Does cheer music affect your score?

Cheerleading music is one of the main elements to putting together a quality competition routine, and there are a lot of options for cheerleading music out there right now. Which brings up the question: what difference does cheerleading music really make? Can the music make a difference in your score? The answer is YES. Here are some considerations when choosing your cheerleading mix for the year.

Seamless Music Streamlines Your Transitions

You and your squad work really hard on making clean transitions between each of the elements in your cheerleading routine. If your music is jerky or has weird transitions from one section to another, then the smoothness you and your squad are showing off will still seem abrupt and uneven. Having seamless music in your routine makes it easier for your squad to have extreme transitions between skills.

Sound Effects Highlight Critical Elements

The athletes on your team spend countless hours perfecting their tumbling skills and working on those stunts. Your pyramid literally took your team a month to master. However, some of these key moments might be lost if you do not have music that highlights the critical elements in these routines. More importantly, having the right sound effect at the right time can really take your routine from an 8 to a 10. Picking music with high-quality, well-produced sound effects that align with the skills your team executes will make a significant impact on how your team is scored.

Musicality Enhances Your Routine’s “Story”

Every cheerleading routine tells a story. Sometimes that story is raw and powerful with strong skills and very clean transitions. Sometimes it is more fluid and musical. Selecting the epic cheer music mix which reflects the story you are trying to tell is critical: if you cannot tell the story with the music, you won’t be able to tell your story with the routine.

Custom Lyrics Motivate Your Team

Over the course of the cheerleading season, you and your team are going to develop all sorts of personal mantras that motivate and inspire your squad to do better. Incorporating those personal elements into your music will make you feel the music in a way that you wouldn’t if you didn’t have those sorts of elements in them. Selecting a high-quality cheerleading mix which has customized voiceovers including key elements from you and your squad will help the athletes on your team stay motivated throughout the performance. Personal music makes personal performances.

Ultimately, it is the difficulty of the skills which you exhibit and how cleanly you execute them which decide your score. While there are a lot of other more subtle elements which can also make a significant difference, none of them are more important than your cheer music mix. Think about what you and your squad have done to make this season the best one ever. How would that season feel if you knew you had subpar music pumping behind you while you threw those fulls? Taking elements from your routine into consideration while you are picking out the cheerleading music that you are going to use this season will make a big difference not only in the way it looks on the floor but even how it feels in practice.

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How to best utilize eight count music

That epic cheer routine you see on the stage did not just happen by chance. It took hours of careful choreography and months of practice with the squad to get that performance just right. As important as the skills executed in the routine is the musicality and performance of those skills. And nothing helps to highlight your squad’s hard work like the perfect cheer mix. If you are new to putting together a cheerleading performance, there are a few things that you should know about cheer mixes in general. Here’s how to best use the unique elements of 8 count music:

Know the Basics

Most of the music you hear on Spotify or TikTok is written in 4 counts. While there are a lot of time signatures in music, rhythms with 4 beats per measure are the most common in pop music. As a result, a lot of dance and cheerleading music is done in 8 counts, two units with 4 beats per unit. You may occasionally hear a 4 count, or even a 12 count, but cheer music is counted in 8 beat sections the majority of the time. This helps performers know when to hit a motion, dip for a stunt, or dish a cradle. The use of 8 counts helps your team synchronize their movements.

Understanding 8 Counts

Because most music in written in 8 counts, there are certain expectations for how those counts align with traditional cheerleading actions. For example, you might hear a choreographer tell you to dip on one. Most of the time the level changes in stunts are initiated on odd numbers. Meanwhile, in the cheer and dance sections of a routine, the hardest hits frequently happen on the even numbers. Understanding the traditions of how 8 count music is used in cheerleading will help you to use your cheer mix to emphasize your squad’s skills.

Using an 8 Count Track for Choreography

When you initially learned your choreography and started putting your routine together with your squad, you had someone who counted to 8 for you to help your team synchronize their movements. However, counting to 8 over and over again is pretty boring, and doing it at the same tempo for over two minutes is really difficult. That is why music providers like, and provide you with a track of music at a standard tempo which has someone count for you! These music producers have provided free tracks to use at practice. You can even find the music on YouTube! Once you have the track, you, your teammates, and your coach can focus on giving each other support and feedback instead of counting to eight 50 times in a row. Just hit play and show off your amazing skills. You can even perform your routine with the 8 count music and video the routine to help you fill out your 8 count sheets for your custom music. Having a video of the routine with a familiar track of music really helps music producers create the perfect cheer mix.

Using an 8 Count Track for Practice

Having access to 8 count music at the touch of a button can also help at practice. New Level Music has even put 8 count music tracks on SoundCloud to make them easy to access. When you and your teammates aren’t worried about shouting the numbers you can focus on proper breathing and technique, helping you to achieve your goals sooner. Cheer music can sometimes take several weeks to arrive, but if you can keep practicing to the 8 count music, you and your team can simulate actual routine tempo and become well-oiled machines when you receive your customized cheerleading mix. Understanding how 8 count music works will help you and your team create the best music which will highlight the hard work and effort you have spent perfecting your cheerleading performance.

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Keeping your cheer music legal

Cheerleading music has undergone a lot of changes since it began as a music genre in the 1980s. Most cheerleading music includes a mix of music from a variety of different artists, created to highlight the skills of the performers. However, the high-quality, professional mixes in today’s cheer music are broadcast in a variety of media outlets. Whether online via TikTok or YouTube, or on a national television broadcast of cheerleading competitions, there are several important laws governing the way that cheerleading music is created and exhibited. Knowing those rules is important. If you have illegal music, your squad may be barred from a competition or party to a fine of up to $150,000 – per performance!

Know the Rules

The rules for cheerleading music have changed significantly in the last decade. Until recently, cheerleading mixes were mash-ups of different copywritten songs. However, each artist or creator of intellectual property is guaranteed certain protections to keep their work exclusively their own. Their ownership to the rights of their work is a cornerstone of U.S. copyright law. Cheerleading music is no exception. In the last 10 years, the USA Cheer Music Copyrights Educational Initiative has been developed to protect creators and their original content. There are a lot of rules involved, but the basic premise is simple. If your cheerleading mix includes songs that were not legally licensed, then your music is probably not legal.

Consult a Professional

U.S. copyright law applies to all cheer music, even if it is only being used as a pep rally or other school function. Broadcasting copywritten music without the express permission of the originator is illegal. There are some grey areas, however. If you are not sure about the rules for your particular performance venue, don’t be afraid to ask a professional. USA Cheer has a list of certified cheerleading music producers like New Level Music and who know the rules and regulations regarding cheer mixes. They can help you navigate the laws around copyright and intellectual property. Members from the USA Provider list can acquire licenses and permissions for the songs in a cheerleading music mix, and make sure the music you are using is 100% legal.

Consider a Professional Cheer Mix

Once you know the rules, you should be able to make informed decisions about your cheerleading music. Using a preferred vendor like can help you navigate the laws involving copywritten music. Approved cheer music producers will be able to acquire and document the licenses which are needed to use copywritten materials in a public performance. Getting a professional music production team to help get that perfect mix will make your cheerleading routine epic and bring the crowd to their feet every time you hit.

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Tips For Choosing Cheer Music

You and your team have put time, sweat, and a lot of work into creating the perfect cheerleading performance. However, no performance is complete without flawless cheer music. Having the best cheerleading music doesn’t just happen, it takes a lot of thought and consideration. Here are a few points to ponder from your friends at to help you find the perfect cheer mix that will really make your performance pop!

Think About the Purpose

Whether you are preparing to compete in a big arena with thousands of screaming fans, or are putting on a recreational league cheer dance for the parents, having music that fits the mood and purpose of your performance is key. Is your team going for intensity, or are you looking for a cute mix to show off that mini’s performance? The mastering of the music sounds different on the concrete floors of an arena than it does on the loudspeakers of a football field. Taking these sorts of variables into account when designing the perfect cheer mix will only improve the final product.

Know the Rules (or find someone that does)

There are a lot of rules around cheerleading music mixes. Some of the basics include knowing the time limits (if there are any) for your performance, but there are other things to consider as well. Remember: that song on Spotify that you just love was the creation of a music artist who worked hard to create it, and it is their property. Because of this, a lot of cheerleading venues have put some pretty strict rules in place to protect the intellectual property of these artists. If you are not familiar with the rules for your particular event, you can trust the cheer music professionals at to provide music which is legally licensed, customized for your needs, and aligns with the rules and regulations for most major cheerleading events.

Consider your Style

You and your squad have your own, unique style – you need a cheerleading mix that reflects the one-of-a-kind flair which you and your fellow athletes exhibit at every performance. Your team put a lot of time and effort into creating the perfect cheerleading performance, it should have the perfect cheerleading mix. Are you a rocker? Does your team just love hip-hop? Is EDM the squad favorite? Getting the tone and attitude of your cheer music just right is every bit as important as the tone and attitude of your cheerleading performance.

Avoid the Same Old Songs

It is easy to just request the same songs that are hot on YouTube to be part of your cheerleading mix. Even without copyright issues (see #2 above!) you do not want to be at a competition or an exhibition and find out another team has the exact same songs! Having a unique, customized cheer mix does more than just save you the embarrassment of having the same music, it also highlights the hard work and originality that you and your team put into your routine.

Your team has worked too hard to just have some average, vanilla cheer mix taken from the current Top-40 hits. Having music that reflects your style and highlights your squad’s unique talents is what is really going to take your performance over the top!

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Perfection before progression

If you have spent any time at cheerleading camp, you have probably heard the phrase “perfection before progression.” It sounds like good advice, but what exactly does it mean? One of the important things that you and your squad should think about whenever you are looking at a new set of skills, is how your team can get to those skills as quickly and as safely as possible. The key to doing that is to make sure that you have fundamental skills fully mastered before you move on to more advanced skills. We call this training paradigm “perfection before progression.”

This essentially means that if you cannot do a cartwheel, you really should not be working on your roundoff. If you cannot do a roundoff you certainly shouldn’t be working on a back handspring. Going through the skills progressions and showing consistent mastery of fundamentals allows your squad to achieve more advanced skills more quickly and much more safely. That covers the progression part of the phrase – but the perfection part is significantly harder to understand.

The real challenge is maintaining a strict skill progression: even hitting a skill three times in a row is not perfection. Perfection happens when a skill is executed completely free of mistakes: not a foot moves, there are no bobbles, the stunt stays in place. Practicing like this requires a lot of discipline and attention to detail. Just hitting a skill does not qualify as perfection. As a result, coaches often end up in conflicts with their athletes because the athletes hit a stunt and want to move on to more advanced skills while the coaches are saying that they are not ready yet. Unfortunately, sometimes the coaches just give in. This is where serious injury and poor technique can occur.

While there are several major issues with not perfecting fundamental skills before moving on to advanced ones, the most important thing is the risk of serious injury. Advanced stunts require a fundamental set of skills which must be fully mastered and a certain level of athleticism from the people involved. You developed both the athleticism and the fundamental skills by perfecting basic stunts. If you cannot do a perfect extension, you should not be working on a liberty. If you cannot do a flawless liberty, then you should not be working on a switch-up.

One of the things that coaches and students must do together is take a critical look at what they are trying to achieve and make sure that they are identifying any problems in those fundamental skills. It is important for you and your teammates to work on basic skills until you get better at them. Too often, at cheerleading competitions, we see teams that can “hit” but cannot perfectly execute their routine. The absence of deductions does not in itself qualify as perfection.

You and your squad need to sit down and agree about what goals you want to achieve over the course of the year and decide what skills you want to showcase. Once you have agreed on this you can break down those advanced skills into a series of fundamental skills that need to be mastered. By working carefully on the basic skills involved in the progression your team will find that they can move more quickly and consistently towards the goals. Avoid the temptation to advance to more difficult skills until you have shown mastery of those fundamentals. This will help avoid injuries, and align your team’s goals with the best practices of the most successful teams in the country.

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How cheer music affects a performance

When you and your squad hear that hot cheer mix, you all start to move whether you want to or not. It’s almost unconscious, moving to the beat and feeling the music. The same is true with the performance itself. Musicality, or the ability to make your moves match up with the music, is a critical element to consider when developing your cheerleading routine.


Cheerleading music most obviously affects your movement in dance and your score. When you dance to the beat, how well your movements match the tempo and the energy of the music is critical. In fact, for many judges, this is the most important consideration in determining your score: have you effectively managed to capture the energy of the music with your amazing dance moves? Different types of music expect different styles of dance – making sure that the cheer music your squad is using reflects the style of dance they are performing is critical to maximizing your score.


Tumbling is another important area where you must consider how you are using your music. You and your teammates have worked hard to develop your tumbling skills. Showing off those advanced skills during the routine is an important part of your overall score. What you and your teammates may not realize is the relationship between tumbling tempo and music. The tumbling section of a routine is often a little bit faster than the other sections of your cheerleading routine. This is because when you are going full out on tumbling, you are frequently moving more quickly than you would during a dance, during a transition, or during a stunt. To get the best score, your music should reflect that change in intensity.

Stunts and Pyramids

Stunts and pyramids are perhaps the most overlooked areas when we talk about cheerleading music and how it affects your overall score. Using an 8 count track to practice will really help your team synchronize those moves. But that can be done with almost any cheerleading 8-count music. The real difference is finding musicality: finding music which accurately reflects the movements which you and your team are doing during your pyramids and stunt sequences. In the last few years you’ve probably seen several teams be extremely successful not because they necessarily had the most innovative pyramids or the most amazing stunts, but instead because they effectively choreographed their skills to perfectly reflect the energy and timing of the music. You want that professional cheer music sound to highlight the skills in your own routine.

Overall Impression

When the judges are watching your routine, they come away with a certain sense of tone and style for you and your squad. This makes sense: your team has worked on your amazing skills all year. Your music choices impact that tone and overall style as well. You need an epic cheerleading mix to bring those skills to the next level. The overall impression from the judges is frequently as much about how the music and movement together make them feel as it is about just technical skill and difficulty.

If you and your squad can think about the sort of music you like and find a style which matches your individual brand, that will make you feel like you have more invested in your performance. Your teammates have worked too hard to have just average music. Think about visiting a custom cheerleading music site like or New Level Music to find music which reflects your team’s individual style. Additionally, as your team is putting together your routine, think about how you can reflect the movements of your stunts, tumbling, pyramids, and most of all, your dance, to coordinate what is going on in the music at the same time. By embracing the team’s natural musicality you can make this the best performance ever!

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Map your cheer routine to your premade mix

In cheerleading, most of the teams perform to custom 8 count music. This has become something of a debate for choreographers. Do you order the music first, and choreograph the routine to the music? Or, do you make the routine first, and then get custom music made? Having custom music made can often be cost-prohibitive and taxing on coaches. However, there are now some new options that are quite affordable and make having custom music widely accessible, even if your team does not have a big budget.

If you were thinking about making your own routine, it is important to think about the structure of your cheerleading mix, and how that will reflect what you are doing in your routine. There are several key elements that you need to think about when you are making cheerleading music. Not every routine has all these elements, but these are the most common elements that we see in cheerleading routines. Thinking about these as you structure your music and your routine will help you have the best performance ever!

1. Opening

Typically, an opening of a cheerleading routine is filled with dynamic skills and high-level energy. Think of show-and-go’s, flyovers, or other skills which may not be technically difficult, but include a lot of energy and movement in them. Complex formations and transitions help to draw the eye: the opening is all about showmanship.

2. Standing tumbling

You and your teammates have worked really hard to develop your tumbling skills. Whether you are throwing back handsprings, tucks, or even two-to-fulls, you want to be able to showcase these skills early in the routine. This allows you to do it before you get too tired and potentially mess up and get deductions.

3. Stunts

Stunts are an important element in every cheerleading routine. You want to have energetic music which really highlights each individual movement. It does not matter whether it is an extension, a tic-tok, a switch up, or the most amazing full arounds. Each one of these skills deserves music that is unique and highlights their difficulty.

4. Cheer

Depending on the sort of competition you are participating in, a cheer may or may not be an element in the actual routine. Sometimes the cheer is before the routine and is considered a separate section. Regardless, you will want music which helps everyone stay on the same tempo while they perform. Nothing is worse than having people cheer at different times.

5. Jumps

Showing off your amazing jumps takes special consideration in the music you are using. Jump tempo is something that has very little flexibility. You can only jump at a certain speed, and you shouldn’t have faster music than your team can jump! So finding the perfect tempo and sound effects that match how your team hits the highest points will really create the best cheer mix for your routine.

6. Running tumbling

You and your squad spent a lot of time in the gym working on that running tumbling. It’s time to show it off. The tumbling section should have high-energy music allowing for the best cross tumbling with the most amazing skills at the end, having music and sound effects which really reflect the skills being executed will take that to another level.

7. Pyramid

The pyramid is often one of the most complicated portions of the routine to get the music just right. There are a lot of moving parts in pyramids, with series of interlocking stunts moving between each other and seamless transitions from one skill to the other the music must be just right. Really thinking and mapping out the pyramid before you pick your music is often helpful. However, if you’re using a premade mix, strongly consider the sort of musicality you’re looking for and how it will impact the pyramid overall.

8. Dance

No cheerleading routine is complete without a dance. You and your team have got those amazing dance moves that you have spent the whole summer mastering and you’re ready to show them off. However, having that high-energy eight count mix that really highlights each individual movement is critical to maxing your score with the judges and impressing the fans.

There are a lot of elements in a cheerleading routine so mapping the skills out to your cheer music will help make your routine score the best. Consider your friends at CheerleadingMix and NewLevelMusic as a potential solution for your music needs. Once you’ve gotten that amazing routine mapped out with all the skills and abilities of you and your squad, you’re going to put on the most electric performance ever.

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We have all been there. You have spent weeks working on the new tumbling skill, and you’re finally able to throw it. The first day you hit it, you are landing it on a dime. You don’t step, you don’t stumble: your skill is perfect. For the next several weeks it’s the same thing – you show off the skill of practice, and your coach puts it in your routine. Then suddenly, for no reason that you can figure out, you cannot land it for anything. Every time you throw your new skill, you put your hands down or your knees bend as you land and you have to step to recover.

Mental blocks are common in tumbling

Cheerleaders at all tumbling skill levels deal with mental blocks. That is one of the issues with tumbling. It is as much about your mental ability to handle a skill as it is your physical one. When Simone Biles felt like she could not control her landings, she had a decision to make. She had to decide what was best for her team: should she try to compete even though she was unsure of herself and beginning to make mistakes, or should she let someone else compete so that they can maximize their score. This was a difficult decision, and one that cheerleaders often have to manage. When suddenly you or your teammate can’t throw and land that still consistently, they are putting your team score in jeopardy. More importantly, they are putting their own safety in danger. Tumbling is dangerous, it takes a lot of practice and skill to consistently execute high-level tumbling. However, there is a great risk of injury if it goes wrong. If you are having a bad day and forget part of your dance, there’s a deduction and you move on. If you have a bad day and lose your spot on a double full, you can tear your ACL (or worse). This is what Simone Biles was managing, and this is what we as cheerleaders must do consistently as well.

Even elite athletes have mental blocks

When we see professional athletes, we assume that they have skills and abilities beyond those of mere mortals. This is not the case. Simone Biles may be the best gymnast of her generation, but she is still a human. When we watch people fail, we must realize their humanity and understand that we ourselves have similar deficiencies. When we can accept other people’s shortcomings with grace and dignity, that allows us to display sportsmanship and become better athletes. Being aware of the commonality of mental blocks can help us interact kindly with our teammates as well. There will be a day where someone just can’t stick their landing. There will be days where you step on a skill you have thrown for a decade. Accepting these mistakes as a part of the natural process will help you to build relationships with your teammates and find grace for yourself.

Working through mental blocks is a team effort

Putting additional pressure on yourself or a teammate when they are working through a mental block can do serious damage to the healing process. The best thing you can do is provide mental and emotional support for someone struggling with their skills. Sometimes just a hug and a pat on the back does more to help struggling athletes than a year of counseling. Try to be a supportive member of your squad, and be empathetic to anyone (including yourself) that is struggling with a mental block.

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Why did the Olympics recognize cheerleading?

The Olympics have been changing the sports that participate in them since their inception. There’s been a constant movement of new and different events, reflecting the popular sports of the day and age. A sport like the biathlon, where competitors cross country ski and then shoot rifles, may seem unfamiliar to many of us. Particularly when compared to something like cheerleading. However, in places where snow is more common and hunting is an important way of life, this real-world activity directly reflects that cultural and geographic differences of the nations that participate in it.

The Olympics are constantly evolving. Take a look at gymnastics. Once upon a time, gymnastics were performed on hardwood floors by almost exclusively males. Now when we think of gymnastics we think largely of the female competitors although there certainly are many male competitors still in the Olympics. They are now on a spring floor, and most of their other equipment has been modernized. The changes to gymnastics over the last 50 years have been dramatic.

One of the new sports for this year’s Olympics is skateboarding. Skateboarding has been on a journey very similar to that of competitive cheerleading. It really became a sport on its own in the 1970s. Competitive cheerleading began to be recognized in the United States in the 1980s, so it’s not a surprise that cheerleading is about a decade behind skateboarding. The Olympic committee has added sports like these because they are popular, practiced in multiple nations around the world, and have regularly performed competitions with standardized rules. The International Cheer Union, or ICU, is the global governing body of cheerleading. With 116 member nations participating, they are at the helm of the effort to have cheerleading formally recognized as an Olympic sport.

The Olympics are constantly trying to add new sports to gain more interest from younger people. That’s why skateboarding was added, and that is certainly what cheerleading is getting added as well. The Olympics can sometimes have low viewership, and its ultimate value is sports entertainment. This can be difficult to understand, as we think of it as being an opportunity for international competition. But there are already plenty of those. What the Olympics has is a certain cache: competing in the Olympics gives you a status that is not shared by simply competing in other sorts of national or international competitions. There are world championships in most sports every single year. However, we rarely hear about the winners unless you happen to be involved in that sport. But Olympic athletes can compete on the international stage with billions of eyeballs watching them, and stellar performances can make them household names.

It is important to realize that simply being recognized as a sport by the International Olympic Committee does not in itself mean that cheerleading will ever actually participate in the Olympics. Cheerleading has been exhibiting as a sport at the Olympics for several years now. The process for adding a new sport to the Olympics is slow and onerous. However, the consistency of the world cheerleading championship has really helped to vault cheerleading beyond something which is simply a United States sport and into one which is competed at on a high level across the world.

The ultimate goal for cheerleading is to become more than simply a competitive sport in the United States and neighboring nations. Instead, it will be a truly international contest similar to the Olympics with a world championship every year and hundreds of nations competing. This is the vision, and being recognized by the International Olympic Committee is one of the major steps in achieving that goal.

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Cheerleading is a recognized Olympic sport

Cheerleading has just been recognized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) as an Olympic sport. So what does this really mean, and why did the Olympics finally recognize cheerleading at this time? These are important questions and worth taking a deeper look into. Let’s start with the process of how sports are recognized by the Olympic committee.

A brief explanation of the process

The organizing body of international cheer is called The International Cheerleading Union (ICU), and they have been working for almost two decades to get cheerleading recognized by the IOC as a sport. In fact, the implementation of the Cheerleading World Championship about 15 years ago was the beginning of the process to make cheerleading more than just a sport played in a single nation, and instead make it a worldwide phenomenon. As a result, there are now around 170 countries which have cheerleading as a sport, and over 70 nations are represented at the most recent Cheerleading World Championship. The international appeal of cheerleading coupled with its growth during the same time period allowed it to be recognized as an exhibition sport, a fundamental part of the process of being formally recognized by the IOC.

What is the ICU?

The International Cheer Union is the governing body for cheerleading around the world, and the governing body of the Cheerleading World Championship. It is made up of 116 different national cheer federations: the IOC recognized it as the governing body for cheerleading in 2016. When it was initially founded in 2004 the ICU was designed to standardize and promote cheerleading safety and competition standards, key elements to being officially recognized as a sport by the IOC. The president of the ICU is Jeff Webb, the same man who founded Varsity Brands and the Universal Cheerleading Association (UCA).

Will cheerleading be in the 2024 Olympics?

So when will cheerleading start to compete at the Olympics? This is a very good question and one to which there is no definite answer. It’s not going to happen this year, as cheerleading was only recently recognized as a sport, while the Tokyo Olympics have already started. Because Olympic preparations normally begin at least four years in advance, it seems unlikely that cheerleading would participate as a recognized sport in the 2024 Olympics. In a recent interview Jeff Webb, founder and president of the ICU suggested that the 2028 Olympics, in Los Angeles, California, is where cheer is most likely to debut as an Olympic sport.

Why is this important for international cheerleading?

Having the Olympics potentially host games for cheerleading is very exciting. Recognition by the Olympic committee is very important, but the reasons are not immediately obvious to American participants in the sport. In the United States, where cheerleading is well established, it will not actually make that much of a difference in the next four to eight years. Only when cheerleading starts competing in the Olympics will we really see a big uptick and participation. However, internationally this is a very important development. In many nations, sports are funded and controlled by the government. And those governments often will not support sports which are not recognized as athletic contests by the international Olympic Committee. In many countries, athletes are trained under government facilities, by government coaches. It costs nothing to them individually to participate in the sport: all costs are covered by the government. By having cheerleading recognized as a sport, government bodies can now fund cheerleading in countries outside of the U.S. That is the most important development from this recognition by the IOC: now there will be money available for cheerleading from independent nations. As a result, many international cheer programs which have been held back by a lack of funding can now get full recognition by their home nations. This will expand cheerleading even more, making it more competitive with greater participation worldwide.

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