It may be 2018, but the NCA Large Senior Curse is still very much alive.

Since 2006, whichever Large Senior 5 team wins the NCA National Champion title does not win the World Champion title at the Cheerleading Worlds. The industry likes to refer to this as the NCA Large Senior Curse. It’s a weird coincidence that happens every season and has always been one of the hottest topics leading up to NCA and into Worlds.

NCA is the most prestigious nationals competition of the season. The best-of-the-best gather in Dallas, Texas to compete on one of the most beautiful stages in the infamous arena. The bright lights, roaring crowds, and intense competition are unmatched. It’s an experience that almost beats competing at the Cheerleading Worlds, and that says a lot.

That being said, winning NCA is a pretty big deal, no matter what level or division you’re in. But, for Large Senior 5 specifically, winning the NCA National Champion title has historically meant giving up the World Championship title. And that’s, like, crazy… 


Show Me the Facts and Figures

As you can see in the table below, since 2006, no NCA National Champion has gone on to win the Cheerleading Worlds later that season in Large Senior. Last year’s victim: The Stingray All Stars Orange.

YearNCA WinnerWorlds Winner
2017Stingray All Stars OrangeWorld Cup Shooting Stars
2016World Cup Shooting StarsMaryland Twisters F5
2015Cheer Athletics PanthersWorld Cup Shooting Stars
2014Cheer Athletics PanthersStingray All Stars Orange
2013Cheer Athletics PanthersCheer Extreme Senior Elite
2012World Cup Shooting StarsCheer Extreme Senior Elite
2011World Cup Shooting StarsMaryland Twisters F5
2010World Cup Shooting StarsCheer Extreme Senior Elite
2009Cheer Athletics PanthersWorld Cup Shooting Stars
2008Cheer Athletics PanthersWorld Cup Shooting Stars
2007Cheer Athletics PanthersWorld Cup Shooting Stars
2006Maryland Twisters F5Cheer Athletics Panthers

It’s Not All Bad

Like we mentioned in our original article last year, the curse isn’t all that bad if you’re willing to take the L in Dallas and snatch the World Champion title just a couple months later at Worlds.

In the case of every large senior team, losing NCA (or not competing) means that the opportunity to win the Cheerleading Worlds still exists, like Shooting Stars did 2007-2009 and 2018, Panthers in 2006, Maryland Twisters in 2011 and 2016, Orange in 2014, or Senior Elite in 2010, 2012, or 2013.

Can the Curse be Broken?

Good question. Last year we shared an article that looked at a theory from @WeSpeakCheer. Their theory was that if Cheer Extreme Senior Elite wins NCA, they could go on to win the Cheerleading Worlds. As you can see in the table above, CEA Senior Elite has never won NCA. For several years, Senior Elite didn’t compete at NCA, but now that they are back, it seems like one of the few plausible ways that the curse could be broken.

But over the past couple of years, a handful of new teams have joined Large Senior 5. So, we think it’s likely that they, too, could break the curse. ICE Radar and California All Stars Midnight will compete at NCA for the first time in the Large Senior 5 division this weekend. And then, you have ACE Chiefs who were new to the Large Senior 5 scene last year. Something tells us that if Senior Elite is eligible to break the curse, so are they.

Long Story Short

The curse is real, the Cheer Gods have an odd sense of humor and this superstition will never get old. The NCA Curse has been unrelenting for more than a decade, but maybe 2018 is the year that we will finally be set free. But probably not, to be honest. 

HAPPY NCA WEEK! Good luck to the eight Large Senior 5 teams who will take the arena stage in just a few short days. We’re rooting for you!

  • ICE Radar
  • World Cup Shooting Stars
  • The California All Stars Midnight
  • Maryland Twisters F5
  • Cheer Extreme Senior Elite
  • Cheer Athletics Panthers
  • ACE Cheer Company Chiefs
  • The Stingray All Stars Orange (Reigning NCA Champs)