This morning I read a story that really touched my heart and came close to home, as I’m sure it will for you too.
We are all aware of the difficulties we are still facing and overcoming in trying to get the world to accept competitive cheerleading as a sport. But it seems the cheerleading community is taking a step to simplify the process by introducing “STUNT”, an emerging sport derived from competitive cheerleading. STUNT will completely eliminate any confusion in people’s minds about the roles of cheerleaders (i.e. take the ‘cheering’ part that’s still so strongly associated with it away, and show them how intense and athletic we really are).
The idea is that our sport be in game format, thus drawing in fans and a wider audience. STUNT will have 4 quarters, like a football game, and two teams will face each other off each time. Each quarter is 15 minutes long, and consists of a different cheerleading skill executed by the teams, who compete simultaneously beside each other, so that fans and judges can easily tell who performs the skills better. Judges award points to each team for every quarter, and the team with the most points at the end of the 4th quarter wins.
The 1st quarter consists of Partner stunts, which the two teams perform simultaneously. In the 2nd quarter the teams each take turns showing off their tumbling and team jumps. The 3rd quarter is pyramids and basket tosses, again done simultaneously, and the in the 4th quarter each team takes a turn performing their complete routine.
There will also be time-outs, and the idea is that coaches have to strategize and learn other teams’ weaknesses and strengths.
Where is STUNT now?
Bill Seely is the director of USA Cheer and is behind STUNT. Currently, STUNT is in the process of trying to achieve “Emerging Sport” status with the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association), so that it can become a recognized sport in American colleges.
Although STUNT is not here in Canada yet, it will surely make its way once approved in the States. So we must wait and see!
What do you think?
Personally, I’m not sure I like the idea of turning cheer into a game, because it seems that its purpose is only to please sports fanatics and get them to see it as a sport. I like the idea of an athletic performance, which is what it currently is. If STUNT does take over, what will happen to traditional all-star cheer?
It seems a definite given that skill-wise STUNT will require much more precision and hard work to perfect skills because it’s one thing to be able to perform a 2:30 minute routine perfectly, and completely another to perform with perfection for an hour and a half! The fitness levels of athletes in STUNT will likely become higher than any other sport. We all know how much effort a 2:30 minute routine takes out of us, even when we are in good shape and well trained.
Anyways, friends, I’d like to know your thoughts! Feel free to express your opinions in the comment section below!
Hope you’re all in good Cheer,
Sources: Varsity.com, American Cheerleader Magazine