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					Special Olympics North Carolina Cheerleading Competition Guide
Edition 1.1
SONC offered competition in cheerleading for the first time in February 2006. With this addition, cheerleading became the 20th official sport offered to local programs by SONC. Focus group meetings in 2004 have led to the creation of a Cheerleading Sport Development Team, which has provided direction to SONC regarding the competition plans. The information included in this Competition Guide will undergo changes as we learn more about the sport and the needs and abilities of the athletes. The purpose of cheerleading is to be a supportive unit to the basketball team and to show leadership, sportsmanship and pride for the team. Cheerleading competition is held in conjunction with the StateLevel Basketball Tournament. The competition is open to all cheerleading squads, including those that do not have a basketball team to support. Special Olympics North Carolina Cheerleading Competition Guide, and SONC rules and guidelines will govern all cheerleading competitions sanctioned by SONC. SONC has adopted the safety guidelines and rules developed by the NFHS, USASF, and Special Olympics Kentucky.1 The State Cheerleading Competition and all other SONC sanctioned Cheerleading Events will run according to the rules set forth here and the SONC Cheerleading Skills Guide. SECTION A – EVENTS OFFERED Special Olympics North Carolina offers the following events/divisions for competition: 1. Individual Skills (provides meaningful competition for athletes with lower ability levels) 2. Beginner 3. Intermediate 4. Advanced 5. Unified Beginner 6. Unified Intermediate 7. Unified Advanced SECTION B – FACILITIES 1. Practice sessions must be held in location suitable for spirit activities. Programs are allows to practice/train with height-increasing flooring (e.g. spring floor). 2. Competition area is 45’x 50’ of thick foam matting SECTION C – APPROPRIATE ATTIRE & EQUIPMENT 1. Team members must wear outfits alike in style and color. No jeans will be permitted. All team members must have white athletic shoes (e.g. tennis shoe) with non-marking sole in like style. 2. Women: a. Bottoms: pants, shorts, skorts or skirts (must be at least mid-thigh in length). No slit allowed in skorts, shorts, or skirts. Briefs or bloomers must be worn under all skirts b. Tops: tank-top, collared shirt or tee shirt (no pockets). No halter tops will be allowed. Straps must be at least 1” in width. Spaghetti straps will not be permitted. When standing at attention, apparel must cover the midriff 3. Men:
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In 2006, the UCA, NCA, and UDA combined to form the U.S. All Star Federation for Cheer & Dance Teams (USASF), and SONC will follow Level 1 guidelines. Their website is www.usasf.net. The National Federation of State High School Associations is the National Governing Body for High School Spirit in the United States. The NFHS web site is www.nfhs.org. SONC will use NFHS as the primary governing body for safety rules and will be used except in conflict with SONC rules. 4794eab0-6172-48ee-aada-6b2ceedfe086.doc 7/28/2008 1

Special Olympics North Carolina Cheerleading Competition Guide
Edition 1.1
a. Bottoms: pants or mid-thigh length shorts b. Tops: collared shirt or tee shirt (no pockets) SECTION D – PERSONNEL 1. Competition Manager 2. Warm-up Area Manager 3. Judge (4) 4. Deduction/Safety Judge (1) 5. Timer SECTION E – RULES OF COMPETITION This section is intended to be used in conjunction with the NGB Rules and SOI Rules; therefore, those rules are not repeated here but they will be enforced unless in direct conflict to SONC modifications.  Coaches will be required to submit a videotape of their squad performing their routine(s) with the registration for state-level competition. The video will be reviewed by the Sport Development Team to set divisions for state-level competition. Individual skills athletes do not need to provide a video.  All practice sessions must be supervised by the coach and held in a location suitable for the activities of cheerleaders (ie. use of appropriate mats, away from excessive noise and distractions, suitable athlete to coach ratio, etc.)  Coaches should recognize a cheerleader’s ability level and focus on providing fundamentals. Athletes should not be pressed to perform activities until everyone has a good safety understanding.  All cheerleaders should receive proper training before attempting any form of cheerleading gymnastics (ie. tumbling, partner stunts and jumps). The only tumbling allowed for SONC competitions are forward & backward rolls, cartwheels, and round offs.  All cheerleading squads should adopt a comprehensive conditioning and strength-building program.  Proper spotting techniques will be mandatory and all spotters provided by the team must be certified in SONC Cheerleading.  Coaches and volunteers are not allowed on the floor during the performance of any routine. This rule will be enforced for all divisions. Spotters are permitted on the floor, but cannot coach the squad.  All jewelry is prohibited during practice sessions, invitationals and state-level competitions (except for medical bracelets which must be taped to the body).  Tumbling, partner stunts, pyramids and jumps should be limited to appropriate surfaces.  All pyramids and partner stunts are LIMITED to 1 ½ persons. “Persons” is defined as the base having at least one foot on the ground.  The Head Coach for the Cheer Squad or Individual Skills Athlete must attend the coaches meeting at all SONC cheerleading competitions. Failure to attend the coaches meeting will subject the squad and/or athlete to disqualification.  Coach/sponsor may place the athletes in their proper position on the floor, but may not be on the floor once the performance begins.  Scoring: Depending on the division, the total points possible per judge varies. Placement is determined by combining the scores of each judge for the squads’ performance. Highest score is awarded first place, and so on. In case of a tie score, the highest and lowest scores are dropped.  Scoring in one-squad/individual divisions: The squad or individual must score within 20% of the judges maximum amount of points to receive first place. A total score outside of the 20% will result in a second place finish.
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Special Olympics North Carolina Cheerleading Competition Guide
Edition 1.1
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There will be an overall Deduction Judges’ Sheet for each level and a separate judge calculating deductions. Individual Skills athletes and Squads are encouraged to learn more than one routine, cheer, etc. Individuals and Squads will be given the opportunity to perform all routines in the preliminary round.2 Athletes and coaches are allowed to choose their strongest routine to perform in final competition. Routines performed during final competition MUST have been performed during the preliminary round. At state-level competition a team may not participate in both Unified and Traditional divisions. Squad members: At all times the number of Special Olympics athletes must be greater than the number of Unified Partners. For example: 5-member squad = 3-Special Olympics athletes and 2 Unified Partners. If there are an odd number of members = 1 more Special Olympics athlete. Local programs participating in Unified Cheerleading should notify SONC of their intentions and include participation numbers on the census form. Each local program is required to have a coach certified in Unified Sports before beginning training.

Levels/Divisions  Individual Skills o Athlete must begin in a cheer stance o Athlete must perform (but not limited to) the following motions: Front kick, high “V,” low “V” o Must perform a sideline chant o Athlete may use pom pons, posters, flags etc. o NO music will be allowed during the performance o There will be no time limit in this division o Coach/sponsor may give verbal or physical cues from the sideline if needed (must be out of the judges view)  Beginner (Traditional & Unified) o Squads in this division must perform a non-gymnastic cheer (refer to definitions) o There will be no time limit in this division o There must be a jump in the cheer and there must be at least one athlete performing the jump. o Athletes may use pom pons, posters, flags etc. o NO music will be allowed during the performance of this cheer. o Squad size is limited to a minimum of 5 with maximum of 12 o Coach/sponsor may give verbal or physical cues from the sideline if needed (must be out of the judges view)  Intermediate (Traditional & Unified) o Squads in this division must perform a sideline chant and either a gymnastic cheer or a nongymnastic cheer (refer to definitions) o There must be a jump in the cheer and there must be at least one athlete performing the jump. o Squads must change formation at least once during the performance o The sideline chant must be incorporated into the formation change o There will be no time limit in this division. o Athletes may use pom-pons, posters, flags, etc. o Coach/sponsor may give verbal or physical cues from the sideline if needed (must be out of the judges view)
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Time permitting. The schedule is at the discretion of the Competition Manager. Programs will be updated on schedule for the state-level event in the Head of Delegation Packet. 4794eab0-6172-48ee-aada-6b2ceedfe086.doc 7/28/2008 3

Special Olympics North Carolina Cheerleading Competition Guide
Edition 1.1
o No music will be allowed during the performance o Squad size is limited to a minimum of 5 to the maximum of 12 Advanced (Traditional & Unified) o Squads must perform a two minute routine that incorporates both music (aka dance) and a cheer. The routine should include motions gymnastics and pyramids, but must include a sideline chant. o The music portion of the routine must not exceed one minute, but must be at least forty-five seconds. o The make up of the routine is at the coach’s discretion (whether to start the cheer or dance first). o The cheer must be a gymnastic cheer. o There must be a sideline chant incorporated to make the transition from cheer to dance or vice versa. o There must be a jump in the cheer. o You may choose your own music. It must be suitable for family listening. o Timing of the music will be on the first motion by the squad member(s) not when the music starts. o No coaching (prompting, visual, or verbal cues) is permitted from the sideline. Athletes on Unified teams may be assisted by Unified Partner in placement in first formation. Athletes on Traditional teams may be placed in first formation by coaches. o A jump must be preformed in both the routine and cheer. One person or everyone can do the jump. o Signs may be used in the cheer only. o Squad size is limited to a minimum of 5 to the maximum of 15

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Section D. Definitions Cheer: A long phrase that involves motions, pom pons, stunts, jumps and/or tumbling. Usually somewhat resembles a song that has a beginning, middle, and end. Gymnastic cheer: a cheer performed using any type of gymnastics mount or partner stunt. Non- gymnastic cheer: a cheer only using jumps and motions. Dance: a routine performed to music incorporating motions, pom pons, stunts, jumps, and/or tumbling. A dance is a requirement of the advanced level. Sideline Chant: A short, repetitive yell, usually in reputations of three. Uses motions and/or jumps. Gymnastic: any type of individual or partner stunt performed, other than jumps and motions, such as mounts, splits, knee drops, walkovers, cartwheels and hand springs. Jump: a spring from one or both feet with a landing on one or both feet Motions: movements using straight and/or diagonal arms in combination with head/foot movements. Partner Stunt/Mount: any skill in which one or more persons supports one or more persons. (mounts can be only 1 ½ person high). Props: any type of hats, flags, hand-held ribbons etc. Stunt: any tumbling skill, partner stunt/mount or pyramid

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Special Olympics North Carolina Cheerleading Competition Guide
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Section E: State-Level Competition All coaches will be required to submit a videotape of their squad performing their routine(s). This video will be used to assure that squads are competing in the appropriate divisions and that division requirements are being met. Video Tapes should be sent to: Special Olympics North Carolina Attn: Cheerleading 2200 Gateway Centre Blvd Suite 201 Morrisville, NC 27560 The videos must arrive in the SONC office by the registration deadline. Individual skills athletes do not need to submit a video with registration. Section F: Sportsmanship It is important that we as coaches practice and teach good sportsmanship.  Cheers or chants with suggestive motions or words must not be used  Treat other cheerleaders with respect  Signs and cheers should create a positive spirit about your team. Refrain from use of signs or cheers against the other team. Positive: Go teams Go, Go cats Go. Negative: Beat the Dogs, Stomp the Bulls.  Face the crowd when you cheer. Lead the crowd to cheer on your team and others. Acceptable behavior 1. Shake hands of opponent team(s) 2. Applaud other teams’ performances 3. Lead crowd in positive yells Unacceptable behavior 1. Refusing to shake opponents’ hands or show respect for good performances 2. Yelling and making noise during free throw 3. Displays of anger 4. Booing or heckling 5. Battling 6. Ugly cheers, negativity

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