Pom pom

A metallic silver and red pom pom

pom-pom (also spelled pompom) is a loose, fluffy, decorative ball or tuft of fibrous material. Pom-poms may come in many colors, sizes, and varieties and are made from a wide array of materials, including wool, cotton, paper, plastic, and occasionally feathers.

Pom-poms are shaken by cheerleaders and sports fans during spectator sports. Small decorative pom-poms may be attached to clothing; these are called toories or bobbles.

'Pom-pom' is derived from the French word pompon, which refers to a small decorative ball made of fabric or feathers.

Use in CheerleadingEdit

Cheerleaders use pom-poms at sports events for four main reasons:

  1. To attract the attention of the spectators
  2. To add "sparkle" to a cheer, chant, or dance routine
  3. To accentuate movements
  4. To distract the opposing team (arguably, though typically unofficial and frowned upon)

Most often, pom-poms are used in pairs (one in each hand), but this may vary with the particular requirements of the choreography of a routine.

Cheerleading pom-poms come in a variety of shapes, styles, colors, color combinations, and sizes. Shiny metallic pom-poms have become very popular in recent years and are the predominant style.

Fake poms

A pair of red toy pom poms

Pom-poms are also waved by sports fans, primarily at college and high school sports events in the United States. Cheap, light-weight faux pom-poms in team colors are sometimes given or sold to spectators at such events.

Many schools and universities have dance teams in addition to their cheerleading groups. The dance teams may also use pom-poms.