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Tryouts often take place during the spring, so that the coach has the squad chosen in time to attend summer camp as a team. Middle school cheerleading evolved shortly after high school squads were created.

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In middle school, cheerleading squads serve the same purpose, and follow the same rules as high school squads. Squads cheer for basketball teams, football teams, and other sports teams in their school. Squads also perform at pep rallies and compete against other local schools from the area.

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Cheerleading in middle school sometimes can be a two-season activity: fall and winter. However, many middle school cheer squads will go year-round like high school squads. Middle school cheerleaders use the same cheerleading movements as their older counterparts, yet they perform less extreme stunts. These stunts range from preps, thigh stands, and extensions, to harder one-legged stunts. In high school, there are usually two squads per school: varsity and a junior varsity. High school cheerleading contains aspects of school spirit as well as competition.

These squads have become part of a year-round cycle. Starting with tryouts in the spring, year-round practice, cheering on teams in the fall and winter , and participating in cheerleading competitions. Most squads practice at least three days a week for about two hours each practice during the summer. Many teams also attend separate tumbling sessions outside of practice.

During the school year, cheerleading is usually practiced five- to six-days-a-week. During competition season, it often becomes seven days with practice twice a day sometimes. The school spirit aspect of cheerleading involves cheering, supporting, and "pumping up" the crowd at football games, basketball games, and even at wrestling meets. Along with this, they perform at pep rallies, and bring school spirit to other students.

In May , the National Federation of State High School Associations released the results of their first true high school participation study. They estimated that the number of high school cheerleaders from public high schools is around , There are different cheerleading organizations that put on competitions; some of the major ones include state and regional competitions. Many high schools will often host cheerleading competitions, bringing in IHSA judges. The regional competitions are qualifiers for national competitions, such as the UCA Universal Cheerleaders Association in Orlando , Florida every year.

All high school coaches are required to attend an IHSA rules meeting at the beginning of the season. This ensures their knowledge of changed rules and their compliance with these rules. Most American universities have a cheerleading squad to cheer for football, basketball, volleyball, and soccer. Most college squads tend to be large coed although in recent years; all-girl and small coed college squads have increased rapidly.

College squads perform more difficult stunts which include pyramids, as well as flipping and twisting basket tosses. Not only do college cheerleaders cheer on the other sports at their university, many teams at universities compete with other schools at either UCA College Nationals or NCA College Nationals.

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This requires the teams to make a 2-minute 30 seconds that is full of tumbling, stunting, basket tosses, and pyramids. Winning these competitions are very prestigious accomplishments and is seen as another national title for most schools. Organizations that sponsor youth cheer teams usually sponsor either youth league football or basketball teams as well.

This allows for the two, under the same sponsor, to be intermingled.

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Both teams have the same mascot name and the cheerleaders will perform at their football or basketball games. During the early s, cheerleading squads not associated with a school or sports leagues, whose main objective was competition, began to emerge. The first organization to call themselves all-stars and go to competitions were the Q94 Rockers from Richmond, Virginia , founded in In , the National Cheerleaders Association NCA addressed this situation by creating a separate division for teams lacking a sponsoring school or athletic association, calling it the All-Star Division and debuting it at their competitions.

As the popularity of this type of team grew, more and more of them were formed, attending competitions sponsored by many different organizations and companies, each using its own set of rules, regulations, and divisions.

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This situation became a concern to gym owners because the inconsistencies caused coaches to keep their routines in a constant state of flux, detracting from time that could be better utilized for developing skills and providing personal attention to their athletes. More importantly, because the various companies were constantly vying for a competitive edge, safety standards had become more and more lax. In some cases, unqualified coaches and inexperienced squads were attempting dangerous stunts as a result of these expanded sets of rules.

The USASF was formed in by the competition companies to act as the national governing body for all star cheerleading and to create a standard set of rules and judging standards to be followed by all competitions sanctioned by the Federation, ultimately leading to the Cheerleading Worlds. It included teams from all levels, with each winner continuing to the online championships, where teams from across the nation competed to win the Worlds Title.

All-star differs from sideline cheerleading because all-star focuses on performing, while sideline cheers for others sport such as football or basketball.

All-star is competitive teams that perform a routine for the purpose of entertainment against other teams, typically in the same divisions, to try to win. The numbers of competitions a team participates in varies from team to team, but generally, most teams tend to participate in eight to twelve competitions a year. These competitions include locals, which are normally taken place in school gymnasiums or local venues, nationals, hosted in big venues all around the U.

During a competition routine, a squad performs carefully choreographed stunting, tumbling, jumping, and dancing to their own custom music. Teams create their routines to an eight-count system and apply that to the music so that the team members execute the elements with precise timing and synchronization.

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There are many different organizations that host their own state and national competitions. This means that many gyms within the same area could be state and national champions for the same year and never have competed against each other. Currently, there is no system in place that awards only one state or national title. Judges at the competition watch closely for illegal moves from the group or any individual member. They look out for deductions, or things that go wrong, such as a dropped stunt.

They also look for touch downs in tumbling for deductions. More generally, judges look at the difficulty and execution of jumps, stunts and tumbling, synchronization, creativity, the sharpness of the motions, showmanship, and overall routine execution. All-star cheerleaders are placed into divisions, which are grouped based upon age, size of the team, gender of participants, and ability level.


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The age levels vary from under 4 year of age to 18 years and over. It originally began with "all girl" teams and later co-ed teams began to gain popularity. That being said, the all-girl squad remains the most prevalent. One must get a bid from a company in order to compete at the Cheerleading Worlds.

For example, a team could get a bid from Cheersport, and they compete as a team representing that company. The Cheerleading Worlds are only for teams that are level 5 and up. Professional cheerleaders and dancers cheer for sports such as football , basketball , baseball , wrestling , or hockey. Although professional cheerleading leagues exist in multiple countries, there are no Olympic teams.

In addition to cheering at games and competing, professional cheerleaders also, as teams, can often do a lot of philanthropy and charity work , modeling , motivational speaking , television performances , and advertising. Americheer : [45] Americheer was founded in by Elizabeth Rossetti. This means that Americheer events offer bids to The U. Finals: The Final Destination. Including participation from its member national federations reaching 3.