Stunting & Non-Stunting Guidelines

Cheerleading has become one of the most popular activities for young people in America. The increased emphasis on athleticism, and specifically the expanded inclusion of tumbling, partner stunts, and pyramids, have been important contributors to its growth. Cheer coaches and school administrators/boards must recognize that stunting carries inherent risk and that this risk must be minimized during practices and performances/competitions. This means all safety rules must be adhered to at every spirit activity, including practice. Recognizing this increased level of athleticism and in an effort to encourage safety awareness, the following regulations have been formulated to provide an invaluable guide to SDHSAA member schools. NOTE: Schools are responsible for establishing their own policy for stunting and not stunting.

  1. All teams, stunting and non-stunting, must have 10 DAYS of practice prior to their first cheerleading date. 

  2. All teams, stunting and non-stunting, must have a physical exam completed prior to the start of practice. 

  3. All head cheer coaches of football, girls basketball, boys basketball, and wrestling must view the online rules meeting on an annual basis. This meeting can be found on the Sideline Cheer page of the SDHSAA website.

  4. A stunting team practice area must have adequate ceiling clearance and have mats available.  It is recommended that mats be used during any cheer performance/competition. 

  5. The coach and/or assistant coach should be present to supervise his/her own team at practice. 

  6. The coach of any team wishing to perform any drops, pendulums, pyramids/mounts, rolls/tumbling, dismounts, suspended splits, tosses, transitional stunts, and vaults must successfully complete the AACCA (American Association for Cheerleading Coaches and Advisors) Safety Certification course. 

  7. If a qualified cheer coach and/or school-approved supervisor is NOT in attendance at an activity, the cheer squad WILL NOT be allowed to stunt. 

  8. Schools must monitor/check the requirements of their cheer coaches the same as they do for all other sports’ coaches. 

  9. All in-season and out-of-season rules apply to Sideline Cheer coaches and athletes.