Second semester is here! That means, spring sports are in full swing and sideline cheer has officially gone indoors for basketball season. For first-year cheerleaders, cheering on the court is very different than cheering at football games‚ for starters, you have much less room to work with. A football field is 100 yards long and is usually accompanied by a wide track separating the players on the field from the audience in the stands. This gives cheerleaders room for tumbling, stunting, and performing routines to get football spectators hyped! However, inside a basketball gym, there are only certain spots for a squad to stand in order to be off the court and out of the way of the players, referees, coaches, and even game-goers! You don’t need to know much about basketball to cheer for it, but there are three important things that cheerleaders should understand before their first game. 1. Never cross the lines of play. If you don’t know what those are, look down and that big black line that wraps around the basketball court‚ that’s the one. It signifies where the ball goes out-of-bounds, so cheerleaders need to be behind it at all times. Plus, many players often dive for the ball to keep it in bounds, making it a safety hazard if you’re standing where you shouldn’t be. There are already too many safety concerns when it comes to cheering indoors; let’s not add to the odds of an injury by not paying attention to where you’re standing. 2. Hold back on the long defense cheers. Basketball games are much more fast-paced than football games. For instance, if your team has possession of the basketball one second, that doesn’t mean they’re going to have it for next second. The ball literally bounces back and forth between the teams, and that is partly why the sport is fun to play and entertaining to watch. With this in mind, the long defense cheers that you practiced all through the first semester need to be shelved away for the fall until further notice. Short defensive cheers are great for basketball games‚ especially if your team is down more than a few baskets‚ although you need to make sure you drop the chanting immediately when they do, in fact, get the ball back. 3. Don’t wear the same cheer shoes that you did for football season. Cheer shoes require proper care in order to last a desired amount of time, but most cheerleaders don’t realize that cheer shoes are made for different reasons. A more heavy weight, durable shoe is made for outdoor purposes, like football games and around town. However, heavier shoes won’t bode well on the hardwood gym floors you’re now cheering on for the next couple of months. In order to cheer comfortably, it would be best to invest in some mesh cheer shoes, like the Chasse ProFlex, which are designed for cheering indoors. If you’re disheartened that you have to spend more money on cheer gear, don’t be‚ these same shoes do great on gym mats for competitive cheer too! What other things should cheerleaders avoid at basketball games? Are there things you’ve learned from experience? Tell us in the comments below!