2021 MHSAA Dance Rules and Regulations

2021 MHSAA Dance Rules and Regulations

Table of Contents

*All updates and changes displayed in BOLD font*

2021 MHSAA Dance Rules and Regulations 1

































(Performance Routine and Game Day Divisions)

Only ONE Official School Spirit Squad may represent their School at MHSAA Competition.

Dance Squads may compete in two categories at the MHSAA Competition.


Only THREE registered coaches are permitted to enter the team entrance and stay with team throughout warmup and performance.

Alternates must be dressed in matching school cheer uniform or team warm-up. Alternates dressed in street clothes or dress other than cheer uniform/team warmup will need to purchase a spectator ticket and enter as spectator.


MHSAA strongly recommends that you have an alternate (not a member of another competing squad at the same event), who is prepared to substitute in the event of injury, probation, etc. No cheerleader/dancer may represent more than one Team, even in the event of injury or emergency. Once a team checks into the event, the team will not be allowed to change divisions



All teams in the Varsity, Junior Varsity or Junior High divisions must be an official school dance team. The Junior Varsity Division is any official school dance team that is recognized by their school as the Junior Varsity or “B” Team. Individuals are NOT permitted to compete in two divisions within the same school (Example: A dancer is not allowed to compete with both a JV and a Varsity team). Individuals are also NOT permitted to compete on two different school teams. (Example: A dancer is not allowed to compete with ABC Junior High and XYZ High School or ABC High School and XYZ High School). Individuals must be enrolled members at their school to participate.



All Junior High Divisions – 9th Grade and Below. Junior High Divisions WILL be allowed 9th grade participants if (1) they attend a school that is under the administrative supervision of the same school board as the junior high school that they are representing AND (2) a minority of the team are 9th graders. Junior High teams with most 9th graders would compete as a Junior Varsity.


All Junior Varsity Divisions – 7th Grade -12th Grade. Junior Varsity Divisions WILL be allowed 7th grade participants if they attend a school that is under the administrative supervision of the same school board as the high school that they are representing. Junior Varsity teams must be the official Junior Varsity of the school they represent.


All Varsity Divisions – 7th Grade – 12th Grade. 6th grade participants will NOT be allowed on a Varsity team; however, 7th grade participants will be allowed to participate on a Varsity team if the school they attend is under the direct administrative supervision of the same school board as the Varsity team they are representing.

Please Note: If a team has an equal amount of 8th and 9th graders on the team, they will be required to compete in the Junior Varsity Division.


*At the discretion of the MHSAA, divisions may be divided, sub-divided, adjusted and/or combined.

Please visit MHSAA Spirit Information for a complete listing of divisions/categories as well as the MHSAA State Dance Championship.




MHSAA encourages and supports sportsmanship, integrity and fairness among participants and coaches in all facets of cheerleading including, but not limited to, team/squad practice and performance. We strive to uphold the highest standards and promote this to the best of our abilities, and believe that coaches are instrumental in promoting and instilling this among their respective team members.

To ensure the most positive experience for all attendees, MHSAA asks that the following Code of Conduct be adhered to during the MHSAA Cheer Championship:

  1. Any questions or concerns that affect a team’s performance or experience must be communicated by the coach to the Score Table. The appropriate Official will then be called to discuss the situation with the coach.
  2. Participants, coaches, or spectators are prohibited from contacting the Judges during the competition.
  3. Judges’ rulings are final related to deductions, final team placements and legalities.
  4. Any unruly, aggressive, or belligerent behavior by participants, coaches or spectators toward any other attendee or Event Staff will result in a deduction, potential team disqualification, removal from the event and/or barred participation from future MHSAA Cheer Championships.
  5. MHSAA and Varsity Spirit reserves the right to remove any persons from a competition for unsafe or unsportsmanlike conduct



The minimum number of participants a team is five (5) *. The maximum number of participants a team can have is thirty (30). Teams competing with two routines must stay in the same division but can have different numbers in both routines.  Teams will be able to trade out, remove, or add a designated number of dancers between their 2 categories, based on their division.  Teams may continue to trade out dancers and maintain the same number of performers in both routines.

Substitutions may be made in the event of an injury or other serious circumstance. Substitutes must also abide by the age restrictions in all division in which they compete.

*At the discretion of the MHSAA, divisions may be divided, sub-divided, adjusted and/or combined.

Important Things to Note IF divisions are divided, sub-divided, and/or adjusted:


The breakdown is as follows and is based on the number of dancers performing.

  • Small Varsity teams may trade out, remove, or add up to two (2) dancers.
  • Large Varsity teams may trade out, remove, or add up to four (4) dancers.


  • Junior High and Junior Varsity teams can trade out, add, or remove dancers.
  • The breakdown is as follows:
  • If you have 5-15 members on your team, you may trade out, remove, or add up to two (2) dancers.
  • If you have 16-30 members on your team, you may trade out, remove, or add up to four (4) dancers.



A Small Varsity team is competing Jazz and Pom. They have 9 dancers in Jazz. For Pom, the team traded out 0 dancers and added 2 dancers; therefore, they are dancing 11 in Pom.


A Large Varsity team is competing in Pom and Kick.  They have 24 dancers in Pom. For Kick, the team traded out 2 dancers and removed 2 dancers; therefore, they are dancing 22 in Kick.


For MHSAA the max number of performances a dancer on a school team may be in is two (2).


  1. All participants agree to conduct themselves in a manner displaying good sportsmanship throughout the event. The coach of each team is responsible for seeing that team members, coaches, parents, and any other person affiliated with the team conduct themselves accordingly.
  2. All programs should have, and review, an emergency action plan in the event of an injury.
  3. Coaches must recognize the entire team’s ability level and limit the team’s activities accordingly.
  4. No technical skills should be performed when a coach is not present or providing direct supervision.
  5. All practice sessions should be held in a location suitable for the activities of dance, and away from noise and distractions.
  6. Warm-up and stretching should precede and conclude all practice sessions, pep rallies, games, competitions, performances, and other physical activities.
  7. The performance surface should be taken into consideration before engaging in any technical aspect of dance. The performance area should be reasonably free of obstructions. Dancers should not perform technical skills on:
  1. Concrete, asphalt, or any other hard or uncovered surface
  2. Wet surfaces
  3. Uneven surfaces
  4. Surfaces with obstructions
  1. The dance team coach or other knowledgeable designated representative should attend all practices, functions, and games.


  1. Formal entrances which involve dance, technical skills, and all traditions/chants are not permitted. Dancers should enter the performance area in a timely fashion.
  2. All staging, backdrops, special effects, or any items that may damage or otherwise alter the performance floor or environment are prohibited (water, powder, glitter, fire, sliding oil, etc).
  3. Center markers will not be allowed. This includes but is not limited to- stuffed animals, toys, alternate dancers, spacing ropes, etc.
  4. Teams may dance off the marley floor; however, all routine choreography for the entire team must begin and end on the marley floor. Jumping on or off a raised performance surface is prohibited. This rule applies in all categories, including Game Day. Teams competing with a marley floor will be penalized at MHSAA for starting/ending on or off the marley. Please note that the tape which surrounds the edges will count as the marley floor.
  5. Time limit is as follows:
  1. SCHOOL teams will have a maximum of (2) two minutes to demonstrate their style and expertise. If a team exceeds the time limit by more than (3) three seconds, they will be issued a penalty.
  1. Timing will begin with the first choreographed movement or note of music, whichever is first. Timing will end with the last choreographed movement or note of music, whichever is last.


  1. All facets of a performance/routine, including both choreography and music selection, should be appropriate and suitable for family viewing and listening. Examples of inappropriate choreography may include, but are not limited to, vulgar or suggestive movement appearing offensive or sexual in content, displaying acts of violence, and/or relaying lewd or profane gestures. Music containing words unsuitable for family listening is not allowed. This includes, but is not limited to, swearwords and connotations of any type of sexual act or behavior, drugs, and/or violent acts or behavior. Removing improper language or words from a song and replacing with sound effects or other words may still constitute ‘inappropriate.’ Music or movement in which the appropriateness is questionable or with which uncertainty exists should be assumed by the coach to be inappropriate and removed as to not put their team in an unfortunate situation.
  2. Shoes, on both feet, are recommended but not required while on the performance surface. Please note that should dancers choose to wear shoes, anything with wheels is not allowed (example: roller skate, roller blades, heelys, etc.). Wearing socks and or footed tights only is not allowed.
  3. Teams may NOT use Disney themes, nor may they have costumes that resemble a Disney character, movie, or theme.
  4. When dancers are standing at attention, all costumes/uniforms must cover the midriff area completely. The midriff includes the entire midriff section from the bra line down, front of the body only. Nude body liners are acceptable. This rule applies to all pom, jazz, kick, hip hop, AND Game Day divisions.
  5. For the safety of all athletes, tights are HIGHLY recommended to be worn with costumes, but not required.
  6. All male dancers’ costumes must include a shirt that is fastened; however, it can be sleeveless.
  7. Jewelry as part of the costume is allowed.


Props are not allowed. A prop is defined as anything that is danced with that is not always attached to your costume and is used to enhance the routine. Articles of clothing, such as jackets, headbands, sunglasses, hats etc. may be removed from the body and discarded; these items may not have any choreographed movement done with them. If taken off and danced with, it becomes a prop. Items/articles of clothing brought onto the stage but not worn are considered a prop. This rule applies to the Game Day category as well. Poms being used in a pom routine do not count as props.


The use of hands-free poms will be allowed. Hands-free poms are defined as poms specifically made so that performers do not have to hold the poms but rather, they are affixed to the performers hand. Proper use means bars cannot be in the palm of the hand and only an elastic band can be between the supporting hand and the performance surface for skills, tricks, etc. A hair tie, rubber band, or tying pom strings/pieces together will not be counted as a hands-free pom.


Each routine must have a minimum of 60 kicks. We suggest that your routine have more than 60 to ensure meeting the minimum requirements. A kick is defined as one foot remaining on the floor while the other foot lifts with force at least one inch from the floor. At least half the team must execute a kick for it to be counted. Teams with an odd number of dancers will have the allowance of one less (Example: A team has 15 members. Both 8 dancers executing a kick AND 7 dancers executing a kick will count as the “majority”.)

  • Leg Holds: If the leg hold is lifted off the ground with force at or above 90 degrees and is performed by most of the team, it is considered a kick that counts towards the requirement.
  • Ripple/Contagions: When a kick is performed in a ripple or a contagion by most of the team, it will count as one (1) total kick toward the required minimum.
  • Chasing ripples/Pickups: These kicks will count as one (1) kick, however many times it is completed by most of the team.
  • Contracted/Can-Can Kicks: Any time the leg extends at or above 90 degrees, contracts and extends again at or above 90 degrees, it will be defined as separate kicks.

Passe, flick kicks which kick behind the dancer, turn sequences, toe taps, kicks while kneeling or sitting, etc. will not be counted as kicks





Hip over-head rotation skills with hand support are not allowed while holding poms in the supporting hand. (Exception: forward rolls and backward rolls are allowed). The use of hands-free poms for hip over-head skills is allowed. *Please reference the Hands-Free Poms section for more details*


  1. TUMBLING AND TRICKS (Executed by Individuals)

*Note: The following are lists of commonly known dance skills. This does not mean that they are required for your routine, nor does this list encompass all skills that are legal/illegal. *



Aerial Cartwheels          Front/Back Walkovers

Front Handsprings         Round Off

Branny                        Stalls/Freezes

Side Somi                     Head spins

Forward Rolls                Windmills

Backward Rolls              Kip Ups

Cartwheels                   Shoulder Rolls

Headstands                  Headsprings (with hands)

Handstands                  Backbends



Front Tucks                   Back Handsprings

Front Aerials                 No handed headsprings

Dive Rolls                      Toe Pitch Back Tucks

Layouts                        Shushunova

Back Tucks


  1. Airborne skills without hand support are not allowed. (Exception: Headsprings with hand support, aerial cartwheels, and side somis not connected to any tumbling skill are allowed).
  2. If a team chooses to use hands free poms for aerial cartwheels and/or side somis, and later touches down, the poms MUST be flipped off of the hand, or a penalty will be assessed. Simply wearing the hands-free poms for the aerial cartwheel and/or side somi does not make it legal if they are not used correctly.
  3. If a team chooses to use non- hands-free poms for aerial cartwheels and/or side somis, they MUST be moved to one hand. If a dancer later touches down with the hand that holds both poms, a penalty will be assessed. There are no exceptions to this rule.
  4. Tumbling skills with hip over-head rotation is limited to 3 connected skills. (Example: 3 consecutive headsprings are allowed; 4 are not allowed).
  5. Simultaneous tumbling over or under another dancer that includes hip over-head rotation by both dancers is not allowed.
  6. Choreographed drops to the knee, thigh, back, front, head, shoulder, or seat onto the performing surface are not allowed unless the dancer first bears weight on the hand(s) or foot/feet.
  7. Landing in a push-up position onto the performance surface from a jump in which the legs are in front of the body and swing behind are not allowed. All variations of a shushunova (see glossary) are not allowed.
  8. Airborne skills without hip over-head rotation may not jump from a standing or squatting position backwards onto the neck, head, back, shoulders, and/or hands. Any kip up motion must initiate from the back/shoulder area touching the ground. (NOTE: This rule refers specifically and only to the “rubber band” /” bronco” kip up skill, as well as any skill jumping backwards into a headstand/handstand stall).



  1. DANCE LIFTS AND PARTNERING (Executed in pairs or groups)
  1. The Executing Dancer must receive support from a Supporting Dancer who is in direct contact with the performance surface through the entire skill. (Exception: Kick Line Leaps).
  2. Elevators, thigh stands, shoulder sits, and chair sits are allowed.
  3. The following cheer-based stunts are not allowed:
    1. Extended cheer stunts (the lifted dancer is extended in an upright position over the base(s) who maintain fully extended arms and have the lifted dancers’ feet in hands)
    2. Pyramids and basket tosses
  4. Swinging in and out of lifts and tricks is allowed in the prone and/or supine positions; swinging forwards, backwards, or making a complete circular rotation will not be allowed if the Executing Dancer is in a prone position (body facing the ground).
  5. Hip over-head rotation of the Executing Dancer(s) may occur if a Supporting Dancer maintains contact until the Executing Dancer returns to the performance surface or is returning to the upright position.
  6. Vertical Inversions are allowed if:
    1. The Supporting Dancer(s) maintain contact until the Executing Dancer returns to the performance surface or returns to the upright position.
    2. When the height of the Executing Dancers shoulders exceeds shoulder level of the Supporting dancer, there is at least one additional dancer to spot who does not bear weight.


  1. RELEASE MOVES (Unassisted Dismounts to the performance surface)
  1. An Executing Dancer may jump, leap, step, or push off a Supporting Dancer if:
    1. The highest point of the released skill does not elevate the Executing Dancer’s feet above head level of the Supporting Dancer.
  1. Exception: toe touches off a dancers back/leapfrog jumps will be allowed
    1. The Executing Dancer may not pass through the prone or inverted position after the release.
    2. Toe pitch back tucks are not allowed.
  1. A Supporting Dancer may release/toss an Executing Dancer if:
    1. The highest point of the release/toss does not elevate the Executing Dancer’s hips above head level of the Supporting Dancer.
    2. The Executing Dancer is not supine or inverted when released.
    3. The Executing Dancer does not pass through a prone or inverted position after release.
    4. Toe Pitch back tucks are not allowed.



*This will serve as the format for MHSAA. Please refer to the below rules and regulations section for a full list of rules and guidelines, including but not limited to division sizes, costuming, music, etc.*

Game Day will take place in the following order:


  1. Fight Song

Skills and choreography should represent a traditional Fight Song that your team performs at games and community events. There is a max time limit of one minute (1:00)


  1. Spirit Raising

Teams will choose to perform ONE of the following:

  • Sideline Routine
  • Stand Routine
  • Drum Cadence

*The performance of your choice should have an emphasis on crowd appeal. * There is a max time limit of one minute (1:00)

  1. Performance Routine

A routine (can be any style) that is designed for crowd entertainment. This is the best time to showcase your team’s energy and connection to the crowd. There is a max time limit of one minute (1:00)




*These rules apply to JUNIOR HIGH, JUNIOR VARSITY, and VARSITY teams competing in this division at MHSAA


General Notes

  1. Teams will be evaluated and scored on each Game Day component. Within each component, performances will be scored on synchronization, execution of motion and overall effect. In addition, other components that pertain specifically to each section will be judged.
  2. The performance will follow this order: Fight Song, Spirit Raising, and Performance Routine.
  3. Teams are required to wear a traditional uniform that you would wear when representing your school. These should be in school colors; uniforms must follow all midriff rules, which states when dancers are standing at attention, all costumes/uniforms must cover the midriff area completely. The midriff includes the entire midriff section from the bra line down, front of the body only. Nude body liners are acceptable.
  4. Teams may use poms, but they are not required. No other props or signs are allowed.
  5. Mascots will be allowed but must remain on the performance floor the entire time. Mascots may not be involved in any stunts/technical skills, and should position themselves away from skills being performed. Teams may add up to 1 (one) mascot in their Game Day Routine and the mascot will not count towards the total number of participants allowed. Mascots must follow all eligibility guidelines and must be students enrolled at that school.
  6. Bands/drum lines/pep bands are not allowed.


Time Limitations

  1. All components (Fight Song, Spirit Raising, and Performance Routine) should not exceed 1 minute. If a component exceeds the 1 minute time limit, a penalty will be assessed.
  2. Spirit Tapes (NDTC ONLY) will have a time limit of forty-five seconds (:45) and will be played at the beginning of your Game Day routine for that event only.
  3. The overall time limit (including transitions) should not exceed 3 minutes 30 seconds (3:30) timing will begin with your fight song music, or any choreographed movement- whichever happens first.
  4. Teams must show a clear separation between elements. Teams are highly encouraged to show spirited interaction as a clear transition.
  5. For MHSAA, separate tracks for each component is REQUIRED.



Teams competing in the game day divisions must follow all the routine safety rules and regulations at any regional or NDTC event. Refer to page 5 for more information.




  1. I have read and understand the USA Cheer Music Copyrights Educational Initiative and all sound recordings used in our team’s music shall only be used with written license from the owners(s) of the sound recordings.
  2. For the most up to date music information, visit http://varsity.com/music. If you have any questions, dance teams should email dancemusic@varsity.com. Please check the provider list for updates and changes periodically.
  3. Teams must be able to provide proof of licensing, in the form of a printed copy, during registration at the event.
  4. If your team is featured in the TV broadcast and uses an original composition created for your performance, your routine music will be used in the show if you also secured synchronization rights. Teams must be able to provide written documentation that synchronization rights were properly secured during registration at the event for the original routine music to be included in the show.
  5. When recording your music for the event, coaches or music editors should edit their song in a Digital Audio Workstation (DAW) and make sure that the volume of the song is at 0. Things to note: Most DAW’s have a default that sets a track at -6 when a track is added. Check to see if there is a normalization process after you render or save your work.
  6. If you would like to perform your school’s original fight song, you may bring a recording of your marching band playing the song. You will need to get the school’s permission to use the song and recording. A letter granting permission for the cheer or dance team to use the fight song on school letterhead is enough. It should be signed by your program’s administrative supervisor. Go to varsity.com/music for more details.
  7. If a team does not have required paperwork, they will be given the option to count the routine verbally or perform to an approved track of music or a track with counts (Provided by Varsity Spirit).
  8. If a team does not have the required paperwork and chooses not to count the routine or perform to an approved track of music or a track with counts, the team will be disqualified from the competition and not allowed to perform or compete.
  9. If there are concerns regarding a certain team’s use of music, a Challenge Form must be completed immediately following the team’s performance.
  10. A challenge can only be made by the official coach of a team competing at the event at which the challenge is being made.
  11. Challenge Process a) All music challenges must be submitted in writing to the event director. b) There will be $100 fee to request a music challenge and must be in the form of a check made out to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital. c) Fees collected will be voided if challenge is correct. d) If the team challenged can provide documentation during the event and can be verified, the fees will be donated to St. Jude. e) If the team challenged can provide documentation that requires further review, a decision will be finalized within 48 hours of the event.
  12. It is required that each team have a responsible adult at the music station that knows the routine and music (no alternates or team members allowed). This representative is responsible for pressing “play”. Should an adult choose not to stay at the music table for the duration of the routine, and a malfunction occurs, teams may or may not be permitted to perform the routine again.
  13. All teams must provide their own device for use on the event provided sound system. Music should be on a digital music player/iPod/iPhone. CD’s will no longer be allowed, and CD players will not be provided at competition.
  14. Please make sure that all devices have a headphone jack to connect to sound system and are fully charged, volume turned up and placed in airplane mode.
  15. Please ensure that jacks are clean and free of any debris which may impact connectivity. You will need to acquire an adapter in advance if your player does not have a headphone jack.
  16. Teams may not use Disney themes, nor may they have costumes that resemble a Disney character. However, Disney music is acceptable if following the music guidelines.




  1. If, in the opinion of the competition officials, a team’s routine is interrupted because of failure of the competition equipment, facilities, or other factors attributable to the competition rather than the team, the team affected should STOP the routine.
  2. The team will perform the routine again in its entirety but will be evaluated ONLY from the point where the interruption occurred. The degree and effect of the interruption will be determined by the competition officials.
  3. While masks are not required on the warmup floor and/or performance floor unless dictated by state or local guidance, an athlete may choose to wear a mask. If an athlete chooses to wear a mask during the performance and the mask restricts the athletes view and/or interferes with skills or otherwise becomes a safety concern, the athlete should either secure or remove the mask. If the athlete does not secure or remove the mask, the routines is subject to being stopped by competition officials. If stopped, the team will perform the routine again in its entirety but will be evaluated ONLY from the point where the routine was previously stopped. Competition officials will determine the impact of the interruption.


  1. In the event a team’s routine is interrupted because of failure of the team’s own equipment, the team must either continue the routine or withdraw from the competition.
  2. The competition officials will determine if the team will be allowed to perform later. If decided by officials, the team will perform the routine again in its entirety but will be evaluated ONLY from the point where the interruption occurred.


  1. The only persons that may stop a routine for injury are:
    1. competition officials,
    2. the advisor / coach from the team performing or
    3. an injured individual.
  2. The competition officials will determine if the team will be allowed to perform later. If the competition officials allow a routine to be performed later, the spot in the schedule where the re-performance is to take place is at the sole discretion of competition officials. The team may perform the routine again in its entirety but will be evaluated ONLY from the point where the interruption occurred.
  3. The injured participant that wishes to perform may not return to the competition floor unless:
  1. The competition officials receive clearance from, first, the medical personnel attending to that participant, the parent (if present) AND THEN the head coach/advisor of the competing team.
  2. If the medical personnel do not clear the participant, the participant can only return to the competition if a parent or legal guardian in attendance signs a return to participation waiver.
  3. Any athlete who exhibits signs or symptoms consistent with concussion should be removed from the activity at that time and should not be allowed to return to activity that day. The athlete should not return to activity on a subsequent day until evaluated by and receives written clearance for such participation from a qualified physician (MD or DO specifically trained in concussion management).
  4. In addition to the Varsity Brands head injury policy, we encourage you to be familiar with the specific laws of the state where the competition is being held.



A deduction will be given for EACH safety/general competition rule violation. The point value of this deduction will be as follows:

  • 5 points- starting/ending off the marley surface, performance error- any skill or trick executed incorrectly that then makes it an illegal skill/trick (example: touching down on an aerial cartwheel with non- hands-free poms in hand)
  • 1 point- General rules violations including (but not limited to) timing infractions of 1-5 seconds over time, not enough kicks, costume/shoe rules, prop rules, editing in templates for virtual events, not including a template for virtual uploads etc.
  • 5 points- Timing infractions of 6 or more seconds over time, routine safety rule violations
  • 2 points- Only music capture incidentally will be permitted. No music can be edited into the video. Teams who do edit music into the video will receive a 2-point penalty. *This penalty applies to virtual events ONLY*

If you have any questions concerning the legality of a trick or move, please email the video to udarules@varsity.com. Include your team’s name, your name, a contact phone number, and the event attending. Videos submitted for a regional/local event must be received two weeks prior to the event and must be labeled with the event attending. Videos for NDTC must be received by January 14th. All videos will only be accepted from the head coach of the team. If received after the deadline, the video is not guaranteed a response. Videos from choreographers will not be allowed. For questions, please contact udarules@varsity.com.


  1. All participants agree to conduct themselves in a manner displaying good sportsmanship throughout the competition with positive presentation upon entry and exit from the performance area as well as throughout the routine.
  2. The advisor and coach of each team is responsible for seeing that team members, coaches, parents, and other persons affiliated with the team conduct themselves accordingly. Severe cases of unsportsmanlike conduct are grounds for disqualification.
  3. When a coach is in discussion with an official, other coaches, athletes, and parents/spectators, they must maintain proper professional conduct. Failing to do so may result in a 1-point penalty, removal of coach, or disqualification.



The judges for the event will be appointed at the sole discretion of Universal Dance Association. As the teams make their presentations, the judges will score a portion of the scoresheet. Judges scores will be AVERAGED together to determine the overall team score.



In the event of a first-place tie, event officials will look at the raw scores per judge to see which team was ranked higher most often in each caption. Should a tie remain, the ranking points from the “Overall Impression” portion of the scoresheet will be used to break the tie. No first-place ties in a preliminary or semi-final round will be broken.


Individual score sheets are for the exclusive use of each judge. Each judge has the responsibility and authority to review and submit his or her final scores and rankings prior to the final tally of the scores for all teams. No scores and rankings will be given over the telephone. After each round of competition, teams will receive the judges’ score sheets and comments for their team. In addition, teams will receive a ranking sheet with the names and scores of all teams in their group.


By participating in this competition, each team agrees that all decisions by the judges will be final; questions concerning comments on the score sheet will be allowed, however scores and judges decisions will remain final. Each team acknowledges the necessity for the judges to make prompt and fair decisions in this competition and each team therefore expressly waives any legal, equitable, administrative, or procedural review of such decisions.



Any team and/or spectators of that team that do not adhere to the terms and procedures of these “Rules and Regulations” will be subject to disqualification from the competition and will automatically forfeit any right to any prizes or awards presented by the competition.



  1. RULES & PROCEDURES – Any questions concerning the rules or procedures of the competition will be handled exclusively by the advisor/head coach of the team and will be directed to the Competition Director. Such questions should be made prior to the event.
  2. PERFORMANCE – Any questions concerning the team’s performance should be made to the Competition Director immediately after the team’s performance and/or following the outcome of the competition. Coaches will be asked to fill out a Routine Review Form with their concerns and will need to allow up to two business days following the conclusion of the event for their submissions to be reviewed. Questions regarding another team and/or their performance will not be allowed. Not all routine review forms will be handled on site.
  3. Deduction sheets will be available shortly following each team’s performance. Questions regarding penalties can be made by the head coach of the team only and must be done within 30 minutes of the final performance of the division or prior to final awards-whichever happens first. Once results have been announced, no rules violation challenges will be accepted.



Any interpretation of any aspect of these Rules and Regulations or any decision involving any other aspect of the competition will be rendered by the Rules Committee.  The Rules Committee will render a judgment to ensure that the competition proceeds in a manner consistent with the general spirit and goals of the competition.  The Rules Committee will consist of the Competition Director, Head Judge, and a designated competition official.



No commercial recording (audio or visual) or commercial live streaming is allowed in the event venue or other event-related venues (including, but not limited to, hotels and restaurants) or on the grounds of any such venues (collectively, “Event Locations”). In the event a team authorizes the commercial recording or streaming in any Event Location, the team will be automatically disqualified. In addition, the personal, noncommercial use of live streaming apps (such as Periscope, Facebook Live, etc.) to capture all or any part of a performance during the event is not permitted. By attending/purchasing admission to the event, each attendee grants permission to MHSAA, Varsity Spirit, LLC and its affiliates, designees, agents, licensees, and invitees to use the image, likeness, actions and statements of the attendee in any live or recorded audio, video, film, or photographic display or other transmission, exhibition, publication, or reproduction made of, or at, the event in any medium, whether now known or hereafter created, or context for any purpose, including commercial or promotional purposes, without further authorization or compensation.


Teams will not be allowed to use the MHSAA logo, VARSITY (UCA, UDA, NCA or NDA) or the NHSCC logo including: banners, rings, bows, t-shirts, etc. without prior approval from the MHSAA and UCA Office. However, the use of the MHSAA or UCA, UDA, NCA or NDA letters will be allowed.


Varsity Spirit is the exclusive MHSAA Cheer/Dance competition provider. No other cheer/dance instructional organization, choreographer may present, solicit business, recruit or distribute merchandise during the MHSAA State Cheer & Dance Championship. Exception: If the Vendor has expressed in an advanced Statement of Work and received written consent from MHSAA and Varsity Spirit


While the final details and schedule of any competition could require up to the day adjustments, and all guidelines are subject to change based on Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), federal, state and local guidance, please be assured that MHSAA and Varsity Spirit is committed to delivering the same quality of competition experience for which we are known. We appreciate your understanding of the flexibility this will require.  By accepting the Terms and Conditions as the authorized person from my program I agree and acknowledge to abide by the COVID-19 MHSAA and Varsity Competition Rules.


Awards will be given in each division. The number of awards given will be based on the number of squads participating in each division. If there are:

One to eight teams in a division, first place given.

Nine to twelve teams in a division, only a first and second place given.

Thirteen or more teams in a division, first, second and third place given. 



MHSAA Varsity State Championship Awards and Prizes

Note: Junior High & Junior Varsity teams are not eligible for MHSAA State Championship Titles

  1. MHSAA Varsity State Champion will receive a championship banner and a gold medal for each participant who performed on the floor plus three registered coaches.
  2. MHSAA Varsity State Runner-Up will receive a silver medal for each participant who performed on the floor plus three registered coaches.




By accepting the Terms and Conditions as the authorized person from my program I agree and acknowledge that (i) I am the sponsor/director of the team (ii) I have read and understand the foregoing, (iii) I will be solely responsible for communicating the foregoing to all coaches/directors in my program that will coaching and directing teams at the MHSAA Competition and NHSCC, (iv) I will ensure that my teams will comply with all rules and regulations at all times, and (v) my team will support the results of the competition, as I am a role model for my programs.



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