UCA and NCA, college edition

Recently returned from Daytona Beach, FL for the NCA college nationals. It was a great trip, but as college cheerleader I had a unique experience or competing at both. Post my college career, I’ve visited UCA and coached a team at NCA. Each competition has it’s own experience and deciding where to go can be difficult. While both NCA and UCA are owned by varsity the events has it’s own character. Here are some of the factors that are relevent for my team when deciding between the two:

Category NCA UCA
Date Early April MLK Weekend January
Schedule
Tryouts April April
Summer Starts early August Usually Weekend a month, Full outs in February
Taping December October (+crowd tape)
Thanksgiving Break Full Week Break Five Days
Winter Break Starts Before Finals, come back mid January ~5 days for Xmas, 24 hours for NYE
Spring Schedule 5+ days a week Light practices
Spring Break Doubles Off
Missing school Miss days of school (usually Wed through Friday) Miss days of winter break
Cost $600+airfare, due in spring $600+airfare, due much earlier
Post Comp Event Stunt Fest Block Party, Disney World Access
Grades First semester grades counted First semester grades not counted
Location Daytona Band Shell Disney, Orlando
Number of participants 20 Coed (max 11 men) 16 Coed (max 9 men)
Format 45 second cheer, 2:15 music section 2:30 with cheer included
Dance Full Team Dance section (5+ 8-counts) Small number of participants, only a couple 8-counts
Jumps Own Category on score sheet Not scored in coed

The factors listed above are specific to my team which is currently a large coed program. All girl teams have different score sheets and number of participants.

Do you have preference on nationals? If so, which one do you prefer and why?

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