A team of cheerleaders between the ages of 11 and 12 years old were looking forward to their end-of-season competition and gave pre-competition show at a coach’s backyard BBQ over the weekend.
But it’s this routine that was filmed and put onto Facebook that has the girls now kicked out of the competition.
According to The Tampa Tribune, seven members of the 34-person Brandon Bears squad performed the routine in a coach’s house, which the Tri-County Youth Football and Cheerleading Conference said violated its rules limiting how often teams can practice in order to prevent anyone from gaining a competitive edge.
“I started crying when I heard about the news,” cheerleader Aloanys Gil-Ramos told WFTS-TV.
Assistant cheer coach Maria Serrano told WTSP-TV she doesn’t think seven girls constitutes a practice.
Watch WTSP’s report about the issue:
The football team present at the barbecue Saturday were initially banned from competing in the championship game as well, but this decision was reversed. It still stands for the cheerleaders.
Brian Jones, director of the football team and cheerleading squad, told the Tribune it would be impossible to prevent the girls from cheering outside of organized practice.
“(They) are cheering constantly. They cheer in cars. They cheer in the shower. They cheer when they walk around a store. They’re going to cheer,” Jones told the newspaper of the squad that previously has won three grand championships.
““While the practice rule may be viewed as petty by some, we are very serious about teams gaining a competitive advantage outside the approved practice time,” a statement from conference President Greg Stallings said. “The penalty for violating the rule is removal of the entire organization from post season play for football and cheerleading.”
The 14-member board for the conference voted unanimously in favor of the ban. After an appeal, the board decided to allow the football team to play in the championship game. The cheerleaders are allowed to cheer for the game, but not compete.
The Brandon Bears organization was fined $2,500 for the violation, according to the Tribune.