Spirit Announcements

Reminder: it is KSHSAA policy that 6th graders may NOT stunt with 7th and 8th grade cheer squad members. The KSHSAA Executive Board revisited this policy on September 11, 2018 and it was unanimously agreed to continue as written.


Spirit Physicals (KSHSAA)
The 2024-2025 KSHSAA Physical Examination Form shall be completed on or after May 1, 2024 and is effective until the first day of athletic practice of August 2025 by all eligible cheer and dance participants.

Cheer Hair/Stunting Rule
Hair needs to be completely pulled up and back, so there is 180 degree vision at all times when stunting. Hair that is half up and half down is illegal and does not allow for consistency with this rule and therefore creates a safety factor for our spirit students when participating in partner stunts.

General Risk Management
A spirit team may not stunt during a football run through. The close proximity of other participants makes stunting unsafe and therefore ILLEGAL.

Performance surfaces and areas must be suitable for Spirit Activities. Flags on poles may not be used in partner stunts.

KSHSAA Cheer Safety Rule
Release skills into or dismounting with props, signs and/or poms is considered illegal. The top person when holding anything in their hands must stay connected to at least one base/spot throughout the entire movement to the floor.

Ex: Popoff, Cradle, Quicktoss, toss toe touch with props in hands of top person is considered illegal.

KSHSAA Rule for Spirit Squads and Non-Spirit Squad Members during Pep Rallies and School Assemblies
Non-Spirit Squad members may participate in skits, dances and cheers at pep rallies and school assemblies, but the following is prohibited by Non-Spirit Squad members:

• Participation in partner stunts/skills of any kinds, including: bracers, bases, spotters and fliers
• No tumbling

Midriff Rule for All Spirit Squads (Cheer & Dance)
For all performances and when wearing the school uniform. When standing at attention, the midriff area must be completely covered with a non-see-through material. Covered midriff does not include flesh or nude-colored bodysuits and liners and fringe would not count as a cover.

Stunting Not Allowed on Hard Surfaces
Stunts must be modified to be appropriate to the performing surface area. At football games, stunting would NOT be allowed on concrete, asphalt, gravel/cat rock or cinder tracks. Stunting would be allowed on synthetic, rubberized "all-weather" and dirk tracks. It should be noted that stunting is not allowed on any surface if it is wet. Coaches must carefully consider the surface in regard to safety, as even an all-weather track would be considered unsafe it is wet.

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 2024-25

  • • 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 nine Fall Spirit Spreader Clinics August 26 - September 6.
  • • 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 cannot attend a face-to-face meeting can complete the above requirement online which will be available August 19 until October 4.

Certified Head Coach/Rule 10 Head Coach

Certified Head Spirit Coach

  1. • A Certified Spirit Head Coach must take the ANNUAL KSHSAA Spirit Safety Meeting and exam either face-to-face at a summer spirit camp/fall spirit spreader or online by the deadline of October 4.
  2. •Certified Head Spirit Coaches must also take the NFHS Coaching Cheer & Dance course ASAP (one-time). http://nfhslearn.com/courses/61013

Rule 10 Head Spirit Coach

  1. 1. Rule 10 Head Coaches must have a Form A on file at the KSHSAA office. This process is now done online. Administrators must log in to the KSHSAA website, click "Entry Forms", then "Yearly-Letter Forms". Click the "A" Form link.
  2. 2. A Rule 10 Head Spirit Coach must take the ANNUAL KSHSAA Spirit Safety Meeting and exam either face-to-face at a summer spirit camp/fall spirit spreader or online by the deadline of October 4.
  3. 3. A Rule 10 Head Spirit Coach must have a (designated) certified person at all competitions and performances in the first year. (This certified sponsor does not need to be at the spirit practices.) The coach must attend or view the KSHSAA Spirit Safety Meeting by the deadline or before the first school practice.
  4. 4. A Rule 10 Head Spirit Coach that is non-competitive, sideline only must take the following course ASAP in the first year: NFHS Coaching Cheer & Dance (one time). http://nfhslearn.com/courses/61013
  5. 5. Rule 10 Head Spirit Coaches that have Competition Teams must take the two courses listed below in the first year.
    1. • NFHS Coaching Cheer & Dance (one time) http://nfhslearn.com/courses/61013
    2. • NFHS First Aide, Health & Safety for Coaches. Here is the link for the NFHS First Aid Course. http://nfhslearn.com/courses/first-aid-health-and-safety

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 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 Megan Hagaman 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, pages 33-34, 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.

Stunting with Masks (March 16, 2021)
Beginning May 1, 2021, the KSHSAA will allow stunting with masks for Spirit participants with the following requirements:

  1. 1. Masks must be well fitted and secured to the face with straps that wrap around the back of the head not the ears.
  2. 2. Masks must have a Velcro type material on the straps that secures it in place in order to break away if needed.

Click Here for more information


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Current Dance Champions Current Cheer Champions
Olathe Northwest
Overland Park-Blue Valley Southwest
Shawnee-Mill Valley
Overland Park-St. Thomas Aquinas
Topeka-Cair Paravel Latin School
Almena-Northern Valley

[Previous State Champions]

[Previous State Champions]

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