Risk Minimization Remains Theme of 2020-21 High School Spirit Rules Changes
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: James Weaver
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (March 26, 2020) — High school spirit rules changes for the 2020-21 school year remain centered on increasing safety for cheerleading and dance teams across the country.
This year, minimizing injury risk for stunting personnel and during inversions and releases were among the 16 rules changes recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Spirit Rules Committee, which met February 10-11 in Orlando, Florida. All changes recommended by the committee were approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
“The committee has been working for years to make spirit activities safer for our student participants, while maintaining a high level of competition and crowd leading,” said James Weaver, NFHS director of performing arts and sports. “This will continue to be a primary focus of the Spirit Rules Committee.”
Stunting personnel safety was addressed in Rule 3-2-1c, a new addition to the NFHS Spirit Rules Book. The rule states that bases may not hold signs or other objects while supporting an extended stunt, which allows them to focus on providing stability for those at the top of the stunt.
Modifications to inversions constituted a large portion of the 2020-21 rules changes, highlighted by Rule 3-3-6c1 and Rule 3-3-6c2 (cheer), and Rule 4-3-6c1 and Rule 4-3-6c2 (dance).
Under Rule 3-3-6c2/4-3-6c2, a spotter has been added as a point of sufficient contact for a top person who is inverted, and the required contact with the top person has been changed to any part of the body. Prior to this change, only a base and the top person’s upper body were listed as viable contact points.
Three more inversion-related changes were made to Rules 3-3-5a, 3-3-5g and 3-3-5h, which deal with acceptable conditions for braced flips within a pyramid. The change to 3-3-5a mandates that in situations where a single bracer is used for a braced flip, there must now be a hand/arm connection between both hands/arms of the top and bracer. A top person may now perform up to one complete twist within a braced flip as described in 3-3-5g, which is an increase from a half-twist in the previous version of the rule. Finally, in order to limit the movement of the top person around the bracers while performing a flipping inversion in a pyramid, 3-3-5h was edited such that a released top person may make no more than a one-quarter turn around the bracer.
A change to Rule 3-3-6a added further specifications to other inversions. Top people performing released inversions must now be released to the original base(s) and are now permitted to twist a maximum of one-quarter turn.
A new rule regarding tumbling was added for both cheer and dance. When executing airborne skills, actions that require hip-over-head rotation may no longer be connected to one another. The basis for this rule is to eliminate standing tucks where athletes connect arms and simultaneously do a standing tuck, which puts the connected participant at serious risk for a head/neck injury.
Regarding drops in cheer and dance, participants are now permitted to land in a pushup position from a handspring; however, doing so from a flip is still prohibited. This alteration clarifies that a drop is a landing on the performing surface from an airborne position.
There were two rules changes to Rule 3-5-5. When releasing from a horizontal or cradle position, the top person is now permitted to go to a stunt at any level to the original bases and may perform up to one-quarter twist. The change aligns this rule with its inversion equivalent. In addition, when a braced released top person lands in a cradle position, the connection between the top and bracer may be hand to foot.
A complete listing of the spirit rules changes, including edited term definitions, will be available on the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org. Click on “Activities & Sports” at the top of the home page and select “Spirit.”
Competitive spirit ranks ninth in participants for girls with 161,358 in 7,214 schools.
About the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS)
The NFHS, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the national leadership organization for high school sports and performing arts activities. Since 1920, the NFHS has led the development of education-based interscholastic sports and performing arts activities that help students succeed in their lives. The NFHS sets direction for the future by building awareness and support, improving the participation experience, establishing consistent standards and rules for competition, and helping those who oversee high school sports and activities. The NFHS writes playing rules for 17 sports for boys and girls at the high school level. Through its 50-member state associations and the District of Columbia, the NFHS reaches more than 19,500 high schools and 12 million participants in high school activity programs, including more than 7.9 million in high school sports. As the recognized national authority on interscholastic activity programs, the NFHS conducts national meetings; sanctions interstate events; offers online publications and services for high school coaches and officials; sponsors professional organizations for high school coaches, officials, speech and debate coaches, and music adjudicators; serves as the national source for interscholastic coach training; and serves as a national information resource of interscholastic athletics and activities. For more information, visit the NFHS website at www.nfhs.org.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900
Director of Publications and Communications
National Federation of State High School Associations
Chris Boone, 317-972-6900
Assistant Director of Publications and Communications
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: James Weaver
INDIANAPOLIS, IN (April 3, 2019) — Rules related to minimizing risk of injury to dance and cheer team members are among 29 rules revisions for the 2019-20 high school spirit season.
The rules changes were recommended by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Spirit Rules Committee at its March 2-4 meeting and subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.
“We’re trying to create a safer environment for activities to occur in cheer and dance and make the rules book as clear as possible,” said James Weaver, director of performing arts and liaison to the NFHS Spirit Rules Committee.
Rule 3-3-3 was changed to make it consistent with other braced inversion rules. It now allows for the inverted person to be caught by new catchers as long as the new catchers remain close to the original bases, are in place before initiation of the inversion, and do not pose increased safety risk to the top person.
Rule 3-3-5 was changed to allow a braced front flip to be performed just as it is on the ground while using one bracer behind the top person holding both hands. Both of the top person’s hands/arms must be in continuous contact with a bracer and the bracer must be in a multi-base prep with a spotter. The top person must be to the side or in front of the bracer, and only one bracer is necessary. This allows similar visuals for smaller teams and removes the need for an additional bracer to hold the wrist of the top person.
Another change related to inversions was made to Rule 3-3-6, which now restricts releasing from an inversion with a stunt that has twists at any level, even in the presence of a spotter. Previously, inversions could release with a stunt at prep level or below.
“This change affects how someone moves from upside down. This change is significant because of risks [associated with twists],” Weaver said.
Rule 2-1-5 now states that props made of hard material or sharp edges cannot be released by a top person and must be placed by someone on the ground. This reduces risk of injury from falling props.
In other changes, Rule 3-5-5 was revised to clarify the intent of the rule and better describe the connection between the bracer and the top person. Rule 4-3-3 was also changed to clarify that as long as someone is gripping, it is not important whether it is the top person or the bracer.
A complete list of spirit rules changes is located on the spirit page of the NFHS website, www.nfhs.org, under “Activities and Sports.”
According to the 2017-18 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, competitive spirit is the ninth-most popular sport for girls with 162,669 participants in 6,877 schools around the country.
This press release was written by Kirsten Adair, an intern at the NFHS Publications/Communications Department.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Bruce Howard, 317-972-6900
Meek (1A), Fyffe (2A), Boaz (5A) and Sparkman (Coed) repeated as varsity division winners in the recent AHSAA State Cheer Competition at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville.
Other high school varsity squad winners were Winfield (3A), Sardis (4A), Arab (6A), James Clemens (7A) and Austin (Non-building). Bob Jones captured the high school junior varsity title.
Middle School winners were Hewitt-Trussville Middle (large), Liberty Middle (medium) and Discovery Middle (small).
A total of 1,383 cheerleaders from 89 teams participated in the 19th annual event administered by the Universal Cheerleaders Association. Some participants performed more than one time.
Other categories of competition included Time South Cheer, Time Out Dance and High School Fight Song.
Class 1A—Meek (winner), Gaylesville (runner-up)
Class 2A—Fyffe (winner), Zion Chapel (runner-up)
Class 3A—Winfield (winner), Opp (runner-up)
Class 4A—Sardis (winner), North Jackson (runner-up)
Class 5A—Boaz (winner), Pleasant Grove (runner-up)
Class 6A—Arab (winner), Pinson Valley (runner-up)
Class 7A—James Clemens (winner), Bob Jones (runner-up)
Coed—Sparkman (winner), Thompson (runner-up)
Game Time Results
High School Time Out Cheer – 1. Curry, 2. Florence, 3. West Blocton
High School Time Out Dance – 1. West Blocton, 2. Curry, 3. Brewbaker Tech
High School Fight Song – 1. Florence, 2. Curry, 3. Haleyville
1. Bob Jones High, 2. Oxford High, 3. Sparkman High
Game Time Results
JV Time Cheer – 1. Muscle Shoals High
Small Junior High —1. Discovery Middle, 2. Liberty Park Middle, 3. Meridianville
Medium Junior High —1. Liberty Middle, 2. Maddox Middle, 3. Spanish Fort Middle
Large Junior High —1. Hewitt-Trussville Middle, 2. Hokes Bluff Middle, 3. Echols
Middle, 3. Centre
Game Time Results
Junior High Time Out Dance – 1. Pleasant Grove Middle 2. Jemison 3. ValleyJH
Junior High Time Out Cheer – 1. Muscle Shoals Middle, 3. Pleasant Grove 3.
Bob Jones High School edged Madison rival James Clemens to capture the first Class 7A varsity division of the AHSAA State Cheer Competition Nov. 15 at Wallace State Community College in Hanceville.
Other high school varsity squad winners were Meek (1A); Fyffe (2A); Opp (3A); North Jackson (4A); Boaz (5A); and Cullman (6A). Discovery School of Huntsville won the Middle School (large) title, Monrovia Middle School the Middle School (medium) crown and Liberty Park Middle the Middle School (small) division. Bob Jones captured the high school JV title.
A total of 1,496 cheerleaders from 99 teams participated in the 18th annual event administered by the Universal Cheerleaders Association. Competition also included categories of Time Out Cheer, Time Out Dance and High School Fight Song events.
High School Division
Class 1A: Winner-Meek; RU-Gaylesville; Class 2A: Winner-Fyffe; RU: Zion Chapel;
Class 3A: Winner-Opp; RU-Winfield; Class 4A: Winner-North Jackson; RU-Sardis;
Class 5A: Winner-Boaz; RU-St. Clair County; Class 6A: Winner -Cullman; RU-Hartselle;
Class 7A: Winner-Bob Jones; RU-James Clemens; COED: Winner - Sparkman; RU-Cherokee County.
High School Junior Varsity: 1. Bob Jones; 2. Sparkman; 3. Hazel Green.
Junior High (Small): 1. Liberty Park Middle; 2. McAdory Middle; 3. Centre Middle.
Junior High (Medium): 1. Monrovia Middle; 2. Liberty Middle; 3. Hokes Bluff Middle.
Junior High (Large): 1. Discovery Middle; 2. Hewitt-Trussville Middle; 3. Sand Rock JH.
Time Out Dance
High School: 1. West Blocton; 2. Prattville Christian; 3. Excel.
High School Junior Varsity: 1. Excel.
Junior High: 1. Hokes Bluff Middle; 2. Millbrook JH (8th); 3. Millbrook JH (7th).
Time Out Cheer
High School: 1. Florence; 2. West Blocton; 3. Cleburne County.
High School Junior Varsity: 1. Madsion County
Junior High: 1. Oneonta; 2. Millbrook JH.
High School: 1. New Hope; 2. West Blocton; 3. Oneonta.
High School Junior Varsity: 1. Madison County.
Older Archives 2008-2014