Here Are the New Rules Proposed to the USASF for the 2022-2023 Season (Big Changes!)

The USASF has recently announced new proposals for rules, that would begin to apply from the 2022-2023 season.

The rules would affect teams on many levels and are big changes for some divisions! They could even remove certain Worlds divisions…

We have listed all the proposed changes (here’s a link to the official statement), so you can read through which rule changes would affect your team.

Where do these proposals come from?

Remember that they are just proposals, not definitive rules!

Even though it is the USASF that has announced the proposals, they don’t come directly from the organization. It’s the members of the USASF that can give proposals. This can be gym owners, coaches, and choreographers for example.

It’s not guaranteed that these proposals will become new rules, but offer ideas and discussions about the development of cheerleading in the future.

Let’s get into all the proposed changes:

Standing tumbling

Prep level 1: no changes.

Elite level : allow 1 back handspring.

(Current rule: skills must involve constant physical contact with the performing surface) Standing back handsprings not allowed.

Elite level 2: allow standing back handspring series (= 2+ back handsprings performed in a row).

(Current rule: Series front/back handsprings are not allowed).

Elite level 3: allow 2 (+) Back handsprings to tuck.

(Current rule: flips not allowed). Tucks are currently only allowed in running tumbling.

Elite level 4: allow 2 (+) Back handsprings to layout.

(Current rule: must be performed in a tuck position).

Elite level 5: allow 2 (+) Back handsprings to full.

(Current rule: up to 1 flipping and 0 twists allowed).

Elite level 6 & 7: no changes.

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Running tumbling

Level 1: Allow a forward or backward roll immediately after a round off.

Reasoning: Allows athletes to initiate tumbling backwards.

Current rule: No tumbling is allowed in immediate combination after a round off or round off rebound.

Level 3: Add front handspring (front connection ground skill including flyspring) to front tuck.

Current rule: No tumbling prior to front tuck is allowed.

Level 4: Remove bounding into tucks and layouts.

Current rule: allowed.

Reasoning: First level that you are able to tumble out of a flip, flip/flip is not a good progression.

Level 5: Allow twisting flips after whip.

Current rule: twist must immediately be preceded by a round off, back handspring(s) or front handspring(s).

Reasoning: Level 4 may connect bounding flips, then level 6 may connect bounding skills into double twisting. Fit progression.

Speaking of new cheerleading rules… Did you know that the IASF has a new uniform rule that will apply from 2022 and forward? Read all about it here: What Is the New IASF Full Top Uniform Rule?


Level 3 Pyramids: Allow non-twisting/non inverted release moves to extended if connected to one bracer at prep level or below.

Current rule: requires 2 bracers at prep level or below.

Reasoning: Level 4 may simultaneously release and twist to extended with one bracer. Fits progression.

Level 6 Stunts: Allow rewinds in Senior 6 division with same restrictions as International 6 division.

Current rule: Not allowed in Senior division, only International 6.

Reasoning: Being performed safely in International divisions.

Age grid

“USASF age grid is calculated by year of birth. ICU and IASF age grids are calculated by age of year end competition. Should they be aligned?”

Meaning possible changes to the age grid, as the USASF age grid is not calculated in the same way as the ICU and IASF one.

Learn more about what the USASF is, and how it’s different from the IASF and ICU: The USASF, IASF & ICU – What Are They and What’s the Difference?

Division changes

  • Remove Senior Open 6 division.

Reasoning: International Open 6 division may have exact same roster. Senior Open 6 was created because of uncertainty with where IASF was headed with scoring, rules, etc.

  • Allow IOSC and SOSC to have 5 males.

Reasoning – The additional male athlete will allow for options when creating stunt groups that can complete at a competitive level with more age appropriate athletes. There’s a need to fly more aged appropriate flyers and another male will help field just that. The average team of 24 will do 5 stunts, this would allow for potentially putting 1 male in every stunt group. This would also allow for teams with stronger female stunting to add males with elite tumbling to join to help them in the tumbling categories. In these divisions the males are showcased heavily, one more male that may add to a category the team lacks in as a whole. There is such a jump from 5-12 males in the Large Open Coed 6 and 5-16 males in International Large 6 & 7, giving the Small divisions one more male will help close that gap.

  • Change Senior Level 6 Worlds division sizes to Small 5-14, Medium 15-22, and Large 23-30

Reasoning – This would allow all senior 6 divisions to have two leftover athletes after stunt groups are created. It also separates each division by 8 athletes. Currently we are allowed 38 athletes in level 6 but only 30 in levels 1-5. This does not make sense. There is more chance of injury with 38 athletes on the floor tumbling. This is especially true when these athletes are performing level 6 tumbling. The max team size should be lowered to 30 so it matches all other elite levels and reduced chance of injury. Also, most gyms cannot field a team with 30+ athletes. It is not needed.

Reasoning – It would help level out divisions at worlds. Currently, large Senior has 4 teams and extra small has about 50. This change would essentially combine current medium and large teams into one division and create a better competition. The small and extra small teams would round out the new medium and small divisions.

DI/DII Discussion

Some suggestions regarding the discussions about “D1” and “D2” gyms.

Learn more about D2 divisions here: What Is The D2 Summit? Here’s All the Information You Need

  1. Only count Elite athletes and lower the D#.
  2. Count by location instead of program (Possibly in combination with suggestion 1) .
  3. Raise the D#.

What are your thoughts about these suggestions? Comment on our social media platforms or vote in this quick poll:

2 thoughts on “Here Are the New Rules Proposed to the USASF for the 2022-2023 Season (Big Changes!)

  • October 14, 2021 at 23:00

    I don’t believe it is fair to allow a true D1 gym to be able to choose locations to be D2. As a D2 gym it isn’t fair when they can pull athletes from other locations. True D2 gyms do not have that same advantage and I think it’s completely unfair. If they allow this then there should not be crossovers from other locations then.

  • October 14, 2021 at 19:16

    Do not change size of Senior Large 6. The size is the show. Dont break what is not broken!!!


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