2020 State Championships

Please see the following information regarding 2020 State Championships.

Scoring Rubrics

2020 Championship Definitions and Scoring

School Fight Song Rubric #1

School Fight Song Rubric #2

Band Chant Rubric #1

Band Chant Rubric #2

Time Out Division: Motions & Incorporation of Props

Time Out Division: Jumps/Formations/Spacing/Transitions

Time Out Division: Crowd Effectiveness

Time Out Division: Overall Impression & Entrance and Exit

Your high school squad is invited to compete in the annual Iowa Cheerleading State Championships sponsored by the ICCA and supported by the IHSAA.  The championships will be held virtually this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic.  This championship is designed to give recognition to the excellent high school cheerleading squads in the state of Iowa, and is the only state-recognized championship.  Even though this year’s format will be different from previous years, the intent is still the same:  recognize our outstanding Iowa high school cheerleaders.  

General Information

PARTICIPATION REQUIREMENTS

  1. All participating coaches must be registered paid members of the ICCA.
  2. All participating coaches must have completed the current online spirit rules meeting (August 5 – August 27) and the National Federation concussion video training.  All coaches must submit current rules meeting and concussion training certificates to the ICCA with their registrations.
  3. The school and coaches must be in good standing with the ICCA in regards to the National Federation and ICCA/IHSAA Spirit Rules to participate in ICCA events involving cheerleaders.
  4. An ICCA head coach must register ALL participants for ALL ICCA events.
  5. A non-refundable entry fee must be paid by the deadline. To enter a SINGLE division: $125, any TWO divisions: $225, all THREE divisions: $300.  Entry in all three divisions automatically qualifies a school for the championship trophy in the school’s class. 
  6. School and coach information, plus the final names of the competitors, are due online by September 24 and must match the money submitted with the online registration.  Payment for registration and paperwork are due by October 1, 2020.  NO EXCEPTIONS WILL BE MADE.  
  7. The coach must have a completed Medical Treatment and Release Form for each member of the squad.  Verification by signature is required for entry. 
  8. Participants must be bona fide high school cheerleaders (they may not be college cheerleaders, just on an all-star team or competition squad).  They may cheer for any sport and be on any high school squad including varsity, JV, sophomore, or freshman squads.  No cheerleaders below 9th grade may participate.  Participants must be high school cheerleaders who actively participate in cheering at scheduled games for their school.  
  9. COACHES MUST comply with Federal Music Copyright laws and purchase music from legitimate and legal sources.

ICCA State Championship Rules and Procedures

APPAREL
Iowa Cheerleading State Championship
apparel will be available at an online store from September 10 – November 10. Coaches, cheerleaders, and fans will have the option to purchase short-sleeved T-shirts, long sleeve T-shirts, crew neck sweatshirts, and hoodies. All items will be shipped from the t-shirt company. Please check the ICCA website under State Championships to place your apparel orders. Be sure to give this information to fans, also. All apparel sales are final.

ATTIRE/UNIFORMS
We expect team members to display an overall appearance conducive to high school student-athletes serving as public representatives of their school. Cheerleaders should wear school issued uniforms (skirt, vest, sleeves) and proper shoes. Uniforms do not have to match. No T-shirts, shorts, or pants. No face or body paint is allowed.

AUDIENCE INVOLVEMENT
While we would like to have crowd involvement for the competition, the concerns of Covid require us to not allow any audience during the video of the performance. It is important for the judges to hear the cheerleaders, not the audience, so do not video your performance with an audience. (Note for consideration: Coaches, you can serve as the “yell back” for your team.)

COMPETITION AREA:  42’x 42’

Can be videoed on either a basketball court or a football field. Coaches should mark off “performance area” using cones.  Because of sound quality for the video, it is preferable to use a basketball court.  

COMPETITION CLASSES
Classes will follow 2020-2021 IHSAA Boys’ Basketball Classifications (1A, 2A, 3A, 4A).
There will not be a separate coed division this year. Each team is allowed an unlimited number of male cheerleaders.

COMPETITION DIVISIONS
School Fight Song, Time Out Cheer, and Band Chant (see specific descriptions below)

ELIGIBILITY
To participate, all cheerleaders must be eligible under their schools’ Good Conduct policy and be an official member of their school’s cheerleading program.

Integrity Clause for Participation

The Iowa Championships are made up of teams of bona fide high school cheerleaders from Iowa schools. The ICCA requires all participating cheerleaders to be bona fide cheerleaders.  Bona fide cheerleaders cheer at scheduled games for an entire season, and participate in ALL cheer activities as team members. They cannot be cheerleaders who cheer now and then, step in to stunt, or only cheer on a competition squad. Cheerleaders cannot be college cheerleaders or only cheer for a non-school all-star squad. To place someone other than a bona fide cheerleader on a squad will open the school to possible disqualification, probation from ICCA Events, and the rescinding of trophies and medals won by the school at the Championships.  

FAMILY VIEWING
All routines must be appropriate for family viewing. This includes choreography and outfitting cheerleaders.
Up to a 5-point penalty or possible disqualification will be assessed for vulgar or suggestive choreography or words which are unsuitable for family viewing/listening. Replacing improper words from a song with sound effects or other words still constitutes inappropriate and deductions will be assessed. 

MASCOTS
A squad may include a school mascot. Mascots must appear in the uniform of the mascot and cannot stunt or spot stunts. The mascot must be an enrolled high school student. The mascot is counted as one of the cheerleaders.

MUSIC
All copyrighted music must follow the required guidelines for copyrighted music by using the clearinghouse AND having the appropriate licensing paperwork filed with the ICCA.  All paperwork must be submitted with your registration.  Specific music licensing information is available on the ICCA website under the Music Copyright Laws tab.

PROPS  

  1. Only signs, megaphones, and poms are allowed and must have words or symbols associated with school spirit. For example: “Go-Fight-Win” or school colors. Flags are NOT allowed.
  2. Signs cannot be used in a theatrical manner (e.g., in the shape of guitar, people, etc.).
  3. Props (and other items) cannot just “decorate” the floor or be used as markers only. 
  4. Cheerleaders may NOT break through a sign.  Signs are only used to lead cheers. 
  5. Be sure to follow National Federation rules concerning props.
  6. No items may be thrown, tossed or released into the crowd. 
  7. All props must be assigned to a specific cheerleader per Covid policies.

RULES
All squads must follow the 2020-2021 National Federation Spirit Rules adopted by the Iowa High School Athletic Association. These include the strengthened guidelines adopted by the ICCA/IHSAA. Schools must also follow the rules and procedures specific to this championship. Rule changes for 2020-2021 can be found on the ICCA website
and were covered in the online rules meeting. It is the head coach’s responsibility to see that their squads follow ALL rules.  

Before emailing legality questions, coaches are expected to check stunt legalities by using the National Federation Rules Book (including the articles and situations rulings under each rule). Coaches should only email if a question still remains about the legality of any component of a routine. THESE STEPS MUST BE FOLLOWED.  Only emails from head coaches employed by the school will be accepted!

  •  Email a video (right side up) of that part of the routine (not the entire routine to Erin Taylor at iowaerintaylor@gmail.com.
  • Include the coach’s name, school name, school classification, and division entered.
  • Include rule number pertaining to this stunt and a specific question (which part of the stunt are you questioning and why).

REMEMBER: Only stunts that are legal on a gym floor are to be performed.  Stunts are limited to step-ups, prep level, and extension level only.  No higher than extension level.

The deadline is September 22 for legality questions. Do not send questions or videos after this date. This may help prevent deductions on your entry. The video does not need to be performance quality and should not be the entire routine. If the stunt is determined to be an infraction of the National Federation, ICCA rules, or championship rules the school will be notified immediately. It might be possible that a difficult stunt series could be performed legally in practice and performed illegally on the performance. We are not telling coaches to take stunts out of routines, but rather realize the complicated nature of the stunts. It’s up to the head coach to show their squad’s abilities, yet make all stunts legal. The coach should recognize a squad’s particular ability level and should limit the squad’s activities accordingly. “Ability level” refers to the squad’s talents as a whole and individuals should not be pressed to perform activities until safely perfected.

All decisions made by both panel and technical judges are FINAL and not subject to review.

SCORING 

  1. Teams will be judged from rubrics, which can be found at the top of this page.
  2. Technical judges will base deductions on violations of National Federation Spirit Rules, ICCA Strengthened Rules and ICCA Championship Rules. Coaches are responsible for making sure rules are followed without having gray areas for legality. Coaches are expected to conduct a safety check prior to taping.  Deductions will be given if a school is in violation on the submitted video.  
  3. In case of ties, the motion technique scores, both technique and difficulty, will be used as tie breakers. First technique, then difficulty. The second level, if needed, is crowd effectiveness.  

STARTING AND ENDING ROUTINE
The only division where a formal entrance and exit are allowed is TIME OUT CHEER. For the other two divisions, cheerleaders should be in the performance area, ready to begin when the music starts.  

SUBSTITUTIONS
A team can substitute a cheerleader from one division to another without penalty. If a previously UNregistered cheerleader needs to be added, this can only be done only if a registered cheerleader is removed and ICCA gives permission. Once registered, numbers entered in each division cannot be increased, but can decrease. Substitution should be for injury or eligibility only. Contact Kristen Morlan if a substitution becomes necessary. 

TEAM ENTRIES  
A school may enter one team per division. Participants may overlap between divisions. Teams may use one group of cheerleaders for all three entries, or different cheerleaders in different divisions. Names for all participants must be registered and verified. All participants must  be bona fide cheerleaders for your school. Mascots are also allowed in all divisions!  

TEAM SIZE
Minimum number of cheerleaders: 6 per division. Maximum number of cheerleaders: 20 per division. Teams may be made up of any number of females and/or males as there is no coed division.  
 

TIME LIMITS 

  1.  SCHOOL FIGHT SONG: We recognize that not all school fight songs are the same length, so try to limit your music to 60-90 seconds. Do not extend the performance beyond the normal length of your song. Timing begins with the first note. There will be a 2 point deduction if over 90 seconds.  
  2. TIME OUT CHEER: One minute limit.  Timing begins at the first movement of the cheerleaders. All cheerleaders must be off the mat/performance area at the end of the one minute to avoid a deduction. There will be a 2 point deduction if over 60 seconds. 
  3. BAND CHANT: Not to exceed 1 minute. There will be a 2 point deduction if over 60 seconds.

VIDEO REQUIREMENTS

  • Videos will be submitted to IHSSN’s Drop Box. Directions for uploading videos will be made available on the ICCA website.  
  • May be recorded on a basketball court OR football field.
    • Area should be marked off with cones to represent 42’x42’ performance area.
    • CROP the video to only record the performance area.  (Do not video the entire court or field.) 
    • Recommendations: Get into an elevated position on the bleachers to record.  Have lots of light for clarity of recording. Play music over the school sound system, if possible. 
    • Video quality of an iPhone or iPad is sufficient. 

Information About Each Division

CROWD INVOLVEMENT CHEER/TIME OUT DIVISION

The emphasis of this division is cheering during a game time out. The cheerleaders will lead the crowd in chants and/or cheers. If there is a crowd on the video, the crowd response will not be judged to make it fair to every school. The judges will, however, be looking at the potential for crowd response, as well as the squad’s motion technique, jumps, cheer skills used to lead the crowd, and personality. There will be two competitions within this division:  Stunting/tumbling and non-stunting/non-tumbling.  All team members must be bona fide high school cheerleaders.  

Participants will make their entrance from the left side of the competition area.

  1. Poms, signs and/or megaphones MUST be used to help the crowd.  Flags are NOT allowed.
  2. No music is allowed.
  3. Skills are limited to those allowed on gym floors by the National Federation. For this year, stunting is limited to the September 1 guidelines from the ICCA.  For this competition, no one-footed stunts are allowed.  
  4. Maximum difficulty in tumbling is limited to a standing back handspring. No running tumbling is allowed except during entrance.  
  5. All permitted skills must be performed on the competition area. The performance area is 42’ X 42’.  The area should be marked with cones at the corners. 
  6. Objects cannot be thrown outside the competition area.
  7. Poms, signs and/or megaphones need to be carried on and off the mat in a manner similar to usage during a basketball time out. Props may not be set up in advance. 
  8. Teams should maintain social distancing, yet use formations and movement to create interest and enthusiasm from the crowd. Props used must also follow all rules for social distancing. Poms, signs, megaphones cannot be shared between members of the squad.  

DEDUCTIONS:

  • Props left on the performance area will be a one (1) point deduction. 
  • Two (2) point deduction per rule infraction (each occurrence), including ICCA rules (hair, nails, jewelry, etc.) 
  • One (1) point deduction for stepping on items on the performance area (each occurrence) unless otherwise noted.
  • Teams in non-stunt/non-tumbling cannot perform any stunting or tumbling in their routines.  A 5 point deduction will be taken for any violation of this policy.
  • Teams with the majority of its members within the performance area at the final buzzer/whistle (1 minute time limit) will receive a 2 point deduction.
    • Coaches will blow a whistle or sound a buzzer to start the performance.
    • Coaches will also blow a whistle or sound a buzzer at the 45 second mark in the performance, which will serve as the “warning” given to teams during a basketball time out.
  • Due to COVID restrictions, all props must be kept safely from other team members.  One member cannot carry props for another member.  Failure to follow this rule will result in a 2 point deduction.

SCORING:  In case of ties, the motion technique scores, both technique and difficulty, will be used as tie breakers. First technique, then difficulty. The second level, if needed, is projection and showmanship.

SCHOOL FIGHT SONG DIVISION

  • Each team will perform a routine not to exceed 90 seconds. 
  • Teams are encouraged to use their traditional school fight song. 
  • Timing will begin with the first organized movement, voice or note of music, whichever comes first. 

Timing will end with the last beat of music or organized movement. 

  • Props (poms, signs, and megaphones) are permitted in this category and encouraged. 
  • There is no stunting or tumbling in this division. It is permissible to incorporate jumps and/or kicks into the performance but they will only be judged for overall effect. 
  • Due to COVID restrictions, all props must be kept safely from other team members.  One member cannot carry props for another member.  Failure to follow this rule will result in a 2 point deduction.

Judging will be based on the following criteria, as well as elements noted on the scoresheet: 

  • Crowd oriented material, fit to music, using effective spacing and formations, and incorporating visual effects such as ripples or level changes.
  • Placement, synchronization and strength of motions. 
  • Overall impression and crowd appeal. 
  • Emphasis should be placed on practicality and crowd involvement. 

All material should be suitable and able to be performed multiple times during a game or pep rally.

SCORING: In case of ties, the motion technique scores, both technique and difficulty, will be used as tie breakers. First technique, then difficulty. The second level, if needed, is projection and showmanship.

BAND CHANT DIVISION

#1 Magic
#2 Rocket
#3 Shuffle
#4 Good Time

  1. Each team will perform a routine not to exceed 1 minute.  
  2. A team must begin on the performance floor for the start of their music.
  3. Timing will begin with the first organized movement, voice or note of music, whichever comes first. Timing will end with the last beat of music or organized movement.
  4. The Band Chant must be one traditionally played by a school sideline/jazz band. 
  5. Crowd interaction and involvement, including yell-backs, spell-outs, school colors are encouraged.
  6. Sideline/traditional school uniforms are required. 
  7. The use of poms, signs, and megaphones is permitted and encouraged. 

Judging will be based on the following criteria, as well as elements noted on the scoresheet: 

  • Creativity and musicality, variety and the execution of transitions and formations.
  • Crowd leading ability, including crowd encouragement, ease of crowd to participate, etc. 
  • Material appropriate for a sideline situation during a time-out, quarter break, between downs, etc. 
  • Placement, synchronization and strength of motions/movement. 
  • Visual effect and spacing.
  • Overall impression and crowd appeal. 
  • Thematic routines and/or specialized costuming is not encouraged. Emphasis should be placed on crowd interaction/involvement and entertaining the crowd. All material should be suitable and able to be performed multiple times during a game or pep rally/assembly.

SPECIFIC SKILL RESTRICTIONS 

  • Tumbling and/or stunting of any kind is prohibited, including during entrances and exits. Kicks and/or jumps are permitted. 
  • Due to COVID restrictions, all props must be kept safely from other team members.  One member cannot carry props for another member.  Failure to follow this rule will result in a 2 point deduction.

SCORING:  In case of ties, the motion technique scores, both technique and difficulty, will be used as tie breakers. First technique, then difficulty. The second level, if needed, is projection and showmanship.