College Cheer

School Cheer is a discipline of cheer that involves athletes in a scholastic setting who cheer in support of other sports, most often football and basketball. School cheerleaders’ primary role is supporting the other athletic programs through leading the crowd at games and pep rallies as well as promoting school spirit overall. School cheer teams may also participate in competitions, performing a 2 1/2 minute routine composed of tumbling, stunting, pyramids, dance, and cheer segments.

College program governance varies among their institutions, from being overseen by their activities office, sports department, to even their marketing department, depending on where they have the most support and resources. The NCAA, NAIA, and many of the community and junior college associations require the USA Cheer safety training course for someone supervising a college cheer program.


The 2020-21 USA Cheer College Cheerleading Rules have been published. 

Summary of Changes:

  • Added cast rule. (C.8)
  • Stunts:
    • Require spot only on extended handstand, not at shoulder level. (D.6)
    • Restricts released mounts to 2 ¼ twists. (D.10)
    • Allow an additional ½ twist in flips into and from stunts to allow a full twist. (D.13.a)
    • Allow flips to initiate from cradles or horizontal positions below shoulder level. (D.13.e.1)
    • Restricts flips to the performing surface from twisting. (D.13.e.2)
  • Pyramids
    • Clarify that a required spotter cannot hold under the foot of the middle layer or under the hand of a base in a support role. (E.2.d)
    • Allows only bases or middle layers to bear primary weight. (E.2.h)
    • Allow handstands (from the ground or a stunt) to load to an inversion in a pyramid with no flipping or twisting rotations. (E.4)
    • Restricts released mounts and dismounts to 2 ¼ twists. (E.5)
    • Removed the restriction on basket tosses to load a flip into a pyramid. (E.9)
  • Require inversion releases to be on a mat, grass, or rubberized track surface. (H.1.b)

Rules training courses on the new rules will be made available soon. Video interpretations will be added throughout the year as questions come in. 

Download the 20-21 College Rules

Submit Rules Proposals for 2021-22