Divisions, Rules & Scoring

Competition Resources

We remain committed to fair and consistent scoring. Our goal is to evolve and provide the tools needed to all school teams this season for a clear understanding of divisions, rules, and scoring. To achieve this, we will follow the four guiding principles of transparency, fairness, integrity, and safety.

Scoring Review Process (See Attached)

Click here for the UDA Scoring Review Process.

Legality Review Process

Universal Dance Association offers a service to help teams with legality and safety questions. Teams will be able to email skills in throughout the year to receive a legality or safety response. This service will help teams get a response with a video attached back to use in situations where the skill may be in question.

Teams are not required, but encouraged, to submit a safety video.

To email a video, the following must be included:

  1. The skill in question must be recorded by the team at practice. We are unable to accept videos from performances, competitions, or of other teams.
  2. All submissions must include the coach, team, and division.
  3. The recording will be reviewed as if every person in the video is included in the skill. This would include additional spotters.
  4. Videos are limited to 30 seconds and must be able to be viewed upright without rotating.
  5. The recording will be limited to attachments only. Links, video sharing and YouTube style videos will not be accepted. While this does limit the video size, you are able to submit multiple videos.
  6. All videos will either receive either a “legal” or “illegal” response. If the video receives an “illegal” response, the entire video will not be reviewed but stopped at the point that the video was illegal. *If the video is inconclusive, you will receive a response as to why we were unable to make a judgement. It is up to you as a coach to resubmit the video to be re-reviewed.

Videos that do not follow the above rules will not receive a response.

If you know that your video does not meet all the requirements above, please refilm/resubmit the video. Only videos that meet the above requirements will be reviewed.

Please send all videos to UDARules@varsity.com.

Please note: Performing the skill at a prior event does not ensure that a skill is legal nor that it would have warranted a legality warning.  Only submitting the skill will make the skill eligible for a warning. UDA can only guarantee this process will be accepted at UDA-branded events. This would not include other Varsity-branded and state association events.

Judges Information

Criteria for Selecting Judges

Judges selected for one of our regional events should meet these standards

  • Have no direct affiliation with any team/gym who will be attending (or potentially will be attending) in a division they will judge. This includes coaching, choreographing, cleaning, etc.
  • Must be available for pre-event training via webinar at a time/date to be determined
  • Must pass and be trained and educated in one or more of the category scoresheets that are used for judging.
  • Must be of the highest ethical and moral values. Must possess and maintain the highest standards of integrity, ethics and professionalism.
  • Must complete Varsity Spirit Compliance Course to include
    • Background Check
    • Code of Conduct
    • Understanding, Recognizing and Reporting the Maltreatment of Children
    • Affidavit of Good Moral Character
  • Must be well-respected in the cheerleading, dance, band and/or song/pom industry.
  • Judges will be informed that any behavior deemed to be unsupportive of Varsity Spirit’s mission may be factored into the final selection of judges.

In addition to the regional event standards these additional criteria will be used when selecting our National Championship Judges.

  • Preferred to have judged or will judge 2 or more “Regional” type events during the 2021-2022 season.
  • Preferred to have been a judge or equitable experience for at least 3 years.

Judge Selection – Example Conflicts of Interest

Providing accurate, fair, and unbiased feedback for our customers is one of our top priorities.  With that said, our selected panel of judges must have no affiliation with teams in a division they are scheduled to judge.

Example of potential Conflicts of Interest:

  • Current Coach and/or Choreographer
  • Former Coach and/or Choreographer and/or Athlete
    • Must be 5 years out from any program
    • Must not have had any contact with a team this season
    • Did not go to any practices or performances in the last 5 years
  • Married / Partner / Dating / Related to coach
  • Parent of an athlete on a team

For Nationals/Championship events

  • Due to the size of our National Championships, judge’s with conflicts may be selected. Every effort will be made to ensure that a judge with a potential Conflict of Interest is not scheduled to judge that team or school’s divisions.

Judges Directory

Coming soon!

Interested in Judging?

Click HERE to share your interest with our competition team.

Dance Membership Requirement


  1. USA Cheer has developed a comprehensive Membership Program, which includes a background check, athlete protection training, acknowledgement of concussion training with return to participation guidance and a member code of conduct.
  2. Varsity Spirit will require that all school coaches, choreographers, and personnel wishing to access the warmup area, backstage or coaches’ box at our competitions have a USA Dance Membership, Professional Membership, Cheer Coach Membership, or STUNT Coach Membership.
  3. You must complete your membership requirements before your first competition.  Please note that the background check will take 2-10 days to be processed and returned. Coaches without an approved Membership will not be allowed access to the warmup area, backstage or coaches’ box.
  4. When checking in at Varsity Spirit competitions, you will now simply provide proof of membership for each coach from your organization who wishes to go into the warmup area, backstage or coaches’ box. Upon proof of membership, each coach will receive a wristband that will allow them access.
  5. The USA Cheer Membership is available on the USA Cheer website. Once your membership is complete, you can print your membership card, or save and display it on your mobile device at event registration along with your photo ID. This season’s membership will be active until May 31, 2023.