FAQs (Fall Sideline Cheerleading)
1. Who do we cheer for?
We cheer for SYA Football (Anklebiter (age 6-7, under 75lbs)), 80 lb, 90 lb, 100 lb, 115 lb, 130 lb, and 155 lb weight class). Cheerleaders will cheer for the appropriate age football team (i.e., K, 1, and 2 Cheer Teams will cheer for Anklebiter or 80 lb weight class).
We also cheer for our local community. Throughout the season, cheerleaders will cheer for the following:
- Cheer for at least 8 regular season football games (August – October);
- Cheer for playoff and championship games (November);
- Participate in special events such as:
- Sully Bowl and Glory Days Bowl;
- SYA Night at Centreville High School;
- Centreville Day;
- Centreville and Westfield High School Homecoming parades; and
- Fairfax County Performance Day.
2. When do we cheer?
Most games are on Saturday or Sunday from 8 AM to 9 PM. You will be notified of game schedules before the first game of the season. However, there may be field and game changes due to weather, referree issues, location, etc. Every attempt will be made to notify you in advance of any changes, but changes may come as late as the day of the event. Regular season football games start in early September and end in late October. The four top teams in every division continue on to the playoff games in November. SYA Cheer Teams WILL cheer at playoff and championship games in November.
3. Where are the games played?
SYA Football is part of the Fairfax County Youth Football League (FCYFL). SYA home games are played at the CVHS Stadium, Braddock Road Park, and Reserve Field #1 (turf field next to the Stadium). Away games are played across Fairfax County. Some cheerleading squads choose to follow a football team and cheer for them throughout the season, while others only cheer at home games. This decision is made by the coach, although the coach can decide to get input from the parents. Most younger squads enjoy traveling with a football team.
Why do I never get to cheer on the CVHS Stadium field? FCYFL schedules games on fields based upon division: American, Central, and National. American football teams are usually slated to play on the stadium fields, with the Central and National teams on the secondary fields.
Why are my games so early? FCYFL schedules games based upon weight class. Ankle biters and younger players are scheduled for early morning games, and older players are scheduled for games later in the day. Game schedules may change if there is a conflict with a coach or particular field.
4. Why are cheerleaders placed at the 30 yard line to cheer?
The majority of FCYFL games are played on grass or turf fields where there is little space between sideline and fence/roll off area. For the safety of the players and cheerleaders, the commissioners of football have determined that for all non-stadium fields, cheerleaders need to stand between the 30 yard line and the endzone. This is strictly for their safety, and due to significantly more plays being run out of bounds between the 30 yard lines, potentially causing injuries. FCYFL has left the decision of whether cheerleaders can cheer inside the ropes up to the individual commisioners. SYA DOES allow cheerleaders to stand inside the ropes. Cheering inside the ropes is NOT allowed in Manassas or Chantilly.
Additionally, for all games on stadium fields, only players, coaches, and cheerleaders are allowed on the field and track at all times.
5. Do we cheer in inclement weather?
Yes, unless otherwise notified by your assigned coach. Fairfax County has many turf fields, and this is an advantage as to avoid rescheduled games to weekdays or beyond the regular season.
6. Do we compete at competitions?
SYA Sideline Cheer Teams do not compete. SYA’s Competition Cheer Team cheers during football season and competes at national level competitions throughout Virginia and Maryland. Please see SYA Extreme’s Web page for additional information.
7. Can my siblings cheer on the same team?
If there is a 2 year age difference, they can cheer on the same team or cheer for a sibling’s football team if the coach can accommodate.
8. Can my daughter cheer with a friend?
Yes, but please put a request on the registration form or let the registrar know during Spirit Week.
9. Do I have to buy a uniform or warm-ups?
SYA provides a uniform top and skirt for the season. A deposit check is collected at the beginning of the season and returned at the end of the season when the uniform is returned washed and in good condition. If the uniform is not returned, the check is cashed.
Parents/guardians are asked to purchase supplemental uniform pieces (bow, socks, body liner, briefs, leggings) totaling approximately $40 plus white cheer shoes. These are available during Spirit Week via the cheerleader swap, or can be ordered via your coach.
10. Are practices mandatory?
Yes. Coaches go to great lengths to plan, prepare, and attend all practices. Cheerleading is a progressive sport and missing practice will hurt the team, the individual cheerleader, and his/her stunt group. When he/she attends the next practice, he/she not only has to make-up the skills (i.e., cheer, dance, stunt) missed, but he/she also has to learn the skills being taught at the current practice. This could mean that another cheerleader has to be pulled out to help or the coach has to reteach the entire group.
11. Is cheerleading considered a team sport?
Absolutely YES! Your children will condition, run, jump, cheer, tumble, lift, stretch, stunt, and dance 2-4 days per week depending on age level. We need ALL team members to demonstrate their skill levels. We want every cheerleader to realize how important she is to the team and that it takes all of them to succeed.
12. Do you need coaches?
Absolutely YES! We are always looking for coaches. Whether you have previous experience with cheerleading or have a great cheerleading attitude, contact us and fill out the volunteer registration form online. All coach candidates (past, present and future) are formally interviewed to determine their background and commitment to the program as well as to ensure they are a good fit with our team. To find out more, contact Commissioner Tammy McCarron at firstname.lastname@example.org.