Cheer coaches are expected to follow the National Federation 2016-2017 Spirit Rules. The rules book is provided every other year by the IHSAA to Iowa schools. The NFHS Spirit Rules and ICCA/IHSAA Strengthened Rules should be followed at all times which includes practices, games, performances, and pep rallies. Cheerleaders are only covered by the catastrophic insurance if the cheerleaders are following the rules. NFHS Rule 2-2-1 states that a coach must not permit a team member to participate if in the judgment of the coach, the participant does not conform to the NFHS rules.
The most frequent rule violations are hair not being secured up and away from the face, bows in the face, jewelry being worn (including spacers in piercings and hair ties on wrists), and nails being long (nails are not to be seen when looking at the palm side of the hand). If each athletic director would insist the above three rules are always taken care of for their cheerleaders (including wrestling cheerleaders), few violations would exist. This includes asking opposing cheerleaders to follow the above rules during games/matches as well before being allowed to cheer at your school.
Each one of these rules should be followed at practices, games, pep rallies, and performances to lower the school’s liability. An athletic director can make a tremendous difference in seeing that these rules are enforced to their cheerleaders and visiting cheerleaders at athletic games/matches/events.
If a rules violation has taken place and is reported: The athletic director will be copied in on the cheer coach contact. Please discuss how the violation will be corrected with the cheer coach. If there is a second violation, the IHSAA will be copied in on the contacts. The athletic director and the coach will be contacted by email with the athletic director responding as to how the violation will be corrected. If there is a third violation, Alan Beste from IHSAA will contact the school.
See the Spirit Rules page for more specifics, especially these categories: