Rules and Regulations

1. Cheerleading is a sport which has the primary purpose of supporting and promoting spirit for the CYO activities.  It also is to provide a strong foundation of cheer skills development.  This means that all Cheerleading squads will act in a matter of a true sport’s team and cheer at all of their team’s games for the season they are rostered.  Failure to do so will result in elimination for competition eligibility as “Competition-only” Squads are prohibited.

2. Designation:

Each district is to designate one Adult Commissioner for each league.

3. Eligibility:

All coaches and players must adhere to all DIOCESAN rules, guidelines, eligibility standards, program identification and sponsorship qualifications regardless of when and where they are cheering, performing or practicing.

See Eligibility Rules

4. Divisions:

A)  Varsity: grades 8th, 7th, 6th and 5th
B)  Junior Varsity: grades 6th, 5th and 4th
C)  Biddy: grades 4th, 3rd, 2nd and 1st

5. Practices may not begin before:

A)  FALL cheerleading:                August 1st
B)  WINTER cheerleading:            October 20th
C)  SPRING cheerleading :           March 15th

6. Practices, etc. must end by:

A)  FALL cheerleading:               1st weekend in November
B)  WINTER cheerleading:           3rd weekend in March (exception for State playoffs)
C)  SPRING cheerleading :           3rd weekend in June

7. Rosters:

A)  Each District Commissioner must submit completed rosters to the Diocesan Direct Service Administrator by:

     1) FALL cheerleading:    September 1st

     2) WINTER cheerleading: December 1st

     3) SPRING cheerleading:  April 1st

B)  All rostered coaches for a Mounting squad must have current certification  from a national cheerleading organization including NCA, UCA, USG, and AACCA.  As of the 2010-2011 season, NESSA will NOT be accepted.  You must contact your District Cheerleading Commissioner for approval of certification from any other organization.  All rostered coaches must provide proof of certification to OYYAM with the team roster.

C)  The District Cheerleading Commissioner for a Mounting Squad will indicate on the roster that all coaches listed are currently certified.

D)  Coaches for a Mounting squad must renew their certification every year.

E)  Cheerleading squads submit separate rosters for each Division and /or if they are cheering during more than one season.

F)  All rosters are frozen as of :

     1)  FALL cheerleading:       October 1st

     2)  WINTER cheerleading:   January 1st

     3)  SPRING cheerleading:    May 1st 

8. Cheerleaders will not be able to wear jewelry.  Medical bracelets are exempt from this rule but must be taped to the wrist for all cheerleading activities.

9. Cheerleaders' hair of shoulder length or longer must be pulled back in a ponytail or braid.

10. Cheerleaders' make-up must be modest and age appropriate, which is at the discretion of the coach and / or parents.  Uniforms must be appropriate in style and length.  No bare midriff allowed.

11. Coaches are responsible for their cheerleaders’ conduct. 

The following must be adhered to:

         A)  No booing
         B)  No show of poor sportsmanship
         C)  No kicking of benches and/ or bleachers
         D)  No Cheering during a foul shot time for either team. Foul shot time is defined as when the player 
               and/or players approach the foul line area until the clock starts again and/or the game is over.

12. Pom-poms for indoor usage are not allowed on the playing floor at any time except at half-time of games.

13. Signs and/or banners, where permitted, may be attached to walls etc. with masking tape and must be removed completely before leaving the playing area.  Signs may only be used as a prop by the cheerleaders.

14. Both cheerleading squads may be on the playing area for pre-game warm-ups and/or opening and/or closing game ceremonies provided that they do not interfere with the players during the warm-up.

15.  For outdoor cheerleading activities, the cheerleading area is behind the players’ bench and at a safe distance from the sideline boundary of the field of play.  It is the responsibility of the coaches to ensure that the area is safe for cheerleading.

16. For indoor cheerleading activities, the cheerleading area will be the bleachers and/or a safe distance from the sideline boundary of the field of play while the game action is going on.  Seated bench cheers are permitted at any time, excluding during foul shot time.

See Item 11-D.  Standing sideline cheers are allowed only during a dead ball, while the clock is stopped and excluding during foul shot time.  No mounts are permitted on the sideline at any time prior to, during or after the game.

17. Cheerleading Protocol states that the visiting squad should cheer first then followed by the home team.  This protocol should be followed when squads are allowed on the playing area, except for item 14.

18. All tumbling must be performed without the aid of spotters.  Also, no layout or twisting flips allowed.

19. The following tumbling skills will be permitted as follows:

     A)  Biddy level:  Only cartwheel, split, forward and backward roll regardless of  the status of the squad.

     B)  JV and Non-mounting Varsity Squads:  All of the biddy level plus round off, handstand and backbends

     C)  Varsity Mounting Squads:  All of the biddy level, JV and Non-Mounting Varsity Squads plus back and front walkover, back and front handspring and back tuck

20. Basic Mount Definitions:

     A)  Base:  support person maintaining weight bearing contact with the cheering surface

     B)  Flyer:  an individual who is supported off the cheering surface by one or more bases

     C)  Back Spot:  a cheerleader who provides non-weight bearing support during the stunt and aides in the mounting and dismounting of a flyer during the stunt

     D)  Extensions that have weight bearing points of the flyer over the head of the base are not permitted.

21. Mounts will be allowed according to the following guidelines:

     A)  Safety is our first priority. No cheerleader is to perform a mount that exceeds their ability. 

The following are strictly prohibited at all levels:

     1.  Extension mounts (with the exception of an extended chair mount)

     2.  Basket toss

     3.  Sweep, flip or twisting dismounts

     4.  Pendulum or table top mounts

     5.  More than one flyer per mount

     6.  Unguided dismounts (with the exception of a pop to cradle for varsity)

     7.  Moving mounts which do not have a back spot

     8.  Bases providing primary support for more than one flyer

B)  No mounting is allowed at all for Biddy level

C)  JV and Non-Mounting Varsity Squads must maintain one foot on the floor at all times during the creation of mounting formations.

D)  JV Mounting Squads may mount to a 1-½ person’s height level. Flyer’s feet must not be higher than ½ of the standing height of the base.  Standing base must maintain hand to body contact with the flyer at all times.

E)  Varsity Mounting Squads may mount to a 2 person’s height level.  Flyer’s feet may not be higher than the shoulder of the standing height of the base.  One foot must remain no higher than shoulder level when the mount is set.

All mounts at this height level require having a back spot.  The only allowable dismounts at this level are a step off, stomach/shove wrap or a pop to cradle dismount.

F)  Pyramids and/or formation s may interconnect mounts.  However, each mount group must be able to perform the stunt as an individual group.  Flyers must receive primary support from the bases in their mount.  Connection to mounts must be superficial.

22.   Routines must be appropriate for family viewing.  Any vulgar or suggestive movements, words or music will result in elimination.  This includes but is not limited to:

No tear-away uniforms or removal of clothing is allowed.

No pelvic thrusts, body waves/rolls, extreme hip gyrations, upper body movements that have a sexual connotation.

No bending with bottom facing the audience

No sticking out tongue or any facial expressions or movements of a sexual nature.

**Additional Rules for Cheerleading Competition and Exhibition**

District Competition & Diocesan Finals

All Divisions

1. Grade School Division (Grades 5 through 8).  Squads must have an eligible roster on file with the Diocese.  JV cheerleaders must be submitted on a separate roster.

A. No cheerleader younger than fifth grade will be able to compete in the District and Diocesan Cheerleading Competition.

B. All cheerleaders rostered for a Varsity squad must compete on the same squad and team at the District and Diocesan Cheerleading competitions.  (Only exception will be for disciplinary dismissal, illness, or injury,)  Creation of a ‘Competition Squad’ is strictly prohibited.

C. Practice for the competition may not begin until Oct. 20

2. There will be no limit to the number of cheerleaders on a squad.  All cheerleaders must be listed on the roster and filed correctly with the Diocese.

3. Squads will designate as either a Mount or Non-Mount squad for competition.  Qualified mount squads may elect to enter either category but may not enter both.

4. Each district will designate only one representative to the Diocesan Finals for each of the three divisions:  Cheerleading Non-Mount, Cheerleading Mount & Pom Dance Divisions.

5. Cheering positions will be drawn on the day of competition.  Coaches will sign in at the registration table immediately upon arrival and meet with the moderator to draw positions.

6. No specialty items such as flowers, gloves, etc. may be worn during the squad’s performance.  No jewelry of any kind may be worn by the participants with the exception of medically necessary bracelets. (See basic Cheerleading rules)  Team mascots are prohibited.  Pom poms are permitted ONLY during the Pom Dance Division.  Signs are permitted ONLY during the Cheerleading Divisions.

7. The Title and Artist of ALL music used in competition must be submitted to the Diocesan Office of Youth and Young Adult Ministry a minimum of 30 days prior to the Diocesan Competition for approval.  Music for the District and Diocesan competitions must be the same.  Failure to have your music approved will result in disqualification from the Diocesan competition.

8. Maximum time for each competition routine will be 2 ½ minutes.

Cheerleading Divisions: Cheerleaders may start in formation on the floor.  Time begins with the start of music or the first cheer motion or vocals.  Time ends with the finish of all music, cheer motions, or vocals.  Music, signs and megaphones are allowed.  Music may not exceed 1¼ minutes.

Pom Dance Division:  Time begins and ends with the music; cheerleaders may take positions on the floor prior to start of music.  The squad MUST have poms in hand for a minimum of 1½ minute.  Five points penalty will be deducted from the squad’s final score in the round if the above rule is not followed.

9. Maximum time for each exhibition routine will be 1 ½ minutes.  All rostered age divisions are invited to participate in the exhibition portions of the Diocesan Competition but are not eligible for competition awards.  The exhibition is solely for the purpose of additional squads to showcase their talents and so they experience a competition at this level to encourage future participation.

10. Rules for individual division:

A. Cheerleading – Both Divisions: Each squad will perform a routine with cheers, mounts and dance.  Cheerleaders will be judged during the entire performance time.

B. Cheerleading Non-Mount Division:  Squads must maintain one foot on the floor at all times during the creation of formations.  Jumps and tumbling are permitted as set forth for Non-Mounting squads in the Diocesan Cheerleading Rules.

C. Cheerleading Mount Division:  Squads may only perform mounts which comply with criteria set forth in Diocesan Cheerleading Rules.  Jumps and tumbling are permitted as set forth for Mounting Squads in the Diocesan Cheerleading Rules.

D. Pom Dance Division:  Mounts are prohibited for all squads in this division.  Squads must maintain one foot on the floor at all times during the creation of formations.  Jumps and tumbling are permitted to the level of Non-Mount Squads as set forth in the Diocesan Cheerleading Rules for ALL squads participating in the Pom Dance Division regardless of squad status (Mount/Non-mount).

11. Disturbing or interrupting the performing squad in any manner is STRICTLY FORBIDDEN.  Other than during a squad’s performance, cheering by squads is limited to response cheers, practice, and intermissions.  A penalty of five (5) points will be deducted from the final score of all divisions participated in by a squad who violates this rule.

12. There will be no more than 5 judges.  High and Low scores will be eliminated.  The remaining scores will be totaled.  Do not round or average scores.  Only judges and the event moderator will have access to the score sheets. 

Each district will supply one judge for Diocesan competition.  Each judge will be deemed eligible under these standards:

~Cannot be related to any member or coach of any squad.

~Cannot be in any way responsible for the choreography of any dance or cheerleading routine

~Must have a minimum of two (2) years of cheer or dance experience at the high school level or higher

~Will not have any CYO suspension or other disciplinary action on record.

13. Penalties for violation of the above rules are assessed by the moderator after the judges have scored.  A five (5) point penalty is assessed to the final score for each violation.  Any protest regarding a squad’s performance must be made to the moderator during the intermission immediately following the division.  No protest is to be made in the presence of the judges.

14. In the event of a tie in the first place position the high and low score are added back into the raw scores of the squads involved in the tie and all scores added.  The new total is used to determine a 1st and 2nd place team.  At the District Competition, it is recommended that the tie breaker rule is only implemented in the case of a first place tie.  Ties for 2nd or 3rd should remain, giving all squads awards.

15. All decisions of the judges and competition moderator will be final. 

Inappropriate behavior, as deemed by the judges, will result in elimination.