PCA Collegiate and Open Division RULES & SAFETY GUIDELINES

The following are the rules and safety guidelines for the National Collegiate and Open Cheerleading Championships and other PCA run events for the present season. Teams operating under other safety guidelines may do so at their own institutions.

Note - If the wording of a safety rule/regulation is awkward or confusing, please call PCA for clarification. Likewise, if you find an error, omission or inconsistency in the rules, please bring it to our attention. Thank you.


- The routines are ALL MUSIC format. Teams are not required to cheer. If they do so, the evaluation of the cheering will not be judged as a stand alone element rather as a part of the Overall Impression Category. Vocal inclusions may be performed over top of the music if desired.

NEW - The maximum routine time limit is 2 minutes 30 seconds. Timing starts at the first obvious movement or sound and ends when the end of the routine is obvious to the officials.

NOTE: - Teams that intend on competing at certain US Collegiate events which use a different time limit should plan accordingly. There is NO PENALTY for short routines and there is no time minimum at PCA events.

Floor Size - The performance area is 42' x 54' - nine (9) strips of carpeted gymnastics mat. Participants are permitted to step off the mat without penalty. Props may be placed or tossed on/off the mat without penalty. The floor is a 'sprung'/matted gymnastics floor. Connecting velcro strips wil be oriented front to back with additional hash marks ate each centre point (sides/front) and floor cemtre.


1. Collegiate Small Co-ed - Abbreviation Code: (CSC)

2. Collegiate All-Girl - Abbreviation Code: (CAG)

3. Collegiate Large Co-ed - Abbreviation Code: (CLC).

4. Community College / CEGEP Division - Abbreviation Code: (CC).

5 . Open Small Co-ed L-6. Abbreviation Code: (OSC)

6. Open All-Girl. L-6 Abbreviation Code: (OAG)

7. Open Large Co-ed L-6 - Abbreviation Code: (OLC).

8. Open 4.2- Abbreviation Code: (O4.2).

NOTE RE the 36 - 24 cut down in 2009-10. PCA does NOT support the reduction in max team size as mandated by the USASF. We DO NOT agree with making these team smaller and will NOT force the 24 member restriction upon Canadian teams. As such, the Open divisions will remain with a 36 athlete team maximum.

However - If 3 or more teams from the Open L-6 catagories register and prefer to be in a stand alone division (ie Open Coed L-6 (24), then PCA will create the division - ONLY if the 3+ team minimum is achieved and all teams agree to this. Otherwise, all teams in Open Divisions, will be permitted up to 36 members. If you are in any way unclear in this situation, please call PCA: 1-800-567-7221.

9. International Open Small Co-ed (USASF)- Abbreviation Code: (ISC).

10. International Open All-Girl (USASF) - Abbreviation Code: (IAG).

11. International Open Large Co-ed (USASF)- Abbreviation Code: (ILC).

NOTE: The International Open Divisions will allow up to 36 members per team UNLESS we receive a minimum of THREE teams for a Division as follows: International Open L-5 (USAFS) Level-5 All-Girl, Small Coed or Large coed. ie. If we have 3 or more teams with 24 members AND 3 or more teams with 36 members - we will run 2 separate divisons. Any less than 3 and the team size cap. will be 36. This will allow the maximum number of teams and athletes to participate.

Our preference is to follow the USASF standard of 24 for these divisions (International L-5) but due to the nature and composition of some club teams, PCA reserves the option to combine these divisions to form the most competitive division possible. If your team is affected by this ruling, you are encouraged to REGISTER EARLY in order to help shape the eventual make up of your division. If you have any questions regarding this note, please call PCA: 1-800-567-7221.

NOTE: PCA reserves the option to combine divisions if entry numbers and situation warrants it.Typically, we require a minimum of three teams in a division, for it to stand alone as a 'division'. When ever divisions are to be combined, all registrants from that division and the one it is being combined with, will be notified of the change.

ELIGIBILITY NOTE for COLLEGIATE TEAM MEMBERS: This section is specific to the UNOCC 'Nationals' ONLY.

ALL COLLEGIATE and Community College DIVISIONS - Each competitor must be enrolled in a minimum of 3 classes - regardless of credit value - in the term of the competition AT the college/university he/she competes for. Graduate students, teacher's college students etc. are also eligible. Students registered in a co-op program and on a recognized work term that (i) is a recognized component of their academic program and/or (ii) is recognized for university/college credit are eligible.


Open All-Star Division

1. All athletes must be 17 years of age or older as of Aug 31, 2011 for the Open Division as per USASF

International Open All-Star Division

1. "International Open" Division allows athletes 14 yrs of age (as of Aug 31, 2011) and older but is limited to USASF Level 5.

Note: to qualify as International Open, a team must have 1 or more members whom are past the age for "Senior" (ie. 18 yrs old as of Aug 31, 2011). Otherwise, the squad would be "senior" and not "Open".


- Follow USASF Level 6 Link (Level 5 for International Open teams)

Note We MAY use this location to clarify rules as writen on the USASF site. Please check back periodically to see if rule interpretations or clarifications have been posted


- Follow USASF Level 6 Link (Level 5 for International Open teams)


- Follow USASF Level 6 Link (Level 5 for International Open teams)


- Follow USASF Level 6 Link (Level 5 for International Open teams)


- Officials have the right to stop a routine if there is an injured athlete still performing on the floor. In this event the routine is scored accordingly and is not re-run.

- Cheating of any kind is not tolerated. If you are caught your team will be disqualified from the competition.

- Each team must bring at least two copies of their music to the competition. It MUST be in CD (Compact Disk) or iPod/mp3 player format. Cassette Tapes will NOT be permitted nor will there be a tape player provided.

- Mascots in routines are not permitted to participate in any stunts, pyramids or as spotters or catchers. Mascots on the floor are not counted toward the 36 person max team size total.

- Note. Regarding drops, falls and wobbles. Minor stumbles and incidental minor contact with the floor will not be considered "falls". Rather, such errors are assessed under "execution" flaws. All judges have the latitude to evaluate the severity of a fall and score it accordingly. Stunts, pyramids or skills which require the (external) spotters to engage will be assessed per situation re. Controlled or Uncontrolled. Likewise, judges have the latitude to assess the wisdom of including a skill in the routine with respect to safety and execution even if the maneuver is "legal". These assessments are NOT open to debate or appeal and in most cases the judges will favour lesser penalties over greater.

- All judges decisions are final.

- No jewelry is permitted during performances. (Including belly button rings and all oral jewelry)

- The use of mini-tramps, springboards or any other height enhancing apparatus is prohibited.

- Casts of any type are not permitted. Exposed metal hinged or fiberglass supportive braces should be covered if possible.

Note: The above may not cover all circumstances. Accordingly, the judges have the latitude within the Safety, Spotting and Infractions portion of the score sheet to deduct marks if they feel material or elements were not prudently selected.

IF we discover a wording error or this rule sheet requires modification prior to the event, PCA reserves the right to amend it at any time. Team leaders are recommended to review this page periodically leading up to the event.

If you have a question regarding the legality of a skill or the wording of this page, please call PCA well in advance of the event to discuss it. No rule is ever meant to be tricky or complicated. We appreciate your feedback concerning the wording and always wish to clarify points of confusion in a timely manner.


Questions regarding the rules and safety guidelines may be directed to


Phone PCA toll free: 1-800-567-7221

eMail: PCA@powercheerleading.com