MCCA COMPETITION RULES

  • Section 1.01 The Missouri State Cheerleading Championships are conducted in accordance with the MSHSAA and National Federation (NFHS) Guidelines for Cheerleading Safety. Each CHEERLEADER COACH and/or ATHLETIC DIRECTOR should have received a booklet from the National Federation of State High School Associations illustrating legal and illegal partner stunts and pyramids. Please note, MSHSAA rules for cheerleading may be, and in some cases are, more stringent than NFHS Guidelines.

  • Section 1.02 State Champions will be crowned in each classification (1-5 and Coed) in Small, Large, and Super Large divisions. The competition is open to ALL MSHSAA member schools whose coach is a member of MCCA. There will be a regional preliminary competition in St. Louis and Kansas City in the fall, with the final State Competition to follow soon thereafter.

    • (a)Every effort will be made to alternate regional sites and dates. For instance, if the Kansas City regional is first this year, the St. Louis regional will be first next year. This is with the understanding that the MCCA Board has the final decision, as event scheduling at regional host schools will be a major factor. (2020)

  • Section 1.03 All competitions are performed on a matted surface. The standard of 9 mats will be provided

  • Section 1.04 ADMISSION

    • (a)There will be a general admission charge at the Regional Competition, and at the State Competition the admission will be $10.00 per person, per session. All competitions are open to the public. There are NO RESERVED SEATS - seating is on a first come basis. 

  • Section 1.05 ADVANCEMENT

    • (a)At Regionals, in the Varsity division, the top 5 squads in each classification will advance to the State Finals. At-Large bids will be given to those varsity squads scoring within 80% of the top score.

    • (b)At Regionals, Jr. High and JV squads will receive plaques for places 1-5.

    • (c)The top two JV Small and JV Large squads from each regional site will advance to state. At state, the top three winners of each group will be announced and awarded plaques for Award of Excellence.

  • Section 1.06 ALL-STATE

    • (a)This process is not part of the by-laws; however, this information is provided here for convenience. This process may need to be changed year to year as we learn. Coaches will be advised of updates, and all information will  be available at www.missouricheercoaches.org.  

    • (b)All-State Performance Nominations

      • (i)Coaches from each division (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) may nominate athletes in each category:(2)Jumps       (2 )Tumbling       (2 )Backspot       (4 )Base       (2 )Flyer

      • 1)Coed & Superlarge divisions nominate in actual school division size
      • (ii)Only Teams/Coaches competing in the Traditional State competition are eligible to nominate.

      • (iii)Coaches can nominate the same athlete in various categories.

      • (iv)NO late entries will be accepted.

      • (v)Coaches submit videos highlighting the athlete’s skills before the deadline listed on the MCCA website.

      • (vi)All-State teams will be announced during State Awards

    • (c)FOR THE VIDEO:

      • (i)Begin with the athlete stating their FULL NAME, followed by skills highlighted.

      • (ii)Video should be taken at an angle to highlight the athlete being judged.

      • (iii)(for example----front view of a stunt does not highlight the BACKSPOT)

      • (iv)Make sure you are close enough to fully SEE the stunt being executed.

      • (v)Ensure ALL aspects of the skill/stunt are in the video. If you cannot see it--it cannot be properly judged.

      • (vi)Videos cannot exceed (30) seconds.

      • (vii)Late entries WILL NOT BE accepted

      • (viii)JUMPS: Video to include 2 jumps of athlete’s choice.

      • (ix)TUMBLING: Video to include the athlete’s BEST standing tumbling skill AND BEST running tumbling pass.

      • (x)BASE: Video to include the athlete’s BEST stunting skills

      • (xi)BACKSPOT: Video to include the athlete’s BEST stunting skills

      • (xii)FLYER: Video to include the athlete’s BEST stunting skills and must include an extended stunt flexibility skill.

    • (d)HOW THE ALL-STATE PROCESS WORKS:

      • (i)After you submit your athlete’s video…

      • (ii)Videos are compiled

      • (iii)The head coach from each division will vote

      • (iv)After voting closes…

      • (v)The All-State committee reviews EACH video and EACH score.

      • (vi)We ensure that scores are consistent and no athlete was missed or scored under the appropriate range.

      • (vii)Top Athletes in each category are reviewed and then Division All-state teams are formed.

  • Section 1.07 ATHLETIC TRAINERS

    • (i)The MCCA will have athletic trainers on duty during the competition.

  • Section 1.08 BANNERS

    • (a)Only OFFICIAL SCHOOL BANNERS may be displayed.

  • Section 1.09 CATASTROPHIC INSURANCE

    • (a)The MCCA will provide catastrophic insurance for all participants at both the MCCA Regional and State Competitions.

 

  • Section 1.10 CLASSIFICATIONS/DIVISIONS

    • (a)There will be 8 classes for competition purposes.

    • (b)Five classifications will be determined by the number of schools participating according to their MSHSAA official school enrollment. All participating schools will be listed in order of official school enrollment and division/classes will be assigned every 2 years according to enrollment numbers and the number of schools registered for regional competition. Get your MCCA Classification and official school enrollment numbers here: 

    • (c)There will still be a large/small division within each classification.

    • (d) Super Large- All girls

      • a)Class 1-5 - One division 21-25 all girl participants
    • (e)Class 1/2 schools

      • a)Small Varsity- Up to 11 members
      • b)Large Varsity - 12 to 20 members
    • (f)Class 3/4/5 schools

      • a)Small Varsity - 14 or fewer member
      • b)Large Varsity - 15 to 20 members
    • (g)Coed*

      • 1)Small Varsity-1-2 male participants with a limit of 20 total
      • 2)Large Varsity-3 or more with a limit of 25 members 
      • 3)*When more than 15 schools are registered for Coed, the division will split in two, according to school size, creating a small school division and a large school division.
    • (h)Junior Varsity Division (Containing Freshmen and older)

      • a)Small Junior Varsity - 12 or fewer
      • b)Large Junior Varsity - 13 to 18 members
    • (i)Junior High Division*

      • a)Maximum of 25 participants
      • b)     *If more than 5 Jr. High teams compete at one regional, the junior high division will be split into small and large divisions, according to participant numbers if possible. The split must not result in a division having only one team.
    • (j)There will be no changing division/class from regional to state competition.

  • Section 1.11 COMPETITION ORDER

    • (a)Competition times will be scheduled by the Regional and State Directors. Squads cannot swap times.

    • (b)A complete listing of competition times is on the MCCA website. Due to the extended “late fee” registration period, these times will not be available any sooner than the week before the competition.

    • (c)Every attempt will be made to adhere to the time schedule; however, times will vary. Fans should make plans to come early!

  • Section 1.12 ELIGIBILITY

    • (a)The competing squad must be a member of the Missouri State High School Activities Association and the squad's coach must be a current member of the Missouri Cheerleading Coaches Association.

    • (b)All participants must have a signed waiver turned in at the Regional Competition site. Waivers will be good for that year’s regional, state, and gameday competitions.

    • (c)All registration fees must be paid prior to the competition.

    • (d)Squad size cannot change between regionals and state.       

    • (e)The squad entered in the competition must cheer in the same season.

    • (f)Junior Varsity members may be used as alternates with varsity squads for the purpose of competition, providing they have cheered during the same season. (SEE ALSO: SUBSTITUTIONS)

  • Section 1.13 ENDING ROUTINES

    • (a)Timing will stop when your squad comes to a standstill, or a stationary position, and a designated member of your squad signals to the timekeeper (verbal or wave), that the routine is completed. Failure to signal the timekeeper could result in a time infraction.

  • Section 1.14 ENTRY FEE

    • (a)The entry fee will be $25.00 per squad member for Varsity and JV (including alternates) and $10.00 per squad member for Jr. High members and alternates.

    • (b)The entry fee is due prior to the regional competition date. There will be no additional registration fee for the state competition.

    • (c)Game day fees will be $10 per division, or $25 if competing in all three.

    • (d)A late fee of $10 PER PERSON will apply for all JV/Varsity divisions, and $5 late fee PER PERSON for Jr. High Divisions. This late fee will be applied up to two weeks after the published deadline ONLY. (2021) Absolutely NO registrations will be accepted after that. There will be NO exceptions.

  • Section 1.15 FALLS

    • (a)A 5-point deduction for a fall is one in which the flier makes an uncontrolled or unassisted descent to the floor or an MCCA spotter makes a save.

    • (b)All other falls will be a 1-point deduction.

 

  • Section 1.16 GRIEVANCE POLICY

    • (a)The established grievance policy of the MCCA will be in effect at all times.

    • (b) A copy of the policy is attached to this document, as well as on the MCCA website.

    • (c)There will be a designated panel at regionals and state to receive, review, and rule on all grievances.

  • Section 1.17 HOLDING AREA/FLOOR LEVEL

    • (a)All squads will report to the holding area 10 minutes prior to their scheduled competition time.

    • (b)At the State Competition, access to the holding area will be restricted to participants in uniform and coaches that display the lanyards provided to them. There will be a “pit” area at each competition where parents and fans may sit in front of the mats and watch their team compete. Parents and fans must exit this area in a timely manner for the next team’s parents/fans. 

  • Section 1.18 JUDGES

    • (a)Each judging panel will consist of three judges, three penalty judges, and one level of difficulty judge for each competition. All penalties are delivered to the penalty table shortly following their squad’s performance. It is the responsibility of the coach to pick them up.

  • Section 1.19 JUDGING FORMS

    • (a)The same judging forms used at the regional competition will be used for the state competition. Sample forms and scoring rubrics are provided on the MCCA website. 

  • Section 1.20 MASCOTS

    • (a)Mascots are welcomed on the floor. They do NOT count against the numerical requirements for divisions. 

  • Section 1.21 MUSIC

    • (a)Music should be on your phone, tablet, or other device. You will need to provide your own dongle. An auxiliary cord will be provided. Either a coach or a designated representative of your squad must start and stop your music. There will be someone at the music table to assist you in what to do.

    • (b)There will be a 30minute time period prior to the start of each Regional session where coaches can try their music. This will be only for testing purposes.

    • (c)Music must be from a preferred provider, and you must submit your music forms with your competition waivers. Get the form here: 

    • You can get more information on USA Cheer Music Requirements and Preferred Music Providers here: 

  • Section 1.22 ON DECK

    • (a)The ON DECK AREA is limited to the coach and squad members only.

 

  • Section 1.23 PASSES (STATE COMPETITION ONLY)

    • (a)Once your state registration has been received, you will be emailed a packet. This packet includes passes for bus drivers, administrators, faculty supervisors or other school representatives. Any additional tickets, other than those allowed must be purchased at the gate. PLEASE DO NOT REQUEST MORE. These passes will admit you to all three sessions. The coaches’ floor pass is ONLY to allow the coach on the floor level, IT IS NOT AN ADMISSION PASS! Only coaches with floor passes will be allowed in the holding area. There will be strict supervision and enforcement of this policy.

    • (b)Squads should enter the pass gate AS A GROUP.

  • Section 1.24 PENALTY SHEET/PENALTIES 

    • (a)A 5-point penalty will be assessed for the use of inappropriate music, language or gestures.

    • (b)A safety check will be done before each squad competes. Warnings will be assessed at regional competitions. Deductions will be given at the state level. See sample form.

    • (c)Coaches are responsible for checking with the penalty table following their routine for any penalties. This procedure must be done within 20 minutes of the finished performance.

  • Section 1.25 PERFORMANCE AREA

    • (a)Nine (9) mats will make up the competition floor, for a total floor size of 42'x54'. Squad members who step off the mats during the routine will be assessed a 1-point penalty per infraction. Breaking the vertical plane is not a violation.

  • Section 1.26 PRACTICE TIMES

    • (a)At the State Competition, each squad will be given a 15 minute practice time approximately 1 hour before their scheduled competition time. There will be three designated matted practice areas on which teams will rotate every 5 minutes. The first two practice areas will consist of two warm-up mats each, to be used to practice any specific parts of the routine, and a last practice area will consist of a full-size matted floor (9 mats) to be used for the practice of the entire routine. ONLY on the final, full matted area can music be used. These areas will be monitored at all times. If you miss your scheduled time, you WILL NOT be given another time. 

    • (b)Please do not come to the practice area until 10 minutes before your scheduled time and do not abuse the time limit.

    • (c)You will need to bring your own music players/speakers, and they should run on batteries.

    • (d)The use of any device for the purposes of recording another individual or team in either the practice or holding areas during MCCA competitions shall be expressively forbidden unless explicitly approved of by the individuals or teams being recorded or if the individual doing the recording has obtained prior written approval by the MCCA Board.

  • Section 1.27 PROPS

    • (a)Poms, megaphones, and flags can be used. Flag poles are to be PVC or similar plastic, or aluminum pipe. Flags on a pole are not allowed in any type of stunt. Flags can be used only on the ground with the person using/flying them having both feet on the performance surface. Soft material flags not on a pole are still allowed to be used with flyers.

    • (b)Crowd involvement signs may also be used in either category provided they are hand-held, 2 dimensional signs, not to exceed 2'x3'.

    • (c)If a sign or flag is not gently tossed or placed at any time, a 10 point penalty will be assessed for each violation. Signs and/or flags must be placed or gently dropped by a team member who must remain inside the performance area.

 

  • Section 1.28 SCORING TIES

    • (a)In the event of a tie, the highest score will be used to break the tie. If there is still a tie, the lowest score will be used to break the tie. If after this process there is still a tie, then the original results will stand.

  • Section 1.29 SOUVENIRS

    • (a)Specially designed t-shirts, long sleeved tees and sweatshirts will be sold at the competitions. MCCA shall hold exclusive rights for the sale of all souvenir items at MCCA sponsored events. A souvenir state program with pictures of all the competing squads that submitted a picture will also be for sale.

  • Section 1.30 SPORTSMANSHIP REQUIREMENT

    • (a)Refrain from using ANY competing school’s name in your routine.

    • (b)A participant, coach, substitute, trainer or other team attendant must not commit an unsporting act. This includes, but is not limited to, acts or conduct such as:

    • (c)Disrespectfully addressing or contacting an official or gesturing in such a matter as to indicate resentment.

    • (d)Using profane or inappropriate language or gestures.

    • (e)Baiting or taunting an opponent

    • (f)Using tobacco or smokeless tobacco. This is a 5 point penalty per infraction.

  • Section 1.31SPOTTERS

    • (a)Members of the competing squad must fulfill all spotting requirements as listed in the guidelines from the MSHSAA and National Federation.

  • Section 1.32 SUBSTITUTIONS

    • (a)The performing squad at the state competition must be the same squad that was rostered on the regional form, and meets all other state requirements.

    • (b)Only those squad members listed on the original registration form will be allowed to be substituted in for competition at the state level under one of the following guidelines, and submitted to MCCA prior to the competition:

    • (c)Ineligibility

      • 1)Injury authorized by physician
      • 2)Moving out of the district
      • 3)Coaches’ discretion/decision
        • (ii)When making substitutions from Regionals to State Competition, you may only substitute the same gender. You cannot substitute in a male for a female, or vice versa.   

  • Section 1.33 TIMING

    • (a)Timing starts with the first organized movement, motion, word or music by the performing squad. A three second human error factor will be considered.

    • (b)Routines should be more than two minutes, and less than three minutes. This includes both the music and cheer (non-music) portions. A 5-point penalty is assessed to any squad exceeding three minutes.

    • (c)A minimum of 2 or more 8 counts are required for maximum points (2020)

  • Section 1.34 VIDEO STUNT REVIEW

    • (a)All questions must be in written form. NO PHONE CALLS WILL BE ACCEPTED. For all legality verifications, please do the following:

      • 1)Email which includes coaches name, email, and phone number, team name, division, and an explanation of the skill in question.
      • 2)Video containing front, side, and back view of the skill
      • 3)Do NOT send a video of the entire routine, only the skill in question. All emails should be sent to president@missouricheercoaches.org.
  • Section 1.35Questions??????

    • (a)All questions and concerns regarding the Regional or State Competitions are to be addressed BY THE COACH, not through parents or students. Coaches are to contact the Competition Director, the MCCA President, or the Grievance Panel.

 

GRIEVANCE POLICY

  • Section 2.01 Competition Grievance Procedure - Penalties

    • (a)Any school or coach wishing to protest points awarded at a Regional or State Competition shall follow these guidelines:

      • (i)The school or coach has 20 minutes from the penalty judge's registered time to protest awarded penalty points. Time begins when the coach receives notices.

      • (ii)The protest must be delivered in writing on the protest form to the grievance panel within the allotted time.

      • (iii)This grievance panel would render the final decision and no further protests could result.

      • (iv)A protest shall be based only on an error in applying a rule of the MSHSAA or the National Federation Spirit Rules Book. The only items that can be grieved are: MSHSAA Rules, National Federation Rules, and time.

      • (v)No protest shall be heard on judgment calls of an official.

      • (vi)A MCCA representative or designee shall be named as the Penalty Judge prior to the competition. That person or a committee formed by that person shall be the only and final interpreter of rules at the competition.
         

      • (vii) Any further inquiries concerning the results of the protest shall be directed to the Regional or State director or to the MCCA President.

      • (viii)Any school or coach that does not follow the procedure shall have the following points deducted from their performance score:

        • 1)Failure to observe the time limit will result in voiding the protest.
        • 2)Approaching or trying to influence a judge’s decision will result in a 25-point penalty.
        • 3)Deliberate disruptive behavior by a coach, squad, or cheerleader will result in a 25-point penalty.
        • 4)Verbally abusing or disrespectfully addressing a judge or competition official, making an unauthorized approach of a judge concerning a score or rule infraction or using profanity will result in a 25-point penalty.
        • 5)Continued abusive behavior may lead to removal from the premises by the State or Regional Competition Director.
      • (ix)In order for the MCCA Board to uphold a protest, it must be established that the error made by a penalty judge was the determining factor in penalty points being assessed.

  • Section 2.02 Individual School or Coach Grievance Procedure

    • (a)A school or coach wishing to have another school or coach penalized for violation of the Association’s rules (which for purposes of this Rule shall include evaluation of any provision of the Constitution) shall file a written notice of protest signed by its principal or designee, and specifying the grounds of protest with the MCCA President. The notice shall be filed without delay after the alleged violation has occurred, and the MCCA Executive Board may consider unreasonable delay a factor in ruling on any protest. Protests may also be initiated by the Executive Board.

    • (b)The MCCA President shall notify the accused school or coach of the protest, and after such further investigation as the President deems necessary, shall either make a ruling on the protest or refer it to the MCCA Executive Board.

    • (c)Either the accusing school or coach or the accused school or coach may appeal to the MCCA Executive Board from a ruling on the protest or refer it to the MCCA Executive Board.

    • (d)If any member of the MCCA Executive Board is an interested party in a protest, the MCCA Executive Board shall appoint a disinterested person as a replacement in the decision of the case.

    • (e)When a ruling has been appealed or when a protest has been initiated by or referred to the MCCA Executive Board, the MCCA Executive Board shall give the interested schools or coaches not less than three days notice of the time and place of the hearing. The hearing shall be conducted by the MCCA Executive Board, pursuant to such procedures as it may direct, provided that interested schools or coaches have an opportunity to present evidence on their behalf. Pending decision of any appeal from a ruling of the MCCA President, that ruling shall stand and be given full force and affect for all purposes, except as specifically provided to the contrary is Section 2-3. If the ruling is modified or overruled on appeal, the MCCA Executive Board; at its discretion, may take such corrective action as of deems feasible and fair to all concerned.

    • (f)All rulings of the MCCA Executive Board shall be final.

  • Section 2.03Violations of Rule - Penalties

    • (a)Upon a ruling by the MCCA President or by the MCCA Executive Board that a student or coach is ineligible, the school shall forfeit all events in which that student or coach participated during that student’s or coach’s ineligibility, either before and /or after such ruling, and the student or coach is disqualified for the remainder of that activity season.

    • (b)For violation of any rule of the Association and in addition to contest forfeitures provided in Section1of this rule, the MCCA Executive Board may impose any one or more of the following penalties:

      • (i)Probation: When a school or coach is on probation, they shall suffer no impairment of rights or membership, but probation shall be a factor on determining the penalty for any violation during probation.

      • (ii)Forfeiture of championship, titles, awards, prizes or the right to participate in such Regional or State Competition as the MCCA Executive Board may direct.

      • (iii)Fines, in such amounts as the MCCA Executive Board may determine, to a maximum of $25.00 for one violation.

      • (iv)Suspension of rights of membership in the Association for such period as the MCCA Executive Board may direct, to a maximum of 365 days.

        • a)During suspension, a school or coach may not participate in any Regional or State Competition or both events. If a suspended coach accompanied a squad to the competition floor or present in the facility, the squad will forfeit participation.
      • (v)Events in which an ineligible player cheers shall be forfeited. In competition, all events in which the ineligible cheerleader has participated shall be forfeited, but only the squad defeated that is most advanced in competition shall be advanced on the bracket to continue competition.

      • (vi)The MCCA Executive Board may direct that any or all penalties provided in this section are to be imposed only if certain conditions are not met, or that any such penalties are to be relieved if certain conditions are met.

      • (vii)Suspended or expelled schools or coaches may be reinstated by the MCCA Executive Board. Reinstatement may be subject to such conditions as the MCCA Executive Board may direct.

      • (viii)Responsibility: If a student or coach who has been declared ineligible is permitted to participate in interscholastic competition because of a temporary restraining order, preliminary injunction and/or permanent injunction issued by a court against the school, and if such restraining order and /or injunction is subsequently vacated, dismissed, stayed, reversed or finally determined by the courts to not justify injunction relief, one or more of the penalties outlined in 3-2 above may be assessed in the interest of restitution and fairness to other member schools.

  • Section 2.04 Sportsmanship

    • (a)The MCCA Board of Directors has the power to suspend coaches from membership and schools and/or coaches from participation for the unsportsmanlike conduct of squads, coaches, students, and fans at any and all MCCA sponsored events. (A fan is considered a non-school student or follower of the cheerleading squad.)

    • (b)The MCCA Board may delegate to the Regional Competition the power to take immediate action when a situation demands such. The parties concerned shall have the privilege of requesting a hearing before the MCCA Board of Directors (see Rule 2-3)

    • (c)The MCCA Board of Directors may, at its discretion, substitute a fine not to exceed the sum of $25.00 for each offense in lieu of suspension from the Association or to take any action that it deems advisable that does not exceed the maximum penalty of two (2) years suspension from the Association.

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