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					                                        CHEERLEADING


History
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. State-level competition takes place along with basketball in early
March.

Number of Local Programs Offering
30 local programs currently offer training in cheerleading.

Events Offered

Individual Skills                                     Squad Competition
Cheer Stance                                          Beginner (Traditional & Unified)
High “V”                                              Intermediate (Traditional & Unified)
Low “V”                                               Advanced (Traditional & Unified)
Sideline Chant or Non-Gymnastic Cheer

Competition Opportunities
The purpose of cheerleading is to be a supportive unit to the basketball teams, exhibiting leadership,
sportsmanship and pride for the team. Competition is open to programs regardless of their participation in
basketball.
    Divisional invitationals
    State-level competition

Appropriate Attire and Equipment1
    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.
    Women:
      o 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
      o 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
    Men:
      o Bottoms: pants or mid-thigh length shorts
      o Tops: collared shirt or tee shirt (no pockets)

Governing Rules
The 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
competition rules developed by the NFHS, USASF (Level 1), and Special Olympics Kentucky.

SONC Interpretations and Modifications
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.

1
 SONC adheres to NFHS Spirit Rules regarding attire and equipment and makes SONC modifications when
necessary. The Web site for NFHS is www.nfhs.org. USASF Web site is www.usasf.net.
                                         CHEERLEADING


       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 (i.e. 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 (i.e. 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.
       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 squad’s 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.
       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.
2
 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.
                                             CHEERLEADING



Levels/Divisions
    Individual Skills
       o Athlete must begin in cheer stance or ready position.
       o Athlete must perform (but not limited to) the following motions: Front Kick, High V, Low V
       o Must perform a sideline chant
       o Pom-pons, posters, flags, etc. may be used.
       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 or sideline chant (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 Pom-pons, posters, flags, etc. may be used.
       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 non-
           gymnastic 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 Pom-pons, posters, flags, etc. may be used.
       o Coach/sponsor may give verbal or physical cues from the sideline if needed (must be out of the
           judges view)
       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 in this division must perform a routine incorporating a sideline chant, a gymnastic cheer,
           and a dance routine (i.e. pom-pon routine).
       o The entire routine must not exceed two minutes and thirty seconds.3 The music portion of the
           routine must not exceed one minute, but must be at least forty-five seconds.
       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 gymnastic cheer. One person or everyone can do the jump.
       o The make up of the routine is at the coach’s discretion (whether to start the cheer or dance
           first).
       o Pom-pons, posters, flags, etc. may be used throughout the routine, however signs may not be
           used in the dance routine.
       o You may choose your own music. It must be suitable for family listening.


3
    This time limit brings SONC inline with USASF Level 1 time limits on routines.
                                      CHEERLEADING


       o   Timing of the music will begin on the first motion by the squad member(s); not when the music
           starts.
       o   Coaching (prompting, visual, or verbal cues) is not permitted from the sideline. Athletes may be
           placed in first formation by coaches and/or Unified Partners.
       o   Squad size is limited to a minimum of 5 and to the maximum of 15

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 repetitions 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

Event Registration
    Invitationals (please submit to the appropriate area director by the registration deadline):
          o Invitational Individual Skills Entry Form
          o Invitational Squad Entry Form
    Basketball & Cheerleading Tournament (please submit to the appropriate area director by the
      registration deadline):
          o Individual Skills Entry Form
          o Squad Entry Form

				
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