How to Judge a Cheerleading Competition

By Contributor

If you've left competitive cheerleading or just enjoy the sport and want to use your expertise in a positive way, consider being a judge for a cheerleading competition. You'll need to look at routines with a critical eye, and this involves a number of points, from attire to athletic prowess.

Watch for number and performance of jumps. More leaps and jumps in a routine don't necessarily add up to a better score. Look for placement, execution and poise of movement. Most routines feature one or more popular jumps, like the toe touch, tuck, hurdler or pike.

Look for timing and rhythm of moves, jumps and dance routine. All parts of the routine must transition smoothly during the cheerleading routine.

Note the choreography and give extra points for original steps. As long as any unusual dance or hip-hop movements form into the routine as a whole, they merit extra points. Judge the amplitude, or height, of a movement.

Listen for strong, enthusiastic voices. Cheerleaders' voices need to project so that fans understand the rhymes; there should be no slurring or mispronunciations. Also check for appropriate cheer content.

Judge the overall appearance of the performer or troupe. Check for good grooming, uniform color and style, hair, eye contact with the audience and other physical traits.

Check the gymnastic aspect of the performance. Look for number and execution of back somersaults and handsprings, cartwheels, dive rolls, splits and tumbles. The right combination of jumps and gymnastics makes a cheerleading routine stand out.

Examine the way group participants interact with each other. Judge the timing and ease of spins, jumps, tosses and any movement that involves the coordination of two or more cheerleaders.

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