Cheer Deduction & Safety Scoring System



ATHLETE FALL = 0.25 points

  • Hands/head/knees/core/etc. touch ground during tumbling or jumps

BUILDING FALL = 0.75 points

  • Uncontrolled cradling: The flyer must be caught by bases. All body parts should remain off the floor, with the exception of one limb.
    (Example: While catching the cradle, flyers fingers touch the floor or while bumping down from extended stunt to waist level, one of the flyers feet slips through to the floor.)

    • 1. Coed early pop down, fall, or sweep. The base must catch the flyer at the waist, controlled while assisting the flyer back down to the performance surface landing on only their feet.
    • 2. Level 1 waist level stunts: Flyer falls/steps down early and lands only on their feet.
  • Early dismounting or lowering of a building skill


  • Falls from a building skill in which the flyer has their core, head, or multiple limbs touch the ground.

    • 1. Coed early pop down, fall or sweep where the base does not assist the flyer to the performance surface, or the flyer has a body part, other than feet, touch the ground upon landing.
    • 2. Level 1 waist level stunts: Flyer falls/steps down early and has a body part, other than feet, touch the ground upon landing.
  • Multiple athletes land on floor during a building skill.


  • Pyramid Collapse
  • When multiple individual stunt groups fall at the same time and the sum of the fall deductions are greater than 1.75 points.


The performance surface is defined as the 42’ x 54’ competition floor. The competition boundary is defined as the performance surface and any immediate adjacent safety border. A 0.25 point deduction will be assessed per occurrence for an athlete that completes a skill with both feet outside the competition boundary. Stepping on,

or just past the border is not a boundary violation.


The routine time limit is listed below. Judges will use a stop watch or similar device to measure the official time. Acknowledging the point of variance caused by human reaction, speed, and sound; judges will not issue a 1.0 point deduction until their stopwatch/clock shows a time that exceeds the maximum time limit by 3 seconds.


  • All Star/Performance & Traditional Recreation/School/Collegiate: 2:30
  • All Star Prep: 2:00
  • Individual/Small Group: 1:30


Teams are expected to follow the rules document for their respective division: 

  • All Star/All Star Prep/Special Athlete/Traditional Recreation/Performance Recreation Cheer: The Open Series Cheer Rules & Glossary
  • School: AACCA/NFHS Spirit Rules
  • Collegiate: AACCA College Safety Rules

Teams that do not adhere to the rules will be assessed a deduction. 

WARNING = 0.0 points

  • If less than a majority of groups (up to 50%) perform a building skill illegally.
    (There must be a legal version being performed simultaneously for comparison.)
    (In pyramids, “majority” is defined by the number of groups performing the illegal skill not the total number of groups in the pyramid.)
  • If a team has submitted USASF legally approved video of the skill performed the same way at competition but the skill is now illegal.
  • If a team has submitted USASF legally approved video of the skill performed the same way at competition but the USASF video ruling is incorrect.
  • The skill performed is unclear for the judge

Teams that receive a warning at a competition, need to take the time to fix the skill and make it legal prior to their next competition for the safety of the athletes. 

MINOR DEDUCTION = 0.50 points

  • Illegal Tumbling Skill
  • General Safety Violation
  • Image Policy (Cheer only) 
  • Appropriate Choreography & Music
  • General Guidelines
  • Coach/athlete not on team performs/assists a building/tumbling skill
  • For multi-performance competitions: If an illegal building skill is warned during the first performance, and all groups are not fixed during performance 2, then a minor deduction will be assessed.
  • For future brand competitions: If a team is given a warning at a competition and less than a majority of groups perform the same skill illegally at a later competition, the team will receive a minor deduction.

DEDUCTION = 1.0 point

  • If a majority of groups (more than 50%) perform a building skill illegally.
  • If only one group performs a building skill and it is illegal.
    (There is no legal version being performed for a comparison.) 
  • Time Limit Violation
# of Groups/Pairs1234567891011
Minority (50% or less)
Warning assessed
Majority (more than 50%)
Deduction assessed


Unsportsmanlike behavior may include, but is not limited to: the use of any type of profanity; approaching or taunting fans, parents, cheerleaders, dancers, coaches, Team Epic Brand staff members, and or judges in a manner that does not show mutual respect and cooperation. Any display of unsportsmanlike behavior by any team member, coach, or team representative, as well as teams who do not remove themselves in a timely manner from the warm-up area/floor when their assigned time has elapsed will receive a deduction. Continuation of unprofessional behavior from a coach could result in removal from the competition or disqualification.