Spirit Squad

    Cheerleading - Rules

    Indiana University's Cheerleaders will adhere to certain standards of academic achievement, conduct, responsibilities, health habits, dress, public appearance, performance, transportation policies, selection procedures and expectations placed upon them as representatives of Indiana University and of the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics.

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    Try-outs and Selections | Competition Year | Academic Status | Conduct
    Attendance | Summer Camp | Uniform, Health Habits and Dress | Events
    Medical | The Captain | Travel | Awards | National Competition | General


    The Department Advisor and Program Head Coach will coordinate the Cheer try-outs. The try-outs will be conducted once during the academic year in April for the next school year open to: 1) those Indiana University full-time undergraduate students (second semester freshmen or above); 2) transfer undergraduate students who'll be full-time undergraduate students during the next school year and meet the Big Ten quantitative hours requirement; 3) incoming freshman students with the understanding the try-out is no guarantee of either admission to Indiana University Bloomington; 4) graduate students who must individually contact the Department Advisor.

    Three squads comprise the Indiana University Cheerleading program:

    1. Cream Cheerleading Squad, a co-ed squad which supports Football, assigned Volleyball, Men's Basketball and assigned Women's Basketball;
    2. Crimson Cheerleading Squad, an all-female squad which supports Football, Women's Basketball and assigned Men's Basketball.

    Criteria for applicants:

        1. Full-time undergraduate students attending Indiana University Bloomington at the time of the try-out may participate;

        2. Undergraduate transfer students from another college, university or IU regional campus who have completed or will have completed at least 24 credit hours in that academic year and who are in the Indiana University Bloomington admissions process;

        3. Incoming freshman students who have applied to Indiana University through its Office of Admissions and either have been accepted or are awaiting acceptance for matriculation beginning with either in the Summer Semester or Fall Semester. Selection to the Indiana University Cheerleading Program does not guarantee admission to Indiana University Bloomington

        4. Transfer undergraduate students who'll be full-time undergraduate students during the next school year and meet the Big Ten quantitative hours requirement

        5. Graduate students individually should contact the Departmental Advisor;

        6. A minimum 2.000 cumulative grade point average (no round-ups) is required to try out for those undergraduate students already attending Indiana University Bloomington. Transfer credit from institutions other than Indiana University and its regional campuses may not be used to meet the 2.000 GPA requirement

        The cheerleaders will be selected on the basis of cheerleading skills, tumbling skills, appearance, personality, enthusiasm, and academic standings. The Cheer administration reserves the right to refuse a try-out or a position on any squad to any person for reasons of academic deficiencies or social standing with any part of Indiana University, any past performances which dishonored the intercollegiate athletic program, physical liability or any reason deemed appropriate by the Program Coach.

        Non-returning Cheerleaders will help conduct training before the April try-out. The cheerleading try-out normally includes the IU School Song, IU Fight Song, sidelines, jumps (women only), partner stunts, standing tumbling. and running tumbling passes. Policies governing the cheer, jumps, gymnastics and partner stunts will be announced prior to the try-out.

        If a returning Cheerleader is unable to participate in the April try-out due to surgery or injury resulting from cheerleading or a University class situation, then the following system comes into play:

        1. S/he will be excused from try-outs, and selections will be made for all but one position;

        2. Sometime prior to attending camp in August, a special try-out will be conducted;

        3. The special try-out will involved the now-healed Cheerleader and the next two or three best scorers from the April try-out;

        4. Positions for the two or three unsuccessful candidates will be discussed prior to the selection process;

        5. If a Cheerleader's recovery is not complete and the individual cannot try out, then the Program Coach will determine who fills what positions.

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    The length of service for a Cheerleader will be one year from the time of selection until the next April try-out. For those selected in April, this will include any summer practices, August summer camp, the normal intercollegiate athletic year requirements and National Cheer Competition if the squad(s) choose(s) to compete. Cheerleaders will be called upon to participate at alumni functions and varsity intercollegiate athletic events other than Football and Basketball. Every attempt will be made to balance time commitments. Although individuals may feel they've been selected to cheer for specific sports, the ultimate emphasis must be on the support of Indiana University's total intercollegiate athletic program, and individuals may be asked from time to time to fill in for another squad, if necessary.

    Any Cheerleader vacancies during the year will be filled by a qualified person selected by the Program Head Coach. The new candidate's name must be given to the Sports Medicine Department within 24 hours, and that person must follow the prescribed procedures before any participation.

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    Each Cheerleader must carry and maintain at least 12 hours of undergraduate study on the Indiana University Bloomington campus during each semester in the year of competition. The major exception to this number of hours will be if the student is in the final semester of the final year of undergraduate study on the Bloomington campus and the Dean of the degree-granting School documents that you need less than 12 hours to graduate. The Department Advisor or that person's designee periodically will check each student's semester enrollment status and semester/cumulative grades. Other exceptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis between the student making the request, the Department Advisor and the Program Head Coach.

    Normal Progress Degree Requirements for the Indiana Cheerleader Program:

    . . . Complete 24 hours with an IU cumulative GPA of 2.000 or better after two semesters of enrollment and one summer school. Transfer credit must have been received by the Office of the Registrar in order to count toward this total. Any IU freshman who joins the program at mid-year is required to earn 12 hours with a 2.000 GPA during his/her first semester. Students have two semesters as a freshman to complete the 2.000 GPA requirement. Freshmen who earn less than a 1.000 semester GPA in the Fall Semester are: 1) in the Dismissal Category of the University Division and will be subject to the University Division's guidelines; and 2) will be dismissed from the IU Cheerleading Program for the Spring Semester and not be eligible to try-out in April for the following school year.

    Sophomores (third & fourth semesters of enrollment)
    . . . Complete 51 total earned hours by August following the sophomore year; earn 27 degree hours in a calendar year (August to August); maintain at least a 2.000 IU cumulative GPA at all times; any semester with less than a 1.000 GPA will result in immediate dismissal from the IU Cheerleading Program.

    Juniors (fifth & sixth semesters of enrollment)
    . . . Complete 78 total earned hours by August after the junior year with 50 percent of a degree completed to compete in the senior season; earn 27 degree hours in a calendar year (August to August); maintain at least a 2.000 IU cumulative GPA at all times; any semester with less than a 1.000 GPA will result in immediate dismissal from the IU Cheerleading Program.

    Seniors (seventh & eighth semesters of enrollment)
    . . . Maintain full-time enrollment at all times unless documented by the Dean of your degree-granting School that you need less than 12 hours to graduate; maintain at lease a 2.000 IU cumulative GPA at all times; any semester with less than a 1.000 GPA will result in immediate dismissal from the IU Cheerleading Program.

    Fifth-Year Seniors
    . . . Maintain full-time enrollment at all times unless documented by the Dean of your degree-granting School that you need less than 12 hours to graduate and show proof that 75 percent of your degree has bene completed prior to attending the annual Summer Camp; must maintain at least a 2.000 IU cumulative GPA at all times; any semester will less than a 1.000 GPA will result in immediate dismissal from the IU Cheerleading Program.

    A Cheerleader may use credit hours earned during summer school classes to count toward the necessary quantitative hours total.

    A study table program may be conducted each semester and will be monitored by a representative of the coaching staff. Any Cheerleader will be required to attend if s/he meets one of the following criteria:

    a. First year in the Cheerleader program;

    b. Cumulative GPA of 2.30 or less at Indiana University;

    c. Semester GPA of 2.50 or less;

    d. Assigned by the Program Coach.

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    It cannot be stressed enough the Cheerleaders' roles as University representatives. They are highly visible symbols of Indiana University, and, thus, must conduct themselves at all times as ladies and gentlemen. They should do nothing which brings embarrassment to the University, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics and, most importantly, to themselves and to their families. This will be true regardless of the circumstances. Selection as a Cheerleader is a prestigious honor and has separated that individual from the rest of the student body, and appropriate conduct is mandated accordingly. The following rules specifically apply:

    1. ALL freshman Program members must live on the Bloomington campus the first year.

    2. No smoking or smokeless tobacco chewing during practices or while in uniform, attending receptions, traveling to and from games/matches and away game/match cities;

    3. No alcoholic beverages will be consumed the morning of athletic events. Alcoholic beverage consumption, regardless of the amount consumed, can dull a person's senses and reaction time which can lead to possible injury of that squad member or a fellow squad member(s). Violation of this clause will result in suspension for that game/match and the next game/match;

    4. No alcoholic beverages will be consumed by the Cheerleaders either during transit to or from the away game/match city, at the hotel where the squad is staying especially when housed with the athletic team, during a pre-game/match reception or at the game/match. Underage drinking with false identification cards will not be tolerated;

    5. Any member of the program who shows up to make a road trip and gives the impression of being under the influence of alcohol will not be permitted to make that road trip and will be suspended for one additional game/match following that road trip;

    6. The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is vitally concerned about the liability issue of an underage student traveling under its auspices being caught consuming alcohol and also for any use of a false identification card to obtain the alcohol. That student is subject to discipline action by the Dean of Students Office as outlined in the Code of Student Conduct;

    7. The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics reserves the right to contact and involve a student's parents if alcohol is involved in any negative situation. The Department will work through the Student-Athlete Assistance Program (SAAP) with the student in question for any counseling. The SAAP is discussed at length along with the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics' policies covering drugs and alcohol in the Indiana University Student-Athlete Handbook;

    8. Abusive language on or off the field of play, during practice or traveling to any event will not be tolerated and will be grounds for possible suspension or even dismissal;

    9. Any action which brings undue embarrassment to Indiana University will be grounds for dismissal from the program;

    10. The Department Advisor will be involved with the coaching staff in any consideration of dismissing an individual from the program.

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    Good attendance and on-time arrivals are vital to a well-prepared squad for intercollegiate athletic events. Late arrivals will result in the person running laps: 1) For practices: one lap for every minute late, and 2) For games/matches and road trips: two laps for every minute late. These laps will be run at the end of the practice or next practice following a game/match. The Squad Captain(s) will be responsible for making sure the person runs the lap(s). A squad member will follow the lap rules for any three violations. The fourth violation will result in s/he being suspended from the next game/match; the fifth violation, a two-game/match suspension; and a sixth violation, dismissal from the program.

    Excused absences will include:

    1. Illness to the Cheerleader and/or immediate family members requiring that student's attention and travel away from campus;

    2. Death in the immediate family;

    3. Required class obligations, i.e., tests scheduled outside of regular class time or mandatory lectures required for the class.

    NOTE: Review sessions are NOT considered as excused absences from practices or games/matches.

    Notices of these situations, when possible, must be submitted to the Program Head Coach or Squad Captain at least 24 hours in advance. It is recognized this certainly may not be possible when it involves illness or death in the immediate family.

    If a Cheerleader misses a practice or an event with an unexcused absence, then that person will not cheer the next event. The person must be considerate of the program as a whole.

    If a Cheerleader misses a practice prior to an intercollegiate athletic event, then that person will not participate in the next scheduled event; e.g., if you miss a Thursday practice prior to a football game, then you don't cheer the game that Saturday.

    If a person missed arranged transportation to an away intercollegiate athletic event where that person had committed to be a part of the travel squad, then it is that person's obligation to get to the away event city at that individual's personal expense if the distance is within driving distance. If the person chooses not to make the attempt, then that person will miss the following event.

    Any time a person is suspended for a game/match, that person's name may be removed from the Athletic Ticket Office admission list for that event.

    Repeated tardiness, unexcused absences or missed games will be grounds for dismissal from the program.

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    The Department Advisor and Program Head Coach will make arrangements for summer camp involving the Cheerleaders. Every attempt will be made to select a camp to avoid conflicts with IU Second Session Summer School dates.

    Some expense to the individual members may be incurred for clothing, and every attempt will be made to keep this expense to a minimum. Program members will be asked to seek corporate support for the camp t-shirts.


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    Each person is to practice good personal hygiene and be well-groomed. For the male squad members, a mustache is permitted provided that the man had the mustache during April try-out or grew it during the summer. Attempts to grow facial hair during season will not be tolerated. No beards will be permitted. Male squad members will be clean-cut in their hair styling. No males may wear ponytails or earrings.

    Policy concerning females wearing earrings will be determined by the Program Head Coach. The Program Head Coach also will discuss policy about wrist watches, necklaces and the type of socks to be worn.

    Body piercing, which has become prevalent during recent years, will not be an acceptable habit for anyone connected with Indiana University Cheerleading. Metal rings through navels, tongues, nostrils, eyelids, et al will not be permitted at any time. Tattoos also must not be visible.

    Female Cheerleaders will furnish, at their cost, body suits, briefs and other personal items. Male Cheerleaders will furnish, at their cost, will purchase crimson and white motionflex shirts, socks and gym shorts.

    The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will provide the normal uniforms and shoes. The shoes are for performances and NOT for regular day wear or intramural. The shoes are obtained through contractual arrangements requiring that the specific shoe must be worn for a specific sport. The contract may provide for additional shoes for casual wear and other clothing amenities. If shoes are lost, the individual responsible will buy the replacement pair. Each Cheerleader is responsible for the care and appearance of uniforms. A system for cleaning will be announced. Any lost or damaged uniform item(s) will be replaced by the person who was charged out with that uniform. All uniforms will be checked out through a double-signature check system, and the individual squad member will be responsible for his/her own uniforms during the year of competition.

    The Cheerleaders always will be dressed uniformly at events, and which uniform will be announced in advance.

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    The Cheerleaders will meet in sufficient time prior to each game/match to stretch and to practice with the time and place designated by the Program Head Coach. Tardiness will result in laps being assessed (see Point E under "Attendance"). The following rules apply:

    1. The Cheerleading Safety Manual published by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches & Advisors (AACCA) will govern the squads' performances;

    2. The mini-trampoline is prohibited at practices or at games/matches;

    3. Pyramids will comply with AACCA, NCAA tournament policies, the host school's policies during a road game/match or the policies of the governing body in a competition;

    4. Squad members will not converse unnecessarily with the student body or spectators since this hinders their attention to the game/match;

    5. Equipment for a game/match will be handled before and after the game/match by squad members designated by the Squad Captain;

    6. In all cases, the Cheerleaders' actions are under the Squad Captain's direct supervision during the on-field and on-court time;

    7. Give your undivided attention to the game/match;


    From time to time, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics may receive new policies which may replace or supercede any of the existing rules. Indiana University will follow the AACCA guidelines, but the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics recognizes Conference, host schools and national tournament rules may supercede the AACCA guidelines.

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    Each Cheerleader must have a physical, medical history questionnaire and medical insurance form on file with the Sports Medicine Office. Returning Cheerleaders will receive their physicals at no charge through the Sports Medicine Office with the time and date normally in August. Students entering the program for the first time must provide their physical examinations at their own expense using forms provided by the Sports Medicine Office, and this form must be submitted, reviewed and clearance given by the Director of Sports Medicine before that student may participate in any IU Cheerleader practice or activities.

    The final decision on a person's physical qualifications, participation in the program or reason for rejection rests solely with the Director of Sports Medicine.

    All injuries received during practices or at games/matches must be reported to the Sports Medicine Office (Athletic Training Room) where an examination will take place and treatment be prescribed. The Department Advisor and Program Head Coach will work with the Sports Medicine personnel for individual's medical updates as spelled out by Federal guidelines. Any description of the Department's responsibilities in terms of medical and health insurance coverage will be spelled out in a letter from the Director of Sports Medicine. The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics is not responsible for medical services or fees incurred outside of the regular practices or events nor will the Department be responsible for any medical costs if the proper procedure is not followed by the Cheerleader.

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    Returning Cheerleaders will be considered for the captain positions. The Squad Captain(s) will be selected by the Program Head Coach. If the selection of the Squad Captain(s) is made prior to tryouts, the Squad Captain(s) will be exempted from trying out.. The Squad Captain will assume necessary authority in keeping records of attendance and tardiness and in imposing disciplinary action, as necessary. Any removal of squad members from the program is described in Section D under "Conduct." The Squad Captain may help develop practice schedules with the Program Head Coach. The Squad Captain also will work with the Program Head Coach and the Department Advisor in planning the year's activities and will be responsible for weight room checks.

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    Out-of-town trips will be coordinated by the Department Advisor. The Big Ten Conference policy for Cheerleaders restricts travel for the following: no limit on Non-Conference Football and Men's & Women's Basketball games for Cheerleaders, a limit of eight Cheerleaders for Conference Football games and NO travel to any away Conference Men's & Women's Basketball games. NCAA and NIT rules limit the squad size for pre-season and post-season tournaments to 12 on-court participants. A travel system will be announced by the Program Head Coach to govern the Big Ten Football away games and post-season events.

    For certain away game/matches trips of great distance from Bloomington, the Cheerleaders may be invited to travel as a part of the University official party on the team charter aircraft or on commercial air transportation. Dress requirements will be announced prior to all road trips.

    In all cases of travel, the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will arrange the means of travel and for lodging. The Program Head Coach or designee will travel with the squad. The squad will travel to and from the away game/match city as a team. The only exception to this will be if the squad member travels with his/her own family to the away game city; and, in that instance, no per diem will be provided to the squad member. Any exception to this policy or a release to the family must be made in advance in writing by the parents to the Department Advisor.

    No alcoholic beverages will be consumed by the Cheerleaders either during transit to or from the away game/match city, at the hotel where the squad is staying especially when housed with the athletic team, during a pre-game/match reception or at the game/match. Underage drinking with false identification cards will not be tolerated. The Program Head Coach will announce any curfew on away game/match trips. Squad members must be in their rooms at that designated hour.

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    The Department of Intercollegiate Athletics will award the following:

    First Year . . . . . . . . Embroidered Sports Shirt

    Second Year . . . . . . I-Blanket

    Third Year . . . . . . . 11x14 Color Photograph

    Fourth Year . . . . . . Award Plaque

    Eligibility Concluded . Awards Ring

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    A national competition squad(s) will be selected if such becomes a program goal. The Program Coach has determined that Universal Cheerleaders Association will be the national competitions considered. Any national participation will be viewed as an additional involvement which cannot take away from any normal activity with events for the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics. Indiana University's participation will take into account the competition's time of year and financial outlay.

    The Program Head Coach will have the final decision over which program members are selected for competition. The national competition squad(s) will come from any current eligible member of the Cheerleader program. Any member may opt out of participating but must make that known prior to the start of preparations. Any national competition squad does not have to be split equally between male and female due to considerations for safety and spotting requirements. A bid for national competition will require extra practices which may include University holiday periods. IF THE NATIONAL COMPETITION BID IS ACCEPTED, EVERYONE BACKS THE EFFORT.

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    Cheerleaders will not attempt gymnastics stunts without proper instruction, adequate facilities and equipment, sufficient supervision and spotters. Any advanced partner stunts or gymnastics must be demonstrated consistently to the Program Coach before use in a game.

    A strength and conditioning program for each person will be developed.. Participation will be mandatory. Failure to participate will result in disciplinary action.

    Cheerleaders WILL NOT snow ski or roller skate during the year of competition.

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