Issues and Recommendations


1. While recognizing the benefits of athletic competition, (Appendix B) the primary function of a cheerleading program is to support interschool athletics and to uphold, reflect and project the goals of the school community.

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  • Schools should guard against excessive focus on competition and limit participation in competitive events to 3-4 times annually. Competitions should only be pursued if responsibilities in academics are met and the role of the support group is satisfied.
  • The cheerleading program should encourage and promote sportsmanship and ethical conduct consistent with educational mission and goals of the school.

2. A cheerleader's first responsibility is to his/her academic program. The educational process should not be compromised by participating in cheerleading.

  • Contact Time - Time required of cheerleaders for practice, games, and cheerleading competitions should be regulated to minimize interference with their opportunities to acquire a quality education consistent with the opportunities of the general student body.
  • Cheerleading practice time should be consistent with other extracurricular activities (band, drama, other athletic teams, etc.).
  • Practice/contact time demands must be scheduled to allow the participants ample time to participate in family and other activities and to cheer at ever-increasing athletic events. Schools should provide a set time period for cheerleading during the school day and limit after school practice to one hour daily (no weekends).
  • Summer should be relatively practice free with a maximum of one day a week with several weeks designated as "no practice" dates. Time allocated should include specific hours for conditioning and days for attendance at summer training camps.

3. The Institution should adopt a rigorous safety program including a coaches' education program, adequate practice location, access to the school's conditioning facilities and athletic trainers, and access to outside training when needed.

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4. The athleticism involved in modern cheerleading requires that the institution must match the development of cheerleading coaches.

  • Coaches should receive training from qualified instructors.
  • Cheerleading coaches should be familiar with the contents of the AACCA Cheerleading Safety Manual and limit the squads' activities according to the National Federation of State High School Associations Spirit Rule Book
  • Coaches should provide constant supervision for all activities.

5. If "outside" coaches (non-district employees) are paid for competitive routines, thorough background checks should be conducted on the character and technical knowledge of such persons, and compensation provided should be in compliance with the institution's established financial controls and policies.

6. If schools participate in competitive events, they should adhere to the following requirements:

  • The competition safety standards should meet minimum AACCA (Appendix C) and National Federation requirements (see page 64-72) National Federation Spirit Rule Book).
  •  When traveling to and from competitions, squads should follow the approved travel policies of the institution.

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Tara Roach
Instructor and UCA State Director More from Members