AYC CHEERLEADING OVERVIEW
American Youth Football (AYF) understands the importance of supporting young girls in the community through sport and with that they started a sister league to AYF devoted to its cheerleaders. American Youth Cheer, governed on safety, sportsmanship and full participation offers membership to all cheer, dance and step teams associated with an American Youth Football team. However, independent teams, not affiliated with AYF/AYC, are encouraged to sign up today to become a part of the AYF family.
AYC Membership is configured into two independent structures: Tournament & Local.
Tournament Membership Structure pertains to those leagues that plan to participate in AYF/AYC Regional and National Championships and other pre or post-season competitions. These leagues are required to strictly abide by AYC rules and regulations and age divisions as outlined in the Official American Youth Cheerleading Rulebook. AYC follows The National Federation of High School Association (NFHS) rule book and the additional supplement AYC rule book. Both rule books should be followed together at all times.
Local Membership Structure stays true to the AYF/AYC objective of remaining independent and supporting all teams regardless of their competitive intentions. AYC strongly encourages all cheer teams to participate in outside cheer competitions as well as the expectation of them to participate and support our own AYC local, regional and national competitions. We encourage all associations to contact their league/conference to confirm the AYC cheer calendar for the dates and schedule of all AYC competitions.
Rules & Regulations
AYC rulebooks are only available to our members and can be found at www.MyAYF.com. Members will get a user ID and password and can use that to navigate the site and get official AYC rulebooks. To obtain extra rulebooks for $5.00 each please contact AYC or send payment to:
American Youth Football and Cheer
1000 South Pointe Drive TH-9
Miami, Fl 33139
Please note: The general football rules as stated in the Official Football Rules and Regulations regarding cheerleading at football games which apply to players will also apply to the cheerleaders (with the exception of weight or weigh-ins and the rules of contact). Certain rules will be superseded by the Official Cheer Rules and Regulations. Governing of AYF/AYC Leagues occurs as stated in Section 3 & 4 of the Football Rules Section.
AYC also uses the rulebook from the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS). Through communication, education and recognition, the NFHS Spirit Association supports coaches of middle and high school cheerleading, pom, dance and drill teams, by assisting them in risk management, good sportsmanship and citizenship, and professional development.
For more information on the National Federation of State High School Associations rules and regulations please visit nfhs.org.
White, Red and Blue Skill Division guidelines are listed in the AYC Rule Book. AYC teams participating in the region and national competitions will need to declare a team’s skill division before the start of the fall competition season.
*An age waiver may be requested for a 15 year old to participate in Division 18 if their Association does not offer or cannot field a Division 15 team.
Step is a form of dance that has been in existence for decades. It is sophisticated, synchronized chanting and stomping to a rhythmic beats from participants’ hands, feet and mouth. Today, youth across America have embraced this art form. AYC National Championships include a Step Division. See rules in the official AYC rule book, or for information, contact Diedrea.
AYC Dance is made up of five distinct divisions from age 5-18.
A Game Time Division at Championships has been created to showcase what cheerleading is all about - leading the crowd! The division gives teams who traditionally don't compete a chance to show how they rule the field and lead the crowds at their schools. Teams can step off the sideline and into the competition. "Bring your sideline skills & get your game on!" Learn more in the AYC Rule Book. We encourage all AYC conferences to consider hosting your own Game Time division and take your cheer competitions to new heights! Contact AYC with any questions and for information on age waiver guidelines please visit MYAYF.com.
The Universal Cheerleading Association (UCA) provides AYC members personal cheer camps, coaches clinics, certification courses and educational resources. UCA Representatives provide a support system for AYC members at all levels including local and regional. If you need assistance in planning an event, educating coaches/participants/parents or coaching clinics the AYC and UCA staff will help you get all the cheer resources you need to succeed! For information on UCA visit www.UCAvarsity.com.
AYC, along with the American Sports Education Program (ASEP), provide a specific online certification course designed specifically for members. Titled "Coaching Youth Cheerleading - The AYC Way," the certification will provide a two million dollar liability coverage for each coach who obtains a certificate. More information can be found at www.AYFcoaching.com.
Teamleader, the #1 supplier to youth leagues, schools and colleges for uniform packages is an official partner with AYC. Teamleader is committed to AYC by featuring exclusive uniform packages to all AYC cheer teams providing the best possible value. Go to www.teamleader.com.
AYC TERMS AND DEFINITIONS
A Region is defined as a geographic territory. The geographic territory is determined by the AYF National Office. The nine regional territories that make up AYF can be found online at: AYF Regional Map. A Region is comprised of Conferences within their territories that have applied for, and have been granted membership by the National Office.
A Conference is defined by the geographic boundary of its membership. A Conference’s membership is the Association that it has applied for, and has been granted membership, by the Conferences governing body. In keeping with American Youth Football’s Goals and Philosophies no application for membership should be unreasonably withheld. AYC teams should be a member of a local conference if they are participating in the regional/national championship.
An Association is often defined as a local city, or town. The acceptable method and determination of what participants can register within any given Association is governed by the Conference/Region to which it is a member.
A Division in Cheerleading is defined a grouping of Teams in a specific Age bracket.
A division in cheerleading in which teams are declared white, red or blue division based on skill ability of team for competition. Guidelines for each skill division are provided in the AYC rule book.
Size of Teams:
Teams are further broken down into small or large divisions.
• - Small team 5 – 16 members
• - Large team 17 – 36 members
** Teams electing to compete in AYC regional and national competitions are required to restrict teams to (36) thirty-six members, mascots not included in this total.