Competition Rules & Regulations


All KAPOS competitions shall be under the direction of the Regional Board Member, Sectional Vice President, and/or other such person as designated by the KAPOS President.

Section I–Eligibility

1) To be eligible to compete in a regional KAPOS competition, a team must be accompanied by a current KAPOS member coach and submit:

  • A completed insurance form which lists all qualified team members including alternates
  • A completed KAPOS Music Information Sheet
  • A completed entry form with team payment

2) Team members must attend the school they represent or attend a feeder school.  Elementary students may compete on the middle school team into which their elementary school feeds.

3) Schools may have two (2) teams compete that are comprised of different members.  A student may represent the school they attend on only one team.  No participant may crossover on same school teams. Elementary students may compete on their elementary team AND their middle school team.  However, KAPOS will not adjust the Performance Order to accommodate these teams or for any reason.

4) Regional winners will advance to the KAPOS State Competition.

5) Any team who advances to the KAPOS State Competition must compete in the same division at the state competition as they competed during their regional competition.

6) If any division has a vacancy at the state competition, a committee appointed by the President may review the regional competition videos to issue bids to teams for participation at state competition. Coaches must notify the President if they would like to be considered for a video bid within two days after their regional competition.

Section II–Team Size/Divisions

1) Elementary School (Grade 6 and below):
Small Division 5-16 members
Large Division 17-30 members
Game Day Division 5-30 members

2) Middle school (Grade 8 and below):
Small Division 5-15 members
Medium Division 16-19 members
Large Division 20-23 members
Super Large Division 24-30 members
Game Day Division 5-30 members

Section III–Judges/Timers

1) All judges shall be assigned by the KAPOS President.

2) Judges must annually complete training.

3) KAPOS 2 1/2 Routine competitions will use eight (8) judges: two (2) Building, two (2) Cheer, two (2) Overall, and two (2) Deduction judges.

4) KAPOS Game Day Routine competitions will use six (6) judges: two (2) Crowd Leading, two (2) Music, and two (2) Deduction judges.

5) KAPOS competitions will use a minimum of two (2) timers. Timers are to be certified judges.

Section IV–Judging Sheets/Scoring

1) KAPOS judging sheets will align with KHSAA scoring.

2) All judges’ and timers’ decisions are final.  There is no appeal process.

Section V–Warm-up/Sound Check

1) Warm-up times shall be provided to coaches prior to the competition at all levels.

2) Teams shall be allowed to have a sound check prior to the beginning of their routines.

3) At any level of competition, the coaches’ meeting and warm-up times shall not be held simultaneously.

Section VI–Competition Provisions

1) Mats:

  • Mats shall be used at all levels of competition.
  •  For the state competition, routines shall be performed on a nine (9) mat floor.

2) Starting the Routine:

  • Teams shall take the floor only once and perform their entire routine.
  • The person announcing the competition shall announce for the team to take the floor and the team will begin when ready.

3) Timing:

  • The time of the routine shall commence on the first perceived activity on the part of any team member or the beginning of the music/audio, whichever occurs first.
  • The timing of the routine shall stop with the end of the audio or the last word or perceived motion.
  • No restarting of time shall be allowed. However, any repeat or recovery within the routine is allowed providing the time limit has not been exceeded.
  • A mechanical failure is not considered the fault of the team during the routine. Restarting of music and time should be allowed.
  • Two (2) copies of music in various recording formats should be taken to the music table.

4) The Two and One-half (2½) minute routine must include all elements of cheerleading skills listed on the judge’s score sheet and abide by the NFHS Spirit Rules:

  • No basket tosses are allowed in the routine.
  • No routine may exceed two and one-half (2½) minutes.
  • The entire music/audio portion of the routine shall be limited to one and one-half (1½) minute or less.

5) The Game Day routine must include Band Chant, Situational Sideline, Cheer, and Fight Song elements and abide by the following skill restrictions:

  • No routine may exceed three (3) minutes.
  • No tosses (basket, sponge or elevator) are allowed.
  • No inversions are allowed.
  • No twisting released dismounts are allowed.
  • No running tumbling is allowed.
  • Single leg stunts are limited to liberties and liberty hitches.
  • Standing tumbling is limited to one (1) tumbling skill and a back tuck is the most elite tumbling skill allowed.
  • Teams should take the floor immediately with spirit and enthusiasm, but without excessive gestures. Stunts are not allowed during the teams entry to the floor or any time prior to starting the performance.
  • Teams must return to the performance surface during the transition between elements.
  • During the Band Chant, only kicks and jumps are permitted. 

6) Timing Infraction:

  • If a routine has multiple time limits, each section could receive a deduction.
  • Timing will begin with the first movement, voice, or note of audio, whichever comes first. One (1) point deduction for 1-5 seconds over; Two (2) point deduction for 6 or more seconds over. Judges will not issue a deduction until their stopwatches show a time of 3 seconds over the allotted time.
  • If a routine is re-timed as part of a review, the exact time will be used without the 3 second allowance listed above.
  • Timers shall report any timing infractions to the Deduction judges prior to final tabulations and announcement of winners.

7) Tabulation:

  • Following the judging of all categories, the scores shall be tabulated.
  • Tabulated sheets and a copy of the team’s judging sheets shall be available to the participating coaches following the awards ceremony.

8) Tie-breaking procedure:

  • In the event of a tie at the regional level, the scores from the Perfection of Skill and Execution of all judging sheets will be used to determine placement.
  • If teams still remain tied at the regional level, the tie will be broken by the judges.
  • At the state competition, the tie will not be broken and teams with identical scores will receive the same placement.

Section VII–Injuries During Competition

1) If a team member is seriously injured or becomes extremely ill during judging, he/she may be excused for the remainder of the competition. However, the team is expected to show competence by adjusting to the member’s absence.

2) A legal alternate from the insurance form (eligibility sheet) would be allowed to cheer for the remainder of the competition, at the discretion of the coach.

3) Injuries during performance shall be handled as follows:

  • A coach, or person in charge, may choose to stop a routine/cheer due to an injury/illness that would endanger the rest of the team or the injured party.
  • If a coach, or person in charge, enters the performing surface, the routine/cheer shall be stopped.
  • After a routine/cheer has been stopped due to an injury/illness, the decision as to whether or not to repeat the routine/cheer shall be left to the discretion of the coach.
  • If the injured person cannot perform in the restarted routine. An alternate would be allowed to cheer the remainder of the competition.
  • The person in charge of the competition shall have the team repeat the routine after five (5) teams have performed or after ten (10) minutes, should this accident happen at the end of the competition.  Judges shall judge the repeat performance from the point at which the injury occurred. Any notes/judging of the first performance up until the point of injury will be included in the judge’s final score.

Section VIII–Regional Competition Decisions Made by Region KAPOS Members

One (1) KAPOS member coach per team may vote on matters related to their level.

  • Date, site, and time of regional competition (some restrictions apply)
  • Schedule of competition
  • Host school, admission cost and how to use the receipts of the competition
  • Trophies/Awards
  • Floor and warm-up set up
  • Sound technician, photographer, and video
  • Use of vendors and fee