Cheer Uniform Requirements and Recommendations

Click for Department of Ed. Info on Students Purchasing Uniforms
and Attending Required Camps

Cheer Uniform Requirements Along With Recommendations:
Intended for an Athletic Image for High School Cheerleaders

Re-approved by the Board of Control in August, 2015

After receiving questions from coaches on uniform selection, plus comments from administrators and officials about appropriate uniforms, we investigated information and have developed recommendations to help clarify this issue. We hope that coaches follow these recommendations when selecting uniforms and accessories. Our goal is for high school cheerleaders to wear uniforms and accessories appropriate for depicting an All-American image both for student-athletes of high school age and the high school educational environment with cheerleaders displaying an overall appearance conducive to serving as public representatives and ambassadors of their school.

Uniform/accessory guidelines that are a National Federation or ICCA/IHSAA rule are marked by an asterisk (*). Cheerleaders are required to follow these rules.


  • Appropriate for high school student-athletes. This includes practice. Sport bras without t-shirts are not appropriate and don’t follow NF rule 3.1.4.
  • All-Star and dance uniform/costume performance styles are not appropriate
  • Portrays a natural looking, positive, tasteful, and wholesome image
  • No risqué or sexually provocative looking uniforms or garments
  • *No rhinestones, sequins, or bling on uniforms, warm ups, briefs, shoes, etc.
  • *Must wear school issued uniforms that follow requirements/guidelines – solid school colors, not patterned (animal prints, floral, etc.)

Note: See definition of official school issued uniform below.


  • *Standard shell top covering midriff when standing at attention
  • Athletic looking tops (no one shoulder or off the shoulder tops)
  • Modest necklines – no low cut tops
  • No excessively bare or backless style tops
  • Tops with crossing straps in back and/or cutouts should have a liner underneath
  • All long liners should be tucked in and may not hang out under cheer tops
  • *Follows overall requirements and recommendations listed above


  • Balanced look between tops and skirts
  • No excessively short or tight skirts – cheerleaders should not be constantly pulling down skirts
  • Must fully cover hips, briefs, and shorts and should be long enough to be modest
  • Should not just cover the cheek area and should be long enough to be modest
  • *No pants or shorts (including cheerleading pants and performance shorts), leggings, tights/hose, etc.
  • No low rise or rolled waistbands
  • *Skirts must be buttoned and zipped
  • Wrestling skirts – select a tri-pleat or slit for sitting mat side – straight skirts ride up and expose the brief area
  • *Follows overall requirements and recommendations listed above


  • *Must be an actual warm up constructed for cheerleading.
  • *Cheerleaders may not wear yoga pants, leggings, etc. as cheerleading warm ups.
  • *Warm ups may not be worn while cheering inside (basketball and wrestling).
  • *Baggy and/or slick, slippery warm ups may not be worn while stunting.
  • *Follows overall requirements and recommendations listed above


  • *Must be solid colored and same color as main uniform color
  • *Contrasting school color on uniform may be used if uniform is white
  • *Black briefs are allowed as an alternative, neutral color
  • *No silver or white briefs
  • *No metallic, sequined, rhinestone, or other bling
  • *No markings are allowed, including but not limited to prints, words, symbols, etc.


  • Must be full torso length when standing at attention
  • Must be short or long sleeves
  • * Follows overall requirements and recommendations listed above


  • Must be full length pants covering waist to feet or shorts which fall no higher than mid-thigh
  • * Follows overall requirements and recommendations listed above


  • *Athletic shoes appropriate for cheerleading – specifically created for cheerleaders
  • *No canvas shoes, sneakers, gymnastic shoes, wrestling shoes, dance shoes, casual shoes, etc.


The ICCA definition of an official school issued uniform for high school cheerleaders is a combination of skirt, top, sleeves and warm ups that are actual cheerleading garments made/constructed of school colors which were purchased for the activity of cheerleading.  This includes tops, skirts, and cheerleading warm ups. Pants (including yoga pants), leggings (including hose/tights), shorts, jerseys, and T-shirts are not considered official school issued cheerleading uniforms. There may be an exception for T-shirts if two schools have recently consolidated, but this would be rare.


The ICCA allows a special modification of the uniform rules for summer parades or special cause events such as fun runs/walks. These special modifications are for events outside of school. Other than what is designated below, all other uniform requirements must be followed.

  • Cheerleaders may wear matching shirts and shorts
  • Hair must still follow all the hair rules
  • No Jewelry

Cheerleaders should be dressed in a way that is appropriate for the activity. These accommodations are for community events, put your best foot forward to your community!

*These special modifications are not for any scholastic game, contest, or event such as pep rally.


The National Federation Spirit Rule 2-3-4 states that “Apparel and accessories must be appropriate for the activity involved. Cheerleaders must wear athletic shoes.”

All cheerleaders, including wrestling cheerleaders, must wear shoes actually designed for cheerleading. Even though some shoes look like tennis shoes, they are not legal if they aren’t cheerleading shoes. Not all cheerleading shoes are made the same, so it’s important for coaches to check out shoes before ordering them. This could (and should) involve actually putting on the shoes and jogging and jumping in them so you can feel the shoe’s flexibility, cushioning, and support. Cheerleading shoes should not have any items attached to them or their laces.


  • Cheerleaders may not have phones, cameras, etc. on the sidelines or mat side when cheering.  For this reason, wrestling pillows may not have pockets on them.
  • Cheerleaders may not wear pantyhose or tights when cheering.
  • Cheerleaders should not wear false eyelashes or heavy, theatrical makeup.
  • Bows, including bow ends, may not be above the forehead or on the face.