UCA Game Day

High School Game Day

Game Day at Camp

At UCA Summer Camp teams will perform a Band Chant, Situational Sideline and Cheer in that order. The Sideline and Cheer will be evaluated separately, allowing teams to receive feedback from the UCA Staff and a ribbon based on the performance. The Band Chant will not be evaluated but will be added to the overall Game Day performance and be included as part of the Game Day Championships on the final day of camp. The use of spirit raising props like signs, poms, megaphones or flags is highly encouraged for each element. Squads are also encouraged to incorporate practical skills that enhance their crowd leading ability. (NOTE: Please review skill restrictions below.)

BAND CHANT: Teams should demonstrate spirit and enthusiasm while entering the performance surface and before the music begins. A cue will not be given to start the Band Chant. Once the music begins, the Band Chant cannot incorporate any skill other than kicks and jumps but should showcase the squad’s sharp motions, high energy and synchronization. Material for the Band Chant will be taught at camp and set during the Game Day Practice with the UCA Staff. Teams may use the motions/dance taught at camp or material from home.

SITUATIONAL SIDELINE: Following the Band Chant, teams should continue to display genuine spirit and enthusiasm until the announcer cues which sideline to perform – either offense or defense. Teams will be private coached and prepared by the UCA Staff for both scenarios. We strongly encourage the use of practical skills (stunts or tumbling) that still allow the squad to adjust quickly to either situation. After the Sideline, teams must return to the performance surface and show a clear separation before the next element.

CHEER / CROWD LEADING: The final element can consist of a cheer learned at camp or other crowd leading material from home. Since this element will not be cued by the announcer, teams should transition to this section following a clear end to the Sideline. The UCA Staff will private coach the squads on this element to encourage the use of proper game day material, motions and practical skills that would elicit a positive crowd response in a game day environment.

Game Day at Regionals & NHSCC

The format for Regionals and Nationals is inspired by what teams do at home and is similar to camp with the addition of Fight Song as a fourth element. Teams are permitted, but not required, to use camp material to demonstrate the game day environment at their school. With all four elements combined, the Game Day performance cannot exceed a 3 minute time limit. All skill restrictions below will be enforced.

BAND CHANT: The Band Chant will be consistent with the summer camp format. Teams should demonstrate spirit and enthusiasm while entering the performance floor and before the music begins. A cue will not be given to start the Band Chant. Once the music begins, the teams cannot incorporate any skills other than kicks and jumps, just like summer camp. Squads should utilize spirit raising props and focus on creative movements such as level changes or ripples, execution of the material and encouraging the crowd to participate.

SITUATIONAL SIDELINE: Following the Band Chant, the announcer will provide a cue for offense or defense. Teams should wait until the announcer finishes the cue and show the proper response to the game day situation. Squads should focus on crowd effectiveness, motion technique and skills relevant to a game day environment. NOTE: It is a requirement to incorporate skills into the Sideline (stunts and/or tumbling, if the division allows). Please review skill restrictions below.

CROWD LEADING: Following the Sideline, teams must return to the performance surface and show a clear separation between elements. Teams can show spirited interaction as a clear transition into the Crowd Leading material but are not allowed to stunt. Crowd Leading can include a cheer reflective of a timeout, general sideline / spell-out or other cheer material with minimal words, inciting a response and encouraging a crowd to yell along. Teams should incorporate spirit props and practical skills (stunts and/or tumbling, if the division allows).

FIGHT SONG: The final element should reflect your school’s traditional Fight Song. Teams should incorporate crowd effective skills (stunts and/or tumbling, if the division allows) and can include spirit raising props to enhance the overall effect. Fight Song incorporation is limited to three (3) consecutive 8-counts of stunts and/or tumbling. Counting will begin with the initiation of a skill and continue until either the incorporation is complete or the end of the 3rd 8-count. (If the Fight Song repeats, the incorporation will only be permitted both times if the skills are repeated exactly the same.) For teams that do not have an official Fight Song, it is recommended to use a second selection of band chant music. Music guidelines are available at varsity.com/music.

NEW! Game Day Live Information

Inspired by the sights and sounds of a school’s Friday night football game, this new division takes the current Game Day Competition format – Band Chant, Situational Sideline, Crowd Leading and Fight Song – to the next level with LIVE MUSIC from your pep band. Click HERE to learn more!

Skill Restrictions and Qualification Information

Game Day Skill Restrictions:

  • No tosses (basket, sponge or elevator) are allowed.
  • No inversions are allowed.
  • No twisting released dismounts are allowed.
  • No running tumbling is allowed.
  • Single leg stunts are limited to liberties and liberty hitches.
  • Standing tumbling is limited to one tumbling skill and a back tuck is the most elite tumbling skill allowed. Examples: Standing full is not allowed. Rippled single back handsprings would be allowed. Jump tumble (single skill) would be allowed.
  • Teams should take the floor immediately with spirit and enthusiasm, but without excessive gestures. (Ex: running of the flags, chest bumps, intricate handshakes) Stunts are not allowed during the team’s entry to the floor or any time prior to starting the performance.
  • In between elements, teams must always return to the performance surface. Teams may kick, jump or tumble but may NOT stunt.
  • During the Band Chant, only kicks and jumps are permitted.

Qualification:

Teams must attend a Varsity Spirit Summer Camp that is at least two days or more and participate in the Squad Credentialing program, in addition to qualifying at a UCA Regional Competition in order to be eligible to participate in the 2020 UCA National High School Cheerleading Championship. To be eligible for a bid at a qualifying UCA Regional Competition, 75% of the team must attend camp and participate in the Squad Credentialing Program.

For more information about UCA Rules, Divisions and Scoring – click here!

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College Game Day

Game Day at College Spirit Camp

Game Day at camp will include three elements: Band Chant, Situational Sideline and Game Day Timeout. The order for Game Day will be as follows: the first two elements will either be the Situational Sideline or the Band Chant. The order will be random. The final element will be the Game Day Timeout.

  • Each team will perform a band chant learned at camp. The band chant can incorporate any skills allowed on football field / basketball court surfaces and showcase the squad’s sharp motions, high energy and synchronization. Teams can choose to use signs, flags and other spirit raising props to help encourage crowd response. Note: No spinning skills for tumbling and no basket tosses are allowed.
  • The sideline is situational for each team. With either an offensive or defensive scenario, the squad will determine which sideline to do based on the cues. The teams will perform a sideline they were private coached on and are encouraged to use spirit raising props like signs, poms and megaphones. Skills should be minimal and simple. Note: No spinning skills for tumbling and no basket tosses are allowed.
  • The Game Day Timeout is the best time to showcase your squad’s energy, leadership, visual appeal and connection to the crowd.
  • The Fight Song will be private coached during camp and evaluated but will not be included in the overall Game Day format during camp.

What Game Day situation audio cues will squads respond to?

  • The order for your Game Day evaluation will be random based on audio cues. Teams will be judged on execution, crowd effectiveness, energy and overall performance. Example cues below.
    • Fight Song
      • Let’s hear it for the band.
      • That’s a win for ________________.
    • Offense Sideline
      • And that’s another… first down for the offense.
      • The offense takes control of the ball on their 25 yard line.
      • It’s a close game and our offense is driving down the field for a score.
    • Defense Sideline
      • Our defense needs to make a stop here to seal the win.
      • It’s 3rd down for the defense, get on your feet and make some noise.
      • It’s 3rd down for the (________) defense, get on your feet and make some noise.
    • Timeout Routine
      • There’s a time out on the floor.
      • The home team has called a timeout.

Game Day at College Nationals

Game Day Division Guidelines

  1. The Game Day Championship showcases what traditional cheerleading is all about – leading the crowd! Teams will be evaluated on their ability to lead the crowd, proper game day skill incorporation, execution of skills, motion technique and overall routine.
  2. There are FOUR separate UCA Cheer Game Day divisions:
    • Game Day Division IA (NCAA Division I – FBS) – Male / Female (Max 30 Members)
    • Game Day All Girl IA (NCAA Division I – FBS) – Female Only (Max 30 Members)
    • Game Day Open Coed (NCAA Division I – FCS, NCAA II, Division III, Jr. Colleges, NAIA and all other schools) – Male / Female (Max 30 Members)
    • Game Day Open All Girl (NCAA Division I – FCS, NCAA II, Division III, Jr. Colleges, NAIA and all other schools) – Female Only (Max 30 Members)
  3. The use of crowd leading props such as signs, poms, flags and/or megaphones is recommended (all are not required).
  4. For cheer and dance teams competing in the Game Day divisions, we will allow teams to have up to a maximum of 30 seconds to enter the floor and set your props. The announcer will call the first cue at or before (if team is set) the 30 seconds. All entry and rules guidelines will still apply, and keep in mind that your entry to the floor will not be judged however; deductions will still be assessed. The overall time limit is 3:00.
  5. Teams may add up to 1 (one) mascot in their routine. The mascot must enter the floor with the team and remain on the floor for the entire routine or an out of bounds penalty will be assessed. Mascots should be used to raise crowd energy and participation. The mascot should not be involved in any stunts / technical skills and / or tumbling, and should position themselves away from skills being performed. The mascot will not count toward the number of participants allowed.
  6. Pep Bands or drumlines may be used in cheer and dance Game Day divisions and must be registered as participants for the event. Pep Bands or drumlines will enter to the side of the stage and must remain off the performing surface.  An area will be designated in each performance venue.  If the venue has a raised stage the pep band or drumline will be off stage on the floor.  Pep Band or drumlines will be allowed to enter the area prior to cheer or dance team being introduced for the competition.
  7. The order for the Game Day Championship will be random based on audio cues and should consist of Fight Song, Situational Sideline (offense/ defense) and a Game Day Timeout (similar to what was done at camp).
  8. The judges will score teams using the criteria listed on the UCA Game Day score sheet. Each team will be evaluated on a 100 point system. For detailed score sheets, please click here.
    • Fight Song
      • Should represent the traditional fight song your school has always done at games
      • Skills should be minimal and practical
      • Should start from the sideline formation
    • Situational Sideline
      • Situational for each team performing
      • After an offensive or defensive scenario, the squad will determine which sideline to do
      • Teams are encouraged to use spirit raising props such as signs, poms and/or megaphones
      • Skills should be minimal and practical
    • Game Day Timeout (similar to what was done at camp)
      • Similar to a 60 second extended band chant; designed for crowd interaction and involves crowd response
      • The best time to showcase squad’s energy, leadership, visual appeal and connection to the crowd
  9. All teams attending the UCA College Cheerleading Championship will follow the USA Cheer Safety/ AACCA Guidelines. Rules are subject to change by USA Cheer Safety/ AACCA. For the most recent safety rules and information, visit usacheer.org.safety.
  10. Skills must be practical for Game Day and executed with strong technique while providing a visual effect that influences the crowd’s participation.
  11. The incorporation of skills will be allowed with the following restrictions:
    • Flips into or from partner stunts and pyramids are prohibited
    • Twisting stunts and dismounts may not exceed 1 ¼ rotation
    • Flipping tosses are permitted with zero twisting rotations
    • Twisting tumbling is prohibited.
  12.  Any deductions or violations will be taken off of the final average score. For more information on scoring, score sheets and judging criteria, please click here. 
  13. A top person in a stunt or pyramid may not release a sign directly to the ground. Props must be handed to another athlete who is on the ground and who is not the legal spotter. Pop downs are allowed with signs, and cradles are allowed with props that do not have hard edges (ex: poms)
  14. Note: Teams that are competing in Game Day ONLY do not need to submit a crowd tape.

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