Cheerleading Competition


The Cheerleading Competition is conducted with two divisions, “A” and “AA.” The “A” division is for schools with an enrollment of less than 75 students in the 5th-8th grade and the “AA” division is for schools with an enrollment of 75 or more students in the 5th−8th grade. Squads are comprised of 5th−8th grade students (male or female). Team trophies will be awarded to the highest scoring teams. The number of awards will depend on the number of entrants in each division. L.E.S.T. Northwest may also provide outstanding performance awards for individual or group demonstrations.  

SQUADS MUST BE DULY CONSTITUTED BY THEIR RESPECTIVE SCHOOLS with an advisor in attendance. They must also have been in existence through the basketball season, cheering at home and/or away games. No school may have more than one Cheerleading squad competing at L.E.S.T. Northwest. 

How to Participate

  1. Cheerleading squads must send in the fully completed Registration form with Cheerleading information no later than December 16. Please be sure to use the form available online at the L.E.S.T. Northwest website.
  2. Each cheer team is required to submit an in-order outline of their routine with a list of all stunts, stacks, dismounts, and tumbling that they plan to use for their L.E.S.T. Northwest routine. Please include photocopies of the pages in the NFHS Spirit Rules Book where these stacks/stunts/dismounts/tumbling are shown to be legal. This outline must be received no later than January 17. Squads may eliminate stunts that they cannot perfect by the L.E.S.T. but will not be allowed to add any new ones. Please send a list of any deleted items by January 31, 2021. The Judges will use these outlines as part of their scoring tools.

Each participating school should refer to the NFHS website for the National Federation of High Schools Spirit Rules Book:


The individual Cheerleading squads will cheer at their school’s basketball games, as desired. The L.E.S.T. Cheerleading Competition date and time will be given in the L.E.S.T. schedule, which will be distributed in January. It will run in conjunction with the Dance Competition. Schools that have a Dance Team and a Cheerleading squad will be properly spaced so that no school will have their Cheerleading squad perform right before or right after their Dance Team. 

Even though the two competitions are run simultaneously, they are judged separately and on different criteria. Please pay close attention to the judging forms for the respective competitions. Scoring is based on the fundamental skills listed on the judging forms. The judges scoring criteria is available on the further down this webpage.

A performance schedule for the Cheerleading and Dance competitions will be posted on the L.E.S.T. Northwest website in early February. 

Major Requirements for Cheerleading Team Routines

  1. Squads must consist of four or more members, with a maximum of 20 cheerleaders on the floor at one time.
  2. Total routine time limit is three minutes, with no more than half of the routine done to music. Time begins with the first note of music or the first organized motion. Time ends when all team members have cleared the floor completely. Teams that exceed the total time limit will receive a 10 point deduction.Teams that exceed the one and one-half minute music limit will receive a 10 point deduction.  
  3. Music is required to be on a thumb drive, cell phone, or MP3 player (not provided). All music must be properly registered on the Dance/Drill Registration form listing Song, Artist, Album, and Recording label for each piece of music. This is due to copyright laws.  No music with inappropriate language or theme will be allowed, even if it has been edited out!
  4. Competition routines shall contain at least one chant/sideline cheer and one floor/crowd cheer. (Leading the crowd will increase your score as per the score guidelines.)
  5. All stunts must be performed on mats. Mats will be available by request (see Cheerleading Registration Form). You are responsible for placing and removing the mats for your performance.

Judges / Timers

There will be both Standard Judges and Technical Judges for the Cheerleading Competition. Judges location will be identified for teams prior to start of competition. There will be two timers for the competition. One timer will be seated with the Judges and one will be on or near the floor. In the event that one timer finds a timing violation and the other does not, a time violation will be taken.

Score Sheets and Awards

Teams will receive their score sheets after L.E.S.T. Northwest has concluded, either in a packet at the end of the Tournament, or by email soon after the event. In addition to their own score sheets, they will receive a copy of all score sheets from each team in their division. Team awards will be given out on Saturday at the awards ceremony.


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