It’s the end of another journey around the sun and we’re looking back on 2017 and all of its cheerleading-related shenanigans. It’s always weird to look at cheerleading in terms of a normal calendar year because that’s not how a cheerleading season operates, but we’re going to do it anyway!
Over the past year, we’ve shared thousands of updates, read countless tweets, and talked to people from every corner of the country. 2017 was jam-packed with some pretty awesome cheerleading and of course just a healthy dose of drama.
Join us as we share the stories and moments that sparked conversation in our weird, little world of all star cheerleading.
Helpful links for the 2017-2018 season:
The Biggest Moments of 2017:
1. Putting Scoring Transparency on Center Stage
By far and above, our most popular and controversial story of the year – Cheerleading’s Biggest Problem is Only Getting Worse – earns the number one spot on our list. Cheerleading is great for many reasons, but transparency is not one of them. Our story laid out one of the most pressing issues cheerleading faces today. We hoped that for the 2017-2018 season we’d see more transparency around scoring – but it looks like we aren’t getting our wish just yet.
2. USASF Adds Two New Worlds Divisions
USASF introduced the Extra Small and Extra Small Coed divisions which allow 5-14 athletes (1 or 2 of which may be males in the coed division). The divisions also come with a few stipulations. A program can only send an Extra Small or Extra Small Coed team to the Cheerleading Worlds if they send no other teams to Worlds. Also, if a team wins a bid in one of the Extra Small divisions and another team from their program wins a bid, they will compete in the Small Senior or Small Senior Coed division instead.
One of our most popular articles of the year – How Two New Worlds Divisions Are Going to Define a New Era in Cheerleading – explores the hidden benefits for smaller programs.
3. Four Programs Win Their First-Ever Cheerleading Worlds Globe
Four new programs won their first-ever medal at the Cheerleading Worlds in 2017.
- Pirates Athletics – Silver – International Open Small Coed 5
- Central Jersey All Stars Bombshells – Bronze – Small Senior 5
- KC Cheer Fierce 5 – Bronze – Small Senior Coed 5
- Gothenburg Cheer One Wildcats – Bronze – International Open 6
I was sitting a few feet away from CJA Bombshells when they were crowned the Bronze Champion in the Small Senior 5 division. The emotion was palpable and it was a truly special moment. KC Cheer Fierce 5 put on an incredible performance day 2 and made their way into the top 3 in one of the most impossible divisions. And Gothenburg Cheer One Wildcats made a name for themselves in the IO6 division.
4. The Cheerleading World Comes Together for Houston
Everything’s bigger in Texas – including the cheerleading community. When Hurricane Harvey destroyed much of the Houston area, including several all-star cheerleading gyms, the cheerleading community came together to lend a helping hand.
5. Cheerleading Makes Move to Join the Olympics
The news that all-star cheerleading was accepted as a provisional Olympic sport broke in December of 2016, but it remained one of 2017’s most talked about stories. Cheerleading is making moves on the world stage and we couldn’t be more excited. And just a few weeks ago, we found out that a hand full of countries, including the United States, will send a cheerleading team to the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
6. A Brand New Building at ESPN Wide World of Sports
Cheerleading is getting a brand new, beautiful building at ESPN Wide World of Sports. Many cheerleading fans got their first glance at the building at the Cheerleading Worlds and the Summit this year. It’s scheduled to be ready for the Cheerleading Worlds 2018 – we’re psyched.
7. IASF Changes the Rules – and Then Changes Them Back
After the IASF made major changes to basket tosses and tumbling, the cheerleading world went into an immediate fury. The new rules stated that individual tumbling passes wouldn’t be counted and basket tosses weren’t allowed to twist or flip. It was bananas. Within 72 hours, the majority of rules were changed back and we all took a collective deep breath.
8. First Ever Program Ranking by Summit and D2 Summit Bids
For the first time ever, we ranked programs by their Summit and D2 Summit first, second, and third place wins. We’re on a mission to create the most up-to-date and accurate all-star cheerleading website in the world, and it just wouldn’t be complete without an accurate list of Summit and D2 Summit Champions. The California All Stars, Stingray All Stars, and Cheer Athletics (unsurprisingly) lead the pack.
9. Woodlands Elite Generals’ Remarkable Season
If there’s anything we can learn from 2017, it’s that winning Worlds is incredible, but it’s not everything. Throughout the 2016-2017 season, we watched Woodlands Elite Generals put on countless show-stopping performances. With amazing power, and some of the best HITS we’ve ever seen – we think they deserve a shoutout.
10. Lady Lightning Snags Their Second World Champion Title
Lady Lightning snagged their second World Champion title at the Cheerleading Worlds 2017. Fun fact, they’re only the second team to win two World Champion titles in the Small Senior 5 division (Stingray All Stars Orange was the first one to do it). Throughout the season, Lightning stayed pretty quiet and then brought a whole new storm to Worlds. Looks like lightning can strike twice after all. 😉
11. Stingray All Stars Steel Wins Their First Title in Large Senior Coed 5
The Stingray All Stars already has an incredible record of winning Cheerleading Worlds titles. This year Steel added one more World Champion title to their collection in the Large Senior Coed 5 division. After a season of noticeable continuous improvements, they came out on top with a solid routine and a much-deserved win.
12. An Iconic Dinosaur Doing a Full Up
Our most popular tweet of the year featured the athletes of Superstar Athletics from Pennsylvania doing a full up in a dinosaur suit. It was unreal. And we’re still laughing.
I. Am. Done. pic.twitter.com/xdxUNObfzo
— CheerTheory (@CheerTheory) November 1, 2017
13. East Celebrity Elite M5 Bombshells Win Their First World Champion Title
East Celebrity Elite M5 Bombshells won their first World Champion title in an extremely talented division – Medium Senior 5. Their routine was epic and had a standing full section that still has us shaking. By the looks of it, 2018 is going to be pretty good for them too.
14. Twist & Shout Diamonds Win The Crowd’s Heart
Twist & Shout Diamonds quickly become the fan favorite last year after they posted their stunt sequence in late 2016. Throughout the season, we watched them perform near-perfect routines every time they hit the mat. Their unique flare and healthy collection of talent was the perfect recipe for fandom.
Other Honorable Mentions
- Cheer Athletics Swooshcats closing out Worlds 2017 with a bang
- World Cup Shooting Stars winning their fifth World Champion title
- Maryland Twisters F5’s baseball theme
- California All Stars Black Ops show-stopping World Champion performance