Cheerleading Companies Fight to Block Pending Limits on Their Customers by Sports Association

Give me an -- injunction!

Three "all-star" cheerleading gyms in the Valley are suing the Arizona Interscholastic Association, claiming the rule-making collaborative of state schools is ruining their business.

A lawsuit filed in Maricopa County Superior Court a couple of weeks ago says the AIA passed a rule in March that bans participants of school cheerleading and pom-pom squads from practicing or competing with the gyms.

Arizona Heat Elite in Mesa, Arizona All-Stars Tumble and Cheer in Tempe and Queen Creek, and Desert Storm Elite in Scottsdale want the court to grant an injunction to prevent the rule from taking effect as planned on August 1. The lawsuit says the impending rule change has already screwed up their businesses, and they're seeking damages to be determined if they win a trial.

About 30 similar gyms do business in Arizona, the suit says.

arizona heat elite, mesa

The "non-participation" rule has long applied to school sports, but cheer is considered an activity. As the court filing notes, no other school activity has to adhere to the non-participation rule.

The gyms' primary source of revenue is high school students, so enforcement of the rule would pretty much bring down the curtain on "all-star" cheer. We don't know why AIA feels compelled to do this, but it seems a shame to inflict such damage on 30 businesses, especially in this economy. And, of course, the girls won't be happy, either.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.