VYI SAFETY GUIDELINES
Cheerleaders will warm up and stretch prior to beginning any practice or performance. The warm up should take the first 20 minutes of practice with 10 minutes devoted to stretching. If the cheerleader arrives late she/he must stretch appropriately prior to joining the squad activities.
*PROGRESSION & TRAINING
Cheerleaders are to receive proper training before attempting any cheer skill, jump, partner stunt, pyramid, or tumbling. Elementary skills should be mastered before attempting more difficult maneuvers. Spotters and level area should be used when learning any new skills or stunts. Stunts, Choreography and gymnastics will be age appropriate and skills will be taught within the beginner to intermediate levels.
Apparel should be conducive to safe practices and performances. T-shirt, shorts, or sweats in colder weather are considered appropriate attire for practice. NO Jewelry of any kind is to be worn to practices, games or performances. (This includes earrings; -even newly pierced earrings must come out – necklaces bracelets, watches, belly button rings, etc.) No Sunglasses! NO JEANS or Denim! Cheerleaders must have an appropriate plain white “Cheer Shoe” which needs to be worn for practices, and performances. Hair is to be pulled up off the back of the neck and away from the face – Ponytails are best.
Sharp clips, bobby pins or barrettes should not be worn if possible. Hair ribbons and hair extension may be worn and must be properly secured with non-sharp clips.
The cheering surface should be taken into consideration before engaging in any technical aspect of Cheerleading. The performance area should be reasonably free of obstructions. Stunts or tumbling should be limited or modified to be appropriate to the performance surface, area, or situation. Proper matting should be used over hard flooring or a grass level area if outdoors. Cheerleaders should not perform technical skills on:
*Concrete, asphalt, or any other hard uncovered surface * Wet Surfaces
*Uneven surfaces * Surfaces with obstructions on the ground or above
Be aware of the weather: Too Hot! Too Cold! Is it raining? Is it Windy?
If indoors the room or area height should be free of obstructions: Tree branches, low ceiling, light fixtures, pipes or hanging decorations.
*FOLLOW THE 6 POINTS OF STUNTING*
1) Organization of squad: Stunt group should be organized in order to perform efficiently. Height, weight, strength, of individual cheerleaders will determine positions with the stunt group. Balance and symmetrical levels need to be considered.
2) Progression of skills: “you must crawl before you can walk” Once elementary skills have been mastered than the next skill level may be attempted. (Ex. thigh stand, prep, before full extension)
3) Counts: Stunts are performed to a rhythm 1-2 down up. The Back base calls the counts and controls the stunt since the Back base has the best view of the entire stunt.
4) Attention on the Flyer: Everyone must keep his or hers eyes on the flyer at all times. No on the squad is to be sitting down or running around when a stunt is being preformed.
For certain Stunts a separate “Spotter” is required that is not in direct contact with a flyer to add additional safety for the flyer. Spotters should be used for all groups at the beginner level.
5) Dismounts: Clarify how the stunt will be exited before executing anything. A brief discussion should ensure everyone knows including the flyer how the stunt will be brought to the ground safely.
6) Safety and Spotting: When a new stunt is being learned, everyone not involved in the stunt should stand in a semi-circle around the stunt. It’s important for everyone to understand all positions of the stunt group. Spotters should be used when attempting new gymnastic skills, as well. Everyone is watching the flyer and bases to ensure grips and motions are performed safely and correctly.
THE COACH MUST BE PRESENT AND ATTENTIVE TO THE STUNT(S) OR TUMBLING WHEN BEING EXECUTED!!
Stunt positions: Front Base – Back Base- Side Base- Flyer- Spotter
ALL STUNTS/PYRAMIDS ARE LIMITED TO TWO PERSON HEIGHT
NFHS Safety and Spirit regulations for Youth Recreational Cheerleading should be followed at all times.