Collegiate Cheer

not4u13
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Collegiate Cheer

Postby not4u13 » Mon Mar 27, 2017 9:55 am

I was at the USA Collegiate Cheer competition at the Anaheim Convention Center last night. Wow. These athletes are incredible. I was there for the Dance part of the competition to watch my kid's college team take second place in two categories, but the Cheer finals were done in between Dance and the final awards ceremony.

These men and women and what they can do with their stunts and gymnastics is really amazing. Unfortunately there was one drop that resulted in an ambulance ride (pretty scary), but that just underscores the risks they go through at this level. My kid is the dancer and not cheerleader, so I had not really seen this level before.

Next time you're on the sidelines of a college game (any sport where there are cheerleaders), pay these folks some respect. High School too for that matter. I saw some pretty strong routines from them as well.

For those wondering, no I didn't track results, but there were DI, DII and DIII schools from all over the nation there including USC, Boise State, Colorado, Villanova, ASU, New Mexico State and TCU.



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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby cruiser » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:45 am

FYI, cheer is going to be a CIF sport next year, another way to get more money for the CIF
powers- at- be and each individual CIF section(s) personnel.

not4u13
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby not4u13 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 3:46 pm

I'm trying to envision how that would even work. Are they doing it to add more safety regulations?
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby pattywannamack » Wed Apr 19, 2017 5:20 pm

I kind of like the fact that Cheer will be a CIF sport.

When I was in high school it seemed like schools would just go to random competitions that all had really fancy sounding names. USA Nationals! California Regionals! National State Cheer Competition! so it seemed like every school could say that their cheer team was a champion of some impressive sounding title.
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby Fordama » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:11 pm

There would have been a time when I thought it was ridiculous, but it's starting to make more sense. The above mention safety issue is one of them.

Of course it doesn't pass my personal rule for being a sport, but it has become an athletic event.
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby not4u13 » Fri Apr 21, 2017 3:56 am

I'm with you on the crazy sounding competitions. Just about any competitive event has a similar problem, it's just that some have developed a good reputation and at least within the "circle" are known to be more prestigious. They attract the more competitive teams and therefore have more meaning when you win. For cheer, it is USA. For dance, it is UDA, with USA dance trailing behind.
Marching band, drum line, dance, color guard and show choir were things I became familiar with when my kids were in High School. They had their competition circuits that all had these unique characteristics. One might focus more on music and drill where the other might specialize in parades over field shows. Schools would run these competitions (same as for cheer) as fundraisers. Charge an entry fee, pay some judges and voila. You have a competition.

The show choir circuit is really interesting. There are some competitions in SoCal that have become legendary. Burroughs and Hart are known to be where the top choirs compete. Los Al has the "national" title because they've gone to a competition in Nashville and won that, but they may have taken 2nd at Burroughs earlier in the year and the choir that took first didn't go to Nashville. So what does that mean then?

Making cheer a CIF sport solves all of that, at least in terms of creating a clear progression. I wonder if it will impact USA or if that will still be the one place they go after CIF?
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Fordama
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby Fordama » Fri Apr 21, 2017 7:42 am

The major Burroughs Showcase was two weeks ago, and we swept all six divisions, buckwheat!

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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby MDDad » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:41 am

not4u13 wrote:Los Al has the "national" title because they've gone to a competition in Nashville and won that...

So wouldn't that be considered the "Nashinal" title?

Seriously, competitive cheer will be the first CIF sport that uses subjective judging since high school gymnastics was discontinued almost 35 years ago. It will be interesting to see how today's parents react when their little darlings aren't given the scores mom and dad think they deserve.

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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby Fordama » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:02 am

And just wait for the cheerleading motivated transfers!
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby John Q. Public » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:20 am

Who's going to do the judging and will they have "the Russian judge" who always grades low and pisses everybody off?

I didn't realize gymnastics had been DC'd. Has the sport been completely privatized or do other states still have it? It's a big Olympic and TV sport. I'm surprised California would eliminate it.
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby Fordama » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:37 am

Liability nightmare.
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby John Q. Public » Fri Apr 21, 2017 9:48 am

As would be some of those stunts competitive cheerleaders do.

Maybe I'm overthinking it, but competitive cheering just seems existentially wrong.
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby MDDad » Fri Apr 21, 2017 10:35 am

John Q. Public wrote:Who's going to do the judging and will they have "the Russian judge" who always grades low and pisses everybody off?

I can't imagine there are enough qualified judges in SoCal to manage this new undertaking. Look for the number of H-1B visa applications from East Germany to skyrocket.

Fordama wrote:Liability nightmare.

Exactly. There weren't nearly enough skilled gymnasts in high schools who could compete safely without crippling themselves.

JQP wrote:Maybe I'm overthinking it, but competitive cheering just seems existentially wrong.

Next up -- competitive pole-dancing.

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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby John Q. Public » Fri Apr 21, 2017 11:36 am

Will the cheerleaders have cheerleaders? And if so, which ones would actually be the cheerleaders? :-k
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby Omar Bongo » Fri Apr 21, 2017 8:38 pm

MDDad wrote:competitive cheer will be the first CIF sport that uses subjective judging since high school gymnastics was discontinued almost 35 years ago

To the contrary, subjective judging is part of every CIF sport to some degree - on every pitch in baseball and softball, for example. Some might even argue it cost MD a chance at a state basketball title last month...
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not4u13
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby not4u13 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:01 am

Those close to any form of judged competition understand there is a judging book, much like a rule book for football. The competitors know what gets them points and what loses them points. There is a subjective nature, but he grade given has guidelines as well. The judges are often former competitors or coaches. They understand the moves being made and the difficulty level.

Even so, I really could not say that a football referee or baseball umpire is using nearly as much subjective opinion as a cheer judge. I mean, we can argue a strike zone and whether or not a tag is made, but that's really all you are looking at. Many games are played where the calls are not that close, where the game official has easy calls and yet the game can still be decided by the athletes.
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby not4u13 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:05 am

Los Al choir this year is really tearing it up. I don't know as many of the kids in the choir anymore, but I still know the choreographer and some of the adult technical team. Yes, they swept Burroughs and they were just in Chicago (not sure I heard the results of that one).

Show choir, when done well, is very entertaining. The top groups put on a heck of a show.
Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountain is going home; that wildness is necessity; John Muir
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby not4u13 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:15 pm

Not that anyone else cares, but I just realized that Los Al choirs are actually in Chicago now. When I had posted the above, they had not performed yet. That's off topic anyway, but it's a just another one of those things that schools do that isn't really regulated by any central body.
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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby Fordama » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:50 pm

And those things can take a major chunk out of a student's time. Often more than most sports do.
This country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them.---JFK

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Re: Collegiate Cheer

Postby not4u13 » Thu Apr 27, 2017 4:35 pm

This is very true. The amount of time it takes to perfect and perform at that level is really incredible. The advanced show choir at any school will likely only accept performers that have already had years of training (similar to HS sports these days). Students begin in the summer with "camps" that are intensive combination of conditioning, dancing, vocal training and learning the first parts of the show. Because there is no physical contact like football, there are no rules about how long any of these rehearsals or practices can be. Students are generally required to not only attend all practices and performances, but they must also attend dance classes outside of school hours, often at a specified dance studio and they may also be "encouraged" to take vocal training outside. Since most of the students in those top choirs came with prior experience, they are often still enrolled at their "home" private studio where they also train and perform, but the HS choir demands top priority when there are conflicts. These choirs are a class period, plus after school and since they don't count as a sport, they take the place of an elective. Sports teams take the place of the PE class. In addition to the class period, there are at least 2 days a week rehearsals that intensify during competition season.

I had kids in show choir and it was not at all uncommon for them to have something going on right after school and then rehearsal until late and then they could start homework (often no earlier than 9pm). Competitions were almost always on Saturday. When they travel to something like FAME in Chicago, that's a week off of school.

Being that none of it is regulated by anyone and most teachers don't much care how much rehearsal you had the night before (not sure they should care), students feel pressured from both sides. I've seen it cause breakdowns from the stress.
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