Cheer Rules

2022-23 rules will be updated soon


Cheer & Dance Rules Website 
Provides Photos and Video interpretations of skills that are both legal & illegal.  This is an awesome website that is constantly updated by AACCA & NFHS. This link can help Cheer & Dance Coaches understand rules, using pictures & videos. The NKCCA follows UCA rules and division sizes, but reserves the right to waive some requirements. For example, the USA cheer membership requirement as long as the head coach is a NKCCA/KAPOS/NFHS member in good standing.  We also reserve the right to not offer or combine UCA divisions.

NFHS Spirit Rule changes for 22-23

School/Rec/Game Day Cheer Competition Rules & Divisions

The purpose of our NKCCA competitions are two-fold: 1) to allow our cheerleaders to exemplify their talents both on the court/field and in the classroom. 2) to generate revenue for the Association to offer its awards, benefits and miscellaneous activities throughout the year. The Association must approve all items sold or displayed at the competition.

The competition is open to all member schools. The competition will award first and second place trophies and ribbons in the categories with at least 3 squads entered, otherwise only first place trophies and ribbons will be awarded. All-Star squad are exhibition only.

Squad fee -A non-refundable fee per participant per squad along with all roster and liability release forms are required. All late payments and forms may be assessed a late fee.
Stunt fee -An additional non-refundable entry fee per group along with roster and liability release forms are required. All late payments and forms may be assessed a late fee.

ROSTER Only cheerleaders listed on the roster sheet are eligible to participate. High School squad cheerleaders must be KHSAA, OHSAA, or IHSAA eligible and members of their school’s squad participating in all facets ( unless sidelined due to illness or injury). All other cheerleaders must also meet their school’s minimum academic requirements. Cheerleaders should be listed by squad and are allowed to participate with only the squad that has listed them on their roster for the competition. They can, however, be listed on more than one roster for that school (i.e. Varsity & JV).

WAIVER FORMS All cheerleaders must have a waiver & release form completed before the competition begins. Waiver forms should be submitted with the roster and entry fee.

JUDGES The judges will use a score sheet approved at the Fall coaches meeting. Judging fees are based on the number of participating squads and established by the Board.

FORMAT/SCORING Squads may not tumble or stunt onto and off the floor. All National Federation restrictions apply. Squads may use megaphones, signs, and pompoms at any time. Other props may be deemed dangerous to the floor or to the other cheerleaders ( e.g., flags, boxes, etc.) and will not be allowed. Squads going over the time limit or using illegal props will be penalized 10 points for each. The deduction will be taken from the judges’ combined scores.

SOUND SYSTEMThe Association will supply a sound system. Sound checks will be allowed only during a designated period, prior to the performances. Coaches are advised to bring 2 copies of their music.

PRACTICE/FLOOR TIMES Floor times in an auxiliary area will be assigned based on the order of appearance. Squads will not be given another scheduled opportunity to stretch and warm up prior to the competition.

1. All members of the cheer squad must be current members of the official school spirit squad and must attend the school they are representing. (Exception: this will not preclude participation from sister schools for same-gender schools as long as they are official members of the squad.)
2. Individuals are permitted to compete on two School Teams, and AllStar Teams at the same event(unless they are participating in the coinciding KHSAA/KAPOS event. In this case individuals may only participate on one school team, but can participate on an All Star team.  7th and 8th graders can participate on their KAPOS team and also a KHSAA team)
4. The team and each participating member/coach should constantly display good sportsmanship throughout the entire performance in regards to respect for themselves, other teams and the viewing audience of all ages. Teams should refrain from any taunting, bragging, or suggestive expressions or gestures as well as discrimination of any nature.
5. We recommend that the team and each of its members display an overall appearance conducive to serving as public representatives and ambassadors of their school in regards to grooming, traditional and appropriate attire, conservative make-up, uniformity, etc.

1. All participant uniforms must cover the midriff when standing at attention. Covered midriff does include flesh or nude colored body suits and liners; however, fringe would not count as a cover.
2. Any team in violation of the uniform guidelines will be assessed a five (5) point deduction.
3. A traditional sideline uniform is required for all Game Day divisions.

1. Each performance routine presentation must include at least one cheer or sideline chant. The musical portion must not exceed one minute and thirty seconds. Total time limit is two minutes and thirty seconds. Timing will begin with the first movement, voice, or note of music, whichever
comes first.
2. Each Game Day performance should consist of a Cheer, Sideline and Band Chant or Fight Song. The music portion must not exceed one minute with an overall maximum performance time of three minutes. Time will begin after the first audio cue is given.
3. Stunt Group routines are not timed, but it is suggested they be between 1 minute and 1 minute 30 seconds in length.
4. The NKCCA does not time any of the routines. However, if the competition coincides with another event (KHSAA/KAPOS) those time limits and deductions will apply. If a team exceeds the time limit, a penalty will be assessed for each violation.
5. Acknowledging the potential variance caused by human reaction speed and sound system time variations, judges will not issue a deduction until 3 seconds over the allowed time.
6. Because penalties are severe, it is recommended that all teams time their performance several times prior to competition and leave a several second cushion to allow for variations in sound equipment.
7. Introductions
a. All introductions (tumbling, entrances, chants, spellouts, etc.) are considered part of the routine and will be timed as part of the performance.
b. All team breaks, rituals and traditions need to take place prior to entering the mat.
c. Teams should take the floor immediately with spirit and enthusiasm,
d. There should not be any organized exits or other activities after the official ending of the routine.

1. Coaches should have read and understand the USA Cheer Music Copyrights Educational Initiative and all sound recordings used in their team’s music shall only be used with written license from the owners(s) of the sound recordings.
2. These guidelines are as of June 16, 2016. For the most up to date music information, visit
If you have any questions, cheer teams should email Please check Preferred Provider list for updates and changes periodically.
3. Teams must be able to provide proof of licensing upon request. If a team does not have proof of music licensing available, they will be allowed to perform to an optional approved track of music or a track with counts

1. Participants must start in the competition area with at least one foot on the ground.
2. Teams may line up anywhere inside the competition area.
3. NKCCA Competitions comply with the NFHS surface ruling that school based programs may not compete on a spring floor.
4. Approximate floor size will be 54 feet wide by 42 feet deep (9 strips).
5. Deductions will not be assessed for out of bounds.
7. Signs or props may be placed or dropped outside the competition area.
8. All team mascots, props, center markers, etc. are prohibited.

1. If, in the opinion of the competition officials, a team’s routine is interrupted because of failure of the competition equipment, facilities, or other factors attributable to the competition rather than the team, the team affected should STOP the routine.
2. The team will perform the routine again in its entirety, but will be evaluated ONLY from the point where the interruption occurred. The degree and effect of the interruption will be determined by the competition officials.
1. In the event a team’s routine is interrupted because of failure of the team’s own equipment, the team must either continue the routine or withdraw from the competition.
2. The competition officials will determine if the team will be allowed to perform at a later time. If decided by officials, the team will perform the routine again in its entirety, but will be evaluated ONLY from the point where theinterruption occurred.
1. The only persons that may stop a routine for injury are: a) competition officials, b) the coach from the team performing or c) an injured individual.
2. The competition officials will determine if the team will be allowed to perform at a later time. If the competition officials allow a routine to be performed at a later time, the spot in the schedule where the re-performance is to take place is at the sole discretion of competition officials. The
team must perform the routine again in its entirety, but will be evaluated ONLY from the point where the interruption occurred.
3. The injured participant that wishes to perform may not return to the competition floor unless:
a. The competition officials receive clearance from, first, the medical personnel attending to that participant, the parent (if present) AND THEN the head coach of the competing team.
b. If the medical personnel do not clear the participant, the participant can only return to the competition if a parent or legal guardian in attendance signs a return to participation waiver.
c. Any athlete who exhibits signs or symptoms consistent with concussion should be removed from the activity at that time and should not be allowed to return to activity that day. The athlete should not return to activity on a subsequent day until evaluated by and receives written clearance for such participation from a qualified physician (MD or DO specifically trained in concussion management).

Any questions concerning the rules or procedures of the competition will be handled exclusively by the coach of the team and will be directed to the Competition Director. Such questions should be made prior to the team’s competition performance.
Any questions concerning the team’s performance should be made to the Competition Director immediately after the team’s performance and/or following the outcome of the competition.
Any questions concerning a specific violation in music compliance must be submitted in writing to the Competition Director
immediately following the team’s performance.
Any interpretation of these Rules and Regulations or any decision involving any other aspect of the competition will be rendered by the Rules Committee. The Rules Committee will render a judgment in an effort to ensure that the competition proceeds in a manner consistent with the general spirit and goals of the competition. The Rules Committee will consist of the Competition Director, Head Judge, and a designated competition
All participants agree to conduct themselves in a manner displaying good sportsmanship throughout the competition with positive presentation upon entry and exit from the performance area as well as throughout the routine. The coach of each team is responsible for seeing that team members, coaches, parents and other persons affiliated with the team conduct themselves accordingly. Severe cases of unsportsmanlike conduct are grounds for disqualification.
Any team in violation of these Rules and Regulations or any of the above mentioned guidelines will be assessed a ten point (10) deduction for each violation. This deduction does not apply to violations mentioned above that are designated a lesser point value.
Any team that does not adhere to the terms and procedures of these “Rules and Regulations” will be subject to disqualification from the competition, will automatically forfeit any right to any prizes or awards presented by the competition.
By participating in this competition, each team agrees that the decisions by the judges will be final and results may ONLY be reviewed for clarification. Each team acknowledges the necessity for the judges to make prompt and fair decisions in this competition and each team therefore expressly waives any legal, equitable, administrative or procedural review of such decisions.
Individual score sheets are for the exclusive use of each particular judge. Each judge has the responsibility and authority to review and submit his or her final scores and rankings prior to the final tally of the scores for all teams. Scores and rankings will be available only to coaches or captains at the conclusion of the competition.
Ties will not be broken except for first place.  First place ties will be broken in the following manner:
1. The team with the fewest deductions wins.
2. If both teams have the same deductions, the team with the highest performance score will win.
3. If both teams have the same performance score, the winner will be declared by the judges’ choice.

1. Performance Routines
a. The judges will score teams using the criteria listed on the score sheet. Each team will be evaluated on a 100 point system..
b.. Any deductions or violations will be taken off of the final score. For more information on scoring, score sheet and judging criteria, please visit the scoresheet section of the website.

2. Game Day Routines
a. The Game Day routines showcase what traditional cheerleading is all about – leading the crowd! Teams will be evaluated on their ability to lead
the crowd, proper game day skill incorporations / performance, motion/dance and overall routine.
b. Team are encouraged to use signs, poms, flags, and / or megaphones.
c. The incorporation of skills (stunts, jumps, tumbling, motions/dance) may be added to any/all sections of the Game Day performance.
d. To imitate the Game Day feel, audio cues will be given at the Regional event based on a scenario given in warm up. Each Scenario will include Cheer, Band Dance and a Sideline.
e. Band Chant, is a music selection performed by a band that encourages crowd response and interaction.
f. The judges will score teams using the criteria listed on the UCA Game Day score sheet. Each team will be evaluated on a 100 point system.
g. Each section should have a beginning and end. Note: Spirited crowd leading interaction between each section is encouraged to continue the game day feel.
h. Traditional game day uniform is required.
i. Any deductions or violations will be taken off of the final averaged score. For more information on scoring, score sheets and judging criteria, please visit the scoresheet portion of this website.

3. Stunt Group Routines
a. The Stunt Group routines showcase what traditional partner stunting is all about – working together as a team!
b. The judges will score teams using the criteria listed on the score sheet. Each team will be evaluated on a 100 point system.
c. Stunts will count for 70 points and 30 points for the Overall Performance section of the routine. Each section will be combined for the final score.
d. Members of a Stunt Group may not cross over & participate in another stunt group, unless it is from a school team to an all-star team or vice versa. A competing Stunt Group member(s) may expo in another group as long as the other stunt group members are also expoing. The Stunt Group fee is the same to compete or expo.
e. An average Stunt Group performance is 1 minute or 15-18 8 counts
f. Any deductions or violations will be taken off of the final score. For more information on scoring, score sheet and judging criteria, please visit the scoresheet section of the website.

1. Head Judge – The Head Judge is responsible for overseeing the entire Judging Panel that consists of Panel Judges, Point Deduction Judge, and Safety Judge. The Head Judge will also fill out his/her own score sheet for each performance.
2. Panel Judge – Panel Judges are responsible for scoring each team’s performance based on the assigned Score Sheets. Each Panel Judge will fill out a score sheet for each performance.
3. Point Deduction Judge (Performance Divisions Only) – The Point Deduction Judge is responsible for assessing deductions in each routine for athlete(s), stunt(s), and pyramid fall(s), drop(s) or collapse(s). Please review the “Point Deduction” explanation sheet listed on the scoresheet portion of this website.
4. Safety Judge – The Safety Judge is responsible for administering all safety violations, time violations.

Rules subject to change by NKCCA Go to for the most updated rules.