Cheerleading teams have become part and parcel of almost all educational institutions. Middle and high schools, colleges, and universities recruit cheerleading teams. They involve the spectators and create a lively atmosphere, although many of them also compete in tournaments. Cheerleading is not just for players who want to compete at the professional level. Quite a few individuals take up cheerleading as a hobby for pleasure or fitness.
Which Organizations have Cheerleading Teams?
Cheerleading teams are generally affiliated with schools, colleges, or universities. The primary purpose of cheerleading teams at school and college levels is to cheer for athletics, rallies, or sports events like basketball and football and hyping up the spectators to join along. They may secondarily compete in local, regional, or national cheerleading competitions.
Many middle schools have started forming cheerleading teams by recruiting students from grade 6 to 9.Theteams perform less extreme stunts as compared to the high school ones.
Almost all high schools have cheerleading teams. They are focused on engaging the audience as well as competing. They perform routines and stunts that are more advanced than middle school level but not as difficult as those of college or athletic levels.
Cheerleading teams at the college level may perform extreme routines like making multi-level pyramids and engaging in basket tosses involving flipping, tumbling, and twisting. Most of them compete at the national level with teams from other universities and colleges. They are considered highly prestigious tournaments, and a victory is akin to winning a title in other sports like football or basketball. Many colleges and universities offer cheerleading scholarships to applicants.
Private Leagues and Teams
In addition to schools, colleges, and universities, many teams participating in sports leagues or athletic competitions have their dedicated cheerleading teams. They travel along with the sports team, basketball, football, wrestling, etc., for support but may also compete in cheerleading tournaments at the national level.
All-Star or Club Cheerleading teams are different from those at the school or university level. Their sole purpose is to participate in competitions. Unlike school or college cheerleaders, they don’t hype up spectators or lead cheers to support a sports team. The teams may be owned by private clubs, gyms, or sports facilities. All-Star or Club Cheerleading teams are not directly associated with a school, university, or sports league. They compete in a separate division known as the All-Star Division.
The United States All Star Federation(USASF)is the entity that governs all-star cheerleading in the nation. It sanctions competitions at different levels across the country. The body designs the curriculum and determines rules and regulations that all-star cheerleading teams must follow. USASF has established judging criteria that must been forced in all competitions authorized by it. The length of the performances in the All-Star Division must be 2-minute and 30-seconds.While cheerleading teams sponsored by educational institutions are divided according to grade, USASF groups them based on the age and skill level of participants. There are seven different classifications, ranging from Level 1 to Level 7. Cheerleading teams upgrade levels through the progression of skills according to the rules of USASF.
Enrolling inCheerleadingTeam Training?
Every athlete needs to train under a coach for learning cheerleading. Cheerleading teams practice stunts or routines that may be unsafe if learned without supervision. Many performances involve players being thrown into the air or forming a pyramid, which requires a coach’s supervision. The instructor will teach proper techniques and skills such as how to catch a player or land safely. It will ensure the safety of participants by minimizing injury risk. Many institutions and organizations recruit and train cheerleading teams.
Schools, Colleges, and Universities
Educational institutions have their own training programs and practices in place. They may have a dedicated coach or instructor for the same. If you are attending a school, college, or university, ask around for cheerleading team training.
Cheerleading Summer Camps
There are summer camps organized for teaching students cheerleading and assisting them in developing and practicing routines. Children as young as three years old can enroll in a cheerleading program. They are suitable for students who are free during their vacations.
USASF Member Gym Cheer Programs
Many clubs, gyms, and facilities offer training for cheerleading teams. Athletes who want to try out the sport before committing to it can enroll in novice cheerleading classes. If you are not associated with a school or college but want to join a professional cheerleading team, consider the All-Star Division programs. A professional choreographer works with teams that are competing. Their job is to ensure that the team is performing according to the rules and regulations of the competition. Clubs, facilities, and gyms associated with USASF offer five different types of cheer programs.
FUNdamentalsis the foundational program for individuals who want to pursue cheerleading as a hobby. It focuses on educating students regarding the basic techniques of cheerleading in a fun and entertaining environment. Participants can find out if cheerleading is their cup of tea and move onto competition and performance-oriented programs.
The Novice program is designed for athletes who have been a part of one or more cheerleading teams but are new to All-Star. They learn skills and techniques to get ready for competitive tournaments.
Prep is a specialty program organized by facilities for cheerleading teams that can’t commit as much time and resources as those required in other professional-level programs. Its objective is to work upon the technique and improve the performance of participants. Prep programs are relatively short duration courses suitable for hobbyists who are serious about cheerleading but short on time. Enrollees may or may not want to compete at the professional level.
USASF’s Elite program is suitable for cheerleading teams serious about competing at the professional level. Only individuals who have trained for multiple years and mastered the technical foundations of cheerleading are accepted into the Elite program. The objective is to get the team ready for competitions.
CheerABILITIES is a USASF program that serves the best of the best cheerleading teams. Athletes that are exceptionally gifted or talented enroll in this program. It focuses on the all-round development of individuals, boosting their confidence and facilitating social interaction between peers for inspiration.
Most cheerleading teams have a dedicated coach or trainer. If you are recruited in one of these, you may not necessarily require a separate instructor.