Arizona Cheerleaders Embroiled in Constitutional Fight on Competition

     PHOENIX (CN) – Three specialty cheerleading gyms say the Arizona Interscholastic Association unconstitutionally prohibits members of school cheerleading teams from competing in dance and cheer teams for the gyms. The gyms challenge a rule slated to take effect Aug. 1.

     The plaintiffs, all LLCs, are “gyms that specialize in ‘all-star’ cheerleading and dance. All-star cheer and dance teams are not associated with schools or sports programs and are not focused on crowd involvement, sports team loyalty or school spirit.” They say the “typical all-star gym in Arizona” has $60,000 in equipment and $250,000 in annual expenses. Competitions draw as many as 3,000 spectators, bringing in revenue of up to $100,000 a day, according to the complaint in Maricopa County Court.
     The AIA rule will prohibit school cheerleaders, from whom the gyms draw members, from competing for the gyms during their school seasons. The gyms say the new rule will hurt their businesses, reputations and prestige.
     Arizona All-Stars Tumbling and Cheer, Arizona Heat Elite Stunt Team and Desert Storm Elite Cheer seek an injunction. They are represented by Michelle Matheson of Scottsdale.

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