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Cheerleading

Last Revised on August 27, 2014

The primary purpose of the CYM cheerleading program is for parish/school cheerleading teams to promote and uphold parish/school spirit and encourage crowd involvement/good sportsmanship at CYM athletic events.  Participation in cheerleading competitions is permitted however should be secondary. With the increase of parish/school cheerleading teams participating in cheerleading competitions, parish/school athletic associations should establish expectations for cheerleading teams that are consistent with the above purpose.

1. Practice Schedule

A. It is the responsibility of all coaches to ensure that “For the Sake of God’s Children” policies for the Diocese of Wilmington are being followed at practices and games.  This includes coaches wearing CYM IDs at all practices and events.

B. Practices are NOT to be held on Sunday mornings.

C. Three (3) practices are permitted per week.  Practices includes teams going to a gymnastics class as a group (2 or more), gathering with a dance instructor or any similar gathering of team members.

D. Practices are to be no longer than two (2) hours in duration.

E. Practices prior to Labor Day:

i. teams may NOT practice more than three (3) days in a week (Monday-Sunday)

ii. teams may NOT practice more than three (3) consecutive days (For example Fri/Sat/Sun one week and Mon/Tue/Wed the following week)

iii. teams may NOT practice longer than two (2) hours in any one day.  Warming up, stretching, water breaks and cool-down activities are to be included in that two (2) hour period.

iv. coaches are to closely monitor players for heat related symptoms and provide water breaks every fifteen (15) minutes during practices in August and September.

v. when the temperature is above 95 deg. F regardless of the relative humidity, only stretches, walk-throughs and blackboard sessions are permitted because of the high risk of heat related injuries.

vi. when the sum of the temperature and relative humidity equals or exceeds 170 (For example 85 deg F and 85% relative humidity), only walk-throughs, stretching and blackboard sessions are permitted.

vii. For temperature and relative humidity information, coaches are to check on the internet at www.weather.com and enter the zip code for the location of the practice.

F. It is strongly recommended that cheerleading teams have at least one individual certified in CPR and one individual certified in first aid present at all practices and games. The individual may be a parent, coach or parish volunteer and the certification should be current and should have been completed by an accredited institution (ie. Red Cross, American Heart Association).  A person that is certified in both CPR and First Aid is acceptable.

2. CYM Cheerleading will use National Federation of State High School Association Spirit Rules.  CYM Cheerleading Coaches are responsible for reading and being familiar with “Federation” Spirit Rules.  In addition, the following Exceptions/Additions will apply:

A. Mats must be used at practices, cheerleading competitions and any athletic event when the team practices/performs stunts unless noted below.  SEE FEDERATION RULE BOOK PAGE 15 RULE 1 SECTION 1 ARTICLE 1 FOR DEFINATION OF STUNTS.  This includes cheering for parish/school teams at games such as football, basketball and other sports events and includes cheering at indoor or outdoor sporting events.

B. Basket tosses prohibited for all teams.  NOTE – This includes any stunt involving a toss of a cheerleader that is similar to a basket toss yet has a different name for the stunt.  Other than a cradle dismount, tossing a cheerleader is PROHIBITED!

C. VARSITY EXTENSIONS – Extensions are permitted in accordance with Federation rules and may only be performed on matted or grass surface.

D. For Varsity Division, single legged extensions may only be done on matted surface.  Single legged extensions are prohibited for JV Division.

E. JV EXTENSIONS – JV level will be permitted to do a basic two base extension but only on matted surfaces.  The only variation is the straddle sit extension which has always been allowed.  Continuous hands-on spotting is mandatory.  JV stunts above shoulder level may NOT be performed on the grass.

F. For JV Division, single legged stunts may be done at the prep (shoulder) level on a matted surface.

G. In the case of stunts, 4th and 5th graders on combined teams may only do JV level stunts.

H. ADDITIONAL JV/VARSITY/COMBINED STUNT RULES

i. Cradle Dismounts are permitted for both JV and Varsity Divisions.

ii. Twist Dismounts are prohibited at the JV level

iii. Twist Dismounts are permitted at the varsity level however Twist Dismounts from a one leg stunt is prohibited.

iv. Beginning July 1, 2011, CYM Cheerleading teams must have a minimum of two (2) coaches attend a CYM approved coaches training for stunts.  In addition, cheerleading teams cannot practice or perform stunts unless there is a minimum of two (2) coaches present that attended the CYM approved coaches training for stunts.  

I. Prior to the performance of any skill at outdoor events, the immediate environment for the activity should be taken into consideration.  Technical skills (anything other than sideline cheers) may not be performed on concrete, wet or uneven surfaces or surfaces with obstructions.

J. In environments where there is close proximity to the athletic event and “out of bounds” plays pose a significant risk of injury to the participant, no technical skills should be performed while the ball is in play.

3. COMBINED ROSTERS – CYM recognizes that cheerleading is unique and there are times parishes are unable to field a JV only or varsity only teams due to numbers.  As a result, CYM will allow for a Combined Cheerleading team with the following provisions:

A. Individuals 4th – 8th grade are eligible.

B. If a parish is requesting a Combined Cheerleading team, they will not be able to have a JV only or varsity only roster as well.

C. In the case of a combined roster, coaches are responsible for making sure cheerleaders are following rules outlined in Section above.

D. ONLINE ROSTERS – CYM Athletic Handbook Rules under Program Divisions defines Varsity as 6th – 8th grades and JV as 4th – 6th grades.  As noted above, CYM is allowing for a Combined Cheerleading team for individuals 4th – 8th grades.  Only individuals whose parents have completed the online registration and are in the above grades are eligible for the above rosters and eligible to participate on these teams.

E. PARISH 3RD GRADE TEAMS – Individuals in 3rd grade or below are NOT eligible to be placed on CYM cheerleading rosters.  In some cases, parishes have cheerleading for individuals in 3rd grade and below.  Parishes/schools and coaches are responsible for making sure parents complete the Annual Consent and Release Form A.  To obtain a copy of this form, go to the Diocese of Wilmington web site at www.cdow.org, click Youth Services and the click Policies and Guidelines.

F. COMPETITIONS AND COMBINED TEAMS – Starting July 1, 2011, there will no longer be a separate Combined Division at cheerleading competitions.  CYM Combined teams will be placed in the JV division or the Varsity division.   Placement will be based on the following:

i. If the combined cheerleading team has 50% or more individuals on the team roster that are in 7th/8th grade, the team will be assigned to the Varsity Division.  Example if a team has a total of 14 cheerleaders and 7 of those individuals are in 7th or 8th grade

ii. If a combined cheerleading team has less than 50% that are 7th/8th graders, the team will be assigned to the JV Division.

4. ADDITIONAL ROSTER RULES

A. FALL CHEERLEADING ROSTERS – Completing a fall team online cheerleading roster, practicing with the team during the fall season and not cheering at parish/school athletic events or participating in a fall cheerleading competition is prohibited.

i. Fall teams must abide by fall deadlines the same as all other fall sports teams.

ii. Fall cheerleading teams must cheer at fall sporting events for the parish/school during the fall season unless the parish/school does not have a fall team.

iii. Athletic Associations are to monitor to make sure parish/school fall cheerleading teams comply with the letter and spirit of this rule.

B. WINTER ROSTERS – Cheerleading competitions are normally held during the winter season. 

i. In addition to competitions, parish/school cheerleading teams are expected to cheer at some parish/school winter sporting events.

ii. Athletic Associations are to monitor to make sure parish/school winter cheerleading teams comply with the letter and spirit of this rule.

C. WEATHER CONDITIONS – During August and early fall, coaches need to be aware of the potential for storms appearing during practices/games.

i. During the day of your practice, check the Weather Channel for the local forecast

ii. During the day of your practice, check www.weather.com

iii. If at the site or your practice/game, you hear thunder or observe lighting, suspend all activities and have everyone return to their cars or seek shelter in a building.

iv. Wait a minimum of thirty (30) minutes during which thunder is not heard and lightning is not seen before considering resuming the practice/game

5. CYM CHEERLEADING COMPETITIONS — CYM recognizes that cheerleading teams do participate in competitions other than CYM Cheerleading Championships.  CYM Cheerleading teams are responsible for following all CYM Cheerleading Rules when participating in other competitions.

A. If a competition has a CYM division, teams must participate in the appropriate CYM division (ie JV in JV division, Varsity in Varsity).  In the case of Combined Teams, see section 3f above.

i. In order to compete in a CYM division of any competition, the parish team must be registered with CYM and have an online team that is approved by the parish/school AA President.

B. If a team enters a competition that does not have a CYM category, the CYM team may enter the competition however must be in the age division similar to the team entering the competition. 

C. In DCCA or out of state competitions, rules of those competitions may follow Federation rules only.  In ALL competitions, CYM teams must abide by CYM cheerleading rules (Section 2 above) – NO EXCEPTIONS!

D. Violations may result in the suspension of the coach of the team.

6. EQUIPMENT

A. It is recommended that anyone wearing metal dental appliances such as braces wear protective mouth guard.

Related Policies:

All coaches (head and assistant) in the CYM program must become thoroughly familiar with the sport specific rules for the sports he/she coaches. It is CYM policy that all sport specific rules be followed for any CYM practice and/or game. 8266