This will be a college UDA question, but it still applies to all levels of cheer/dance: I’m sure we’ve all heard variations of this rumor before, but I personally have always dismissed it. But then UDA happened last year, and now I’m wondering if there isn’t some credence to it (which, if true, would break my heart a little). To be clear: I’m not a “conspiracy theorist” about judging. I’m don’t scapegoat low scores back to some wild card factor — usually business-related — to explain our failures. But I know teams that firmly believe they’ve received lower scores or lost titles because they didn’t attend the right camp, or didn’t get uniforms from the right vendor, or whatever. In short, they didn’t grease the wheels with the right organisation when they should’ve, and then they paid for it at Nationals. Whether their suspicions are correct or not isn’t for me to say. I’m just saying I’ve never personally experienced such a thing, and therefore don’t think much about those allegations. But then UDA happened last year and the University of Minnesota officially lost their 7-year winning streak (that they’d been maintaining since their inaugural year) to Ohio State. Not only in one, but TWO divisions (pom and jazz). A lot of people — including myself — were surprised at this. To be fair, U of M had their problems, but so did Ohio. And yet Ohio unseated U of M in two categories (Minnesota got second to Ohio in both). So it has people wondering if there wasn’t something else happening. The theory is: UDA finally gave the titles to Ohio (in a year where Ohio performed competently enough that UDA could successfully defend their decision). Why? To show it could be done. Because to keep solidifying U of M as the team that could not be beat in two of their most impacted dance divisions would mean fewer entrants — and therefore, fewer entrance fees — down the line. So basically they broke a team’s 7-year streak and handed the title to another team that didn’t earn it for the money. That’s the theory, anyway. Of course, there’s the possibility that Ohio was just better that day. But most people believe that while they were good, they were NOT Minnesota good. And certainly not twice over. The romantic in me doesn’t want to believe this is true. But also, I kind of get it from a “cheer-as-business” standpoint. I don’t like it or condone it, but I get it. For reference, here are the teams in question (I’m only posting the pom division because I’m more familiar with it). If you’re not sure what you’re looking for, it’s the teams’ mega-hard full-squad turn sections that usually go a long way in determining who wins (Minnesota has traditionally been famous for the synchronisation, difficulty, and speed changes in theirs): Minnesota, 7-time champ: Ohio: Does anyone else wrestle with these suspicions? Can anyone with more experience into the cheer industry provide some insight? Am I paranoid to suspect something happened or am I naive to think nothing happened? Thanks, all.