HTH
TSJ
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By SesameSt79
On Thu May 06, 2004 04:16 PM
As a general rule, DMA, TU and WTA are going to have large sectors in a few states and almost no one in other states. In other words, what DMA probably considers a large state, NBTA may only consider average or even small. If you look at the national results from these three organizations you'll see that there is almost no one outside of their home states.

In contrast, USTA and NBTA are going to have teams from all over in their national rankings (i.e. Wheaton Majorettes and the Bel Aires are both from MD, Kyle Keiser and Patti Jankowski are both from MI...etc.). You will still see the states I mentioned before rank more predominatly than others though.

FLTWIRLERMOM, what your coach said is correct. Where you twirl is a personal preference. In reference to NBTA and USTA on the National level (but not necessarily locally) USTA's philosophy revolves around an Olympic system whereas NBTA's philosophy follows more along title events. USTA puts a huge emphasis on technique and NBTA looks more towards aptitude. Both are fine ways of twirling and coaching but very different. Even the athletes seem to have a different mentality. The important thing to remember is that there is no GOOD organization and no BAD organization, just different organizations.

Also, keep in mind, there are no surveys to draw from... this is based primarily on my own knowledge, competition locations and results, Twirlmania competitors, etc. and so it won't be 100% accurate. BUT, it does give an inexperienced person some insight to twirling in the US.
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By somdtwirl
On Thu May 06, 2004 04:35 PM
You are right on...there is no wrong organization...they are just different..USTA is definitely more technique oriented..My daughter twirls teams with USTA and individuals NBTA..coach preference..NBTA recently in MD has started leaning toward a set system for its bigger contests...but I would not say MD is USTA dominant...NBTA is really big in MD with the Dynamics and Wheaton (both World Champions) both being located here in MD...both organizations are fun and offer different positives and negatives...events like the Congressional Cup and Twirlmania are great because they bring twirlers of all the organizations together to do what they love to do!!
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By momtotiff
On Thu May 06, 2004 05:12 PM
Well, like I said in a post above we twirled DMA until 2 years ago, then we went to a few NBTA contest and realized we had a lot of work to do. Then this summer we went to go watch Nationals for USTA and to watch Trials here in St. Pete. It was SO much fun to get to see twirlers that we have never seen. I think that is the saddest part about having 5 organizations there will be twirlers that you will never have a chance to see it isn't like you can turn on ESPN and see twirling. We go to twirlmania every year but even there not everyone goes.
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By SesameSt79
On Sun Jul 04, 2004 10:12 PM
Just bringing this post back up to answer a few questions of a new board member.
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By twrlrmom
On Mon Jul 05, 2004 01:37 PM
Sorry about that. I guess I didn't go back far enough to find my answer. Thanks for the re-post.
twrlrmom
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By SesameSt79
On Mon Jul 05, 2004 02:56 PM
No problem... things aren't archived here so newbies wouldn't know they were there :)
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA? (karma: 0)
By twirler93
On Tue Jul 06, 2004 09:54 AM
Edited by MIClogger (28613) on 2004-07-06 18:30:57 karma was given to this post on accident. whoops! :D
I haven't got anything against USTA but NBTA is alot more advanced. I do DMA and NBTA but also I have been to USTA and most of the ADV. would only be intermediate in NBTA or DMA.

Twirler 93
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By SesameSt79
On Tue Jul 06, 2004 03:44 PM
I was going to let the last comment slide, but I don't want someone else to read it and turn this into a verbal battlefield. There are many differences between the organizations. What NBTA considers advanced wouldn't get credit at USTA and vice versa. They are very different organizations, with very different philosophies, ideals, teaching methods, judging certifications, etc. They are not interchangeable organizations.

So, lets keep this post to answering questions about various organizations rather than naming one better than the other, because that's all a matter of preference.
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By somdtwirl
On Wed Jul 07, 2004 06:41 AM
I couldn't agree with your more. My daughter twirls both...and I think that the focus on technique, etc. in USTA combined with the speed and big tricks required to compete in NBTA make her a better, more well-rounded twirler.

I also think that is what makes the best twirlers--Karissa Wimberley, Alysha Depp, Chelsea Russell---as good as they are--they all compete in both.
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By twirler93
On Wed Jul 07, 2004 06:56 AM
OOPS!! Sorry. I didn't mean for my comments to sound uneducated and/or offensive. I'm only 11 and have had limited experience with USTA. Actually, I'd like to have more of a chance to compete more with USTA because you can definitely learn a lot from ALL the organizations. Again, sorry about my comments earlier.
twirl
By twirlmaniachamp
On Wed Jul 14, 2004 07:42 AM
yes 3 baton is aloud in the n.b.t.a b/c i went to it 4 the past 2 years
twirl
By twirlmaniachamp
On Wed Jul 14, 2004 07:45 AM
yes i know what u mean b/c i went to the n.b.t.a's this year for the middle school division and my team got 1st and 2nd place it was so much fun
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By SesameSt79
On Mon Aug 16, 2004 03:45 PM
Bringing this back up for a new member... i don't know what happened to it being sticky.

Just a little bit more specific... USTA has two separate competitions. Delaniee, what you were looking at is our Pre-Trials/Trials information. The trials format is how we determine who goes to World (which was last week in Japan). It involves compulsories and freestyle and is very much comparable to gymnastics and figure skating.

It is also a completely separate compeition from USTA National/Regional/State/Local competitions. You do not have to participate in compulsories to participate with your teams on any level other than at Trials/Pre-Trials. If you let me know what state you are from I'll be happy to put you in contact with that particular Council, who would be more than willing to help you out. We are always thrilled to have more members.
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By razzledazzlstar
On Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:07 AM
wisconsin does both i believe i might be wrong though!!!
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By SesameSt79
On Sun Aug 05, 2007 03:47 PM
Batonmom99 had a question about the USTA compulsory system, so I'm re-posting a previous response I wrote regarding the Pre-Trials system.

Freestyle is part of our pre-trials/trials program. Pre-trials prepares athletes for trials and trials prepares (and qualifies) athletes for WBTF's World Championships. Our local/state/regional/national competition is much like any other organizations. Yes, different music, a few different events, but on the whole the same format. Our pre-trials, trials program (which I'm going to shorten to PT from here on out because that is a lot to type) is what really differentiates us from other organizations.

Now, in order to understand PT you have to need to understand our compulsory/ movement technique program. They are optional events and not required unless you plan on becoming a PT athlete, but highly recommended. Compulsories and movement technique are like figures in skating. They are a prescribed set of skills that are to be done in a certain way in order to be considered acceptable. Both compulsories and movement technique start with level C and progress through B, BI, BII, A, AA, AAA and finish with Elite. The skills and combinations increase with each level... i.e. Level C incorporates wrist twirls, figure 8's, horizontals, etc. Then in Level B you add reverse figure 8's, horizontal figure 8's, etc. Each level adds new elements or combinations. Movement technique is just what it sounds like, dance skills in a prescribed, progressive format.

Compulsories can be tested at any sanctioned competition. You must achieve at least a pass in order to move to the next level. Though many people are intimidated by compulsories, it really is an amazing system. They are the most effective teaching tool I have ever seen and they have easily unified USTA across the nation. All USTA professionals use the same verbiage and teach our students using the same ideology. They are what really sets us apart.

Now that you know about compulsories, PT will make more sense. Once you have passed your level A compulsories you are eligible to start competing in our PT competition. PT has two parts, compulsories and freestyle. The compulsory part I explained above. Freestyle is a one baton routine that has skill restrictions and time requirements based on that particular level. For example, Level A has very strict toss/catch requirements, very limited tricks and short time period, but Elite has no skill restrictions and a longer time period. You are only eligible to compete in PT through the level of compulsories you have passed. So, an athlete who has passed Level AA can only compete in Level A or Level AA PT, they can't compete in Level AAA.

As I said above, PT is a separate competition from local/state/regional/national. At the local and state level freestyle is an evaluative event. It's a way for pre-trials athletes to get on the floor and get evaluated, but there are no awards or placements. Now, the day before regional is pre-trials qualification (trials is a separate competition held in March). It is not associated with our regional competition other than it is held at the same venue. All athletes are judged first in their compulsories and then in their freestyle. They must achieve a certain score (score varies by level) to move on to the national pre-trials competition. The national pre-trials competition is held a few days before USTA Nationals, but once again is not affiliated with it other than being at the same venue, and highest score become the A, AA, AAA champion.

Just to clarify, when I say not affiliated with our regional/national competition I am referring to it being a separate competition. USTA does monitor and sponsor the competition. Also, now the SR Trials athletes now compete in short program instead of compulsories and Elite Pre-Trials have been added. I’m not a trials instructor as none of my students are at that level or desire so I do not have nearly as much information as a trials judge or coach would.

One last disclaimer, this explanation is VERY general. There are lots of other little things, but this is a pretty good idea of what it entails.
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA? (karma: 1)
By SesameSt79
On Sun Aug 05, 2007 04:43 PM
There have been a couple of board questions regarding USTA rules. So, per your request...

In USTA a win is a win. Only competitive wins count and a competitive win means you beat at least one other person regardless of the organization. It doesn't matter what level you received your competitive win at, it counts as a single win. This is the reason most athletes double enter in USTA. If a beginner athlete enteres both beginner and intermediate solo, they aren't extra penalized if they win both the beginner and the intermediate solo. In this case it would count as 2 wins towards solo advancement. This is also great as it means even beginner athletes can compete for advance title events to gain experience.

In terms of advancement,
Novice- Never won first in a particular event
Beginner- Fewer than 5 wins in a particular event
Intermediate- Fewer than 10 wins in a particular event
Advanced- 10 or more wins in a particular event

Some competitions do offer other levels, but these are local only as their area has a need. Athletes who cross over will need to review their records to see what level they would compete in.

One wonderfully positive thing I do see in USTA is the desire to class up, rather than compete down by cheating. This doesn't mean it's never happened because in every sport there are going to be people who don't play by the rules. However, the prestige that goes with being an advanced athlete is usually great enough that most will move up without the necessary wins so they can compete against the best. They can always go back down as long as they haven't received the necessary number of wins to move up a level.

In USTA we have foundation events, competitive events, teams and corps.

Foundation events are:
Basic Strut
Military Strut (in an L formation)
Presentation (the opening section of the strut music)
Rhythm Twirl (opening section of dance twirl)
Standard Solo (a solo that is not deviated from)
Body Forms (don't ask me, I don't get this event at all)
Side note- basic and military, like all events have set music. Athletes only perform it one time and then are dismissed. There is no re-march.

Competitive Events are:
Solo
Dance Twirl
Strut
2-Baton
3-Baton
Flag (as in tall flag, not flag baton)
Rifle
Dance Twirl Pairs
Solo Pairs

In USTA, we are able to divide & combine age catagories as the entries warrant (individuals only). This means we don't have 80 kids on one catagory. If we do have numerous athletes in a particular age, the top 7 re-compete to determine the winner.

Teams are Twirl Teams and Dance Twirl Teams. Both are done to your own choice of music and the routine represents the theme of the music. However, dance twirl incorporates more dance and twirl teams are more twirling.

Our corps are parade corps and show corps. Parade corps are probably the most standard event between the NBTA and USTA. Our show corps aren't quite the same though. There are no backdrop or prop requirements, however, these are calculated into the score in terms or general effect and equipment, etc.

At all levels of competition, the judges flash the athletes scores at the completion of the routine (this is only applicable for competitive events, not foundation events).

Something else on compulsories... they start at C regardless of what level you are competitively. An advanced athlete starts at level C in compulsories and movement technique just as a novice athlete does. As compulsories themselves are not a competitive event there is no adjustment.

If anyone has any more questions regarding USTA rules please let me know :)
re: What is the difference between USTA and NBTA?
By CoachT
On Sun Aug 05, 2007 08:18 PM
Michelle
Thanks for all the USTA info....your great...Karma for you!
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