Cheerleading is demanding and just as competitive as other sports

It's just as, if not more, competitive than all the other contact sports

NEWS/FEATURES, Grades 7–9, 3rd Place

Cheerleading is a competitive sport that girls and boys can join. Cheerleading was invented in 1898 by Jonny Campbell. There are two types of cheerleading, high school and All-Star cheer. They’re the same but different at the same time.

In high school, which doesn’t have rules that you need to follow, you cheer for football and basketball teams usually.

Some high schools do competitions, but they aren’t as big as All-Star cheer. In All-Star cheer you don’t cheer for a team. You wear a uniform – usually sparkly – and it has your gym’s name on it. You go to competitions where you go against another team in your division.

A division is where teams from different states are separated by skills, age and size of their team. Also, there are rules in All-Star cheer. Here some basic rules for All-Star cheerleading: if a stunt drops, you’ll get a deduction – which means you’ll get points taken off.

Judges score the routine out of 100, every time a stunt drops, or a flyer touches the mat, you’ll get points taken off and if a tumbler doesn’t finish their tumbling pass or goes off the mat, points are taken off.

All-Star cheerleaders work extra hard and have a lot of practices. Cheerleaders usually practice four to six times a week to be more competitive and to be stronger for the bigger competitions. All-Star cheerleaders travel around the world to different competitions to get trophies, banners and bids. A bid is when team wins overall score and has the best score of the team’s division and that team will be able to go to world’s for free because the competition is already paid for.

But if a team doesn’t get the bid, they could still go to world’s but that team would have to pay for it. For example, if you go to Jamfest of U.S. Final competitions, they would give you bids to worlds and that competition is the biggest competition because you would get jackets and rings as if you won worlds and it’s located in Florida.

In All-Star you’ll barely have a weekend to relax because you’ll have to practice for upcoming competitions and showcases. A showcase is where you and our team show other teams in hour gym what you’ve been working on. Also, sometimes competition rides can take up to nine hours depending where you’re going. All teams wear the same uniform, hairstyle and makeup. Cheerleaders are just like football players.

For example, both cheerleaders and football players wear the same uniform and both compete/play against other teams. Cheerleaders have a special kind of shoes they wear. Cheerleaders aren’t supposed to wear regular shoes on the mat while doing their routine or they could get points taken off.

In my opinion, cheerleading is a sport. I’ve been cheering since the age of three and it isn’t an easy sport as people think. Usually when people think of cheer, they think automatically of high school cheer and think it isn’t a sport, which is so not true because cheerleading is just like football because you’re winning something and sometimes getting hurt.  In football, you have helmets and padding but in cheer you’re doing more than one flip and you’re in the air or basing and by cheerleading you could actually get stronger.

For example, if you’re a base, you’re holding up a girl more than two or three times during a routine. If you were a flyer you’re holding up your weight so you don’t fall and if you were a tumbler, you’re constantly pushing yourself to finish.

Cheerleading is a sport and will always be a sport. It’s just as, if more, competitive than all the other contact sports.

See all the winning entries from the 2019 Student Gazette here.

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