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Cheerleading Surface Dimensions

The performance area requirements for cheerleading competitions and performances differ depending on the governing body and the event. The USASF and IASF have very specific requirements for All Star competitions worldwide, which are broken down by specific competition types.

For school-affiliated cheerleading each competition organization may have specific surface area rules and regulations. The details should be provided when you sign up for the competition.

All Star Competition Requirements

The minimum requirements for every All Star competition are as follows:

Floor Requirements

There must be a 42-foot by 54-foot performance floor matted with minimum 1 3/8-inch carpet bonded foam with panels joined by 4-inch tape. The performance floor must have a 2-foot border before any drop off or obstruction. There must also be a 42-foot by 54-foot by 1 3/8-inch carpet bonded foam matted practice area.

There must be a specific method planned for cleaning the performance and practice mats of bodily fluids.

General Performance Area Requirements

The ceiling must be unobstructed and at least 20 feet high over the performance floor. The specific ceiling height, and the floor construction details, must be disclosed to all competitors before competition so that all athletes can practice on an appropriate surface.

If performance or practice areas are outdoors, provide suitable foul weather alternatives.

Five and Four Start Competition Requirements

For Five Star and Four Star competitions, the requirements (in addition to the minimum requirements) are:

Floor Requirements

The performance area spring floor must be flat and 54-feet by 42-feet in size. A double wide spring tumble strip must be in place. There must also be a 54-foot by 42-foot and 1 3/8-inch carpet bonded foam warm up floor.

If the performance floor is on an entirely built stage, the stage height must not be over 4-feet high and must have at least a 4-foot border—including any slope—from the 54-foot by 42-foot flat performance floor.

Three Star Competition Requirements

For Three Star competitions, the requirements (in addition to the minimum requirements) are:

Floor Requirements

The performance area spring floor must be flat and 54-feet by 42-feet in size and include a double wide spring tumble strip. There must also be suitable warm up floors available.

If the performance floor is on an entirely built stage, the stage height must not be over 4-feet high and must have at least a 4-foot border—including any slope—from the 54-foot by 42-foot flat performance floor.

NFHS Performance Area Specifications

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS), which is the governing body for High School level cheerleading, has implemented the following performance area specifications:

Floor Requirements

The NFHS has not established specific dimensions for performance areas. The dimensions depend upon the location of the performance or rules of the competition.

Performance Surfaces

Performance surfaces must be suitable and free of objects. When discarding props, such as signs and banners, team members must toss or place the props off of the performance surface after they are done using them.

Stunts must be modified to be appropriate to the performing surface/area. For example, certain dismounts are prohibited on basketball courts because of the hard surface.

General Regulations

The use of mini-tramps, springboards, spring-assisted floors or any height-increasing apparatus is illegal during performances and competitions.

AACCA Guidelines

The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches & Administrators (AACCA) – the safety committee for school-affiliated junior high, high school and college level cheerleading—has recommended the following safety guidelines

Floor Requirements

Competition and performance surfaces must not be spring floors. It is suggested that competitions take place on padded flooring or mats.

General Regulations

Technical skills, such as jumping, tumbling and stunting should not be performed on concrete, asphalt, wet or uneven surfaces or surfaces with obstructions. Certain stunts, such as basket tosses, one-armed partner stunts and full twists are prohibited on basketball courts and other non-padded surfaces.

Read this guide to learn more about the exact specifications of cheerleading surfaces for all levels of competition.
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