I. General Rules
The competition will follow the same general information/stunt and safety rules as set forth in the most recent version of the 2019-20 USASF Cheer Rules, 2019-20 USASF Dance Rules (both are available on line at www.usasf.net) and USA General Information (available on-line at usa.varsity.com)
The competition will consist of divisions/categories listed on the most current version of the “United States All Star Federation All Star Cheer and Dance Divisions for 2019-20.” This document is available to USASF members on the USASF website at www.usasf.net.
Categories/divisions may be subdivided or combined in accordance with USASF guidelines. The USA reserves the right to adjust days of performance for all divisions based upon final competition enrollment.
An individual may not compete against her/himself in the same division/category. An individual may not compete on two teams within the same category type and/or division within a category when separated by size (i.e. Large Sr. All Star Level 4 and Small Sr. All Star Level 4 divisions) An athlete may not perform in more than 3 (three) cheerleading routines at a given competition per USASF rules. Moving across tiers (Elite, Prep, Novice) is prohibited by the USASF. The penalty for this violation will be disqualification of one of the routines and possible disciplinary action by the USASF. Additional USASF crossover restrictions may apply, depending upon the division(s) for which a gym has registered. REMINDER – At the 2020 Cheerleading Worlds, crossovers of any type are not permitted.
For a list of the majority of legality violations refer to the “2019-20 Composite Scoresheet – All Star Cheer & All Star Dance Divisions” found at usa.varsity.com.
In order to compete, every all star performer (cheer and dance) must be a current registered member of the USASF. Each team is required to turn in their official USASF team roster from the USASF along with your event registration. Entrants must be official full-time members of their team and registered athletes with the USASF. In addition, for the 2020 USA All Star Championships, a picture i.d. for each athlete is also required to be turned in with your event registration for all Worlds-qualifying divisions. The penalty for an eligibility violation and/or failure to provide eligibility documentation may be disqualification and/or ineligibility for a Worlds bid.
Teams may participate in more than one competition during the season. All star athletes may not move across tiers (Elite, Prep, Novice) and may not compete in different tiers. Individuals are permitted to compete on both a school team and an all star team at the same event. Check local state rules for additional/other crossover restrictions between school-based and all star cheer/dance.
Warm-Up Room Requirements
In order to enter the warm-up room at a USASF Sanctioned event, the requirements for athletes are official USASF membership for the current membership term and being listed on the team roster as an active or reserve athlete for the team entering the warm-up room.
For coaches, he/she must be listed on the USASF team roster for the team entering in the warm-up room and must have a current USASF "professional" membership with a green light background check through the USASF. For other gym staff and/or volunteers, he/she must be listed on the USASF personnel roster for the team entering the room and must have a green light background check though the USASF. If you have questions about your membership status please contact your USASF Regional Director.
Timing if a routine will begin on the first note of music, the first vocal command (for cheer squads), or the first choreographed movement, and will stop with the end of the cheer or the last note of music. Penalties for exceeding the total routine time limit will be deducted from the final panel scores. In all categories/divisions, music must be used for the entire length of the routine. In the Pom categories, females must use two poms for at least 80% of the total routine. Please refer to the Regional/Classics/Open General Information for overall routine length time limits in each category. (Available on-line at usa.varsity.com).
We recommend that you “time” your performance several times prior to the competition and give yourself at least five seconds of “cushion” to allow for speed variations in sound equipment.
All introductions (tumbling, entrances, spellouts, etc.) are considered part of the routine and be timed as part of the performance.
All team breaks, ritual and traditions need to take place prior to entering the performance area.
Judges are looking for enthusiasm, showmanship and examples of positive sportsmanship during entrances and exits. Teams are encouraged to move on and off the floor as quickly as possible, but without excessive gestures (i.e. chest bumps, hugs, handshakes, etc.)
All teams should refrain from any type of excessive celebration following the team’s performance. There should not be any organized exits or other activities after the official ending of a routine.
a) I have read and understand the USA Cheer Music Copyrights Educational Initiative and all sound recordings used in our team’s music shall only be used with written license from the owners(s) of the sound recordings.
b) These guidelines are as of June 16, 2016. For the most up to date music information, visit http://varsity.com/music. If you have any questions, cheer teams should email email@example.com and song/pom teams should email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please check Preferred Provider list for updates and changes periodically.
c) Teams must be able to provide proof of licensing, in the form of a printed copy, during registration at the event they are attending.
d) If a team does not have the required paperwork, they will be given the option to perform to an approved track of music or a track with counts (provided by Varsity Spirit).
e) If a team does not have the required paperwork, and chooses not to perform to the approved track of music or a track with counts, the team will be disqualified from the competition and not be allowed to perform.
f) If there are concerns regarding a team’s use of music, a Challenge Form must be completed immediately following the team’s performance.
g) A challenge can only be made by the official coach, advisor, director or gym owner of a team competing at the event at which the challenge is being made.
h) Challenge Process
i) All music challenges must be submitted in writing to the event director.
ii) There will be a $100 fee to request a music challenge, which must be in the form of a check made payable to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
iii) Challenges will be reviewed and finalized within 48 hours of the event.
iv) If the challenge is correct, fees collected will be voided. If the challenge is incorrect, fees will be donated to St. Jude.
i) Each team is required to have a representative remain at the music station that knows the routine and music. This representative is responsible for starting the music and stopping the music in case of technical malfunction or injury. Please hold on to your music until the time of your performance. A team representative must remain at the sound station during your team’s performance. If using an MP3, smart phone, etc. please ensure that there is no case on the device which will obstruct the jack from plugging into the sound system. Please ensure that jacks are clean and free of any debris which may impact connectivity. Note that you may need to acquire an adapter in advance if your player does not have a head phone jack. If you are using a smart phone, please ensure that no interruptions (i.e. phone call, alarm, etc.) occur during your performance. Place the smart phone in “airplane mode,” ensure that the volume is turned up and the phone is fully charged. Interference caused by a smart phone that results in routine delay may receive an overtime or delay of contest penalty.
Video Media Policy
No commercial recording (audio or visual) or commercial live streaming is allowed in the event venue or other event-related venues (including, but not limited to, hotels and restaurants) or on the grounds of any such venues (collectively, “Event Locations”). In the event a team authorizes the commercial recording or streaming in any Event Location, the team will be automatically disqualified. In addition, the personal, non-commercial use of live streaming apps (such as Periscope, Facebook Live, etc.) to capture all or any part of a performance during the event is not permitted. By attending/purchasing admission to the event, each attendee grants permission to Varsity Spirit, LLC and its affiliates, designees, agents, licensees, and invitees to use the image, likeness, actions and statements of the attendee in any live or recorded audio, video, film, or photographic display or other transmission, exhibition, publication, or reproduction made of, or at, the event in any medium, whether now known or hereafter created, or context for any purpose, including commercial or promotional purposes, without further authorization or compensation. Any team travelling with a video crew may be disqualified.
Teams will not be allowed to use any Varsity Spirit Brand logo (i.e. USA) including: banners, rings, bows, t-shirts, etc. without prior approval from the Varsity Spirit office.
II. Performance Area
All cheer teams will perform on a spring floor measuring 42’ (front to back) x 54’ (side to side). All Dance Teams will perform on a marley, parquet, basketball court or similar type of dance floor measuring at least 42’ (front to back) x 42’ (side to side), unless otherwise noted in the registration materials for a particular event.
For cheer teams, the competition boundary is defined as the actual competition floor/spring floor, the carpet bonded foam panels that connect to the spring floor and any additional border that supports the floor.
All skills must originate and be completed within the competition boundary. No lineups, skills or transitions are allowed outside of the competition boundary. Anytime a participant unintentionally steps outside of the competition boundary, he/she must return immediately.
A .25 deduction will be assessed per occurrence for an athlete that makes contact with both feet outside the competition boundary. Stepping on, or just past the white tape is not a boundary violation.
III. Spotter Policy
“Team Spotters” = are part of the performing team and required as part of specific types of stunting/pyramid/toss, etc. skills.
“Additional (Routine) Spotters” = Individuals on the competition floor provided as a safety precaution to spot certain elements of a routine. These are in addition to the team and do not take the place
of “team spotters” required by specific types of stunting/pyramid/toss, etc. skills.
In an effort to promote a higher level of safety for competing athletes, USA All Star will allow programs to provide “additional (routine) spotters” at USA All Star competitions. The Varsity Brands feel that an all-star program is more qualified to provide “additional (routine) spotters” because of their familiarity with routine skills and safety concerns.
The use of “additional (routine) spotters” is left to the discretion of
the coach or gym owner. All-star programs may use up to 4 (four) “additional (routine) spotters” for each performance; however, “additional (routine) spotters” are not required.
The USA will not provide “additional (routine) spotters.”
While “team spotters” are already required for specific types of stunting/pyramid/toss, etc. skills, teams will be allowed to provide
their own “additional (routine) spotters” during the performance.
“Additional (routine) spotters” are differentiated from “team spotters” that are part of the actual team and required as part of specific types of technical skills. In other words, the “additional (routine) spotters” do not take the place of “team spotters” required by a specific rule. For example, if an extended stunt requires a spotter by rule, that skill must be spotted by a member of the team and not the “additional (routine) spotter.”
Guidelines for “additional (routine) spotters”
1. Should only be used during the stunt, pyramid and/or basket toss sections. “Additional (routine) spotters are provided for added safety and should stand at the back of the floor when not spotting those sections.
2. Should not touch, assist, or save skills being performed. “Additional (routine) spotters should only be used to prevent a fall to the competition floor. Any touch, assist or saved skill will be given a deduction.
3. Should be dressed so that they are presentable, professional and distinguishable from the performing athletes. Program provided “additional (routine) spotters” should not wear clothing similar to the performing team’s uniform.
4. Should not dress or act in a manner that distracts from the athletes and their performance.
5. May be anyone designated by the advisor/coach of the performing team and may include, but is not limited to, anyone on the team’s registration form, or coaches/members from other teams also competing at the event. Being designated as a “routine spotter” does not provide free entrance to a competition. All routine spotters must pay general admission fees (unless included in complimentary admissions provided by the USA) and may be required to complete a Medical Release Form.
6. Should take reasonable steps to not block the view of the judges and spectators
7. Should be at least 18 years old and familiar with spotting the skills of the performing team.
8. The coach assumes all responsibility and liability with regard to the training and performance of their “additional (routine) spotters.”
Reminder – providing additional “routine spotters” does not take the place of proper stunt training and learning by progression. To provide the safest competitive environment, teams should not attempt skills beyond their ability level.
The USA will not provide “additional (routine) spotters.”
IV. Interruption of Performance
Any interruption of a performance will be rectified through a discussion between the event director(s) and a representative from the impacted team.
a) 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.
b) 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.
Fault of Team
a) 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.
b) 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 the interruption occurred.
a) The only persons that may stop a routine for injury are: a) competition officials, b) the director/coach from the team performing or c) an injured individual.
b) 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 may perform the routine again in its entirety, but will be evaluated ONLY from the point where the interruption occurred.
c) The injured participant that wishes to perform may not return to the competition floor unless:
i) The competition officials receive clearance from, first, the medical personnel attending to that participant, the parent (if present) AND THEN the head coach/director of the competing team.
ii) 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.
iii) 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).
a) The Legality Official, Head Judge or any other competition official reserves the right to stop a routine, assess a deduction, and/or disqualify a team for a uniform distraction (e.g. garment not being securely fastened/attached, straps break, pants split, etc.).
b) Each performer is required to take the necessary steps to avoid inappropriate exposure prior to the performance.
c) If a judge stops the routine the penalty will vary from 3 three points to possible disqualification of the routine.
V. Appropriateness of Choreography, Music, Outfitting
All facets of a performance or routine, including choreography, music selection and outfitting, should be suitable for family viewing and listening. Uniforms for all team types should be appropriate for the age of the participants performing the routine.
Deductions will be given for vulgar or suggestive choreography, which includes, but is not limited to, movements such as hip thrusting and inappropriate touching, gestures, hand/arm movements and signals, slapping, positioning of body parts and positioning to one another. Deductions will be given for music or words unsuitable for family listening, which includes, but is not limited, to profanity and connotations of any type of sexual act or behavior, drugs, mention of specific parts of the body, and/or violent acts or behavior. Removing improper language or words from a song and replacing with sound effects or other words constitutes inappropriate, and deductions will be made accordingly.
Any uniform or music in which the appropriateness is questionable or with which uncertainty exists should be submitted to the USA for approval prior to the performance taking place.
VI. Preliminary Competition
All divisions will advance to Sunday Finals, except for All Star Cheer Prep and Novice.
VII. Television Coverage
The 2020 USA All Star Championships may be televised in some format, including via the internet. Because of the format of the television shows, not all teams would be shown on the telecast, nor could the length of routine coverage be guaranteed.
VIII. How to Handle Procedural Questions
Any questions concerning the rules or procedures of the competition will be handled exclusively by the captain or the director/coach of the team and will be directed only to the Competition/Venue Director or their designee. Such questions must be made prior to the team’s competition performance. Any questions concerning the performance of the team must be made to the Competition/Venue Director immediately after the performance. Should a director or coach wish to lodge a formal complaint against another team in the competition for any violation of “Policies & Procedures” or competition rules, this complaint must be submitted in writing, signed, dated and presented to the Competition/Venue Director prior to any awards ceremony for which the team in question may be eligible to receive an award. It is to the discretion of the Competition/Venue Director whether investigation into the complaint will be completed prior to or after the awards ceremony.
All participants and spectators affiliated with a team must conduct themselves in a manner displaying positive sportsmanship throughout the competition in person and online. The head coach and/or gym owner of each team is responsible for seeing that team members, coaches, parents/guardians and any other persons affiliated with the team conduct themselves accordingly. Unsportsmanlike conduct may include, but is not limited to, taunting, bragging, suggestive expressions/gestures, discriminatory comments/actions, approaching other teams, competition judges and/or any competition personnel with inappropriate comments, outbursts or gestures; confrontation with members of another team and/or between spectators of teams. Unruly, aggressive or belligerent behavior by participants, coaches or spectators toward any other attendee or Event Staff are also considered unsportsmanlike conduct. Cases of unsportsmanlike conduct at any time during the event are grounds to receive a 1-point penalty per occurrence, up to and including disqualification. The USA also has the right to deny entrance to or to remove an individual from the competition site. Additionally, barring a gym/team and/or individual from future USA events may occur.
X. Scores and Rankings
Individual judge’s 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 prior to the final results of each division being announced. Score sheets and divisions rankings will be available only to directors or coaches at the conclusion of the competitions on Saturday and Sunday. No scores or rankings will be given over the phone.
Scoring officials will only discuss my routines and/or scores/deductions. Coaches/directors may not challenge scores/deductions of other teams.
XI. Appearances, Endorsements and Publicity
All squads winning titles, awards or prizes agree to have all appearances, endorsements and publicity approved through the USA office.
Teams will not be permitted to use the USA and/or Varsity logos, without the express written permission of the United Spirit Association. This includes usage on items such as banners, rings, t-shirts, bows, etc.
XII. Interpretations and Rulings
Any interpretation of any aspect of these Policies & Procedures or any decision involving any other aspect of the competition will be rendered by the Rules Committee. The Competition Rules Committee will render a judgment in an effort to insure that the competition proceeds in a manner consistent with the general spirit and goals of the competition. The Rules Committee will consist of but is not limited to, the Event Director(s), the Head Panel Judge, the Head Legality Official and the Director of Special Events.
XIII. Finality of Decisions
By participating in this competition, each team agrees that decisions by the judges will be final and will not be subject for review. 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.
Any gym/studio/team and/or individual that does not adhere to the terms and procedures in the “Policies & Procedures” and General Information may receive a penalty, up to disqualification from the competition, and automatically forfeit the right to any awards presented by the competition. In addition, the gym/studio/team and/or individual may also forfeit the opportunity to participate in any competition produced by the United Spirit Association the following season or subsequent seasons. Additional discipline may be incurred through the USASF. Any fees (team and/or spectator-based) associated with participation in the event will be forfeited in the event of disqualification.
The USA reserves the right to deny registration to any team.
We have reviewed the “Policies & Procedures” and General Information with our entire team/gym/organization and we accept the “Policies & Procedures” as a fair and integral part of the rules of this competition and agree to adhere to the rules, policies and procedures contained herein.