STJFL Cheer Rules
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Age groups should follow Football guide lines. All STJFL BY-LAWS

Teams and scheduling are at the discretion of each individual association.

Safety

All practice sessions must be supervised by a coach and proper training is required before attempting any kind of tumbling or stunts. All cheerleading squads are required to incorporate a comprehensive conditioning and strength-building program. Before any performance, cheerleaders are required to participate in a warm-up routine to ensure their muscles have had time to stretch and prepare.

Attire

Cheerleaders must remove all jewelry accept for medical alert jewelry, which can be taped where it is visible. Any rigid athletics supports, including knee braces, must be covered so that they do not become a hazard to other cheerleaders. Cheerleaders are to wear only tennis shoes, gym shorts or wind pants and a t-shirt; Cheerleaders are not allowed to wear jewelry of any kind, including earrings. Hair must be pulled up at all times in a high ponytail or use clips if hair is too short for ponytail.

Partner Stunts and Pyramid Rules

Any partner stunts and pyramids must be, at MOST, two people high. Any partner stunts performed above shoulder-level height require a continuous spotter. Free-falling flips and swan dives are COMPLETELY prohibited from cheer leading performances. When a cheerleader performs any stunt in which she falls from a base and her body goes horizontal during the jump, a minimum of three catchers are required to perform the stunt.

Props

The use of props during competition, including flags, banners, mega phones, pom-poms and sign are allowed, but no props that use a support, (ex: a flag with a pole) can be used while doing a stunt. Props should be moved in an appropriate manner before performing stunts. For example, a hard sign or flag with a pole may not be thrown across the mat prior to performing a stunt. Also, tumbling with props is not allowed, No prop that is used to propel a person, such as a mini-trampoline or springboard, is permitted, No props with another teams name shall be permitted.

During Sporting Events

Cheerleaders are expected to arrive at their game on time and fully dressed in uniform( including pompom's) with hair neatly pulled back, any girl out of uniform will not be permitted to participate in that game.

When a cheer leading team is in close proximity to a game or event and there is a risk of injury when the ball leaves the playing surface, no technical skills or stunts are allowed. Also the following stunts are not allowed during games: elevator/sponge tosses, multi based tosses, partner stunts for which the person who's the base only uses one arm to support the top person, flips, released twists, two-and-a-half person pyramids, inversions and twisting tumbling stunts. Basket Tosses with spotters are allowed. A minimum of four people are required on any stunts higher than a thigh stand.

Practice

Practice time regulations are the same as football. Teams may practice 8 hours a week until the first game. After first game, teams may not practice more than 6 hours a week.

Coaches

Coaches MUST be 18 years old or older. High School and Jr. High cheerleaders may help but are only considered Jr. Volunteers. Each Squad needs one red badge coach and the rest must be white badged assistants.

Competition

Considerations

The scoring rules for competitions require judges to evaluate cheerleading teams in six aspects of their performance: technique; stability and strength of stunts; the choreography and flow of the routine; degree of difficulty of the stunts; perfection of the routine; and overall impression of the performance.

GENERAL SAFETY RULES AND ROUTINE REQUIREMENTS

  1. All athletes must be supervised during all official functions by a qualified director / coach.
  2. Coaches must require proficiency before skill progression. Coaches must consider the athlete, group, and team skill levels with regard to proper performance level placement.
  3. All teams, gyms, coaches and directors must have an emergency response plan in the event of an injury.
  4. Athletes and coaches may not be under the influence of alcohol, narcotics, performance enhancing substances or over-the-counter medications while participating in a practice or performance that would hinder the ability to supervise or execute a routine safely.
  5. Athletes must always practice and perform on an appropriate surface. Technical Skills (stunts, pyramids, tosses or tumbling) may not be performed on concrete, Asphalt, wet or uneven surfaces or surfaces with obstructions. Blue Mats required on Gym Surfaces or Football Fields may be used.
  6. Soft-soled shoes must be worn while competing. No dance shoes/boots, and/or gymnastic slippers (or similar) allowed. Shoes must have a solid sole.
  7. Jewelry of any kind including but not limited to ear, nose, tongue, belly button and facial rings, clear plastic jewelry, bracelets, necklaces and pins on uniforms are not allowed. Jewelry must be removed and may not be taped over.
    • Exception: Medical ID tags/bracelets.
    • Clarification: Rhinestones are legal whether adhered to the uniform or the skin.
  8. Any height increasing apparatus used to propel an athlete is not allowed. Including Spring Floors.
  9. Flags, banners, signs, pompons, mega-phones, and pieces of cloth are the only props allowed. Props with poles or similar support apparatus may not be used in conjunction with any kind of stunt or tumbling. All props must be safely discarded out of harm's way (example: throwing a hard sign across the mat from a stunt would be illegal). Any uniform piece purposefully removed from the body and used for visual effect will be considered a prop. No mega phones are allowed in the air during stunts, only on the ground.
  1. Casts that are hard and unyielding or have rough edges must be appropriately covered with a padded material.
    • Clarification: The appropriately padded material must be such that it protects both the athlete and fellow athletes from injury. On the level grid, all skills allowed for a particular level encompass all skills allowed in the preceding level.
  2. Required spotters for all skills must be your own team's members and be trained in proper spotting techniques.
  3. Drops including but not limited to knee, seat, thigh, front, back, and split drops from a jump, stunt, or inverted position are not allowed unless the majority of the weight is first borne on the hands or feet, which breaks the impact of the drop.
    • Clarification: Drops that include any weight bearing contact with the hands and feet would not be in clear violation of this rule.
  4. Competition routines shall not exceed THREE minutes.
  5. Athletes must have at least one foot, hand or body part (other than hair) on the performing surface when the routine begins. NO ONE starts in the air.
    • Exception: Athletes may have their feet in the hands of base(s) if the base(s) hands are resting on the performing surface.
  6. The competitors who begin a routine must remain the same throughout the course of a routine . A performer is not permitted to be "replaced" by another performer during a routine.
  7. An athlete must not have gum, candy, cough drops or other such edible or non-edible Items, which may cause choking, in their mouth during practice and/or performance

Competition Teams

  • Flag
  • Flag/ Peewee
  • Peewee
  • Jr / Sr
  • Large Mixed

Each girl may only cheer in 1 category. For example a cheerleader may not cheer in a Flag/ Pee Wee number and a large mixed in the same competition.

No tryouts for competition are allowed. Every girl must be allowed to have the opportunity to cheer and competition if their Association is participating in the competition.

Each competing group will have Placement Wins determined by the number of teams participating in that category. EX. 5 Flag teams compete Trophies awarded 1st through 5th place in the Flag Division.

All Teams Must certify at the beginning of the season and all competition team's certification books must be checked girl by girl by STJFL officials the morning of Competition.

Competition will be held at the location of the pro bowl.

There is a Grand Champion High Point Award given to the individual team that scores the most points in the competition.

SPORTSMANSHIP AND DEDUCTIONS

STJFL fervently encourages and supports sportsmanship, integrity and fairness among participants and coaches in all facets of cheerleading including, but not limited to, team/squad practice and performance. We strive to uphold the highest standards and promote this to the best of our abilities, and believe that coaches are

Instrumental in promoting and instilling this among their respective team members.

TIME LIMIT VIOLATIONS

Teams that exceed 3:0 will be subject to the following deduction:

  • 1 - 5 seconds over time will result in a .5 deduction
  • 6 or more seconds over time will result in a 1.0 deduction

The routine time limit is 3:0. Routines that exceed this time limit run a risk of being assessed a deduction. Judges will use A stop watch or similar device to measure the official time. Acknowledging the potential variance caused by human reaction

Speed and sound system time variations, judges will not issue a deduction until their stopwatch/clock shows a time that exceeds 3:10.

At the time mark 3:20, each judge should flip their score sheet over and stop judging that number. There is no disqualification rule for going over the time limit. The judges will just stop judging.

The timer will start at the first movement on the mat after the girls set up and getting their places.

SAFETY VIOLATIONS

  • Building skills performed out of level will be issued a 1.0 deduction.
  • Tumbling skills performed out of level and violation of any other General Safety

Guidelines will be issued a .50 deduction.

UNSPORTSMANLIKE CONDUCT DEDUCTION

When a coach is in discussion with an official, other coaches, athletes and parents/spectators they must maintain proper professional conduct. Failing to do so may result in a 2.0 deduction, removal of coach, and/or disqualification.

There will be a five minute break between the last routine and the score tallying. At this time, coordinators only, may address any rule violation issues for consideration. If an issue should occur, Coach MUST bring the issue to their league coordinator, who will in turn present that issue to the STJFL representatives during this time. Under no circumstances should issues be addressed during the competition routines. Each competing League MUST have a coordinator present at Competition.

During the competition Routine, only 1 Head Coach and 1 Assistant are allowed in the coach's box. When your team is preparing or finished preforming, Head and Assistant Coaches must stay with their teams to either side at all times.

No PROFESIONAL chorography can be paid for. NO music can be obtained illegally through pirating. Coaches may either purchase their own or make their own. All music must be submitted to STJFL 1 week prior to competition. No other Accredited Camp can be held within individual associations.

STJFL will be hosting a Professional Nationally Recognized Cheer Camp and All Associations are encouraged to participate. We are asking that this be the training camp you use. We will also host a Coaching Training Certification and ALL coaches are encouraged. At least one representative from each association needs to be there but ALL coaches are highly encouraged. Individual Associations should not host their own private professional camps but are free to hold individual camp fundraising events using Volunteers and high school cheerleaders. All adults must have and pass a background check through their league to volunteer.