Discussion in 'Allstar Cheerleading' started by Keep_Believing, Jan 22, 2021.
I have heard it would be similar/based on ICU Worlds like Team USA:
You're right, I should have worded it differently. Cheer can absolutely be learned and enjoyed at any age. 12 is just a bit late to start if you're looking to get to a higher caliber Worlds team level. The original poster is from Sweden where sports like cross country skiing are very popular and rely on you being bigger and stronger (and therefore older), whereas cheer you sometimes benefit from being smaller. So I don't think "no competitions before age 12" should be a universal rule applied to all sports in Sweden.
On another note, that Team USA video is impressive. I see they tumble on a dead mat without double fulls-- definitely more like college cheer than all star. If they want to position themselves as an Olympic sport, they should consider using a spring floor for optimal safety and maximum tumbling difficulty. As impressive as fulls are, it's a skill that boatloads of cheerleaders can do, and I just think an Olympic competition should aim for higher caliber than that. Cheerleaders (males especially) should be allowed to do double fulls at the Olympics. Not to mention a spring floor has more give if a stunt comes down wrong. And those Level 7 stunts are pretty crazy, so I don't know why they wouldn't want a softer surface.
Using a spring surface would also open up the possibility of utilizing the gymnastics spring floor at the Olympics to also host the cheerleading event. The less hassle, the more likely the IOC would consider making it an Olympic event. I would also ditch the megaphones, signs, poms. The word "cheerleading" doesn't really make sense without those things, but we have a modernized version of the sport now.
I'd be surprised if they add cheer to the Olympics any time soon though, mostly due to the large number of participants it would add to the Games, even if they only invite 8 or 10 countries to compete. The Olympic Village is already crowded. But you never know what they're thinking. They just added breakdancing to the 2024 Olympics, which to me should be in a dance recital.
This seems like NCA college style to me- which I prefer to UCA. NCA reads more Allstar - UCA is much more controlled and slower with emphasis on technique. UCA does this arm thing when stunting that I find so distracting- can anyone explain that shrug the bases and bask spots do?
I always side with the idea that the Olympics should be the best of the best. But IIRC, cheer has been added as a provisional sport and there are so many differences in the cheer world already, I'm okay with "dumbing down" the skills to get a solid foundation that other countries can get on board with. Otherwise, if there isn't enough active participation from other countries, the sport will be removed from the games (e.g. baseball). What is a common skill here in the US is not common throughout the rest of the world. That's why the international score sheets at Worlds were changed to put more weight on stunts rather than tumbling since other countires lack access to instruction and basic equipment like a full floor of gymnastic mats. Forget a spring floor. Even the top cheer school's dont have their own spring floors. There's a reason why dead mats are still very common outside of US all star cheer.
It's not uncommon for countries to prop up state-sponsored training once a sport is in the Olympics, purely for political purposes. Training facilities, equipment, advisors, etc are set up to support the athletes to represent the country well and to show it's "strength". ("Rising Phoenix" on Netflix is a great example of this.) It's very possible that the exposure cheer gets at a globally-acknowledged and politically-charged event will progress the sport further at the global scale and will lead to evolution of the sport - in both skill and structure.
Sometimes you need to take a few steps back to keep moving forward if your goal is sustainable growth. Besides, to people familiar with cheer, we know the differences and we know that a double is more impressive than a full, all-star cheer is more fast paced and more fun to watch, etc. But to the common viewer, they don't know the difference. A flip is cool, a spinning flip is cooler, a "throw-the-person-in-the-air-while-they-flip-upside-down-and-then-catch-them" is jaw dropping. Whether potenital viewers are in-depth experts or just watching because "it's the Olympics!", it's a fun sport to watch and takes a lot of athleticism.
Another massive factor in getting into the Olympics is the politics involved and the power of international gymnastics. FIG doesn't want anything remotely similar to gymnastics in the Olympics that could infringe on their turf or popularity. Tumbling, use of spring floor, music, etc have to be altered to be acceptable to FIG, otherwise cheer doesn't get in.
I could definitely see that. Interesting point. I just wonder how much of an influence/say the FIG (or any sport's governing body) could have in whether or not a sport they have nothing to do with gets added to the Olympics. It's up to the IOC to decide what sports will be in the Olympic program, and they consider a large number of factors. If the IOC felt like cheer would enhance the Olympics in some way, I feel like they'd add it whether the FIG liked it or not. But I don't know what exactly influences the IOC's decision making. I'm sure it's a complicated process.
One of the main hurdles for cheer is that it's a team sport; they tend to favor individual sports that won't add a lot of participants. This is a big reason why baseball is having trouble staying in the Games and why they have been opposed to adding other team sports like synchronized skating. Baseball/softball are only allowed to have 6 teams participate in the next Olympics (meaning half of them are guaranteed medals), which is down from 8 teams in previous Olympics.
You're still allowed to PRACTICE and exhibition at competitions, get feedback from judges and so on, you just don't get ranked until you're 12. I'm not sure why you'd be a worse cheerleader because you don't compete til you're 12?? I know it might be hard to imagine what it's like outside of the US, but in Sweden there are very few people who double on dead mat. There has only been a handful of girls who's done standing fulls, etc, and we're pretty far along when it comes to progression outside of North America, not to the levels of Finland and Norway, but ahead of a lot of countries.
Sports should be FUN, and some of the most amazing athletes are the ones who's done multiple sports for a long while, some even until they're 15-18. We all know cheerleading takes up so much time, especially when you start competing, imagine being 10 and having to tell your best friend you can't come to their birthday party because you have practice? Dang even I felt bad having to tell everyone no at the age of 20. I don't see anything negative about not competing until you're 12 truthfully, having that pressure at such a young age, on top of the time commitment probably isn't the most healthy overall situation.
But then again, the general view on sports and active life in general differs widely between the US and Sweden, spontaneous sports and doing multiple sports is much more common here. Whereas in the US you almost have to zone in on one sport super early and strive to be the best at all times.
The bolded. This is so in line with our Long Term Athlete Development program in Canada, and it really bothers me that kids so young are ranked. My school kids (aged 8-11) never really cared where they placed. They just wanted to hear their name called at awards, even if it was last place. Give those kids best jumps, creative dance and a medal and they're happy as clams. The LTAD program is geared on getting and keeping kids involved in sports at an appropriate level all the way into adult hood. And there are options are you get into the teens/adult ages for a more recreational level of participation, and a high level athlete level of participation. It finishes by ending at the Masters level, I believe for lifelong participation in sport.
^^^^^This is an interesting concept.
I feel like consistent cheer athlete development culture is non-existent in the US.
Especially with schools.
You either live somewhere where you HAVE to start cheering in K-5 rec (or in all stars early) to have a snowball's chance in hell at making the HS team.
Or you live where there is no feeder programming at all and most of the athletes come into cheer as 8th/9th graders with little to no experience.
And there is very little in between.
It's actually not just for cheer, but all sports in general
this is something I respect about US Lacrosse. Their official stance is that kids should play more than one sport to minimize injury, burn out, etc. My cheerleader is actually a killer lacrosse player. She may have to take this year off because of crossing to two cheer teams, but we won't do that again. She's done cheer longer, but she will absolutely be a star lacrosse player. She'll likely make a worlds team in a couple of years (she's 12 on L4), but she'll never be the best on the team. She will be a standout on the lax field. So, decisions in HS will be interesting. Our HS cheer team is just pom poms and yelling.
Agree my son plays lax and they encourage them to do a different sports in fall and winter and NOT indoor lax leagues. So my son does fall soccer an winter basketball. Lax does have skill drills once a week in the off season but it’s casual / not mandatory and low stress.
I read an article a few years back (possibly time magazine). Where they covered the downside of youth athletes dedicated to 1 sport year round.
1. fatigue/ burn out
2. Injury do to muscle over use / repetitive movements
3. injury at an earlier age (example was 14 year old having Tommy John surgery)
4. Seasonal athletes have more muscle control and agility from doing different sports and using different muscles.
This is a massive issue that people keep ignoring... literally any discipline F.I.G. has right now is far superior to what cheer has.
Cheer just isn’t impressive when you stack it against all the F.I.G. disciplines. Artistic and T&T gymnasts can tumble better, Rhythmic and Aerobics gymnasts can dance better and Acrobatic gymnasts can stunt better.
There just isn’t room at the Olympics for cheer if all F.I.G. disciplines end up there. I know aerobics, T&T and acrobatic gymnasts are still waiting on their discipline to be introduced at the Olympics.
I wasn't suggesting they were necessarily "superior", just that FIG has immense power and influence with the Olympics. Cheer getting far more exposure may not help gymnastics businesses, so they are incentivized to keep them out.
The best swimmers, cyclists, and runners in the world are all faster in their specialties than the best triathletes, but that doesn't necessarily make their sports or disciplines "better".
I'm curious how much power the FIG actually has over the Olympics; I didn't think it was a lot, even if gymnastics is one of the most popular sports. If I'm recalling correctly, in order for the FIG to get Trampoline into the Olympics, they were required by the IOC to cut the number of spots available for Artistic Gymnastics and give them to Trampoline instead--- the IOC wouldn't simply allow them to add Trampoline. The IOC makes it extraordinarily difficult to add new sports.
Exactly. Another good example is the Olympic decathlon, which features well-rounded track athletes who are good at sprinting, long jumping, distance running, etc, but definitely not the best at any of those things. A cheerleader is a well-rounded athlete who can both stunt and tumble. That's why I think the ICU part of cheer should be on a spring floor where there aren't so many restrictions on tumbling. Cheerleaders need the proper equipment to show off their true potential. I realize that other countries would be further behind if the US is doing harder tumbling, and they might not have immediate access to a spring floor, but it would make for a more impressive sport. It's also plain safer to use a spring floor. Gymnastics used to be performed on a hard floor back in the 1970s I think, but eventually they got with the times and started using a spring floor.
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