Rule Book and Scoring System

Future Cheer uses the IASF Safety Rules for Cheer and Dance.
(Note: the IASF Dance Safety rules also apply to the Lyrical/Contemporary and Prop divisions)

Please send all Cheer legality queries to 
Please send all Dance legality queries to

Future Cheer will be using the SCUK Age Grid for the 2020-2021 season. Please note that this has some differences to the USASF Cheer & Dance Age Grids. 

Future Cheer are pleased to be utilising the Varsity Scoring System for the 2020-2021 season. On this page you will find all the information you need on scoring for our events, however if you have any questions, please contact us at or at an FC event, visit the FC Score Check table to speak to our scoring experts.

Scoring Information for 2020-2021



(Please note - this will be applied from Winter Wonderland on wards: *At this time, masks, face coverings, video quality, etc. currently do not allow for the Showmanship category to be properly scored at both Live and Virtual events.For all events until further notice, teams will be scored based on their Appropriate Athletic Impression rather than Showmanship. This score will start at a 10.0 and may be reduced by .2 for each instance where inappropriate choreography, music, etc. is displayed. The entire judging panel will need to agree that the team lacked Appropriate Athletic Impression to reduce their score. This score will be final and cannot be reviewed/challenged.

Additional Competition Rules and Procedures 


Whilst Future Cheer will always try to allow as much time as possible between routines for athletes who crossover, we only guarantee TEN minute between PERFORMANCE times. Please keep this in mind when making team placements and deciding on uniform & costume changes etc. 

See the SCUK Age Grid for additional Crossover rules & information here:

Routine Time Limits:

Timing will begin with the first choreographed movement or beat of music, whichever comes first - 

All Star Elite/University/Masters Cheer - Maximum 2 minutes 30 seconds.

IASF Tiny, Mini, Youth, Junior, Senior and Open - Maximum 2 minutes 30 seconds. 

IASF/University Non-Tumbling - Maximum 2 minutes.

IASF Global Cheer - 30 second minimum to 40 second maximum for opening cheer portion; 20 second maximum to move from cheer portion and set up for the music portion; 2 minutes 30 seconds maximum for music portion.

Prep/Schools Cheer* - Maximum 2 minutes.

*Teams in Schools divisions with routines exceeding 2 minutes but not exceeding 2 minutes 30 seconds will NOT receive an overtime penalty for the 2019-20 season.

Novice Cheer - Maximum 1 minute 30 seconds.

Dance (all divisions) - Minimum 1 minute 45 seconds. Maximum 2 minutes 15 seconds.

Stunt Groups, Partner Stunts & Individuals/Solos - Maximum 1 minute 15 seconds.

Interruption of Routine:

If your routine is interrupted because of failure of the competition equipment you will be permitted to restart your routine from the beginning. In the event your routine is interrupted because of failure of your equipment, supplies or personnel, you may either continue or withdraw from the competition. 

Routine Interruption In the Event of Injury:

Routine Stoppage The only individuals that may stop a routine for injury are:

  • Competition Officials
  • Coach from the team performing
  • Injured Individual
  • Safety/Head Judge

An injured athlete may create a potential safety hazard because of the inability to hold, support, spot or catch. For the safety of all athletes competing, a routine may be interrupted if:
  • An athlete is clearly injured.
  • An athlete is questionably injured and does not resume their role in the routine within 5 seconds of questionable injury.
  • An athlete leaves the competition floor due to an injury.

If a routine is interrupted due to injury, it will be at the Competition Officials’ discretion whether that team will be allowed to perform again at a later time. Athlete Returning to Competition An Injured Athlete may not return to the competition floor unless the competition officials receive clearance from all the representatives listed below:
  • Event Medical Personnel attending to that participant
  • Parent/Guardian (if present)
  • Coach of the competing team/programme
  • In the event of a suspected head injury, the athlete cannot return to perform without clearance from a licensed medical professional that has training related to head injuries


During the competition weekend a substitution may be made by an athlete or coach already registered with the same program for the event. An athlete cannot be substituted for an athlete/coach from another program. A substitution cannot be made for a non-registered coach/athlete.

Any substitutions MUST be noted in writing to Amanda Fairhall Event Director at Failure to do so may result in disqualification.

Additional athletes may not be added to the team on the day which would then exceed the number of athletes on the team roster without prior notification to the Event Director. Failure to comply with this will result in a 15 point penalty and may lead to disqualification.

Additional Spotters:

Teams may bring their own additional spotters on to the floor. Any additional spotters must be wearing attire that will clearly distinguish them from the athletes on the team. If an additional spotter touches an athlete during a stunt/skill then a penalty of 1 point will be applied to the team's score.

Please note that the role of additional spotters is solely for safety purposes, not for coaching. Excessive coaching by Additional Spotters (including but not limited to shouting music counts, marking/performing the routine choreography, shouting encouragement to the athletes on the floor) will result in a 1 point penalty.

Coaching from the front of the Floor:

For TINY TEAMS ONLY a maximum of one coach may kneel at the front of the performance floor throughout the entirety of the routine. This coach may 'mark' the routine choreography and offer prompts to the athletes on the floor, however this will directly impact your scores in a negative way in terms of difficulty and overall impression, in comparison to teams who do not require this type of assistance. For all other age groups, coaches will not be allowed to kneel at the front of the floor but will be required to be either in the dedicated coaches area, at the sound desk or in the spectator area. Breaking this rule will result in a penalty of 1 point being applied to the team's score.


You team's music can be on CD or on a Smartphone, Ipod etc. Please bring multiple copies. When your team is in the holding area, the person in charge of your music should be at the music desk which will be situated in front of or to the side of the judges 


Future Cheer does not currently enforce the USASF uniform policy however, all uniforms should be appropriate for athletic activity. If you are travelling to compete outside of the UK, please make sure to familiarise yourself with that competition's uniform policy.

False Roster Information: If a team is found to have provided false information on their roster including (but not limited to) falsifying an athlete’s date of birth, or providing incorrect athlete names on a team roster, this team will be disqualified from the competition. If the discovery of false information happens after an event, the team will be removed from the rankings for that division and the program will receive a one year ban from competing at Future Cheer events, from the date of competition for one calendar year. If a disqualified team was also awarded a bid to The Summit or IASF Worlds at the event they were found to have provided false roster information for, then Future Cheer will revoke this bid in addition to disqualification and/or a one year ban.
Coaches/Primary Contacts have a responsibility to make sure that all roster information is up to date and correct and must be able to provide proof of identity/ID for all athletes if asked by FC Officials. No exceptions will be made to the above policy of disqualification so it is imperative that you make any roster changes prior to the competition and that the team rosters accurately reflect the athletes on the competition floor and their correct ages.


Future Cheer reserve the right to refuse anyone from taking photographs and videos at any events and competitions and at any time, to protect the privacy of Athletes, Spectators, Teams and Programs. Also to stop professional photographers from using images for money and personal gain and to protect its own employed photographers and photo system.

At Future Cheer we are happy for you as a parent or teacher to film and take photos of your own children/athletes and teams using phones and amateur camera equipment and camcorders. Future Cheer prohibits the filming of teams that you are not affiliated with or those that you do not have express permission from in advance. 

The use of flash photography, continuous flash or any other lighting during competition is prohibited as this can produce glare and be distracting for competitors. This includes small flashes such as (but not limited to) those from a camera phone. Any person using flash photography of any kind will be asked to stop and may be asked to leave the competition halls. Flash photography is allowed outside the competition halls and during awards ceremonies at advised photo opportunities within them.

Professional Camera Lens usage - Use of telephoto/long distance and wide aperture rated professional camera lenses is forbidden at Future Cheer events unless prior consent from Future Cheer Ltd has been given (please see below). This is to comply with our child protection and privacy policy (meaning long distance photos can not be unknowingly taken of other people, especially minors, without their knowledge). The easiest and most effective way to do this is by restricting use of specialist professional photography lens equipment. A definition of this can be found below. Future Cheer reserves the right to determine if equipment falls under this category based on inspection and ask users to desist from usage at any time. 

Forbidden professional lens equipment is defined as:

  • Any lens (including non telephoto) with a fixed or zoom focal length over 105mm.
  • Any lens (including non telephoto) with an aperture rating of 2.8 or wider (enabling lower light photography).
  • All professional telephoto lenses regardless of aperture rating (for example canon “white” telephoto lenses, Nikon N telephoto series lenses or similar high end lenses from other brands)

If you wish to use the above professional equipment at Future Cheer events you must apply for a “Photo Pass” and provide a recent (within the last 12 months) enhanced DBS check. Details of this are available on request and is subject to approval by Future Cheer.

Coaches Qualifications:

Only coaches & athletes have access to warm-up halls at Future Cheer competitions. To gain access to warm-up a coach must show their FC Coaches ID card, coaches event lanyard and coaches wristband. Coaches must also have been added to the event registration for the program they wish to enter warm-up with. 



(*If the qualification you hold does not have an expiry date and it was taken over 3 years ago, we strongly recommend renewing your qualifications.)
JUNIOR COACHES - Junior coaches aged 12-16 years old who hold BGU 12-16 or Dance Leaders (through Sports Leaders) qualifications. Junior Coaches will have access to the warm-up room but will need an adult, FULLY QUALIFIED coach present with them at all times.
Dance Qualifications - If a program is bringing dance teams only OR they have a mix of cheer and dance teams and have a qualified Cheer Coach attending, then we will accept Dance teaching qualifications (from recognised Dance regulatory bodies - eg IDTA) for additional coaches. We will not issue coaches passes to people who have an educational award in dance only (For example GCSE or A Level in Dance).
Gymnastics Qualifications - If a program already has a qualified Cheer Coach attending then we will accept Gymnastics Coaching Qualifications from British Gymnastics for additional coaches.
In addition to the above, we offer a 6 month grace period to new coaches to comply with the above requirements. If a coach does not meet the above requirements then they will be issued with a 6 month temporary pass which will be replaced with a full coaches pass once a qualification certificate compliant with the above is uploaded to the coach's profile on the registration system.

Additional Information:

Please note that the use of confetti cannons, indoor fireworks and other special effect props are prohibited at Future Cheer events. Use of such items will result in penalties being assessed against the team at a minimum of 20 points.

Soliciting will not be tolerated from outside businesses. This includes Gyms/Programmes approaching athletes/parents from another gym to encourage them to move gyms/programme. Failure to comply may lead to team disqualification, penalties assessed against scores and/or removal from the event.
Other Penalties:
If it is proven that athletes are competing/have competed out of division this will result in a minimum penalty of 20 points and may lead to disqualification of the team from the competition.