WORLDWIDE – Change is inevitable. But, change is also able to enact a perfect storm scenario that can have lasting effects. Change and timing has left the Senior Small All Girl 5 the scene of a mass exodus from what once was one of the industry’s largest divisions. As the 2018/2019 season materializes, it becomes more evident at how substantial the loss of teams is. Questions to consider include: Where are the teams going, and what does it mean for the future of one cheerleading’s most competitive divisions?
What happened to Senior Small All Girl 5?
Shockingly from the end of the 2017-2018 season to the start of the 2018-2019 season, the division has undergone a massive exodus. The creation of new USASF and IASF divisions, coupled with the relaxing of division requirements for the Senior Extra Small All Girl 5 division have proved to have created a perfect storm type scenario. Once one of the most contended divisions, Senior Small All Girl 5 has seen a 40% drop of the world’s Top 10 Finalists teams, and a 46.69% drop from in the Top 15 Finalists teams. These drastic percentages illustrate all of the once competitive Senior Small All Girl 5 teams who have left the division since the conclusion of The 2018 Cheerleading World Championships.
Widening the scope of examination revealed, less than 50% of the 34 Senior Small All Girl 5 Semi-Finalist teams remain in the division this year. The massive drop off in the Senior Small All Girl 5 division is shocking and shows little sign of letting up. The addition of more divisions has created more options for programs to perfectly fit their skill set into a new division, many making the decision with a perceived greater promise of success.
However, it’s interesting to compare the Senior Small Coed 5 division where 30% of the 2018 Cheerleading Worlds Top 10 Finalists, and 33.35% of the Top 15 Finalists left the division since the competition of last season. That division has been dominated with Gold Medal wins traded back and forth between Brandon All Stars Senior Black and The California All Stars SMOED, for nearly a decade.
Where did they go?
The division’s top teams have found new opportunity in the creation of new divisions. Additionally, one Finalist team has not been fielded for 2018/2019.
Senior Small All Girl 5 – 2018 Cheerleading Worlds Finalists
- Cheer Extreme – SSX (Remained in Division for 2019)
- Woodlands Elite – Generals (Remained in Division for 2019)
- The California All Stars – Lady Bullets (Remained in Division for 2019)
- ICE – Lady Lightning (Remained in Division for 2019)
- Central Jersey All Stars – Bombshells (Moved to Senior Extra Small All Girl 5 for 2019)
- Brandon All Stars – Pink (Remained in Division for 2019)
- Top Gun All Stars – Angels (Moved to Senior Open Small Coed 5 for 2019)
- Rain Athletics – Aqua (Remained in Division for 2019)
- Cheers & More – Respect (Moved to Senior Open 5 for 2019)
- South Jersey Storm – Lady Reign (Moved to Senior Open 5 for 2019)
- World Elite – Crave (Moved to Senior Extra Small All Girl 5 for 2019)
- ICE – Golden Girls (Moved to Senior Extra Small All Girl 5 for 2019)
- PCT Cobras (Canada) – Vengeance (Remained in Division for 2019)
- Pittsburgh Pride – Mane5 (Remained in Division for 2019)
- Cheer Athletics CLT – Lady Legacy (Team not fielded for 2019 season)
How did we get here? The History of the Senior Small All Girl 5 division:
The Senior Small All Girl 5 division at the height of its competitiveness was home to some of the most storied teams in the history of cheerleading. The industry has seen the rise and fall of teams returning year after year, paying their dues, and working to compete amongst those who once held the top spots. Today’s younger generations of athletes and fans likely do not remember when the Generals from Woodlands Elite, SSX from Cheer Extreme, and Lady Lightning from ICE All Stars were not the annual favorites for globe contention. Or recall the better part of a decade, when The Stingray All Stars Orange dominated the division for many back to back consecutive years. Older fans and athletes who participated in the making of the division remember a time where teams (some of whom do not even exist anymore) once filled the division with contenders.
Let us not forget past medalist from the including:
- The Stingray All Stars
- Georgia All Stars
- Star Athletics
- Cheer Athletics – Jags
- Pro Spirit
- Spirit of Texas
- Basics Super Stars
- California All Stars – Elite
- Cheer Athletics – Panthers
- California All Stars – Lady Bullets
- Top Gun All Stars
- Green Bay Elite
- Central Jersey All Stars
They say that history is bound to repeat itself if you wait long enough. Hopefully, we will not have to wait too long to see the return of a thriving Senior Small All Girl 5 division, a division that gets back to the roots of highly competitive cheerleading, with many of the industry’s most elite female athletes.
Cover Photo Source: Instagram @SSXsharkies