ICCA/IHSAA Strengthened National Federation Spirit Rules

The Iowa Cheerleading Coaches’ Association and the Iowa High School Athletic Association have chosen to strengthen some of the NFHS Spirit Rules for cheerleaders in Iowa.

● NFHS Spirit Rule: “Fingernails, including artificial nails, must be kept at an appropriate length (short, near the end of the fingers) to minimize risk for the participants.” ICCA/IHSAA addition: “All nails, including artificial nails, must be cut to a length so that the nail is not visible when the cheerleader holds up her/his hands from the palm side. This is what is considered safe.”

● NFHS Spirit Rule: “The hair must be worn in a manner to minimize risk for the participant. Hair devices, if worn, must be secure and appropriate for the activity.” ICCA/IHSAA addition: “All cheerleaders’ hair must be pulled away from the face and off the shoulders: i.e. ponytail. This would be for both stunting and non-stunting squads. Bows may not be on the face and may not have large or hard objects glued (including hard rhinestones on knots) on the bows.”

● NFHS Spirit Rule: “Glitter that does not readily adhere on the hair, face, uniform, costume, or the body is illegal. Glitter may be used on signs, props, or backdrops if laminated or sealed.” ICCA/IHSAA addition: “No glitter is allowed on the face, hair, or uniform. No spray on/roll on/lotion glitter. Glitter in eye shadow should be minimal.”

● All briefs should be devoid of any markings including but not limited to sequins, metallics, prints, wording, symbols, etc. In addition, no visible apparel may be worn under the uniform except bodysuits/spandex/briefs. If school uniforms are black with yellow striping, the briefs should be black. The only time the briefs should be the striping color rather than the main uniform color is when the main uniform color is white. Black briefs are allowed as an alternative, neutral color.

● Teams shall wear official school issued uniforms (including warm ups) that are of similar color and/or marking. Uniforms should be in solid school colors, not patterned (like animal prints, floral, etc.); they should not have rhinestones or sequins on them. No performance shorts are allowed.

● All uniforms, including footwear, must be in compliance with the NFHS Spirit Rules Book.

NOTE: These rules will be in effect for ALL Iowa school (grades 7-12) events, including practices, pep rallies, performances, games, meets, tournaments, competitions, and all other events in which school cheerleaders participate. Uniforms do not need to be worn during practices; however, the nail, hair, and glitter rules are to be followed at all times.