The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media

The student news site of Antioch Community High School.

Sequoit Media


Behind the cheer scoresheet

A rundown of the complicated scoresheet in competitive high school cheer.
Antioch cheerleading during their stunt sequence at the Johnsburg High School competition.

As competition season is in full swing once again, many are excited for what the Antioch Community High School cheer team will accomplish this year. This is the seventeenth year competitive cheerleading has been in the Illinois High School Association. The sport is pretty young considering sports like football go back to before the 1990s. The rules in competitive cheerleading can be tricky considering some can change or be added every year. It may seem confusing with all the adjustments but there are rules that are the baseline for the entire scoresheet.

The competitive cheerleading scoresheet is broken down into eight categories: jumps, tumbling, pyramid or tosses, partner stunts, motions and dance, projection and showmanship, skill utilization and routine composition. Junior Katie Decremer goes into how during a performance, some categories can be more impactful than others.

“I think the most important would be projection,” Decremer said. “Your expression, like when performing the routine, is important because you’re trying to make it look effortless to trick the judges that you’re having fun, therefore you could get a higher score.”

The most commonly known categories are the ones that make up the basis of the routine: jumps, tumbling, stunts and dance. It is critical that these components are implemented in a routine. A team might include all of these components, however there are countless ways to get points off. Freshman Maya Rodriguez, a cheerleader on the ACHS varsity team, provides examples of what could go wrong in a routine in order to get points off.

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“If you touch in a tumbling pass, you fall down, or if you drop a stunt, it counts as a deduction,” Rodriguez said. “There are things that can be ruled as illegal too, for example in high school cheer, you can’t do a double which means we are not allowed to twist two times in a row.”

Contrary to the deduction of points, there are components coaches can embed in a routine to boost the score. Boosting the score goes hand in hand with the categories of showmanship, skill utilization and routine composition. When a team wants to raise their score, it is important to take into account who the audience is. Junior Addison Pyburn highlights the fact that people would rather watch an exciting routine with a higher level of difficulty, rather than a boring routine that plays it safe.

“Coaches can incorporate fun, different visuals that are unique, like unique stunts,” Pyburn said. “Just things that are different and are difficult so that they’re impressive to the judges and crowd but also it must be visually appealing.”

With solid understanding of the scoresheet and creative views, a cheer team can manipulate their routine to get the highest score possible. There is no doubt that the varsity cheer team pays close attention to the categories as displayed through their success over the years. The wise coaches know the cheer scoresheet inside and out, promising the team an excellent season ahead.

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