This January and February, Fort Worth will host some high-flying competitors. The city has become a hub for cheer and gymnastics competitions, and three big ones are coming to Cowtown.
The University Interscholastic League (UIL) Spirit State Championships will bring roughly 350 of Texas’ top high school cheer squads to the Fort Worth Convention Center on January 13-15. Teams from schools around the state show how well they’ve mastered the skills associated with traditional sideline spirit activities. They’ll vie for top honors in these categories: Band Chant, in which the teams cheer to music without tumbling or stunts; Crowd Leading, where the teams engage crowd response with limited tumbling; and Fight Song, with stunts and tumbling incorporated into a routine performed to the school’s fight song.
In the State Championship Round, the teams add a situational response element, where they must react to a simulation of something that could occur during a game. At the end of the competition, the UIL will crown state champions in classifications 1A through 6A, with 5A and 6A divided into two divisions each, and a co-ed champion.
Special COVID-related safety measures will limit the number of spectators inside and masks will be required. Spectators will only be allowed inside to watch their children perform during their scheduled performance time and will then be required to exit. The teams themselves will only be allowed in the building for a maximum of 90 minutes. Expect lots of competitors and their families in downtown Fort Worth, especially during the event’s early rounds.
Two weeks later, on January 30 and 31, the American Cheerleaders Association (ACA) will bring its national championships to the Fort Worth Convention Center. It’s a competitive cheerleading event for club teams from around the country. The ACA National Championship will feature all-girl and co-ed teams. ACA Teams will show off their athleticism with jumps, tumbling, tosses and pyramids.
Spectators will be limited inside the convention center and masks will be required. The All-Star DI & DII Nationals will stream live on Varsity.com (membership fee applies).
Saturday’s collegiate quad meet will feature four programs: University of Oklahoma, Iowa State, Texas Woman's University and Centenary College of Louisiana. Oklahoma won this event each of the last two seasons and also took the title in 2016.
Events over the three days will include USA Gymnastic men’s and women’s competitions, Texas Amateur Athletic Federation events, and Trampoline & Tumbling. The men’s club meet is known as the Horton Challenge, named after two-time U.S. Olympian Jonathan Horton.
To allow for ample spacing, the event organizers Metroplex Gymnastics will add an additional 55,000 square feet of competition space.
Ticket sales and capacity restrictions are still pending. Masks will be required of everyone in the building with exception to the gymnasts as they compete.