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Navigating the Divide Between MHSAA and All-Star Elite Cheerleading: Uniting Michigan's Cheer Community Through Club STUNT

two STUNT teams competing pyramids
Motor City STUNT plays Cheer Athletics STUNT at a STUNT Tournament hosted at Davenport University.

In the vibrant world of cheerleading in Michigan, there's a notable divide that has sparked debates and raised eyebrows for decades: the ban on competitive cheer for school teams alongside participation in all-star elite cheerleading.


This peculiar regulation enforced by the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) has left many scratching their heads, wondering why such a seemingly arbitrary distinction exists. Across the country, many states encourage high school competitive cheerleaders to participate in all-star elite cheer! So, what’s the deal with Michigan? 


Understanding the MHSAA/All-Star Elite Cheer Ban


In Michigan, the MHSAA oversees interscholastic athletic competitions, setting guidelines and regulations to ensure fair play and safety for student-athletes. However, when it comes to cheerleading, things take an unexpected turn: The MHSAA prohibits student-athletes from participating in competitive cheer for their school teams while also being members of all-star elite cheerleading teams.

The MHSAA prohibits student-athletes from participating in competitive cheer for their school teams while also being members of all-star elite cheerleading teams.

The Divide: Michigan High School Competitive Cheer vs. All-Star Elite Cheer


The crux of the matter lies in the perceived conflict of interest between competitive cheer and all-star elite cheerleading. MHSAA's rationale behind the ban is rooted in concerns about athletes potentially gaining an unfair advantage by participating in both school-based and elite cheerleading competitions.


However, if you look at the regions where cheerleading is thriving—both high school and all-star cheer–those regions encourage athletes to participate in whatever training opportunities they see fit for their goals and schedules.  


Navigating the Restrictions


For cheerleaders in Michigan, navigating these restrictions can be challenging. Many talented athletes find themselves having to choose between representing their school on the Varsity cheer team or pursuing their passion for all-star elite cheer outside of the school setting. Restrictions on skill development and progression within high school cheerleading in Michigan–especially regulations for stunts, pyramids, and basket tosses–limits some athletes' potential to gain the experience needed to thrive at the tryouts for elite collegiate cheer teams. This dilemma often forces individuals to prioritize one aspect of their cheerleading journey over the other, creating a sense of division within the Michigan cheer community.

Many talented athletes find themselves having to choose between representing their school on the Varsity cheer team or pursuing their passion for all-star elite cheer outside of the school setting.

The Impact on Athletes


As discussions surrounding this issue continue, there is a growing call for MHSAA to reconsider its stance on all-star elite cheer. Advocates argue that with proper coordination and communication between high school teams and all-star programs, it's possible to mitigate concerns regarding conflicts of interest and athlete well-being. By adopting a more flexible approach, MHSAA could empower student-athletes to pursue their passion for cheerleading while representing their schools with pride.


The ban on simultaneous participation in competitive cheer and all-star elite cheerleading can have significant implications for athletes. For some, it means sacrificing social opportunities to compete at the highest level in their sport. Others may feel torn between their loyalty to their school and their desire to excel in elite cheerleading. Ultimately, these restrictions limit the ability of student-athletes to fully explore and develop their talents in the sport they love while feeling deeply connected to their local community. 

Ultimately, these restrictions limit the ability of student-athletes to fully explore and develop their talents in the sport they love while feeling deeply connected to their local community. 

Exploring Alternative Pathways: Club STUNT as a Solution


Amidst the limitations imposed by the MHSAA on simultaneous participation in high school competitive cheer and all-star elite cheerleading, there emerges a promising alternative: Club STUNT. This innovative approach offers competitive cheerleaders in Michigan an avenue to hone their skills and compete at a high level without jeopardizing their eligibility for school-based competitions. 


What is Club STUNT?


STUNT is a rapidly growing sport that combines elements of cheerleading, gymnastics, and acrobatics into a fast-paced, head-to-head competition format. Unlike traditional cheerleading, which focuses on sideline spirit or crowd-engaging routines, STUNT emphasizes skill mastery, technical precision, and strategic gameplay, akin to other team sports.


Want a better idea of what STUNT is? Check out this intense game between two of the best STUNT programs in the country, both of which are right here in the Mitten! Alma STUNT vs. Davenport STUNT


One of the key advantages of Club STUNT is its distinct status from traditional competitive cheerleading in the eyes of the MHSAA. While participation in all-star elite cheerleading may clash with school-based competitions, Club STUNT operates independently, allowing athletes to engage in rigorous training and competitive play without compromising their eligibility for high school cheerleading.

While participation in all-star elite cheerleading may clash with school-based competitions, Club STUNT operates independently, allowing athletes to engage in rigorous training and competitive play without compromising their eligibility for high school cheerleading.

Benefits of Club STUNT Participation


For competitive cheerleaders seeking to expand their horizons and challenge themselves in new ways, Club STUNT offers a wealth of benefits. Athletes have the opportunity to refine their skills under the guidance of experienced coaches, compete against top-tier opponents from across the country, and experience the thrill of high-stakes competition in a supportive, team-oriented environment.


Embracing Diversity in Cheerleading


Ultimately, the emergence of Club STUNT as a viable pathway for competitive cheerleaders in Michigan underscores the importance of embracing diversity within the sport. Rather than viewing different forms of cheerleading as competing interests, we can celebrate the richness and variety of expressions that contribute to the tapestry of the sport we love. By embracing inclusivity and innovation, we can create a more vibrant and dynamic cheerleading community for generations to come.

Ultimately, the emergence of Club STUNT as a viable pathway for competitive cheerleaders in Michigan underscores the importance of embracing diversity within the sport.

In the dynamic landscape of cheerleading in Michigan, the debate over the ban on competitive cheer and all-star elite cheer persists. As stakeholders work towards finding common ground, it's essential to prioritize the interests and aspirations of the athletes involved. By fostering collaboration and understanding, we can strive to create a cheerleading community that celebrates diversity, inclusivity, and the pursuit of excellence in all its forms.


In conclusion, as competitive cheerleaders in Michigan navigate the intricacies of MHSAA regulations, Club STUNT emerges as a beacon of opportunity and empowerment. Through its distinct structure and emphasis on skill mastery and competition, Club STUNT offers a pathway for athletes to pursue their passion for cheerleading while preserving their eligibility for school-based competitions. As we continue to explore alternative avenues for athlete development and engagement, let us embrace the diversity of cheerleading and champion the pursuit of excellence in all its forms.


MOTOR CITY STUNT - Farmington Hills, MI

Monday, June 3rd 6-8pm



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