Frequently Asked Questions

How do I enter a team?

The Department of Student Programs Membership-Participation Form is available on the Academic Competitions page and through several other links on the IASP web site. Forms are also emailed to the principal of each Indiana school and our database of academic coaches in June.

This form allows your school to join the Department of Student Programs (a required step for participation in any contest or other program) and then also enter all academic competitions. Payment may accompany the form, or schools will be billed after the form is submitted.

Can I enter a contest through the website?

At this time, contests can only be entered by mailing, emailing or faxing a Membership-Participation Form to the address/email addresses/fax number at the top of the form. School personnel can print a Membership-Participation form from the web site, fill it out, then return it by mail, email or fax. Student names are not included when entering a contest, but are submitted through the IASP web site after the contest entry deadline via the online submission forms posted on each contest page.

How can I tell if my team is entered?

Beginning in late August, confirmation lists are posted on the specific event pages to list which competitions have been entered. The top of each confirmation list will show when it was last updated.

When do I submit the names of my students and coaches?

After the competition entry deadline, a roster submission link will be posted on the IASP web site, which will allow submission of student names and names of the coaches. A separate deadline is posted for submitting these names, which typically falls a few weeks before the competition date.

What are invitational contests?

Invitational contests are locally organized competitions, which may be used as practice rounds or League/County/City championships.  All details of these contests including procedures, schedules, participating teams, and awards are at the discretion of the local host. The web page dealing with each specific contest includes information on which invitational contests are scheduled.  There are links to the forms necessary to purchase invitational contest questions on each contest page where questions are available: the Sr. Spell Bowl, M.A.T.H. Bowl, and Academic Super Bowl. Invitational questions for Elementary and Junior Spell Bowl are created by the local hosts.

Where will we compete?

Host sites are not officially announced until after the contest entry deadline. Although many schools compete at the same site each year, there is no guarantee of which site your school will be assigned to until after we can coordinate with the hosts.

Teams are most often assigned to the closest host site to your school, although time zones, available space, and other factors will also be considered. Details of the contest and host site will be sent by email to coaches listed on your Membership-Participation form after host sites have been determined.  If you would like more than one coach to receive the information or change the coach listed on your Membership-Participation form, send that information by email to dabel@iasp.org (make sure to include the coach’s name and email address, contest name, your school name, and your school city).

What time does the contest begin and end?

General starting times are listed below (Eastern Standard Time), although it is best to check with your host coordinator to confirm starting times at your site. Check-in times are generally 1 hour before the beginning of the contest. Ending times depend on procedures used and the number of teams at your local site – check with your host coordinator for an estimate.

  • Elementary Spell Bowl – 5 p.m.
  • Junior and Senior Area Spell Bowl – 6 p.m.
  • Senior Spell Bowl State Finals – 11 a.m.
  • Junior Spell Bowl State Finals – 3 p.m.
  • Academic Decathlon Area – 8:15 a.m.
  • Elementary M.A.T.H. Bowl – 5 p.m.
  • Junior Academic Super Bowl – 9 a.m.
  • Senior Area Academic Super Bowl – 5 p.m.
  • Senior Academic Super Bowl State Finals – 11 a.m.
What if I have too many students?

Each competition has a maximum number of students which can be placed on your official team roster (check the appropriate Coach’s Handbook for specific numbers), but you may have additional students involved in practices and invitational competitions. If you have more students than are permitted on the official roster, you may contact your host site to have students listed in the program who may not actually compete during the contest. Elementary level competitions allow schools to enter more than one team per contest.  Junior and Senior level competitions allow only 1 team per competition.

What if I don’t have enough students?

Teams who have a smaller number of students ARE allowed to compete without a “full” team, and are still eligible for all awards. Allowing even a few interested individuals to compete can help build the team and increase interest for following years. For instance, Spell Bowl teams can allow a few individuals to compete then leave the team’s table empty for the remaining rounds. M.A.T.H. Bowl and Academic Super Bowl may send as few as one student to the competition table during a round, or may decide to leave their competition table empty during a round.

How are statewide results determined?

Senior Spell Bowl, Junior Spell Bowl and Senior Academic Super Bowl teams can qualify for State Finals competitions based on their Area Competition score. Before the Area competition, the IASP office will announce a specific number of teams which will advance to State Finals.

What are the important dates to remember?

Each competition has a posted timeline which lists competition entry deadlines, website posting dates, team roster submission deadlines, and meeting dates. Check the Calendars & Timelines on each student program page to see more.

These didn’t answer my question. Where else can I get help?

The best place to find answers is by reading a Coach’s Handbook, which are available on each competition’s web page. Handbooks are updated each year, and any item which is new for this year is in italics. If you’re not able to find the answers you need on the IASP web site or Coach’s Handbook you may also inquire by email to jslinker@iasp.org, dabel@iasp.org or chammer@iasp.org.

What are the enrollment classifications?


Class #1 = 1080 and up
Class #2 = 612 – 1079
Class #3 = 356 – 611
Class #4 = up to 355


7-8 enrollment
Class #1 = 480 and up
Class #2 = 300 – 479
Class #3 = 171 – 299
Class #4 = up to 170

6-7-8 enrollment
Class #1 = 720 and up
Class #2 = 450 – 719
Class #3 = 256 – 449
Class #4 = up to 255



The Elementary level has five classes, based on what grade level students who are competing on a team will be.

Blue Class: Teams that include 6th graders, 187 Eligible Students and Up

Green Class: Teams that include 6th graders, 186 Eligible Students and Down

Orange Class: Teams that do not include 6th graders, 163 Eligible Students And Up

Red Class: Teams that do not include 6th graders, 162 Eligible Students And Down

Yellow Class: Teams Including ONLY 4th graders, regardless of size of school

The enrollment number used is always the number submitted to the DOE the PREVIOUS school year. Click here for frequently asked questions regarding the Elementary Classes.

How can I tell if my cheer team is entered?

We will post a confirmation list on the website and update that as registrations come in.

When do I submit the names of my cheer team members and coaches?

We will post roster submission forms on our website and email all coaches once those are available.

What are cheer invitational events and are they required?

They are events that we help to promote for Indiana schools and they are not required. These contests are independent of the Indiana Cheer Championship events that we sponsor. Nothing from these contests can be translated to our events.

Are there cheer team roster limits, both in terms of not enough and too many?

To gain points in the stunting category, you would need at least the minimum needed to perform the stunts you wish to perform legally. There is no limit to the number of team members you may compete with. The roster forms only have space for 30 names, but if you have more than that when submitting your roster, please email Chris at chammer@iasp.org to add the additional names.

What are the important cheer dates to remember?

All important contest dates can be found on the timeline.

What are the cheer competition enrollment classifications?

Classes for Junior High teams are determined by the number of team members ON THE FLOOR, not on the roster. There is only 1 class for Junior High Time-Out, Freshman, Junior Varsity and High School Time-Out teams. Varsity teams are broken down into 4 all-girl divisions by enrollment, with an additional Coed division that is a single division regardless of school size. Partner Stunt Groups will compete in either the all-girl division or the coed division. A complete list of the divisions is below.

Junior High Small – 12 or less
Junior High Large – 13 or more
Freshman – Regardless of team or school size
Junior Varsity – Regardless of team or school size
Junior High Time-Out – Regardless of team or school size

Varsity A – 1,601+ students
Varsity B – 1,001 – 1,600 students
Varsity C – 501 – 1,000 students
Varsity D – up to 500 students
Varsity Coed – Regardless of team or school size
High School Time-Out – Regardless of team or school size

What are the Indiana requirements for cheerleader safety?

Cheerleading is not regulated by a governing body in Indiana. Rules and regulations are an issue to be dealt with at the local level.

What are the current cheer safety regulations?

At this time, the state of Indiana does not require cheerleaders to follow any specific regulations. IASP recommends that all teams follow all rules in the current edition of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Spirit Rules Book. Teams are required to comply with the NFHS Spirit Rules Book when participating in the Indiana Cheer Championship.

How do cheer coaches learn about NFHS Rules?

Attendance at a Rules Interpretation meeting is required of coaches of all teams who participate in the IASP sponsored cheer competitions. Coaches who choose not to participate in IASP sponsored competitions are still welcome and encouraged to attend Rules Interpretation meetings. Meetings are held at our annual cheer conference, and at two webinars that will be scheduled after the conference. The 2019 Cheer Coaches Conference will be held late summer 2019. Official date and location to follow.

Visit www.iasp.org/cheer for more information about the coaches conference and requirements for competing teams.

Where else can I receive cheer coach safety training?

IASP recommends coaches enroll in NFHS Spirit Coaches Education Program, which includes the AACCA Safety Certification. You may contact NFHS through their web site at www.nfhs.org.

When are the IASP sponsored cheer competitions held?

The 2019 Indiana Cheer Championship events will be held on the following dates:

Jr High/Middle School Time-Out & Jr High/Freshman/JV: October 26, 2019 at Warren Central HS – VENUE CHANGE

Varsity Preliminary Round: November 2, 2019 at Greenfield-Central HS
High School Time-Out & Varsity State Finals: November 9, 2019 at New Castle HS

What divisions are included in the cheer competitions?

We are proud to offer competition opportunities to a wide variety of squads: Varsity (A, B, C, D, Coed), JV, Freshmen, Jr. High Small and Large, Time-Out, All-Girl Partner Stunt Group, and Individual (HS Seniors only).

How do teams enter the IASP sponsored cheer competitions?

Entry forms are mailed to every Indiana school (attn. “Cheer Coach”) in August, and are also available at www.iasp.org/cheer.

Who answers questions about Indiana Cheer Competitions?

Contact the Indiana Association of School Principals, Department of Student Programs at chammer@iasp.org or jslinker@iasp.org or (317) 891-9900 ext 207 or 220.

Can I add my information to the IASP cheer coaches email distribution list?

Yes!  IASP maintains a list of cheer coaches who wish to receive information about upcoming events. Additional email addresses can be added by sending your contact information (name, school, email address, home mailing address, cell phone number and cell phone provider) to chammer@iasp.org.

Join DSP

In order to participate in Department of Student Programs (DSP) sponsored academic competitions, cheer competitions, Student Day at the Legislature, MLK Essay contest, and any other DSP programs, schools must maintain a current membership in DSP.

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