Soccer is not just any sport but a sport flooded with passion, excitement, and emotions. It is an unpredictable game that causes soccer fans to live in suspense throughout a soccer match. Soccer fans are always eager to catch a glimpse of every action on the pitch and deeply optimistic about future developments.
Spectators and fans usually feel as though they are the soccer players on the field firing rocket shots or laying out well-calculated passes. They feel more excited whenever their team scores a goal which is why they always chant and cheer louder.
Cheering a soccer team during a match increases the team’s morale and also surges the player’s confidence. Fans take it upon themselves to sing chants of praise, wave banners, paint themselves, and play musical instruments to motivate their teams to victory.
The history of cheering in soccer can be traced back to the 18th century when students from Great Britain started to chant songs and cheer in one accord for their teams at sporting events.
The first cheer team was made up of only men called the “yell team” from Princeton University who participated in the first intercollegiate soccer match.
Well, if you have been wondering why the chants and cheers at soccer events come from just the fans and spectators alone without cheerleaders, this article is for you. We have revealed a detailed explanation about the exclusion of cheerleaders from soccer.
Does soccer have cheerleaders?
Cheerleading was originally invented in America and is still rampant there. Basketball teams and NFL teams are fitted with cheer teams composed of mostly good-looking tall young ladies who constantly cheered their team with dances, songs, and acrobatics.
Ladies replaced the originally male-populated cheerleading teams after the men left for World War II. It seems like the ladies are doing a better job than the men since the grand purpose of cheerleading is to entertain the audience and motivate sports teams to victory.
We believe you are here to know why the most populous sport in the world (soccer) doesn’t have cheerleaders. Having cheerleaders in soccer has been a widely discussed topic. Some fans are totally against the idea while others believe it will make the sport a little bit more entertaining.
American football and cheerleading go hand-in-hand unlike soccer which is the direct opposite. Cheerleading has come to be an important part of American football at levels ranging from beginner to professional, it is indeed a tradition.
However, the Europeans have a different view about cheerleading, since soccer has its origin in England and cheerleading was not popular and still not as popular there as it is in America. They believe that incorporating cheerleading into soccer is irrelevant.
Soccer fans all over the world are completely indifferent about the topic of cheerleaders participating in soccer which remains one of the major reasons why to date, soccer does not have cheerleaders.
Why are there no cheerleaders in soccer?
Unlike other popular sports in America, in soccer, fans flood the stadium to watch, feel and participate in the game without expecting any halftime performances.
Over the years, attempts have been made in adopting cheerleading teams into soccer which has yielded no fruits to date. This is probably because Europeans who were the original inventors of modern soccer don’t like getting mixed up with American drama.
We did a little research and found out some reasons why there are no cheerleaders in soccer. Have a look at the reasons below.
- Soccer arrangements do not accommodate cheerleaders
A soccer game allows for only a single break throughout a game which is between the first and second halves lasting for 15 minutes. There are no provisions for timeouts.
For cheerleaders to perform successfully during the game, they need more breaks which are not feasible since soccer players and fans are already accustomed to a single break.
Unlike soccer, sports like basketball and American football have numerous breaks that allow cheerleaders the opportunity to perform and entertain spectators.
Also, cheerleaders cannot perform on the field before the match commences because soccer players normally use the fields for warmups before the match and also during the break, the grass of the field is sometimes watered and so they might not get the chance to perform on the field.
There are very few occasions where large celebrations take place before a soccer match commences. Celebrations normally occur at the first and last matches of big tournaments like the World Cup. These celebrations usually involve musicians and hardly cheerleaders.
- The frequency of goals in soccer is little
Soccer is not planned like other sports around the globe where teams score regularly, for example in basketball, players frequently score points and a player can score as much as 60 points per match
This creates an opportunity for cheerleaders to perform more frequently during a match which will directly increase the gameplay of the team they are cheering for.
Soccer is completely different from these types of sports. Fans get to witness a high number of goals in a soccer match only in very rare cases. It is harder to score goals in a soccer game than to score points in a basketball game even though soccer nets are ten times bigger than basketball baskets.
Most times, no goal is scored in the whole 90 minutes of a soccer game. So, what would the cheerleaders do in such a scenario?
Cheerleading doesn’t just fit in well with soccer as it doesn’t give them an avenue to shine. Low frequency of goals is common across different soccer leagues in the world.
- Unique player’s celebrations
Soccer players have unique ways of celebrating whenever they score a goal, these can be in the form of throwing a fist in the air, dancing a particular step in unison with their team, sliding on their knees, and even taking off their jersey.
These unique celebration styles keep fans engaged and the stadium gyrating after each goal is scored. This implies that whenever a goal is scored, cheerleaders won’t be the primary focus or the center of attention for spectators even if their performance is attention-grabbing because spectators, fans, and even the cameras will be focused on the goal scorer.
This makes cheerleading redundant in soccer as there is little or no avenue for them to showcase their acts and get the attention they seek during games.
- Use of mascots in soccer
In soccer, mascots are equivalent to cheerleaders in American football because they both perform similar roles in sport. Mascots are specifically designed to capture the attention of a younger demographic and also to entertain adult soccer fans.
During the pre-match and half-time periods, mascots take center stage, putting up with funny acts that will keep soccer fans entertained and excited while they wait for the match to start or resume.
Club mascots serve as symbols of good fortune and often present a club’s identity in a more friendly and creative manner. Soccer mascots are not the same as matchday mascots which feature kids who accompany soccer players onto the soccer pitch.
Do other types of soccer have 20 different dance and cheerleading teams in?
Even though organized cheerleading originated from Great Britain, Americans seem to have fallen more in love with it than the Brits. Soccer and all its other distinct variants aren’t highly rated in America which we guess is the reason why cheerleading hasn’t been fully incorporated into the sport.
Major League Soccer (MLS) clubs in America have attempted to integrate cheerleading into soccer even though it wasn’t well-received among American soccer fans. The MLS in America as of 2018 recorded about 20 different dance and cheerleading teams in the sport.
There are different popular kinds of soccer in existence namely, futsal soccer, street soccer, indoor soccer, and beach soccer. All of them have their different distinctions but the fact remains that they all don’t have cheerleaders.
American soccer fans mostly prefer the original ways of cheering in soccer to the introduction of cheerleaders in association football and other forms of soccer.
Do cheerleaders go to high school soccer games?
Soccer as the world’s most famous sport has participants of different age groups ranging from children to adults. Therefore, high schools aren’t an exception.
Just like professional soccer where cheerleaders are exempted from participating in the game, the same applies to high school soccer.
Cheerleaders do not go to high school soccer games, they may participate in high school sports like basketball, American football, and its kind but certainly not high school soccer.
This is because the idea of cheerleading as earlier stated doesn’t blend well with soccer. The fans and spectators do the cheering and chanting of songs for the teams they support and it might feel weird to implement cheerleaders into soccer because fans sometimes connect cheerleading with Friday Night Lights.
Cheerleading seems to have no future in soccer both internationally and in America since many unsuccessful attempts have been made in the past to incorporate it into the sport. Many cheerleading teams that were formed by soccer teams in America were dislodged prematurely.
Soccer fans appear to care more about the game rather than the acts put up by cheerleaders. In all these, some people still feel that soccer fans should be more open-minded and accept cheerleaders to add flavor to the sport.
Although nobody knows what the future will bring, we can at least predict from present observations that cheerleading isn’t a culture that would stick with soccer in the future.
Hi there, I’m Jay.
The Pitch is Ours is a new beginning for me and a stepping stone to prepare before retiring from the professional soccer team. Soccer is everything in my life! My friends and I have created this blog with all our enthusiasm, passion, and understanding after years of playing pro soccer. Hope you will enjoy it!