It is the question on everyone’s mind… what will comp season actually look like in 2020?
Unfortunately, I don’t think we have been given any definite answers. Yet producers are giving their event schedules, and gym practices are underway. So when November rolls around, what can we expect and prepare for?
I think there are a few things we can definitely expect to see this season;
- Temperature scanning
- Small groups of spectators
- Virtual options
Masks are the most proven way to be able to participate in gatherings while protecting yourself and/or others. I anticipate all athletes will need masks, probably through to warm-ups, then once again after they compete. Spectators will also be required masks. In addition to any security policies, temperature readings will most likely become a normal thing for large events.
Crowds are what cheerleaders live for!
We are performers. We are competitors. And I think the issue of large groups of spectators will be the biggest adjustment for competitions. Many events have multiple reports of different viewing options- some as extreme as a screen with a designated viewing area, to program by program performances.
This would mean, Top Gun, for example, comes in, competes with all teams representing all levels in front of their own parents and judges then leave.
Can it work? Yes!
Is it going to be as much fun? Probably not.
Virtual competitions popped up mid-COVID last season and while I think it was a great way to ease the shock of a season abruptly ending, I do not think it is a great permanent solution. However, virtual awards seem to be a favorite among producers, while others are allowing virtual submissions.
A lot of questions still remain unanswered, but I think what we can confirm is that cheer season 2020 will be different. And it is our job as producers, coaches, and parents to make sure our athletes don’t lose their sparkle and passion throughout it all, and we keep our sport as entertaining as always!
Written by Sephanie Coutoulakis, Premier Championships
Sephanie created, ran, and coached an all-star program for over 10 years. Now, Sephanie is transitioning from coach to event producer. She has seen first hand what COVID has done, and is doing to the cheer industry, especially small gyms. You can find Sephanie on Instagram or Facebook