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Cheer Information




Pop Warner Spirit teams have participated for several decades on the football sidelines (Pep Squads, Majorettes, etc.); however, cheerleading was not officially introduced until the 1970’s.

Today, thousands of youth participate in Pop Warner Cheerleading and Dance teams around the United States.

The Cheer and Dance Program offers teams a wide range of opportunity for young athletes at all skill levels: Novice, Intermediate and Advanced. 

Pop Warner has established one set of spirit rules along with JAMZ, the Pop Warner Education Development Partner and the original developer of the Youth Cheer and Dance Alliance (YCADA).  

Together with YCADA, Pop Warner is able to provide online educational courses for its coaches, administrators and judges on team skill levels for Cheer Teams (Core Cheer, Show Cheer PW 1-4) and for Dance Teams (Pom Performance, Theme Dance & Hip Hop). Pop Warner also offers additional competition opportunities in Sideline Performance Cheer.

With continued education, the Pop Warner Coaching Staff provides basic instruction, training and conditioning for both football games and competition.

Teams participate on the sidelines at football games for home and most away games through to the Pop Warner Super Bowl. In addition to Game Day, teams participate in qualifying spirit events (League and Region) through to a Pop Warner National Championship.

The Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships (started in 1988) are now held in December located in Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.


For a cheerleading or dance squad, the difficult road to the national championship is quite similar to that of the football teams’. A spirit squad will showcase their best (2:30) two minute and thirty second routine complete with music and cheering at a league championship level. The top squads advance to regional competition via 4 regional qualifiers in each small, medium and large category, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced.


At these competitions, a spirit squad will again perform their top (2:30) two-minute and thirty second routine in hopes of winning. The first and second place squads in the region in each small, medium and large category, Novice, Intermediate and Advanced are invited to perform at Disney’s Wide World of Sports™ in hopes of winning a national championship for their local association.


The participants in the Pop Warner program are unique as opposed to those of other programs. While they are taught about the values of competition, they are also maintaining their grades at a satisfactory level in order to attain the ultimate prize of being named a Pop Warner National Champion. We salute all the efforts and accomplishments that our participants put forward!


The Pop Warner National Cheer and Dance Championships (started in 1988) are now held in December located in Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida.




1. Traditional Spirit

Traditional Spirit squads compete during the Pop Warner playing season from August 1st through December 31st.

2. Year-Round Spirit

The year-round season begins January 1st and ends July 31st. A Year-Round squad must compete in one competition from January 1st to July 31st. *Note: Year-Round Cheer Medical and Registration due by February 1st

* Tryouts of any kind within Pop Warner are prohibited.

The ages of all spirit participants in the program shall correspond to the overall ages that the League is permitting for players, unless League rules dictate that the ages of the spirit squad shall correspond to the playing ages of the team with which they are associated.



Division Name  



TINY-MITE 5, 6 & 7 

MITEY-MITE 7, 8, & 9 

JUNIOR PEEWEE 8, 9, 10 & 11 

PEEWEE 9, 10, 11 & 12 

JUNIOR VARSITY 10, 11, 12 & 13

VARSITY 12 , 13, 14, 15 & 16 

BANTAM 14, 15, 16, 17





Division Size of Squad
Small Cheer
12 and under
Medium Cheer 13-24
Large Cheer 25-35
Dance 35 Maximum
Flag 35 Maximum


Courtesy of the National Athletic Trainers’ Association


Safety First! is the latest of a number of safety initiatives that Cheerleading's governing bodies have implemented in past years. The results show, among other things, that cheer's total catastrophic injuries were cut in half from 2005 to 2006*, and that cheerleading's injuries per 100,000 participants is only 2.0, significantly less than the figures for popular women's sports such as gymnastics.

Below are some tips compiled by the NATA that help reduce cheerleader injuries at all levels:

•Proper Conditioning: Physically prepare and maintain your body’s strength, flexibility, and stamina for stunting and tumbling. Strengthen your core muscles (abdominal and lower back muscles) along with the upper and lower body and include aerobic (running, jogging, cycling, swimming) and anaerobic (wind sprints, circuit training) activities.
•Exercise Reminders: Warm up, stretch and cool down for every practice or competition and be sure to rest.
•Proper Equipment: Practice on mats or padded flooring until your routines are perfected. Make sure the mats are adequately sized and sufficient for the activities you’re performing.
•Spotting: Have trained spotters present and engaged at all times.
•Knowledgeable Coaches: Make sure your coaches are certified in safety, first aid, CPR and AED use.
•No Horseplay: Focus at all times during stunting and tumbling activities.
•Communication: Request that your coaches review safety precautions, rules and regulations with the squad on a regular basis, and that they establish and implement an emergency action plan.
•Read Safety Guidelines: Ask your coaches to be familiar with the latest AACCA safety guidelines; the safety advice in the National Federation of State High School Associations’ “Spirit Rules Book”; and the rules and regulations pertaining to your particular school.
•Know Your Limits: Be aware of your ability level and do not attempt advanced level gymnastic or stunting skills before mastering less advanced skills. Always have a supervisor present.
•Treatment of Injuries: Promptly attend to any injuries you sustain. Your school or organization’s athletic trainer can assist in the proper treatment and prevention of such injuries. He or she can also offer an injury prevention education seminar and assist in creating the conditioning routine