General Sport Cheer Guidelines

General Guidelines (applies to all cheering, any sport)

  • NO JEWELRY – If you were not born with it, it is jewelry and you cannot wear it while cheering. Only religious or medical medals may be taped to the body (no chains).
  • Hair shall be worn in a manner to ensure safety while performing. Bows, ribbons, and hair extensions must be secure at all times.
  • All members of a cheerleading team, stunting or non-stunting, shall wear their hair in a manner that is appropriate for the activity involved. Hair devices and accessories must be secure.
  • Shoes and socks must be worn at all times during a game, match, or practice.
  • Fingernails, including artificial nails, shall be kept at a length appropriate for safe participation. The appropriate length means the fingernails are not visible beyond the end of the fingers when viewed from the palm side of the hands.
  • Glitter that does not readily adhere on the face, uniform, costume, or the body is illegal. Glitter may be used on signs, props, or backdrops if laminated or sealed. The use of glitter hairspray is prohibited.
  • A participant wearing a cast (excluding a properly covered air cast) shall not be involved in a stunt except a legal forward roll.
  • No gum chewing or candy in the mouth during practice or performance.
  • In South Dakota, all cheerleaders must be in grades 7-12. Sixth graders or below shall not participate with high school spirit teams.
  • Cheer teams must wear/cheer in appropriate school-issued/sponsored uniforms consisting of a shell top/sweater and skirt for ALL indoor sports during the regular season, sub-state, and state events. No camp wear is acceptable.
  • All cheer teams must be supervised by a school-sponsored/appointed cheer coach at all state tournaments. SDHSAA state events should take precedence over regular and/or sub-state events.
  • Basket tosses are illegal to perform in South Dakota.
  • Coaches must be present for a team to perform stunts.

Sport-Specific Guidelines

The South Dakota High School Activities Association will serve member schools by providing leadership in the development, supervision, and conduct of interscholastic activities which enrich the educational experiences of high school students. The SDHSAA is committed to the ideals that will provide equitable participation opportunities and positive recognition to students, while working cooperatively with all schools to enhance the achievement of desired educational goals.

804 N Euclid Ave, Suite 102, PO Box 1217,  Pierre, SD 57501

Phone: 605-224-9261 | Fax: 605-224-9262

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