The DV Cheerleading Squad at the 2020 Nationals competition in Florida

Is cheerleading canceled?

The impact of coronavirus on competitive cheerleading

Currently, the coronavirus is shutting down schools, shops, and stores around the world. It has also put a stop to many activities, hobbies, and sports due to social distancing, including high school cheerleading.

According to Varsity, they have shut down all competitions for the next 8 weeks. However, there might be hope for rescheduling. “We are actively exploring all options, including rescheduling events, extending the competition season, and hosting virtual competitions, to continue to provide a competition experience for the thousands of athletes who have worked so hard this year to compete,” Varsity posted. All season athletes have been working hard to compete this season, and although it is great to see that Varsity is putting in an effort to salvage the season, these cancellations could affect future seasons.

One prominent competition that was canceled was NCA Nationals in Daytona. Michele Shetzer, a Varsity worker, said “In the best interest of the health and well-being of all those involved, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the 2020 NCA & NDA Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida. This marks the first time in 40 years that this event will not take place.” Many teams, including Navarro of Netflix series Cheer fame, are super upset. These college athletes worked long hours, on top of their normal school day, so for this competition to be canceled is heartbreaking for all of these athletes.

The major competition they are postponing is Worlds. Worlds is a competition located in Orlando, Florida. It is only for levels 6 and 7, the 2 highest levels. Currently, the committee is thinking about 2 options: holding the competitions in September or hosting the competition in June. Cheer Updates website says, “Citing the global health pandemic caused by COVID-19, The United States All Star Federation (USASF) and International All Star Federation (IASF) have announced a postponement of The Cheerleading Worlds 2020.”

Extending the season would impact the rest of the seasons to come. The most worst solution for athletes right now is to be on 2 teams for a short period of time. This isn’t a preferable solution because athletes will need to learn 2 routines and have to work twice as hard for both teams. Ultimately, many athletes may not even want to stick it out this season.

There are multiple elements that need to be taken into consideration as the pandemic continues to affect the cheerleading season. People trying out for Worlds teams can’t wait too long if their previous season is still going on, and these postponements and cancellations could make the 2020-21 season extremely short. Finally, some athletes will age out of their divisions, move away, or go off to college. This will affect how the teams practice leading up to the competitions.

Personally, I am confused as to what is going on. I understand all the changes, and I understand how they want the seniors to stick it out, however, there are too many disadvantages to continue the season. I will miss my teammates and coaches, but it’s time to move on to the next season.

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