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Section III Cheerleading

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LATEST NYSPHSAA Regulations for Cheerleading as a sport in NYS

Nov. 12, 2014

The following information is important for all teams to follow with the implementation of Cheerleading as a Sport beginning this Winter Season 2014-2015.  the courses required for coaches and when they need to be completed are also within the information.  Below the information is a link to a downloadable sheet of all this information.

Competitive Cheerleading - Full Implementation

Winter 2014-2015 Season


In an effort to assist NYSPHSAA member schools with questions and concern pertaining to competitive cheerleading, please reference the topics and information included in this document. For additional information, please contact Todd Nelson, NYSPHSAA Assistant Director, at: tnelson@nysphsaa.org/518-690-0771

Traditional Cheer vs. Competitive Cheer:

Any Cheerleading Squad that stunts or tumbles (see definitions below, as per AACCA) will be considered a Competitive Cheer Squad and would be subject to all SED and NYSPHSAA rules and regulations. A team that does not stunt and tumble would be a traditional squad and NOT subject to SED and NYSPHSAA rules and regulations.

Stunt: One or more persons supporting one or more top persons off of the ground.

Tumbling: Gymnastic skills that begin and end on the performing surface, including rolls, inverted extended skills (cartwheels, handstands, walkovers, handsprings, etc.), aerials, twists and flips.

NOTE: Jumps, leaps and side rolls on the performing surface are not considered to be tumbling.


NYSED Regulations:

All SED regulations (Age, Grade, Bona Fide Student, Duration of Competition, Health Exam, etc.) will be followed along with the regulations listed below:

Mixed Competition: Schools with Competitive Cheer squads will be required to follow the mixed competition guidelines. Darryl Daily verbally confirmed this at the Executive Committee meeting.

Selection Classification: Schools with Competitive Cheer squads will use the Girls Gymnastic standards to Selectively Classify students in grades 7 and 8 to the High School Level. Daryl Daily verbally confirmed this at the Executive Committee meeting.

Coaching Certification: All Competitive Cheerleading coaches will have to have the following to be certified coaches for the 2014-15 winter season as per SED regulations:

All non-certified teacher coaches will have to apply for a temporary coaching certificate. Any outside clinician that works with a team more than 5 days during the season will also have to apply for a temporary coaching certificate.

First Aid and CPR/AED


 Child Abuse Course  

Violence Prevention Course

Concussion Management Course

DASA Training (if applying for a temporary coaching license)

AACCA Safety Course (NYSPHSAA Regulation)

All non-PE coaches will have to begin to take the three required courses (Philosophy and Principles of Coaching (2nd year), Theories and Techniques (by 5th year) and Health Science (by 5th year).


NYSPHSAA General Eligibility:

All current NYSPHSAA eligibility rules will be enforced for all Competitive Cheerleading Squads. Two of those regulations are highlighted below:

Note: The transfer rule will not be in effect for the 2014-2015 winter season since Competitive Cheerleading was not a recognized sport during the 2013-2014 school year.

Dual Season Participation: The Executive Committee approved that Competitive Cheerleading squads and team members may compete in both the Fall and Winter Competitive Cheer seasons. The NYSPHSAA will only have a Championship event during the Winter season.

Interstate Sanctioning:   Teams will have to follow the sanctioning process if they are attending an out of state event or hosting an event that has out of state schools competing. NY Schools may only compete against member/approved schools.

NYSPHSAA Competition Standards:   Sections should be prepared to vote on the following Competition Standards for the sport of competitive cheerleading at the October Executive Committee meeting.

Minimum Practice Requirement: 10 team/8 individual

Representation:  minimum of 2 required competitions before post season. Note:  The 2014-2015 NYSPHSAA Invitational(s) will not be considered post-season.

Maximum number of Contests: 12

Nights Rest: 1 night per competition. Note: Cheering or performing during a sport event is not considered competition.  

Spirit Standards: NFHS Spirit Rule Book

Limitations per Day: 1 competition per day

Competition Standards: Routine – 2 minutes and 30 seconds must include Cheer and Dance 

Judges: Minimum of 3 judges and 1 safety judge per competition. For the 2014-2015 season schools and sections will negotiate with local judges on the stipend to be paid for competitions. A state Cheerleading Judges Association is being formed and will be in place for the 2015-2016 school year. Once local chapters are formed they will negotiate with the section to establish a fee.


 NYSPHSAA 2014-2015 Cheerleading Invitational:

The NYSPHSAA will host three invitational events during the winter 2014-2015 season. These events are considered regular season events and not post season events.

February 21, 2015 – Albany (Section 2) area (tentative)

February 28, 2015 – Long Island (Section 8/11) area (tentative)

March 7, 2015 – Rochester Institute of Technology (Section 5) – Confirmed

NYSPHSAA 2015-2016 Cheerleading Championship:

A NYSPHSAA Championship Event for the Winter 2015-2016 school year will be held. Teams would qualify for the championship event through a Sectional qualifier. An RFP will be sent to all sections and any section wishing to bid on the 2015-2016 Competitive Cheerleading Championship may wish to do so.

Qualifying Process: Each Section would send the winner of each class to the Championship event. A maximum of 10% of the teams competing in each class would qualify for the championship event. A Section could be more restrictive and only send the winner of each class to the championship event.

Divisions and Classes: Schools will be divided based on school enrollment numbers. Division I (750 and up) and Division II (749 and down). In each Division there will be a small squad class (5 to 16 competitors on the mat) and a large squad class (17 to 32 competitors on the mat). There will be one class of a co-ed division (at least one male competitor on the mat). Sections and local organizers are not obligated to use these divisions unless they are qualifying for the State Championship.


 Downloadable file of the above information:  http://d6nuj45qr4kz7.cloudfront.net/files_public/3/3007/files/Miscellaneous/CompetitiveCheerleading-UpdateOctober2014.pdf





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