Cheerleading was officially recognized in the 1970's, but has been a part of the Pop Warner program for several decades. The first ever National Cheerleading competition was held in DeKalb County, GA. Today, more than 180,000 children are participating in Pop Warner cheerleading and dance around the world.
Participation in the Pop Warner Spirit Program provides kids an opportunity to perform in an organized, supervised, safety-oriented environment. Pop Warner programs emphasize fun for all and encourage the development of qualities important long after Pop Warner days are gone.
For a cheerleading or dance squad, the difficult road to the national championship is quite similar to that of the football teams. A spirit squad will showcase their best two minute and thirty second (2:30) routine complete with music and cheering at a league qualifying level. The top performing squads advance to their region's qualifying competition in each small and large category, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced.
At the regional competition, a spirit squad will again perform their top two-minute and thirty second (2:30) routine in hopes of qualifying. The first and second place qualifying squads in each region in each small, medium and large category, in each level 1 - 4, are invited to perform at ESPN Wide World of Sports™ in hopes of winning a national championship for their local association.
The participants in the Pop Warner program are unique as opposed to those of other programs. While they are taught about the values of competition, they are also maintaining their grades at a satisfactory level in order to attain the ultimate prize of being named a Pop Warner National Champion. We salute all the efforts and accomplishments that our participants put forward!
The Spirit Program is growing in numbers each year due to the popularity of the sport. In an effort to keep pace with the many new changes in the cheer & dance industry, there are a few basic rules that are unique to Pop Warner Spirit Squads.
The Pop Warner National Cheer & Dance Championships take place at ESPN's Wide World of Sports™ Complex in early December every year.