Spirit Announcements

Reminder: it is KSHSAA policy that 6th graders may NOT stunt with 7th and 8th grade cheer squad members.
Basketball Free Throw Rule
During free throws, Spirit squad members must stand at attention, silently. This means absolutely no movement (which includes, but not limited to: movement of fingers, hands, talking, and shaking poms). Any movement or noise of any kind becomes distracting to the player shooting the free throws, so such infractions are illegal according to Rule 52- Sportsmanship/Citizenship. This rule begins when the player shooting the free throw receives the basketball from the official, until after the player shoots ball.
Toss Rule
KSHSAA Handbook Rule 48, Section 1, Article 4b.

All basket tosses (tosses initiated from the waist level, immediately followed by a cradle catch) are prohibited to minimize the possibility of a serious accident and/or injury. The NO Basket Toss Rule applies at all times and at all places, including in Kansas and outside of the Kansas borders.
A pop-toss, to a cradle is legal in Kansas as long as momentum stops at shoulder height or above immediately prior to the toss and the toss does not exceed 3 feet in height above the tosser’s hands.
KSHSAA No Toss Rule for Cheer
(Wording has been edited by Jim Lord, AACCA; November 8, 2017)

All tosses, including basket, elevator, and single-leg tosses that are initiated from waist level and directly release to a cradle catch, are prohibited to minimize the possibility of a serious accident and/or injury. A release to a cradle is legal in Kansas as long as the upward momentum stops or changes direction at shoulder level or above immediately prior to the release, and the release does not exceed 3 feet in height above the tosser’s extended hands. The “no tosses” rule applies at all times and at all places, including in Kansas and outside of the Kansas borders.
Daith (Piercings) Earrings
Daith Piercings

KSHSAA has been asked the following question: Are Daith earrings legal for Spirit participants to have because of medical purposes – migraine headache treatments in particular.

Here is the NFHS and KSHSAA’s position on wearing Daith piercings for Kansas member schools for Spirit (cheer and dance) participants.
The NFHS and the KSHSAA do not allow any piercings for grades 7-12 Spirit participants and this includes Daith piercings.

Fake Eyelashes
The KSHSAA strongly recommends to all Spirit groups: When stunting the use of fake eyelashes should not be worn for the safety of our student Spirit members.

KSHSAA Spirit Safety Meetings 2018-19

  • • Head Spirit Coaches/Advisors (grades 7-12) shall attend a mandatory meeting annually, intended to promote and provide fundamentals of the activity and participant safety.
  • • Face-to-face spirit rules meetings will be conducted on day one of all KSHSAA Summer Cheer/Dance Camps.
  • • Face-to-face spirit rules meetings will be conducted at the 9 Fall Spirit Spreader Clinics August 27 - September 7.
  • • Spirit Coaches/Advisors shall complete a test with information provided and discussed at the spirit safety meeting.
  • • The KSHSAA strongly recommends head spirit coaches attend a face-to-face safety rules meeting if their team performs stunts during the school year.
  • • Head Spirit Coaches/Advisors assuming positions after the scheduled meetings are concluded or who have been granted special permission by their administration may meet the above requirement by taking an online meeting which will be available August 15 until October 7.

Coaching Education Requirement for ALL non-certified cheer and dance coaches is the NFHS "Coaching Cheer & Dance" Course. The course must be completed within the 2017-18 school year by any spirit coach who does not hold a valid teaching certificate, if they are in their first year of service. They must complete this course within the 2018-19 school year or may not be rehired. (If they were a Rule 10 spirit coach in 2017-18 and did not complete this course last year they may NOT coach a team after August 12 th until they have completed said course.) A Rule 10 Form A is required prior to 1st practice, if haven’t completed course indicate when plan to enroll in course and estimate completion date on Rule 10 application. Mark supervised for these coaches. Annual filing of Form A is required.

Required head cheer/dance coach certification for competitive Spirt competitions
If you are a competitive cheer/dance squad then your head coach must hold a current teacher certificate or be an unsupervised certified Rule 10 coach. One of the following combinations is needed for cheer/dance Rule 10 unsupervised certification:

  • a) Complete both the ASEP Coaching Principle course and the ASEP Sports First Aid course.
  • b) Complete both the NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching cheer & dance online course and the NFHS First Aid for Coaches online course.
  • NOTE: The AACCA Spirit Safety course may be substituted in place of the ASEP Coaching Principle course or the NFHS Fundamentals of Coaching course.

(Certification must be completed prior to first competition.) Mark unsupervised on Rule 10 application if they have had a previous year of coaching. Once unsupervised, you do not have to re-file Form A in future years.
Note: An athletic director’s goal should be to strive to get all rule 10 coaches (spirit or athletic) in the unsupervised category by year two so the need for annual paper work stops and your coaches have adequate training.

Spirit Competitions or Exhibitions must be on "Approved Events" list.
KSHSAA member schools may NOT attend spirit competitions, exhibitions or evaluative events unless the event is listed on our KSHSAA “approved list”. Only certified teachers or Rule 10 coaches may sponsor students at these types of events. If you receive a brochure or invitation to attend a Cheer Competition, Dance Festival, or Drill Team Championship, etc. you need to check the KSHSAA “approved list” link on our front web page (http://www.kshsaa.org/Public/General/ApprovedEvents.cfm) before signing up. If the event isn’t on the list and you want to attend, contact the host school and ask them to contact Craig Manteuffel at KSHSAA to see if the event can be approved. Do not rely on a brochure or invitation that says it is KSHSAA approved. Check the official website “approved list” to make sure. Remember, during the school year, only member association schools may host spirit competitions or evaluative events.

Artificial Noisemaker Limitations
Artificial noisemakers (including megaphones, cow bells, thunder sticks, air horns, sirens, etc.) are not to be used and bands are not to play (including the beating of drums) while the game is in progress, indoors or outdoors. If the host school administration questions the safety or appropriateness of any noise maker it shall not be permitted. Please refer to the KSHSAA Music Manual, page 21, relating to when bands can play.

By policy of the KSHSAA Executive Board, use of fireworks, cannons, air concussion cannons, hand-held explosives, and other devices, is not permitted at any KSHSAA postseason athletic event. Member schools have the authority to determine if they permit such devices at their regular-season events

Cheerleaders and dealing with officials
Cheerleader positioning – Facilities vary greatly from one school to the next. Some facilities have ample space and some do not. Both cheerleaders and officials need to work together to assure the safest possible environment while the game is in progress. There are some things we can do as cheerleaders and officials to avoid any problems around the court or field.

  1. Understand the cheerleader’s role – Remember that cheerleaders have worked long hours practicing just like the teams have in preparation for the game. Cheerleaders can and should be an ally in good sportsmanship management throughout the game. However, protecting the players and officials must be the #1 priority.
  2. Attentiveness – Officials are watching the players, not the cheerleaders. Cheerleaders must always remain alert and ready to move out of the way while the game is in progress. This becomes increasingly challenging depending on the facilities, size of squad, and the space available from the playing surface to the cheerleaders.
  3. Work with officials before the game – Regardless of the sport, officials are required to be present long before the game starts. There is ample time for the cheerleaders, cheer coaches, and officials to visit about cheerleader location before the game. Officials and cheer coaches should survey the area and help cheerleaders determine the safest place to cheer. Cheerleaders tend to position themselves on the baseline, especially at basketball games. When there is little room on the baseline for the officials, it’s a problem. Officials should handle this by requesting cheerleaders to move long before the game begins so the game starts without a hitch, or if numbers dictate, suggest that they limit the number of cheerleaders on the sideline by alternating quarters. It is important for cheerleaders to remember they may never be inside the 3-second lane extended to the wall or bleachers when the game is in progress.
  4. Safety first – Cheerleaders should never be hesitant to cooperate; however, if this happens, officials are instructed to explain to their coach or advisor that their positioning is a safety issue. Cheerleaders need to know they may be requested to move in order to protect them, the players, and the officials from potential injury. Just like any other injury situation, when in doubt, officials, cheer coaches, and cheerleaders need to err on the side of safety.

Involving the host administrator – If there is a major disagreement between cheer coaches and officials, the host administrator should be consulted to help you take care of the situation. Once the administrator understands the official is simply trying to protect the game’s participants and protect the school from any possible litigious situations, the cooperation should get easier. If there are continual problems associated with the cheerleaders positioning, contact the KSHSAA.


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