School Competition Grid

Cheer Canada is pleased to publish a formal Scholastic Grid for school cheer for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 seasons. This Scholastic Grid is designed to be flexible with minor overlap of grades to allow for rural and urban schools across Canada. The intent is for all provinces to implement these divisions for the coming season.
As our sport progresses and grows, it has become evident that scholastic cheer and all star cheer have their separate strengths and weaknesses. Cheer Canada is committed to the growth of all types of cheerleading in Canada and have created several committees in order to assist in their growth.
The Scholastic and University Cheer Committee reviewed the many different sets of rules and age divisions offered for scholastic teams across Canada and the USA. This research resulted in several discussions and ultimately, a list of recommendations was submitted to Cheer Canada that were approved at their Board meeting on May 7th, 2018.
As this is Cheer Canada’s first age grid for scholastic cheer, we know there will be many comments. This, we expect, will lead to additional clarifications, but Cheer Canada will not be making changes to this age grid for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 season. Rather, the Cheer Canada Scholastic and University Cheer Committee will review and analyze this over the next two seasons, recommending any changes for 2020/21.

Approved Committee Recommendations for Scholastic Cheer

  1. That Cheer Canada embrace and implement the ICU Safety Rules according to the recommended Scholastic Grid at the link below.
  2. That PSO’s completely implement the Scholastic Grid as approved by the Cheer Canada Board by the 2020/2021 cheer season.
  3. That PSO’s implement a required a minimum of 30-second cheer requirement with a max routine time of 2:30 for 2018/19. In 2019/20 this would be modified to a music limit of 1:30 and a routine limit of 2:30 to align fully with ICU.
    1. Cheers can be in French and/or English.
    2. The ICU routine requirements are 1:30 of music, the maximum time for a routine is 2:30, therefore most cheers would be 45-50 seconds in length.
    3. It is understood that many provinces do not currently require a cheer. In order to recognize the importance of this portion of our sport, and to gradually reintroduce school teams to cheering, the Committee recommends a minimum 30-second cheer requirement with a maximum routine time of 2:30. In 2019/20 this would be modified to a music limit of 1:30 and a routine limit of 2:30 to align fully with ICU.
  4. The Tumbling/Non-Tumbling Divisions may be offered by a PSO for the High School level in order to increase success at the ICU’s World School Cheerleading Championship.
    1. These Divisions should only be offered to the Advanced Division.
    2. Tumbling/Non-Tumbling Divisions are a PSO choice division until the 2019/2020 season when Cheer Canada will nationally mandate all divisions.
  5. That the Scholastic Cheer Season be recognized as:
    1. Competition Season, September 1 to April 30: Teams may hold tryouts and compete within this time frame.
    2. Off-Season, May 1 to August 31: Teams may practice, work on team development, technique, skill progression, but may not compete in the off-season.
  6. That these rules be implemented for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 cheer seasons and re-evaluated by the Scholastic and University Cheer Committee before the 2020/2021 season. The purpose of this re-evaluation is to:
    1. Evaluate the effectiveness of the Scholastic Grid in the provinces; and,
    2. Make sure that the long-term goals of the Committee are still relevant.



2018-2020 Season Scholastic Grid

If a division is deep, the event producer may elect to subdivide the divisions based on team size. Cheer Canada recommends to split the divisions equally so there will be 50% of the teams in each division.

Grade ICU Level Gender Team Size
1-4 Beginner


All Gender

All Gender

4-6 Novice


All Gender

All Gender

6-9 Intermediate


All Gender

All Gender

9-12 Intermediate




Game Day

All Gender

All Girl

All Gender (1+ males)

All Gender (1- 2 males) Non Tumbling

All Gender

ICU Cheer Rules