Cheerleading is an activity in which the participants (called “cheerleaders”) cheer for their team as a form of encouragement. It can range from chanting slogans to intense physical activity. It can be performed to motivate sports teams, to entertain the audience, or for competition.
Competitive cheerleading was granted provisional recognition by the International Olympic Committee in December of 2016. That is the first step on the path to inclusion in the Summer Olympics.
Competitive cheerleading is divided into groups according to age. Each group has different levels, according to experience. The minimum number of members per squad is five and the maximum is either 24 or 36, depending on the age group. Cheer divisions include Tiny Cheer, Mini Cheer, Youth Cheer, Junior Cheer and Senior Cheer. Most groups have divisions for male and female cheerleaders, as well as a co-ed division. The youngest group, the Tiny Cheer, is for cheerleaders 5 years or younger.