5/2/12 – Cheer Update – FAQ

May 2, 2012 Cheer Blog Updates

Below is a listing of FAQs and additional information that should help you with KHSAA Cheer for the 2012-13 school year.  Thanks for everyone’s patience during this ….and note that the KHSAA Board of Control will meet on May 23 to finalize details and is the final authority …..be sure to check back as we continue to communicate policies and procedures with regard to cheer….

KHSAA CHEERLEADING (In-game support and Competitive Cheer)
Frequently Asked Questions (as of May 1, 2012)

This list will be updated as topics are resolved. Keep in mind that there are various approval requirements for much of the information, and final determinations may not be available until May, 2012 or July, 2012

Is cheer now a “Sport”?

The KHSAA does not have the authority to designate Cheer as a sport. Within the programs of the KHSAA, Competitive Cheer is categorized as a “sport activity”. The Office of Civil Rights continues to state within the Federal regulations that cheer is not a sport.

However, based on the September, 2008 Dear Colleague Letter from the Office for Civil Rights of the United States Department of Education (entitled “Dear Colleague Letter: Athletic Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance”), the KHSAA sponsoring a competitive cheer championship opens individual opportunities for schools and districts to work directly with OCR in specific cases. Based on that letter, schools may be able to individually and on a case-by-case basis, petition OCR, when a state governing body sanctions or sponsors an activity, to permit the individual school to count participation on the competitive cheer team toward Title IX requirements. A copy of that letter will be posted on the KHSAA web site.

Is the KHSAA now sponsoring a cheer championship?
Yes, in 2012-2013, the KHSAA will conduct a competitive cheer championship. Divisions will be created for all-girls competition, and coed competition.

With the KHSAA now sponsoring a competitive cheer championship, does that make cheer exactly the same as all other sports and activities within the school?
The management of individual teams within a school is a local decision. School administrators will decide about issues such as compensation, travel allowances and other benefits in compliance with federal, state and locally adopted policies. Nothing about the KHSAA adding this sport activity makes anything “automatic” within a school or school district.

How is cheer going to be managed within the KHSAA?
The Commissioner has appointed Assistant Commissioner Butch Cope to be the day-to-day liaison for competitive cheer within the office. Mr. Cope will also be the direct point of contact for questions about cheer in those schools that choose not to enter the competitive cheer competition.

An Advisory committee has been appointed by the Commissioner to help with the implementation and management of the championship. This committee will be divided into sub-committees to perform various functions throughout the year related to the championships. Many of these individuals will be representing geographic sections of the state, with Section 1 being regions 1-4, Section 2 being regions 5-8, Section 3 being regions 9-12 and Section 4 being regions 13-16. The names and demographic information about the Advisory Committee will be posted on the KHSAA web site.

Where will all of the rules be printed about the cheer championship?
Each August, the KHSAA produces its Handbook, which includes Tournament Rules for all sports and sport-activities. When finalized, these rules will be published in the Handbook, placed on the KHSAA web site, and distributed to all member schools.

Any discussion that necessitates an amendment to the KHSAA Constitution or Bylaws will be properly submitted through the Board of Control and appear on the agenda of the Annual Meeting of the member schools in September.

When is the first date of practice?
The first date of practice for cheer and competitive cheer is July 15.

What is the maximum number of competitive cheer competitions?
The maximum number of competitions is three (3), not including an event sponsored by KAPOS, and not including the KHSAA region and state competitions.

When does the Competitive Cheer season end?
The season ends for competitive cheer April 1. Team members may still act as support groups for school-based teams through final elimination in KHSAA postseason play. Restrictions contained in the limitation of seasons reflect only restrictions and allowances for competitive cheer.

Will there be a limit on team size for competitive cheer?
No. There are not team size limits in any KHSAA sport or sport-activity. However, individual competitions will likely (as will KHSAA) limit the number of competitors in a given division or within a defined competition area.

Which KHSAA Bylaws ARE applicable to Cheer and Competitive Cheer?
Currently, the following KHSAA Bylaws apply to competitive cheer teams and all other sport activities –

Bylaw 1 (Responsibility for Eligibility);
Bylaw 2 (Physician’s & Parental Consent Form and Insurance requirement);
Bylaw 3 (Age, per state law);
Bylaw 5 (Minimum Academic Requirement);
Bylaw 9 (Other Eligibility Requirements and Regulations);
Bylaw 11 (Practice of Sportsmanship);
Bylaw 14 (Protests);
Bylaw 15 (Request for Rulings);
Bylaw 16 (Protests);
Bylaw 17 (Supplying Information);
Bylaw 18 (Countersigning Contracts);
Bylaw 19 (Submission of Reports);
Bylaw 20 (Member of Faculty to Accompany team);
Bylaw 21 (Compliance with NFHS Rules);
Bylaw 23 (Sanctioning and approval of out of state travel);
Bylaw 24 (Forfeits);
Bylaw 25 (Limitation of Season);
Bylaw 26 (Summer Activities);
Bylaw 27 (Coaching Requirements);
Bylaw 28 (Distribution of Tournament Profits);
Bylaw 29 (Officials Division);
Bylaw 30 (Coaches not to officiate) and
Bylaw 33 (Penalties)

Which KHSAA Bylaws ARE NOT applicable to Cheer and Competitive Cheer?
Bylaw 4 (Enrollment);
Bylaw 6 (Transfer Rule);
Bylaw 7 (Non-Domestic Students);
Bylaw 8 (Contestant on Other Teams);
Bylaw 12 (Amateur and Awards);
Bylaw 13 (Financial Aid);
Bylaw 22 (Specific Sport Regulations);
Bylaw 31 (Use of Licensed Officials) and
Bylaw 32 (Agreement regarding professional baseball)

Competition Rules (Bylaw 21)
Cheer (In-game support) and Competitive Cheer must adhere to NFHS Cheer/Spirit Rules during all practices, games and competitions, both in and out of state, as well as any other NFHS playing rules in specific sports that address cheerleaders. While the rules of other organizations may be used at specific competitions, all teams and team members MUST comply with all NFHS Cheer/Spirit rules at all times in practice or competition.

Sanctioning/Out of State Travel (Bylaw 23)
Any out-of-state travel must be sanctioned and approved by the KHSAA at least 30 days prior to the event. No out-of-state travel will be approved for teams that do not participate in the KHSAA region competition or for those that participate in the region competition and then withdraw from the state competition after having qualified.

Coaches Requirements (Bylaw 27)
All Coaches must meet KHSAA Bylaw 27 Minimum Coaching Requirements including coach education requirements, Sports Safety & Concussion, KHSAA/NFHS Rules Clinic. This includes faculty and non-faculty coaches and any other individual involved in cheer-specific training such as choreographers or any other activity specific component. These individuals must be listed on the KHSAA Coaching Registry.

Who will assign the judges for Region/State?
Judges will be assigned by the KHSAA in consultation with the Rules subcommittee of the Advisory Committee.

Who will train judges?
Judges will be trained by the KHSAA with assistance of the Rules subcommittee of the Advisory Committee.

What score sheet will be used for KHSAA competition?
The Rules subcommittee of the Advisory Committee will develop and distribute a score sheet to be used for each division of the championships.


When will KHSAA Region Competitions be held?
Region competitions will be held during the window of December 1 through January 19.

Who will select and manage the region competitions?
The Cheer Advisory Committee will have a subcommittee with individuals specifically assigned to help locate and facilitate region competitions. The final assignments for site selection will be made by the KHSAA. These individuals will be listed on the KHSAA web site.

What is the entry fee for region competition?
There is no entry fee to participate in the KHSAA competition.

How will funds be divided from Region Competitions?
Funds from receipts from region competitions shall be divided based upon agreement of the schools in the region. Should a written policy not be in place, they shall be divided evenly following expenses.

What are the competitions divisions for the all-girls championships?
The divisions will be as follows:
Small – minimum of 6, maximum of 12
Medium – minimum of 13, maximum of 16
Large – minimum of 17, maximum of 20
Super Large – minimum of 21, maximum of 24

What are the competition divisions for the coed championships?
Coed teams shall all compete in one division. A coed team must have at least 3 boys and at least 3 girls. A coed team shall have a minimum of 6 (3 boys and 3 girls) total members and not more than 24 total members.

Can a school enter multiple teams in the region competition?
Yes. A school may enter separate teams (no competitor on both teams) in not more than two separate divisions of the region competition.

Withdrawal from Region Competition
All squads will be considered to have been entered the region competition as of December 1. Any school that fails to notify the region competition manager prior to December 1 that they will not be competing who then subsequently does not compete will be ineligible to enter the region competition for a period of not less than two years. No out-of-state travel will be approved for teams that do not participate in the KHSAA region competition or for those that participate in the region competition and then withdraw from the state competition after having qualified.

When is the 2013 KHSAA State Competitive Cheer Competition?
The 2013 KHSAA State Competitive Cheer Competition will be Saturday, Jan. 26 at WKU E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green.

Who advances to State Competition?
The winning school in each division at each region shall advance to the State Competition. There is no other method of qualifying for the state competition.

Withdrawal from the State Competition
Any school that participates in the region competition and then withdraws from the state competition after having qualified, will be ineligible to enter the region competition for a period of not less than two years. No out-of-state travel will be approved for teams that do not participate in the KHSAA region competition or for those that participate in the region competition and then withdraw from the state competition after having qualified.