Cheerleading Tryout Policy

2-17-16 Lowellville Local Schools Varsity, Junior Varsity, and Junior High Cheerleading Try-Out Policy and Procedures


A. Grade Requirements (Lowellville Students Only) 1. Any students in grades 10 or 11 is eligible to try-out for the Varsity Cheerleading squad providing the following conditions in Section I-B are met. 2. Any student in grades 8 or 9 is eligible to try-out for the Junior Varsity Cheerleading squad providing the conditions in Section I-B are met. 3. Any student in grades 6 or 7 is eligible to try-out for the Junior High Cheerleading squads providing the following conditions in Section I-B are met.

B. Participation Requirements: 1. Each student must have on file with the Lowellville High School Athletic Director the following: a. A valid OHSAA physical card signed by a parent or guardian, the student, and a doctor dated within the year. b. A signed parental permission slip 2. Each student must meet OHSAA eligibility guidelines and the guidelines provided by the Lowellville Board of Education determining eligibility (grades 7 to 11). Note: This does not apply to those in grade 6 trying out for the Junior High Squad. 3. The varsity advisor should have a set of rules the cheerleaders must abide by the specific consequences if a rule is broken. The set of rules should be presented to the Athletic Director and Principal for their approval. 4. All chosen cheerleaders are expected to serve for a period of one school year.


A. Clinic and Tryout Committee: 1. The cheerleader tryout committee will consist of the current Cheerleader Advisors, both High School and Junior High, Athletic Director, and High School Principal plus one or two additional helpers (as-needed per the discretion of the athletic director, preferably a certified staff member). The additional helpers person would ideally (but not required) have experience in the cheerleading field and have no relatives involved in the try-outs. 2. The committee shall: a. Establish the date, time and place for the clinic and tryouts. b. Judges will be chosen and assigned through the UCA or a comparable set of judges and/or organization selected by the Superintendent for a fee. This fee will be given to the Administration prior to the tryouts for their approval. The UCA director, State Director or comparable set of judges and/or organization secured by the Superintendent, is to be contacted by the cheerleading advisor or Administration by e-mail that we are in need of judges. This request is forwarded to the Midwest Coordinator or other official representative in charge. Judges will not be known to anyone except the UCA Coordinator or assigning organization personnel until they arrive at the high school on tryout day. Judges are chosen from a poll and may not be from Ohio or Pennsylvania.. c. The judges should be knowledgeable in cheerleading and selected at the discretion of the UCA or other comparable organization, but have no current or past association or relations to the Lowellville School District or any candidate. This would include any relationship developed through the UCA camps in prior years. d. The High School Cheerleading Advisor shall distribute the tryout rating sheets to the judges. These rating sheets should never be handled or viewed by the Senior cheerleaders. e. The rating sheets should be sealed in an envelope by the judges when complete and only opened when all members of the cheerleading committee are present. f. Once the scores are tabulated, list in alphabetical order the candidates selected for each squad with no mention of any scores. These results will be posted on the School website under the cheerleading tab only and not posted at the school.

B. Clinic Process: 1. The clinic will be four days of workshops prior to try-outs. The clinic will be supervised by the Varsity Cheerleading Advisor with assistance from the Assistant Advisors and outgoing Senior Cheerleaders in good standing. No judges will be allowed to attend the clinic. Outside instructors can be brought in to teach the candidates if required, but these instructors cannot be used as judges. This decision is per the discretion of the High School Advisor. a. The assigned try-out instructive DVD (by the judging organization) will be distributed to each of the candidates on the Friday prior to the week of the clinic. The Athletic Director will be in charge of making the required copies of this DVD and their proper distribution. The school will absorb the cost to provide the DVD copies. b. This DVD will illustrate the required cheers, chants, and dance required for the try-out. This DVD will not be distributed to or viewed by any of the outgoing Seniors prior to all the candidates receiving a copy. c. The Senior Cheerleaders involved in the try-outs will teach the candidates the Fight Song cheer and other elements of the required cheers, dance and chants per the discretion of the Advisors. 2. The cheerleading candidates will learn required jumps, cheers, and routines to be performed at try-outs. Any routine or try-out requirement cannot be discussed or taught to a candidate prior to try-out week by any of the personnel involved in the Clinic, including the Advisors and outgoing Senior Cheerleaders. The Senior Cheerleaders/Advisors involved in the clinic are not permitted to work privately with any candidates during the try-out week. Senior Cheerleaders and Advisors must sign a form pledging this will not happen. If this rule is broken, the cheerleading candidate involved will be barred from competition and the Cheerleader/Advisor involved will not be allowed to perform their duties at the try-outs. 3. The clinics are MANDATORY unless there is a medical or funeral excuse, or prior approval from the Administration. If an unexcused absence occurs, the candidate will not be allowed to try-out.

C. Scoring Requirements: 1. There will be 10 Varsity and 10 Junior Varsity Cheerleaders chosen unless fewer than 10 students signed up for cheerleading. In the event there are not 10 students signed up for cheer in either class, the administration in collaboration with the High School Advisor will make the determination about what the acceptable number of cheerleaders. 2. The 8 highest scoring candidates eligible under section I.A.3 above will comprise the 8th Grade squad. 3. The 8 highest scoring candidates eligible under section I.A.3 above will comprise the 7th Grade squad. 4. A blank copy of the CHEERLEADING TRYOUT RATING SHEET will be given to all candidates prior to try-outs. 5. Every cheerleader chosen must cheer for both football and basketball seasons.

D. Selection of Cheerleading Squad: 1. Total points for each candidate will be tabulated by the Cheerleading tryout committee. The total amount of points is simply the combination of the points received in the “cheering” portion and “jumping” portion of the trials. There will be not experience points or coaches input points. No students are to see any partial or total scores. No scores for any candidate shall be made available to anyone but the members of the committee who shall post the results on the school website under the cheerleading tab. Once tryout are completed, if the parent of a child that did not make the squad wants to see her daughter’s scores, they will be permitted to see the child’s individual scoring sheets, as well as the overall tabulation compared to the candidates that did make the squad, less the successful candidates’ names. 2. In case of a tie for the final position on the squad: a. The first tie-breaker shall be highest score in the cheering portion of the try-out. b. The second tie-breaker shall be highest score in the required cheer. c. If a tie still exists, there will be a flip of a coin to determine who is selected, with the coin flip administered by the Athletic Director.

III. DISMISSAL FROM CHEERLEADING SQUAD 1. Disciplinary procedure to be put forth by the High School Cheerleading Advisor, and will apply to both High School, Junior Varsity and Junior High Squads. The discipline procedure is to be approved by the Principal and Athletic Director.

IV. CLINIC PROCEDURE 1. On the first night of clinics, groups of 3-4 will be chosen for try-out purposes. The try-out groups remain together all week and cannot be changed for any reason. The administration of the formation of the groups will be done by the Cheering Advisor and Athletic Director in full view of all the candidates. Groups cannot be requested or formed prior to the clinic, but randomly chosen. Choices are made in strict alphabetical order per class (upper classmen to lower classmen). 2. After the first clinic night, the Athletic Director is provided with a list of candidates in each group labeled by the letter. The Athletic Director will randomly assign try-out numbers and group positioning for try-outs. This list is not known to coaches or the candidates prior to it being posted in the locker rooms for each candidates to get their number tag on the day of try-outs. The order for the trials will be opposite in each section of the try-out competition. If a candidate is first up in the “jumping” portion of the try-out, she will perform last in the “cheering” portion of the try-out. 3. During the clinic week, Senior Cheerleaders and Advisors will teach what will be required on try-out day to all candidates. 4. On the day of try-outs, Senior Cheerleaders perform the material to the judges to demonstrate what is to be expected. The High School Cheerleading Advisor hands the judges their forms with only a number on each form and explains the scoring point system. Per each discipline, judges will score each candidate from 1 to 10, with 10 being highest. The Cheerleading Advisor will never discuss the judging procedure to any candidate with the judges unless there is a special circumstance such as disfigurement or disability outline in the ADA. 5. Each candidate is judged on their own merit. They will also perform as part of a group, but judged individually. In Area A, each candidate performs as a group in four judging areas for Varsity and Junior Varsity – Required Cheer (10 points), Required Sideline (10 points), Fight Song (10 points), and Short Dance (10 points) totaling 40 points. The Junior High has two group areas, the Required Cheer (10 points) and Required Sideline (10 points) totaling 20 points. All other areas are performed individually. These include Original Cheer, Original Sideline, Execution, Spirit, and Overall Enthusiasm, each being worth 10 points. Area B for Varsity and Junior Varsity will judge all candidates on their ability to perform – Toe Touch, Herky, Optional Jump, Cartwheel, Split, Optional Stunt, Eye Contact, and Appearance (each being worth 5 points) totaling 40 points. The Junior High do not perform an Optional Stunt. Thus, their total is 35 points. 1 Merit Point can be earned by each current cheerleader by earning a minimum of 93% average on the previous year’s Coaches Input Rating Sheet. The tryout rating sheet illustrates all the available points and requirements.