If you live in the Midwestern part of the United States, then you might be interested in cheer competitions in Illinois. While most competitions are geared for All Star squads, school squads are eligible to enter these competitions as well. One good resource for finding competitions in your state and on a national level is the National Cheerleaders Association (NCA). You can also get information from the Illinois Recreation Cheerleading Association (IRCA).
Popular Cheer Competitions in Illinois
The majority of cheer competitions run from January through April, with the summer months reserved for cheerleading camps and the fall months for cheering at school games and perfecting routines and stunts. There are quite a few cheer competitions in Illinois. The Prairie State offers:
- National Championship is held in Peoria, Illinois at the Peoria Civic Center. Xtreme Spirit Cheer and Dance puts on this event. The event is held on a single day, which means that squads will typically have to spend less money on hotel and food costs compared to an event that is held over several days. Every participant receives a trophy of some sort, making this a perfect competition for squads new to competing. Xtreme Spirit also hosts a championship event at the Navy Pier in Chicago.
- Xtreme Spirit also hosts the Mardi Gras Grand Championship in Palatine, Illinois at Harper Community College. This competition is held at the end of January each year. The rates are reasonable and start at 20 to 40 dollars per event per participant.
- Cheer it on is held at the end of January. It is put on by Saint Columbanus Athletic Center at the De La Salle Institute in Chicago.
- MCDA Cheer and Dance has a championship event in Wood River Illinois each February. The event is very affordable at only 20 dollars per competitor and five dollars per spectator. Both team and individual competitions are held. Everyone who competes receives two gifts. A team trophy is awarded for first place and a plaque for second through fifth place. Participants are given ribbons.
- Spirit Challenge has another championship competition in Chicago in February. This event is held at North Park University and the DeLa Salle Institute.
- Pom squads will want to take note of the Oak Forest competition held at Hille Middle School in Chicago. The event also has competitions for batons.
- The Windy City Challenge is held at the end of March in Chicago. The event is held in Mundelein, Illinois at Carmel Catholic High School. It is sponsored by Champion Spirit Group.
- Toward the end of April, the Gateway Grizzlies Gala occurs in Sauget, Illinois. The event is held at the GCS Stadium, which is a baseball stadium. It is hosted by MCDA Cheer and Dance. Competitors should expect to pay about 35 dollars to compete.
Other Illinois Cheer Competitions
Although the majority of events are held January through April in Illinois, you will find a scattering of competitions during December and also in May and June. In April, Spirit Challenge puts on the Citywide Classic Cheer and Dance in Chicago. You'll also find the CSG Tournament of Champions and the International Championships, both in Chicago. In December, the IRCA holds state championships at the Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois.
In addition to these large events, many schools host cheerleading competitions, so you'll want to stay in contact with cheer coaches in your area to find out what is coming up and which contests are best to enter. You can also connect and get information on sites like the Illinois Cheerleading Coaches Association. No matter which venues your squad ultimately chooses for competition, remember that hours of practice and confidence in your ability is what will determine who wins the contest.