Cheer » Cheer Handbook

Cheer Handbook




Article 1


The purpose of this organization is to give students at Akins High School an opportunity to:

  1. Perform at school and community events throughout the year.
  2. Render service to the school, be participants at various school and community functions.
  3. Develop good leadership skills.
  4. Develop physically, mentally, and morally the character of each team member.
  5. Learn to work within a group for common goals.
  6. Strive for high academic standards.
  7. Develop loyalty and school spirit.
  8. Representing Akins High School in the highest standards at all times.
  9. Develop self-confidence and self-discipline through the development of cheer technique.

Article 2


Any student may request an application from the Coaches during the announced application period. Audition shall be held during the spring semester of the school year. In order to be eligible to audition, student must have a 2.0 GPA, obtained all credits required for classification, and be in good standing at their current school. Parents must attend the mandatory try-out meeting in order for the candidate to be allowed entry into the clinic or audition. All candidates must receive recommendations from teachers in order to move forward in the audition process. Candidate is required to attend all clinic dates on time and stay for the duration of scheduled rehearsal times as well as the try out day. 

Varsity squad-specific information:

- Eligible 9th-12th graders for 2019-20 school year

- Must not have quit or been released from squad during the previous year (unless cleared by both coaches ahead of time)

- Must attend ALL summer practice events

- Will participate in all cheer competitions for 2019-20 season

- Cheer at Varsity football games, other selected football games, Varsity basketball games, and other selected basketball games

- Participate in pep rallies, Blue and Gold Night, and other selected events

Junior Varsity squad-specific information:

- Eligible 9th-11th graders for 2019-20 school year

- Must not have quit or been released from high school or middle school squad during the previous year (unless cleared by both coaches ahead of time)

- Must attend ALL summer practice events

- Cheer at Junior Varsity football games, other selected football games, Junior Varsity basketball games, and other selected basketball games

- Participate in pep rallies, Blue and Gold Night, and other selected events

**If we do not have adequate numbers to create both squads, we may combine them to form only one squad.

Article 3


In order to be eligible, a student must:

  1. Incoming freshman through senior standing at the time of membership. Have the correct number of credits for the number of years of attendance in High School. A member cannot be behind on credits at time of membership.
  2. Have an overall scholastic average of 2.0 for all courses taken while high school.
  3. Candidate must be eligible to be in the cheer class period or otherwise forfeit their position on the team. 
  4. Have their application approved by the coaches.
  5. Audition before a panel of judges who will rate the candidate according to a set criteria for all candidates.
  6. Be willing to carry out all provisions of these rules and regulations in the constitution.
  7. Attend all practices and games/events throughout the entire year.
  8. Abide by the rules and regulations set for Akins High School and AISD.
  9. Cooperate with the Coaches, captains and teammates in promoting good citizenship in the school and developing good sportsmanship among the campus and other schools. 
  10. Refrain from participating in any activity that would embarrass a fellow student or cause them physical or emotional discomfort or harm. This includes, but is not limited to: cyberbullying, bullying, fighting, etc.
  11. In order to perform, a member must have demonstrated their ability to perform a given routine(s) and skills as determined by the coaches with the assistance of the captain / senior in an audition.
  12. If a Cheerleader is dismissed from the team due to any illegal activity, s/he may not audition again for a full year after dismissal date.
  13. Resign gracefully upon failure to live up to the requirements of membership. If a Cheerleader resigns their position from membership s/he must seek a recommendation letter from the coach  in order to re-audition.
  14. If at any point a member resigns or is dismissed, they are still financially responsible for their dues for the remainder of the school year. 

Article 4


  1. Tardies:
  1. If s/he is tardy to practice, she may be pulled or replaced from a game. If a tardy or absence is excused in advance, cheerleader  will not receive demerits, but may still be replaced.
  2. Cheerleaders will have 3 excused tardies per semester. After 3 tardies, each tardy after will receive a demerit. 
  3. If a cheerleader is tardy to a performance, s/he will receive 2 demerits for every 15 minutes s/he is late.
  1. Absences:
  1. All absences must be communicated in writing via email to coaches for all circumstances.
  2. If absent because of illness or injury, doctor’s note must be given to appointed Co-captain. when student return or absence will be unexcused.
  3. Any practices/events that will be missed for tutoring or academic reasons must be cleared with Coach in advance (minimum of 24 hours) and must present a tutoring log to coaches upon return. 
  4. If absent for funeral or family emergency, proper documentation must be provided for the Coach or absence will be unexcused.
  5. If student will be absent due to family related reasons, a 72 hour notice must be given to Coaches and Captains. This is to the Coach’s discretion and will be granted on a case by case basis.
  6. If a member is absent from a game, this results in an automatic dismissal from the organization unless the absence was excused by the Coach a minimum of 72 hours in advance.
  1. Summer Camp:
  1. All summer camp dates are mandatory. Each day of summer camp missed, cheerleader will be benched a performance. If a member misses more than 2 days of camp, cheerleader will be dismissed from the team.
  1. Football Season:
  1. Any member who misses practice the week of a performance will be ineligible to perform at that week’s game or pep rally.
  2. Cheerleaders must attend every football game in uniform whether s/he is performing or not, unless on grade probation. If on grade probation, members will wear jeans, no holes, cheer shirt, team shoes. 
  3. If Cheerleader is on grade probation, member is still required to attend game with team,  however, is not permitted to be in field uniform.
  4. Cheerleader must sit in designated area for football/basketball games as a self-contained unit and serve as a spirit organization

  1. Competition Season:
  1. If a Cheerleader misses more than 3 practice, s/he will be pulled from all routines whether the absence is considered “excused” or not.  Cheerleader will be placed as an alternate and will have to earn their spot back. This is to the Coach’s discretion.
  2. If a Cheerleader leaves practice early, it will be counted as a .5 absence. Cheerleader must get early departure approved 72 hours in advance from Coach.
  1. Miscellaneous: 
  1. Cheerleaders must arrive 5 minutes prior to scheduled practice and events for roll-call, but must arrive 15 minutes early to performances. 
  2. Any member who arrives tardy to a game is subject to being benched or sent home. If sent home it will count as an unexcused absence and will result in demerits. 
  3. Be able to attend all scheduled practice before and/or after school, nights, and weekends as schedule by the Coach, not exceeding the time allowed by the UIL mandated 8-hour rule.
  4. Be at school the day of a game.
  5. Attend additional practice as called by the Coach as deemed necessary for the quality of the performance.
  6. Be on time to practice
  7. Contact a Captain and Coach in advance of an absence or tardy is to occur
  8. Attend tumbling class requirements as assigned by the Coach each year. If tumbling requirements are not completed by designated date, Cheerleader will not be eligible to perform football season until all requirements have been met.
  9. Agree to remain the entire function unless prior arrangements are made with the Coach.
  10. Understand that work related absences are NEVER excused.
  11. If a student needs to attend tutoring during practice time, a 24 hour advance notice must be given to Coach for this request. Coach will sign tutoring log if the absence is approved before student is to be excused. This is to the Coach’s discretion.
  12. All cheerleaders MUST be picked up within 15 minutes of practice or game/events ending. Demerits will be issued for every 10 minutes a student is left past this window. 

Article 5


Probation is defined as a period of time during which a member is denied the privilege of participating in performances or a period of time in which the Coach will be monitoring member under set guidelines which must be abided by. Members on probation for any reason will be required to participate fully during class and scheduled practice time. Length of probation will be determined by the Coach. 

Members are subject to probation for the following violations:

  1. Demerits:
  1. 5 demerits= sit out 1 game 
  2. 6-9 demerits-sit out a performance for each demerit earned
  3. Earning 10 or more demerits in one semester will place a member on probation for the remainder of the semester and will not be allowed to perform.
  1. Grades:
  1. Receiving an F in a course for a 6 weeks grading period. This precedes participation in all team activities outside of class time, not just games. If a member is on grade probation, s/he must turn in a tutoring log every Friday for the remainder of the 6 weeks and follow the guidelines of the grade probation contract as assigned by the Coach.
  2. If cheerleader is failing multiple classes at any time during the 6 weeks, Coach may pull cheerleaders from games  and/or events. 
  3. If a cheerleader fails two six weeks within one semester they will be dismissed from the team.
  1. Captain on probation:
  1. Any leadership position placed on probation for 7 or more demerits, discipline/behavioral problems and/or grade probation will forfeit their position at the discretion of the Coach.
  1. Miscellaneous:
  1. Disrespect or insubordination to the Coach, Captains, any Akins or AISD staff, Line Sergeants, or other members.
  2. Skipping class for any reason.
  3. Caught stealing from anyone.
  4. Being assigned to Saturday School for consequences of behavioral or attendance issues.
  5. Being assigned to in school suspension for consequences of behavioral or attendance issues.
  6. Any activity on a Cheerleader’s personal website that is an infraction to the Cheer rules and regulations, the Akins rules and regulations, Austin ISD guidelines or Texas state law will have the appropriate action taken according to the Cheer Handbook. 
  7. Public Display of Affection (PDA). This includes in or out of uniform, photographs on person websites, additional situations are upon the Coach’s discretion. 
  8. Inappropriate clothes that appear too revealing and/or breaks school dress code “If you don’t want your grandma to see it, then don’t wear it.”
  9. Unlady-like behavior, this includes but is not limited to profanity, fighting, instigating drama, sexual harassment.
  10. Leaving campus during lunch or scheduled schools hours without signing out through the front office or without permission of their legal guardian will be placed on probation and be benched 2 performances.
  11. Cheerleaders leaving campus during lunch or scheduled school hours as an underclassman or taking underclassmen off campus will be placed on probation and be benched 2 games, 5 demerits will be given as well.

The following demerit infractions are subject to change at the discretion of the coaches and due to the severity of the infraction

1 Demerit

 5-15 minutes late to practice

Excused after absence

Unexcused from summer camps / summer practices: 1 demerit every day missed + 1 benched football game per missed day

Leaving practice early

Unprepared for inspection (1 demerit for each item missing)

Missing uniform item for practice

Bad attitude

Inappropriate / unsportsmanlike conduct

Gum during practice or game


Goofing off during practice

Jewelry during game

Visible tattoos (1 demerit anytime seen) 

Piercings other than earlobe = 1 demerit anytime seen 

Negative teacher comment/email

Phone out at practice without permission

Leaving practice or game without permission, “wandering off”


2 Demerits

15-30 minutes late to practice 

Unnatural nail color to game

Miss practice (unexcused)


Missing uniform item for game

Phone out at game without permission

Failing 2 classes at grade check

Miss game/performance excused

Not dressed out for practice


3 demerits

30+ Minutes  late to practice (Also counts as an unexcused absence)

Dismissed from practice 

Miss game (unexcused)

No call/no show for practice

Sitting down at game, on phone, not participating

Failing 3 classes at grade check

In School Suspension

Coach discretion

5 demerits

No call/no show for game or event

Saturday school (0-5)

Skipping Class

Leaving campus during lunch if not a senior 

Public display of affection 

Coach Discretion

Failing 4 or more classes at grade check- will sit out until grades are passing STILL have to attend all events

10 demerits

Disrespecting Coaches and/or Captions 1-10 (Eye rolling, negative comments, body language)

Disrespect to team from Captains = 1=10

Unlady like conduct (hickey, etc) =1-10

Disrespect to each other = 1-10 

15 demerits

Violation of social media contract

Fighting on or off campus

Unexcused from game or major event 

Demerits will be given out by the coaches for unexpected situations that are not listed above

Demerit recovery will be offered at the Coaches discretion. 

Cheerleaders on probation cannot participate until demerits have been worked down to less than 5 demerits total.