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Section 260 – Spirit – Cheer Competition

Fine Art By-Laws
Sections 199-263

I.  Organization

A.  The TAPPS Cheer Competition shall be organized by Divisions, then sub-division by squad size.

1.  Division I Category School Classifications  5A, 6A

i.  Small Squad 16 or less members

ii.  Large Squad 17 or more members

2.  Division II Category School Classifications 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A

i.  Small Squad 12 or less members

ii.  Large Squad 13 or more members

3.  Spirit Division Category Classifications 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 5A, 6A

i.  No size limit.

 B.  TAPPS reserves the right to split, combine, and delete subdivisions as warrants and/or deemed appropriate. 

II.  Practice Guidelines.  Although the Cheer Competition is a team activity, for TAPPS purposes, the following guidelines shall be enforced.

A.  Cheer Competition shall be a Fine Arts Activity.

B.  Cheer Squads are not subject to the Fall Dead Week provisions.

C.  There shall not be a start and end date for practice of this activity.

D.  There shall be no organized practice or instruction by school personnel on Sunday. This provision is subject to appeal in accordance with Section 3 of the TAPPS By-Laws.

III.  Eligibility to Compete

A.  The TAPPS Cheer competition shall be an open qualifier.  Schools in good standing and having paid the event and entry fee will be eligible to compete. 

1.  Schools shall indicate participation on the Annual Contract

2.  The Cheer competition shall be held as listed on the TAPPS Calendar. 

3.  All teams compete both days for a combined score. 

B.  Coach Eligibility

 1.  All Coaches must be registered in TAPPSter and listed on the Cheer Roster.  One coach must be listed as the Head Coach.  

2.  Coaches must complete the TAPPS SCOPE program testing and Acknowledgment of Rules for the current year.

3.  Coaches must meet  all Health and Safety Training Guidelines as presented in Section 142 of the TAPPS By-laws. 

C.  Student Eligibility

         1.  Eligible students must be:

i. Entered in TAPPSter

ii.  Included on the submitted TAPPS Cheer Eligibility Form

iii.  Included on the Cheer Roster

iv.  Must be academically eligible based on Article V of the TAPPS Constitution as demonstrated on the latest reporting period of the school year. 

 2.  Students not yet in High School:

i.  May not compete in the TAPPS High School Competition. 

ii.  May participate in other school sponsored spirit activities. 

III.  Championship Competition Rules

A.  TAPPS Cheer Competition shall be governed by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Spirit rules of the current year.

B.  The TAPPS Cheer Divisions shall have a committee comprised of representatives from each of the TAPPS divisions.  This committee shall review contest rules, procedures, and appeals and submit recommendations to the TAPPS Fine Arts Executive Committee.

C.  Coaching

1.  A maximum of three (3) eligible coaches shall be allowed to enter the warm-up area and coach on the competition floor.

2.  Eligible coaches shall be issues a coaching pass that shall be worn and visible during the performance.

3.  Coaches may not use electronic equipment once they have checked into the competition warm-up area.  EXCEPTION: Equipment for music playback ONLY (cd player, mp3 player, phone, tablet). 

4.  Coaches must remain in the designated coaching areas during the warm-ups and competition.

5.  Coaches should limit coaching to encouragement and assistance while coaching in the competition area. 

6.  Unsportsmanlike conduct shall be met with a penalty not limited to disqualification of any competitor or coach who is in violation.  

D.  Substitution

1.  There shall be no additional personnel added to the contest roster that increases the number squad members after the entry registration deadline. 

2.  Substitutions which do not increase the number of squad members performing are allowed until 1 hour prior to the scheduled competition time. 

3.  All substitutes must be listed on the TAPPS Cheer Eligibility form submitted prior to the contest. 

4.  After entry deadline, in the event a squad member is unable to perform and no substitute is eligible, the Cheer squad will compete in the same subdivision as originally registered regardless of the number of students able to perform.  

E.  Competitors Apparel

1.  Team Uniforms shall be in compliance with the NFHS Spirit Rules.

2.  No bare midriffs are allowed for TAPPS Competition.

3.  No jewelry is allowed during warm-up and performance. 

 F.  Content

1.  Movements shall be in keeping with the school and TAPPS standards.

2.  Movements shall not be sexually suggestive.

3.  Cheers shall be positive in nature. 

4.  Music shall not contain inappropriate or suggestive language.

i.  Music with inappropriate language removed, muted, or overdubbed shall not be allowed. 

ii.  TAPPS is the final authority in determination of music acceptability. 

5.  Signs shall not be antagonistic or negative 

G.  Video Recording

1.  The electronic capture of performances is prohibited.

2.  Prohibition includes the use of but not limited to:

i.  Cameras

ii.  Video cameras

iii.  Tablets

iv.  Cell Phones

v.  other similar devices.

3.  TAPPS shall be the final authority in determining compliance with this rule which applies to but not limited to :

i.  Competitors

ii.  Coaches

iii.  Managers

iv.  Family Members

H.  Auxiliary Equipment

1.  Appropriate equipment may be used including but not limited to

i.  Poms

ii.  Signs

a.  All NFHS rules to sign usage shall apply.

b.  Shall not be thrown off the performance floor during competition. 

iii.  Banners

iv.  Flags

v.  Megaphones

2.  Point deductions shall be enforced for littering or damage of the performance area (no glitter or confetti).

I. Mascot shall be counted as a member of the squad and listed on eligibility form and Cheer Roster. 

J.  Safety Spotters.  

1.  TAPPS does not provide spotters

2.  Up to five (5) additional people may be used for safety spotters.

3.  Student safety spotters must be included on the Eligibility form and listed on the Cheer Roster as a Spotter ONLY.  Adult safety spotters must be SCOPE certified and approved by the school.  

4.  Safety Spotters shall dress in black shirts with no emblems and do not have have to have the identical uniform.

5.  Safety Spotters may not perform jumps or tumbling, use any equipment including but not limited to signs, props, poms, and megaphone. 

K.  Warm-up

1.  Warm-up times are assigned based on competition schedule

2.  Tosses are not permitted outside of warm-up area.

3.  Fans are not allowed in the warm-up area. 

L.  Performance

1.  Each squad will perform twice.

i.  Day One Round One

a.  50% of Overall Score

b.  Performance order random

ii.  Day Two Round Two

a.  50% of Overall Score

b.  Performance order determined by Day 1 lowest rank to highest rank.

2.  Routine

i.  Division 1 and Division 2 Time Limits

a.  1 min 30 sec minimum for routine

b.  2 min 30 sec maximum for routine

c.  1 min 30 sec maximum for music

ii. Spirit Squad Division Time Limits 

a.  1 min 30 sec minimum for routine

b.  3 min 00 sec maximum for routine

c.  2 min 00 sec maximum for music

iii.  Start 

a.  Prior to beginning performance announcer will ask  “Judges are you ready?  Captain are you ready?”

b.  Time shall begin with the first movement or the first note, whichever occurs first.

iv.  Time shall end at a freeze or if exit is part of routine, when last squad member exits the performance mat. 

3.  Music

i.  Must be provided by the school.

ii.  Schools must provide personnel to begin and end music.  TAPPS personnel will not be responsible for playing music for the competition.  

4. Competition Area

i.  42’x54′ mat (non-spring)

ii.  Out of bounds is any part of the body touching outside the mat.

M.  Judging

1.  Judges shall be qualified to judge the competition as determined by TAPPS. 

2.  A judging panel shall be used in the Cheer Competition.

3.  Judging panel shall consist of:

i.  Three (3) Performance judges

ii.  One (1) Safety Judge

iii.  One (1) Technique Deduction Judge

N.  Scoring

1.  Scoring shall be consistent with the current NFHS Rules book and TAPPS Scoring Categories. 

2.  Each Round Score determined by: 

i.  the average of the three judges scores with 

ii.  point deductions subtracted from the average score as determined by the Deduction Judge and Safety Judge. 

iii.  Ties for individual round will not be broken

3.  Overall Scoring shall be determined by:

i.  Day One Round One 50% performance score

ii.  Day Two Round Two 50% performance score 

iii. Overall Score Ties shall be broken by:

a.  Highest Crowd Involvement score of Round Two

b.  Least Deductions of Round Two

c.  Highest Overall Execution Score of Round Two. 

4.  Score sheets, judges ranges, and deduction rubrics will be available to coaches prior to competition date. 

N. Championship Awards

1.  Team

i.  Top 6 Champion Schools in each Division/Subdivision  will be recognized based on Overall Score.

ii.  Henderson Cup points honoring top 6 champion schools are as follows:

a.  Champion 10 points

b.  Runner-Up 8 points

c.  Third Place 6 points

d.  Fourth Place 4 points

e.  Fifth Place 2 points

f.  Sixth Place 1 point

2.  Individual

i.  There shall be no individual skills competition

ii.  All State Teams-  Coaches will submit All- State nominations prior to Round One performance.

a.  First Team

b.  Second Team

c.  Honorable Mention