Policies & Guidelines

Strict compliance with all rules is required. A penalty will be deducted from your score for each rule infraction. The amount of the penalty depends on the severity of the infraction.  All rule clarifications must be submitted via this form no less than 1 week prior to competition.  The Judges decisions are final. Cheerleaders cannot compete against themselves i.e. be a part of Team A and Team B in the same division.
Safety Guidelines
We follow the IASF Cheer Satety rules. Please click here for more information.

Performing a technique outside the boundaries of your division level will incur a penalty as per the Scoring Guidelines.  BCA's Competition Rules and Safety Guidelines comply with the technical and safety aspects of IASF, as applicable to UK duty of care compliance.  You are expected to be conversant with the rules and safety requirements.  Wherever possible all rules are quoted exactly as the rule book.  However, division age ranges reflect the general structure of British and European squads, and are designed to allow all squad age ranges to compete.
Team Roster
All athletes must be listed by name and other details as specified on your entry. By submitting an entry you agree that you have read, understood and accepted all competition rules, guidelines and terms. Any substitutions (from your original entry form) must be approved by the BCA. Athletes will be required to prove age or identity. In the interests of fairness to all I.D. checks will be made.

The BCA has relaxed the rule regarding team entries, the number of teams from the same team/programme in each cheer, Stunt and dance team divisions is now unlimited. However, an athlete cannot compete for both teams in the same division.
An athlete can now be registered and compete with more than one All-Star programme at the same competition at any level or dance style. For crossovers the athlete must be shown on each team’s roster list and pay the full 1st division entry fee, not the crossover price. However an athlete cannot compete for both teams in the same division.

We aim to give a minimum of 10 minutes between performances so please bear this in mind when allowing crossovers within your teams, especially if a change of uniform is required.

The BCA recommends that coaches are mindful of the total number of routines that an individual is performing in.
Any team that provides false information on their roster will be disqualified. Any athlete, coach, or supporter of your team, involved in any act of harassment or conduct deemed likely to bring Cheerleading into disrepute will result in your entire programme being disqualified.
Interruption of Routine
If your routine is interrupted because of failure of the competition equipment you will be permitted to restart your routine from the beginning. In the event your routine is interrupted because of failure of your equipment, supplies or personnel, you may either continue or withdraw from the competition.
Routine Interruption due to Injury
Routine Stoppage The only individuals that may stop a routine for injury are:
  • Competition Officials
  • Coach from the team performing
  • Injured Individual
  • Safety/Head Judge
An injured athlete may create a potential safety hazard because of the inability to hold, support, spot or catch. For the safety of all athletes competing, a routine may be interrupted if:
  • An athlete is clearly injured.
  • An athlete is questionably injured and does not resume their role in the routine within 5 seconds of questionable injury.
  • An athlete leaves the competition floor due to an injury.
If a routine is interrupted due to injury, it will be at the Competition Officials’ discretion whether that team will be allowed to perform again at a later time. Athlete Returning to Competition An Injured Athlete may not return to the competition floor unless the competition officials receive clearance from all the representatives listed below:
  • Event Medical Personnel attending to that participant
  • Parent/Guardian (if present)
  • Coach of the competing team/programme
  • In the event of a suspected head injury, the athlete cannot return to perform without clearance from a licensed medical professional that has training related to head injuries
Team Performance
If a team is allowed to perform again following a routine interruption, the new performance time will be at the sole discretion of the Competition Official. The team must (pending the injury’s impact on the routine) perform the routine again in its entirety, but judging will resume from the point at which the injury/interruption occurred as determined by the judges. All skills must be performed full out from the beginning of the routine. All point deductions accumulated to that point (if any) would carry over.

If a team is permitted to perform again, but fails to perform the routine in its entirety (example: throwing back tucks instead of the full twist thrown in the original performance), it is at the discretion of the Competition Official how that team’s scores will be affected.
All choreography should be age appropriate and suitable for family viewing. Inappropriate moves and/or gestures, to include profane vulgar or suggestive lyrics in music, may result in a penalty at the discretion of the judging panel. Removing improper language or words from a song and replacing with sound effects or other words may still constitute ‘inappropriate’ music. The Judges’ decisions are final.
A digital format is preferred, Please plan to bring two copies of your music to the sound desk - the one you will use and a backup. A representative of your squad must start and stop your music and remain at the sound desk during the performance.
The athlete’s uniform is a garment that should be appropriate for the activity to minimise risk for the athletes whilst the BCA is not adhering to the USASF cover up rule, coaches should be aware that in the USA this season a cover and make up policy is being implemented please see the USASF website if you are intending to compete outside the UK.
All Cheer team performances will compete on a 54’ x 42’ carpeted sprung or carpet bonded foam Cheerleading safety floor.

Dance teams will compete on a Harlequin/Marley style floor where possible - although this is guaranteed at the British University Nationals, British All-Star Nationals, and the Newcastle Super Classic it may not be logistically possible at some other regional competitions. If this is the case Dance teams will compete on the Cheer surface.
Competing Order
The competing order will be determined by random selection after the final closing date.
Judging will be to internationally recognised competition standards. Confrontation or abuse of any judge will not be tolerated.
Where time permits, you will be advised any penalties by the head judge.
Score Sheets
Each team will receive copies of their score sheets as well as the ranking sheet for the division they have entered. Every effort will be made for these to be available by the end of the event.
Child Protection
The BCA directors and employees have a duty of care under common law to ensure that athletes, spectators and colleagues do not suffer unreasonable harm or loss.
For the athletes’ safety the use of flash photography is not permitted. Recording and photographing your own routine is permitted; however the use of any professional equipment such as tripods for recording are not allowed.
It is the responsibility of the coach or nominated squad representative to supervise all Press and Media interviews involving members of their programme to ensure the wholesome image of the sport is upheld.