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Though both competitions have similar goals, teams across the country have made their preference in either UCA or NCA.

Depending on which cheerleader you ask, one will be stated as better than the other. On a surface level it’s easy to see that UCA can be the more traditional side of cheerleading mainly focusing on stunts and cheers and NCA can be more of the all-star side of cheerleading with more focus on dancing and high energy pyramids.

What’s more important, leading the crowd in a cheer or making stunts more challenging or entertaining for the cheerleader?

Every cheerleader will give you a different answer to that question, but this concept is what makes the difference in UCA and NCA.

So when it comes to the annual Nationals competitions hosted by each organization it’s definitely interesting to see what teams will come up with.

This weekend starts the Nationals Championship competition for NCA.

College cheerleaders from all over the country are traveling to Daytona, Florida for a weekend of competing, bonding and hopefully achieving a national championship title.

This is a chance for these college teams to come together and show everyone what they’ve been working towards all season. Some teams come just to have fun and others come striving to win for place.

Though there is some healthy competition, the main purpose of NCA Nationals is to bring together cheerleaders from everywhere and learn from what other teams have put together.

Since the sport of cheerleading is always growing and changing, competitions are where everyone gets to see just have creative and innovative their competitors can be.

Without competition cheerleading wouldn’t be where it is today!

Though cheerleading may seem like a sport that’s only common in the U.S.A., throughout the years cheerleading and competitive cheerleading has become more common around the world. With competitions such as the All-Star Worlds, teams throughout the world have had the ability to compete and learn new things from teams everywhere.

International teams have raised the bar of cheerleading and the possibility of stunts.

Though the sport of cheerleading has recently gained more popularity there has been competitive cheerleading for many years.

Though the main idea of competitive cheerleading is the same, the stunts and presentation of a cheer routine has changed significantly.

It’s interesting to see how the sport has grown in such as short period of time.

The Universal Cheerleading Association  is the primary source of cheerleading throughout the country and around the world.

From competitions to summer camps, UCA offers everything a cheerleading team needs to be the best!

Since 1974, UCA has offered cheer camps, training, safety tips, uniforms, competitions  and everything cheer related. Founded by Jeff Webb, this association is still growing and allowing the sport of cheerleading to become more and more popular.

Taking elements of dance and gymnastics to create a foundation within the sport of cheerleading, UCA was the first to set the standard for the sport.

Competition is an important aspect to the raise of cheerleading. Whether the is a gameday team or all-star, the spirit of competition is connected to almost every aspect of cheerleading.

From UCA, NCA to USASF,  any cheerleader has the opportunity to put a routine together and a platform to perform and try to win a championship.

Though the most important job of a cheerleader is to cheer on her time the spirit of competition is something that gives every cheerleader a rush and something to work for.

Competition gives cheer teams a goal to accomplish throughout the season.

Based on which either association or federation the competition is sponsored by, there are different rules and regulations each team has to follow.

Competition allows cheerleaders to put down their pom poms and show everyone what they’re really made of!

As far as cheerleading goes, all-star cheerleading the fast pace, all competitive, close-to-no rules version of cheerleading. The purpose is to compete.

There’s no team to cheer on, no games to attend, just cheerleading competitions and trophies to chase after.

The best teams within the section of cheerleading range in age from some younger than 6 all the way to adults in their mid-twenties.

All-Star competitions are all about who can do the hardest stunt and do the most advanced tumbling pass all in one routine.

This may be a more playful example, but cheerleading can be for very dangerous sport. It has been reported that most high school sport related injuries come from cheerleading.

With next month being Cheerleading Safety Month, organizations such as UCA are taking extra steps towards making cheerleading a safer sport for all-star teams, youth rec teams, high school teams and college teams nation wide.

The University of Kentucky Wildcats Cheerleading Squad has won the Division 1A National Championship nineteen times since 1985. To many, they are the best of the best in cheerleading and the team to beat.

But with the intensity of cheerleading growing and all teams striving to be the most innovative, one team can only stay on top for so long. The past few years have shown just how difficult it can be to stay the best even for a team as prestigious as the University of Kentucky.

In 2011:

The University of Alabama

And just a month ago in the 2013 championship:

The University of Memphis


Though the standards of cheerleading will always continue to grow, performing a clean and difficult routine will always lead you to victory.



The public image of cheerleading can easily lead one to believe that it is a “sport” of glitz and glamour. From CMT’s “Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders” and coverage of professional cheerleaders during sporting events like NFL games as well as NBA games, the image portrayed of a cheerleader is a perfect body and pretty smile.

                Though the actual sport of cheerleading has grown in difficulty and interest rapidly throughout the years, from the outside looking in cheerleading is still just girls in skirts, shaking pompoms to those who don’t participate or know much about the sport.

Cheerleading is unique in the fact that it takes aspects of different sports and combines them to create a crowd interactive and entertainment based sport. Though there are competitions and the sport can be very competitive based, the main goal of cheerleading is to interact with the crowd and get them to cheer on the team.

The cheerleaders most commonly known are referred to as “game day cheerleaders.” These are the cheerleaders who you see at football and basketball games with signs who cheer loud and support a school or team. The pompoms that cheer own your favorite team to victory. But when games are over the exact same cheerleaders tackle something more complicated than just “go team go”.

                These are competitive cheerleaders. From the middle school to college level and all-star level, cheerleaders put down their pompoms and work towards creating an innovation, technical and high-difficulty routine to compete against others teams within in their division for the number one spot.

Though the sport of cheerleading originated with game day cheerleaders and may not exist without it, the sport has expanded to a complex event of athleticism and competition. With more spotlight on this aspect of cheerleading it’s hard to ignore the intense of growing sport.