By Liam Morales | March 2, 2016

"Game Day" moving to the West Coast

The Arizona Interscholastic Association has discussed Arizona incorporating a new competition called Game Day into cheer, making it one of about twenty states competing currently. AIA Assistant Executive Director David Hines says, “Right now there are seven states in the east coast that compete, and have competed nationally for the last three years.”

The AIA hopes to compete next year. The competition entails a “Game Day squad,” which according to Hines is a “team of experts” that will compete against other schools' squads for a state championship. The squad can consist of mascots, flag and cheerleaders. They will be given five scenarios to practice; for example, “You’re about to score or you’re about to get a first down.” During the competition they will not know which scenario the judges will choose and will have to be prepared for all of them. The routines will be judged on how quickly the squads get into formation and the quality of their routine. This is different than normal cheer competitions because the objective is to show how the squads will get the fans to interact and be based strictly on spirit. “I think it’s great,” Camille Casteel, Superintendent of Chandler Unified School District, commented about the idea of Game Day.

Hines says they will also be attempting to incorporate junior colleges and universities. “We really want to incorporate schools that are less competitive with stunting and tumbling,”

There will be three divisions for Game Day: One large division, two middle divisions and three smaller. The AIA reached out to invite cheer schools to compete so Game Day can grow and become more popular. Hines claims this competition has gotten good feedback from high school players and coaches. Sister Lynn Winsor of Xavier high school believes it’s a good idea because there is an “electric atmosphere, and it’s good to see the parents” at these cheer events. With this competition already taking place on the East Coast, primarily in Florida, the West Coast hopes to join in shortly.