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CheerLeading FAQs

Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions

How old does my child need to be to be eligible to cheer?

A child must be 5 years old by June 30th to be eligible to cheer for BYC football.

For what sports do the girls cheer?
All cheerleaders cheer for BYC football. Cheerleaders age 5-6 will cheer for the BYC Flag Football Program. Cheerleaders age 7 - 14 will cheer for the BYC Football Program which is part of the Bert Bell Memorial Football League. We also have competition squads that go on to compete after the football season. All squads, including competing squads, must cheer at football games.

When are football cheerleading practices held?

Practices begin the first week in August. Actual practices dates are subject to the coaches' availability; however, typically cheerleading practice lasts 2 hours and is held three nights per week (Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays) during August and one night per week during the season.

When are the games?
Football games are held primarily on Saturdays and Friday nights. Occasionally there are Sunday games.

Where are games held?
BYC football is a travel program. Home games are held at Gillespie Park on Kirk Road. Away games are held at the home fields of other teams in the Bert Bell League. Directions to away fields can be found on the BYC Football web page.

Do the cheerleaders have to try out? 
No. There are evaluations typically held in mid-June for competition squads only. Evaluations are used primarily for placement; however, it is possible that a cheerleader might not make a competition squad. No evaluations are necessary for football cheer squads.

How are the squad assignments made?
Squad assignments are made first based on grade and secondly based on age. Squad assignments for competition squads are made based on league age requirements, skill and experience.

What is the Competition Squad?
We have competing squad opportunities for cheerleaders who are age 7 - 14 as of July 1st. Evaluations are held in mid-June, mostly to determine squad placement. However it is possible for a cheerleader not to make a competition squad. Squad placement is determined based on league age requirements, skill and experience.

What experience does my child need in order to make one of the competing squads?
No specific experience or skill is required to participate in a competition squad. Typically girls with some cheerleading experience will have an easier time at evaluations. Girls will need to learn a dance routine and one or two cheers that are taught to them during practices offered prior to evaluations. Gymnastics ability is also a plus.

How does my child sign up for a competing squad?
First, cheerleaders must be registered with BYC Cheerleading by the date of evaluations which are typically held in mid-June. Registration opens in May online through our website

Cheerleaders interested in a competing squad should check the appropriate box on the online registration form and attend evaluations. A cheerleader electing to participate in evaluations will be able to attend practices prior to evaluations during which she will learn a dance routine and one or two cheers. Evaluations are judged by independent judges who are not associated with BYC. The judges score the girls on their cheerleading ability and spirit.

What is the practice commitment for a competing squad?
Practices start in September (after football cheer practice in August) and are typically held twice per week for 2 hours per practice.

What is the difference between the commitment to a football cheer squad and a competing squad?
Football cheerleading offers a great experience for the girls. Cheering for the football teams can be a lot of fun for a limited time. The commitment needed for a football cheerleading squad involves availability for practices 3x per week in August, once a week in September and weekend games in September and October. Typically cheering for football does not interfere with the child participating in other activities.

The commitment level for one of the competing squads is very high. Girls must be able to attend every practice unless sick. The routines designed for these squads are quite difficult and a child will fall behind if she misses a number of practices. In addition, stunt formations require 100% attendance or the squad's performance is compromised. Coaches for these squads are very serious about attendance. If a girl decides she would like to participate on one of the competing squads, she needs to make that squad a priority. Most girls on these squads find it hard to participate in another sport during the season.

How long is the season?
The football cheerleading season mirrors the football season. Practices begin the first week in August. Games begin Labor Day weekend and run until late October. Playoff and bowl games may extend the season into November. The season for the Competition Squads will extend into January for younger squads and March for older squads. Competition squads will compete at 2 - 6 competitions during the season depending on age and skill level.

How much does it cost?
Basic registration fees are $75 per cheerleader. Other standard BYC fees apply such as a capital fee and fundraising fee. There will be an additional fee for participation in a competing squad: Age 9 and up = $100; Age 7-8 = $50. Competing squads also may be required to pay additional expenses (i.e., travel costs, competition fees, camps, etc.).

What does the registration fee cover?

The registration fee covers the cost of providing cheerleading uniforms, which must be returned at the end of the season and are subject to an additional deposit, as well as the cost of running the program, coaches' clinics, and a trophy for each cheerleader. It also covers certain administrative matters and miscellaneous items. The additional fees charged for competing squads primarily cover the costs associated with preparing for and attending competitions. The registration fee does not cover sneakers, socks, turtlenecks, tights and hair ribbons all of which may be required. It also does not cover the cost of jackets which are optional.

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