What Is the New IASF Full Top Uniform Rule?

The IASF “full top uniform rule” has caused a lot of discussions among cheerleaders, coaches and parents around the world. 

It was first announced in May 2018 and was set to apply from the 2021 Worlds and forward. Due to the pandemic, the rule was pushed to 2022 (read more about that announcement here) and will apply from the 2022 Worlds.

Are you wondering exactly what the rule means? Which teams it will apply to? You’ve come to the right place!

What is the full top rule?

The rule, listed under the “image policy” section in the Worlds Rules & Guidelines, states: “Beginning in 2021, all teams attending the IASF Worlds must compete in a full top uniform. Crop tops, half tops or mid-drifts will not be allowed.”

It means that all the teams competing at the IASF Worlds must wear full top uniforms. They are not allowed to wear crop tops, which is the most commonly used uniform top for senior teams. The rule applies to all teams in international divisions, which means U.S-teams in those divisions will have to follow the rule as well. 

As stated, the rule only applies to the IASF Worlds. To learn more about the difference between the IASF and USASF Worlds, check out our competition guide: The USASF, IASF & ICU – What Are They and What’s the Difference?

Why is it being enforced?

Since the rule is listed as part of the “image policy”, it seems like the IASF wants to influence how the sport is perceived by the public. 

The International Cheerleading Union (or ICU) has a similar statement in its guidelines. For the ICU World Championship, teams are recommended to wear full top uniforms. It’s not a rule (at least yet) like for the IASF teams.

Here’s what the ICU guidelines say:

“For purposes of promotion of international sport and the global athletic image of the Sport of Cheer, athletes are recommended to compete in national team attire that does not intentionally expose the midriff/mid-section of the athlete while the athlete is in a standing position. For purposes of awareness, this is only a recommendation for 2020.”

Learn more about the ICU Cheerleading Worlds here: What is the ICU World Cheerleading Championship?

Thoughts & similar guidelines

This rule is welcomed by many, and not as appreciated by others.

Some say it’s good for the sport, as it could lead to it being seen as more athletic. Others believe it will have little effect on the image of the sport and that other things are more important to “fix” first.

It’s not the first time guidelines for cheerleaders’ “competition appearance” have been shared. Read some of the USASF’s guidelines for competition makeup, hair, and bows here: What Are The New Makeup & Hair Guidelines?

What do you think about this new rule? Vote in the poll below & share your thoughts in the comments!


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