When programs attend USASF Sanctioned Events, they can be assured that their athletes, coaches and parents are attending events that comply with the sport’s best safety practices. Event producers must provide minimum safety standards before their events qualify as USASF Sanctioned. Coaches, as you plan your competition calendar, be sure to ask event producers; “Is your event USASF Sanctioned?” Event producers, follow the links to apply for USASF Sanctioning.

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USASF Officially Sanctioned Events
Cheer Event Sanctioning Standards 2016-2017
PDF Version
Dance Event Sanctioning Standards 2016-2017
PDF Version

All USASF member competition event producers who produce cheer competitions must meet the following minimum standards in order for their competitions, that include all star divisions, to be sanctioned. The USASF Sanctioning Compliance Committee will oversee all reported sanctioning noncompliance violations.

  1. General Event Standards:
    1. A properly equipped EMT or athletic trainer present and ready to handle emergencies.
    2. $2,000,000 (Aggregate) in general liability insurance coverage.
    3. USASF membership rules, guidelines and policies must be followed.
    4. Only offer divisions, levels and categories from the approved USASF Age and Levels grid.
    5. Have at least one USASF Certified Safety Judge onsite at the competition.
    6. Event Producer will enforce USASF Safety Rules, Age Grid & Levels and safety violations.
    7. Team performances will not be scheduled to start earlier than 7:00 am and run no later than 11:00 pm.
    8. Have a documented plan that outlines how to handle emergency situations on site in competition venues and event management staff must review prior to producing an event.
    9. Make best efforts to follow the USASF Recommended Standards for Judges & Scoring at Sanctioned Events (below)
    10. All music played at sanctioned events must comply with applicable copyright law.
  2. Official (Timed) Event Warm Up Area Standards:
    1. Provide at least one full 42' by 54' by1 3/8" carpet bonded foam matted practice area.
    2. Any space provided for building or tumbling skills must be carpet bonded foam.
    3. If performance or practice areas are outdoors, provide suitable foul weather alternatives.
    4. Provide a method of cleaning practice mats of bodily fluids.
    5. Backstage time between when a team finished warm ups and is on the competition floor should be no sooner than 8 minutes and no longer than 30 minutes.
      NOTE: Teams delayed to perform after 30 minutes should have the opportunity to warm up again or be given an area and posted list of exercises to rewarm up their muscles. Quick Toe Raises, Squat Jumps, Jumping Jacks, Bridges, Running with High Knees and or Punches.
    6. All official warm up mats should have a minimum clearance of 3' on all sides.
      NOTE: If an event producer has a decline border surrounding their performance surface, the length of the decline may be included in the mandated 3' clearance area.
    7. If a full size spring floor (42' by 54') is not provided as part of the warm-up rotation, a 12' by 60' tumbling surface must be provided that is of the same floor construction as the performance floor.
  3. Event Performance Area Standards:
    1. Provide a 42' by 54' performance floor matted with a minimum 1 3/8" carpet bonded foam with panels joined by 4" tape. The performance floor will have a minimum clearance of 4' on the supporting surface before any obstruction. NOTE: If an event producer has a decline border surrounding their performance surface, the length of the decline may be included in the mandated 4' clearance area.
    2. An unobstructed ceiling height of 20' over the performance floor.
    3. If the performance floor is on a built stage, the stage must have a minimum 4' of additional supporting surface beyond the 54'X42' performance floor.
      NOTE: If an event producer has a decline border surrounding their performance surface, the length of the decline may be included in the mandated 4' clearance area.
    4. Provide a method of cleaning performance mats of bodily fluids.
  4. Disclosures
    1. Any minimum standards that are not met in the Warm Up and or Performance Area must be disclosed to all competitors no later than at the point of registration (i.e prior to payment received).

Event producers accepted for USASF membership after June 1, 2009 must be in business successfully conducting competitions for 3 years before they will be approved to hold USASF sanctioned competitions. Documentation and/or proof of holding legitimate and safe events may be requested by the USASF before approval. A competition will be sanctioned only if the management or executive staff of the event producer conducting the event has at least 3 years experience conducting competitions. USASF Member Event Producers with less than 3 years experience may communicate they are USASF members "following" the USASF Cheer Event Sanctioning Standards but will be under review by the USASF through the completion of the 3rd year of experience. They may only use the words "Provisionally Sanctioned Event" until their third year of conducting events is complete and the events they wish to have sanctioned meets all other sanctioning criteria.

USASF Recommended Standards for Judges & Scoring at Sanctioned Events
(Proposed by NACCC, Gym Owners and Event Producers)

  • Required judges meeting/orientation/training prior to start of competition
  • Have a separate safety and deduction judge per panel (it should not be the same person)
  • When possible, there should be a separate difficulty and technique judge per category
  • 5 minute minimum (6 min recommended) to watch and score routines
  • Video playback capability
  • Any score changes must be communicated to the judge
  • Follow the 'USASF Routine Interruption Due To Injury' protocol for all sanctioned events. Currently, this is a recommendation to all event producers. The protocol is to protect everyone's interest, with the focus on the injured athlete during a event. It is posted here, http://usasfrules.com/routine-interuption/
  • Scheduled meal and restroom breaks for judges
  • Access to water and/or refreshments while judging

Minimum Requirements for each Showcase Dance Event to be USASF Sanctioned:.

  1. All USASF member competition event producers who produce dance competitions must meet the following minimum standards in order for a competition, that includes all star dance divisions and categories, to be sanctioned:
    1. A properly equipped EMT or athletic trainer present and ready to handle medical emergencies.
    2. A minimum of $1,000,000 (Aggregate) in general liability insurance coverage.
    3. USASF dance rules, guidelines and policies must be followed and enforced.
    4. Only divisions and categories from the approved USASF Divisions and Categories Guidelines may be sanctioned by the USASF.
    5. Team performance will not be scheduled earlier than 7:00am and perform no later than 11:00pm.
    6. Have at least one current season USASF Certified Dance Safety Judge onsite at the Dance Worlds qualifying event.
    7. Offer Industry Recommended Performance Floor:
      1. Worlds Regulation floor that includes a minimum of a 42" X 42" Marley, Roscoe, Harlequin (or similar) floor over a floating wood floor or sport court. It may be laid from front to back (like Worlds) or side to side put together with gaffer's tape or equivalent.
      2. If Event Producer provides a floor other than the industry recommended floor, they must disclose to teams no later than at the point of registration (i.e prior to payment received), the type of subsurface and floor being used.
      3. Bare concrete, grass, and/or uneven surfaces are not allowed.
      4. An unobstructed ceiling height of 15 feet over the performance floor must be provided.
    8. Provide at least a small section with a similar surface as the performance floor to warm up turns on.
    9. If performance or practice areas are outdoors, provide suitable foul weather alternatives.
    10. Provide a method of cleaning performance and practice area surfaces of bodily fluids, dust and debris from prior performances.
    11. All music played at sanctioned events must comply with applicable copyright law.
  2. Have a documented plan that outlines how to handle emergency situations on site in competition venues. Event management staff must review the plan prior to producing an event. By signing the annual USASF Company Member Agreement, event producers will affirm such a plan is in place.
  3. Event producers accepted for USASF membership after June 1, 2009 must be in business successfully conducting competitions for 3 years before they will be approved to hold USASF sanctioned competitions. Documentation and/or proof of holding legitimate and safe events may be requested by the USASF before approval. A competition will be sanctioned only if the management or executive staff of the event producer conducting the event has at least three years experience conducting competitions. USASF Member Event Producers with less than 3 years experience may communicate they are USASF members "following" the USASF Cheer Event Sanctioning Standards but will be under review by the USASF through the completion of the 3rd year of experience. They may only use the words "Provisionally Sanctioned Event" until their third year of conducting events is complete and the events they wish to have sanctioned meets all other sanctioning criteria.
  4. The USASF Dance Sanctioning Compliance Committee will oversee all reported sanctioning noncompliance violations.