Along with archery and bass fishing, the Kentucky High School Athletic Association has sanctioned its’ first state championship in cheer/spirit in the 2012-2013 school year. Until this year, the state championship in cheerleading/spirit was conducted by the KAPOS, or Kentucky Association of Pep Organization Sponsors.
According to new KHSAA guidelines, the state competition will be divided into eight divisions for all-girl squads and one division for coed units. No girl can compete for her school as a member of both types of squads. To qualify for regional and state championships, squads must compete in a minimum of three competitive cheer competitions — not including KAPOS-sponsored events — during their school year.
The divisions include: Small — minimum of 6, maximum of 12; Medium — 13 minimum, 16 maximum; Large — 17 minimum, 20 maximum; and Super Large — 21 minimum, 24 maximum, in both Large School (enrollment over 800) and Small School (800 and below) Divisions. There will be only one division for coed teams. Coed teams must have a minimum of six (three boys and 3 girls) total members and not more than 24 total members. There is no limit to the number of participants during their regular cheer/spirit roles during athletic contests, but the squad size is limited during required cheer/spirit competitions. A school can enter multiple teams in the regional competition. Note: Ohio County High School is classifield as a Large School.
For cheer/spirit, the state has been divided into four sections — Section 1, regions 1-4; Section 2, regions 5-8; Section 3, regions 9-12; and Section 4, regions 13-16. The 2013 KHSAA State Competitive Cheer Competition will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26 at E.A. Diddle Arena in Bowling Green. KAPOS will continue its established schedule of competitions and championships, including those awarded during the Girls’ Sweet 16 (March 7-10 at Diddle Arena) and Boys’ Sweet 16 (March 14-17) state basketball tournaments.
“Cheer/Spirit” is not designated as an official sport in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, due to rulings by the US Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights regarding “Athletic Activities Counted for Title IX Compliance.”