Serving Kentucky's Schools and Student Athletes Since 1917

06/15/18 – Cheer Competition Clarification/Survey Notes

June 15, 2018 Athletic Department Blog Updates


The staff at the KHSAA has been made aware of a survey that has been distributed to selected cheer coaches regarding a possible new statewide competition to be conducted by the State Coaches Association (KAPOS). It is likely that this survey information is being gathered with input from your coaches that is allegedly representing your school, and you as an athletic administrator are not yet aware. It is also our understanding that this survey has been orchestrated by a small segment of the members of that association and not by the entire Board of Directors of that organization, and as such, athletic administrators should be sure and make comprehensive inquiries about the situation from that organization.

The distribution of this survey is NOT being done by the KHSAA but has resulted in a number of inquiries to the office about KHSAA cheer and cheer championships. For that reason, as Commissioner, I am distributing a few clarifications just so administrators can be aware of and potentially address the issues with your coaches.

  • The KHSAA will continue to sponsor state and regional competitions.
  • The Board of Control recently approved changes to the format for our region cheer competition at the request of many of our host schools and athletic directors. Under the old system, many divisions were empty or resulted in so few teams entering that teams were essentially “automatic qualifiers”. This resulted in several regions with minimal attendance and yet the expenses for trophies etc. were not minimized at all.
  • Catastrophic insurance and liability insurance coverages are important considerations in cheer and in all KHSAA sports and sport-activities.
  • Only the KHSAA sponsored region and state competitions are covered by the KHSAA Catastrophic Insurance policy. No other competition is covered by that policy, regardless of who is sponsoring the competition. Certainly, school administrators should consult with their Board counsel or risk management director before permitting competition in non-insured competitions.
  • It would be wise for our athletic and building administrators to ensure that questions are asked, even about the rules and judging standards of competition that will be utilized, to ensure those standards are backed by a group or organization that is adequately prepared to take on significant liability in the case of an injury or travel incident.
  • We will certainly work with our retained partners at Varsity Brands (UCA-Universal Cheer Association) to ensure that the competition dates held for KHSAA sponsored regional competition (selected in conjunction with that group) and for the state championship competition are prioritized in the use of that group’s vast resources.
  • The Cheer competitive season annually ends March 1 per Bylaw 23.
  • The KHSAA staff is neither in favor or, nor opposed to, any outside cheer competition or competition in any sport or sport-activity. We have long worked in partnership with a variety of groups to promote the growth of this great sport-activity of Competitive Cheer including the addition of a new division just last year to try and help with participation.
  • While this newly discussed competition appears to attempt to hold on to an older, possibly outdated model of competition, those decisions on participation in outside events are better left to our schools.
  • We have attempted to work in a conciliatory manner with the representatives of the coaches association and will continue to do so. But because this information was not communicated to our office in advance, we are left to attempt to clarify with our membership the provisions surrounding the possible outcome of their review.

    – KHSAA –

    The KHSAA staff routinely publishes blog posts to better communicate with its various constituencies and the public. For a list of those blogs, go to


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