Spirit FAQ 2018-02-24T23:53:56+00:00

NEW Info: School Administrators & Text Message Updates

We are thrilled to welcome school principals and administrators to USA Nationals as VIPs. Their support of your program is appreciated and applauded. Please email the name of the school administrators coming to cheer you on to our Varsity Brands West Division Impact Director, Lee Tousignant (ltousignant@varsitybrands.com). We will have a special lanyard waiting for him/her at the Arena Box Office VIP Check In. In addition, we will have seats behind the judges reserved for school administrators while they wait for you to take the floor. NEW this year — let your school administrators know to come to the floor of the Arena to watch your team in action in special seats near the judges during your team performance! 

Lastly, stay in the know with the latest Nationals updates by opting in to our TEXT MESSAGE feature. Simply text “usanats” to 36698 to get started! Standard text messaging rates apply.

2018 Spirit Nationals Frequently Asked Questions

Congratulations and welcome to Nationals, Coach! Below please find answers to your frequently asked questions. Please note that a special page just for spectators can be found at www.usacamps.com/spiritnationals. This way, you get all the details you need here and family can get general information there. See you soon at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California!

Schedule of Events

11:00 AM – 9:30 PM – Arena

Prelims for select Cheerleading team divisions (see performance schedule)

Two to three cheer divisions will alternate performance times. Refer to performance schedules for specific divisions and times.

 9:00 AM – 9:30 PM – North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor)

Group Stunts (Prelims and Finals) and Prelims for select Cheerleading team divisions (see performance schedule)

Two to four divisions will alternate performance times for cheer and group stunt divisions. Refer to performance schedules for specific divisions and times.

All Crowdleader® Teams will advance to Saturday Evening Finals.

8:00 AM – 2:00 PM – Arena Prelims

Prelims for select Cheerleading team divisions (see performance schedule).  

Two to three cheer divisions will alternate performance times.

8:00 AM – 6:00 PM – North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor)

Prelims for Song/Pom, Jazz (Song/Pom), Pep Flag and Mascot divisions.

Two to three divisions will alternate performance times for Song/Pom, Pep Flags, Mascot, JV and Varsity Jazz (song/pom). Refer to performance schedules for specific divisions and times.

3:00 PM – 11:00 PM – Arena FINALS

Finals for Novice, Intermediate and Advanced Cheerleading, Non-Tumbling Cheerleading and Crowdleader® Teams divisions.

Have questions on what it takes to get to the next level? What is it really like being on a college team? What are the skill requirements at tryouts? Get your questions answered by visiting college cheer and dance coaches and athletes at the USA Collegiate Expo on Saturday, February 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Arena concourse. Once you enter the Arena entrance doors, make a right to the Collegiate Expo. See you there!

8:00 AM – 3:00 PM – Arena FINALS

Finals for Song/Pom, Jazz (Song/Pom), Pep Flag and Mascot divisions

Times listed above are tentative and subject to change.  The divisions taken to Finals are subject to change pending the final number of performances in Prelims.

  • Read the performance schedule from left to right for performance times and from top to bottom to see who is in the division. When one team is on the floor, the next two teams must be ready to perform.
  • Starting times are approximate. If there are cancellations, then a pause in the competition schedule will take place.  Be ready to perform up to 20 minutes prior to your scheduled performance time.
  • A penalty will be assessed to any squad/individual performing out of scheduled order unless waived by competition officials. If you perform in the incorrect division, you will be disqualified.
  • The order for Saturday and Sunday Finals performance will be in reverse order of how teams place during Prelims. The order of performance for Group Stunt Finals will be the same as the order of performance for preliminary competition, alternating from division A and division B.

Times are tentative and subject to change.  The divisions taken to Finals are subject to change pending the final number of performances in Prelims.

Please Note – All Crowdleader® Teams will advance to Saturday Evening Finals.

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 23

Fri. ARENA
Fri. NORTH HALL

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 24

Sat. ARENA PRELIMS
Sat. NORTH HALL PRELIMS
Arena Cheer Finals – Saturday

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 25

Arena Song/Pom/Mascot/Pep Flag Finals – Sunday
Results (Select Your Division From Drop Down Menu)

Parking, Registration and Admission

Please allow an additional 30 to 40 minutes for traffic and parking.  Parking will be impacted over the weekend and cars may be directed to off-site lots.  If you are directed to the Toy Story parking lot, please inform the cast member at the entrance to the lot that you are attending the competition at the Anaheim Convention Center.

LINK to PARKING MAP.

Anaheim Convention Center

 CARS: Enter the Convention Center parking area from Katella, or as directed by signage posted by the Convention Center.

The parking fee at the Convention Center is $16.00 and is good for one entry ONLY. It is not valid for in/out parking. The parking receipt must be visible on the vehicle dashboard. The parking ticket is not transferable.

BUSES: Buses will enter from the back of the Convention Center, off of West Street.  Parking personnel will direct you to the drop off area and appropriate exit or parking area.  Parking fees for buses is $30.00 and is good for one entry ONLY.  Overnight parking of vehicles is prohibited.

Parking fees are subject to change. 

  • BEAT THE FRIDAY LINES AT REGISTRATION and REGISTER EARLY!!! — USA competition registration will be available between 10:00 AM and 8:00 PM on Thursday in the North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor) lobby area of the Anaheim Convention Center. There you will receive your team packet, which includes competition participant and guest passes, Disneyland® Resort tickets and updated information related to the competition.  You will be required to sign a form stating that you have received your entire packet.
  • The registration window in the North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor) lobby area at the Anaheim Convention Center box office will open on Friday, February 23rd at 7:00 AM and on Saturday, February 24th at 6:00 AM for registration.
  • Only one person may pick up the USA registration packet and that person must sign for the packet.
  • Music guidelines are being followed at all USA and Varsity Brands events. Competition music must be properly licensed and a team must provide proof of licensing at team registration. If a team cannot provide proof of licensing immediately upon request, the team may be disqualified from the event. For further details visit www.varsity.com/music.
  • All performers and prepaid guests receive their entrance pass/wristbands to the Convention Center at registration check-in. This will admit them to the Convention Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  If pre-purchased, you will also receive your Disneyland® Resorts tickets.
  • General admission tickets may be purchased at the Convention Center Main Arena box office. Spectators may purchase a one-day preliminary competition ticket for $25.00 adults/$10.00 children (5-11 years).
  • Please note that admission to Prelims and Finals is a separate ticket. The venues on Saturday will be cleared of all spectators prior to Finals and a Finals ticket only will permit a spectator to re-enter.  The same holds true for Sunday Finals, a new ticket is required for entry into the Arena on Sunday.
  • One-day finals competition tickets may be purchased for $18.00 adults/$8.00 children (5-11 years). All spectators must enter through the main Arena doors (east side nearest water fountain) to view the spiritleading teams competition in the Arena at the Convention Center and through the center ballroom doors to view competition in North Hall 200 Level.  Spectators will not be permitted in the “official/scheduled” or “open” Warm-Up/Practice areas at any time. 
  • Admission tickets/wristbands will be required in all competition venues.
  • Please obtain a handstamp should you wish to exit a venue and re-enter at a later time. A valid ticket and handstamp are required for re-entry.
  • CASH ONLY IS ACCEPTED FOR ADMISSION TICKETS
  • All seating is general admission and first-come, first-served. Tickets and a hand stamp are necessary to re-enter a performance venue after exiting the building.
  • Disneyland® Resort 4-Day Park Hopper Passes ($294.00), 3-Day Park Hopper Passes ($245.00), 2-Day Park Hopper Passes ($207.00) and 1-Day Park Hopper Passes ($161.00) will be available for purchase at the Convention Center Main Arena box office on Friday, Saturday and Sunday while supplies last.
  • Wrist/ankle bands for performers must be worn at all times. Admission will not be allowed without a wristband and/or a hand stamp/ticket.
  • The Arena box office will be open on Thursday from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM to pre-sell general admission and Disneyland® Resort tickets.
  • Ticket windows for spectators will open at 7:30AM on Friday and at 6:30 AM on Saturday and Sunday. Doors for spectators will open approximately 45 minutes prior to the first scheduled performance in each venue.
  • The USA reserves the right to refuse admission to any spectator.

USA Spirit Nationals Coaches’ Orientation Video

Practice Areas, Performance Areas, Judging, Scoresheets, Recaps & Performance Policies

Open practice areas will be available during the following times:

Friday, February 23

Cheer (carpet bonded foam mats and convention center carpeted floor)

Anaheim Convention Center – North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor Ballroom A)

8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Song/Pom, Jazz, Cheer, Pep/Short Flag and Mascot

(carpet bonded foam mats and convention center carpeted floor)

Anaheim Convention Center – North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor Ballroom A)

2:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Saturday, February 24

Song/Pom, Jazz, Cheer, Pep/Short Flag and Mascot (carpet bonded foam mats and convention center carpeted floor)

Anaheim Convention Center – North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor Ballroom A)

7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.

Sunday, February 25

Song/Pom, Jazz, Pep/Short Flag and Mascot (convention center floor carpeted floor)

Anaheim Convention Center – North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor Ballroom A)

7:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Note that the above times are for “Open” practice only.  End times will be strictly enforced.

Please be courteous and make sure to split time so all participants may have the opportunity to use any “open” areas.  If a team is waiting to use a floor, then the team on the floor is limited to no more than 10 minutes of time on the mats.

  • There will be no practicing on the performance floors in any venue.
  • Note that all official warm-up will take place in North Hall Level 200 (2nd Floor Ballroom B)
  • All songleading/pom and pep/short flag squads will receive a scheduled practice time with safety judges in North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor Ballroom B) at the Anaheim Convention Center on Saturday and Sunday (Finalists). This will be scheduled according to your performance time. Each team will be allowed 9 minutes in the area, approximately 20 – 30 minutes prior to performing. You will receive a “Team Practice Schedule” at registration or check on-line as of Wednesday, February 21st after 5:00 p.m. (PST).
  • All cheerleading squads will receive a scheduled practice time with legality officials in North 200 Level (2nd Floor Ballroom B) at the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday and Saturday (Prelims/Finalists). This will be scheduled according to your performance time. Each team will be allowed 9 minutes in the area, approximately 20 – 30 minutes prior to performing. You will receive a “Team Practice Schedule” at registration or check on-line as of Wednesday, February 21st after 5:00 p.m. (PST).
  • Mascots may warm-up in North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor Ballroom B), but will not be provided with official warm-up time.
  • Group Stunts may warm-up in North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor Ballroom B), but will not be provided with official warm-up time. A full warm-up floor will be available for teams to share for warm-up in the official warm-up area 20 minutes prior to each team’s performance.  For Group Stunt, please do not enter the official warm-up area before 20 minutes prior to your scheduled Group Stunt performance time.
  • Legality Officials in the “Official/Scheduled” practice area provided as a courtesy to the teams. There is no guarantee that they will find any/all illegal skills in a routine and their presence does not preclude a team from receiving a penalty during their official performance in front of the panel judges.
  • There will be no general public spectators permitted in the “open” or “official/scheduled” scheduled practice area at any time. Only teams who are officially warming up and their advisor/coach(es) will be permitted in this area.  Special wristbands are required for admission to this area.
  • The official warm-up mats in North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor Ballroom B) for the cheerleading teams (Friday/Saturday) for official warm-up time will measure 54’ x 42’.  This is the last opportunity to show penalty judges stunts/tumbling for possible infractions.
  • Immediately following your “official” warm-up time, you will be directed to the backstage “Getting Ready” area for the appropriate venue in which you will perform.

Friday, Saturday and Sunday

Anaheim Convention Center, Arena:

The majority of cheerleading divisions will perform in the Arena at the Anaheim Convention Center. A 60’ x 60’ dance floor will be placed in the Arena.  Song/pom, mascot and pep flag teams will perform on a Marley floor, measuring 42’ x 42’ and  placed on this surface. For cheer teams, mats (9 strips) measuring 54’(wide) x 42’(depth) will be in place over the dance floor.  You are not limited to the mat, but all stunts and tumbling for cheerleaders must be completed on the mat.  A penalty will be assessed for each infraction of this rule.

Anaheim Convention Center – North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor Center Ballroom):

All song/pom, pep flag, mascot and JV and Varsity Jazz (song/pom) competitors will perform on a raised stage, measuring approximately 70’ (wide) x 60’(deep). On top of this stage will be placed a Marley floor measuring 42’ x 42’.   Teams do not have to stay within the Marley during their performance.  For cheer teams, mats (9 strips) measuring 54’(wide) x 42’(deep) will be in place on the stage.  You are not limited to the mat, but all stunts and tumbling for cheerleaders must be completed on the mat.  A penalty will be assessed for each infraction of this rule.

Prelims scores will carry over to Finals (for all divisions excluding Group Stunts), with 30% of the score from Prelims and 70% of the score from Finals being added together to obtain the final placement in a division.  Again, for Prelims and Finals divisions, the judges’ scores will be averaged and any deductions/penalties will be subtracted from that score.

The order for Finals performance will be in reverse order of how teams place during Prelims. (i.e. the 1st place team going out of Prelims will perform last in Finals).  This excludes Group Stunts.  Finalists for Group Stunts will perform in the same order as they performed for Prelims. The USA reserves the right to adjust the Finals performance order to accommodate teams from the same school on the performance schedule.

At the conclusion of the competition on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, all teams will receive their score sheets for review.  These will be available, weather permitting, at the USA Information Booth (between the Arena and North Hall), following the announcement of finalists/awards for that division and will be available for no longer than ½ hour after the conclusion of the final awards ceremony for that day.  Score sheets will be given only to the person designated to receive them and that person must sign for them.  Photo identification must be presented in order to pick up scoresheets. 

For cheer teams that hit zero on the deduction sheet, USA encourages you to celebrate your athletes by taking a photo in front of our brand new “It’s a HIT” banner!

Results will be posted on the USA Spirit Nationals Event Hub approximately two hours following each award ceremony. The Event Hub link will be added here soon!

Performance Policies (Please Read)

Photography, Varsity TV Live Stream, Videography Policy & Dance Academy the Movie

Official team photos will be taken by Universal Event Photography prior to each team’s “scheduled practice time.”  Please see your “Team Practice Schedule” for your photo time.  Scheduled photos will not be taken for Group Stunt or Mascot teams.  These participants may request photo times if they wish.

Please CLICK HERE to download the UEP Team Photo Order Form.

The use of telephoto lenses on cameras and/or tripods is prohibited.

Friends and family far and near won’t have to miss a minute of the action all weekend long! Click here soon to catch Varsity TV’s LIVE STREAM! Opt for a monthly subscription or sign up for a whole year to get amazing and inspiring cheer and dance documentaries, insight into programs from across the country and so much more!

Videos of competition performances will not be available for purchase.  Individuals are permitted to video the routine from their own team.  Video- taping of multiple teams in a division is not permitted.

Personal video cameras will be permitted, but we ask that you please film only your own team.  Any individual who does not adhere to this request may be asked to leave the venue.  Camera tripods will not be permitted at any time during the competition.  Unauthorized videotaping of any team is subject to immediate removal from the competition venue.

Get ready for DANCE ACADEMY: THE COMEBACK, hitting theaters and On Demand March 2! If you’re in Anaheim for USA Nationals February 23-25, come take a selfie, get a movie coupon and meet the cast! Visit us on the 2nd floor of the North Hall!

Sound

  • All teams must provide their own MP3 device or smart phone for use on the event provided sound system. Music must be recorded at the correct tempo. Although it is not recommended due to interference that may be caused during a routine, a smart phone may be used for playing music. No cover may be on any MP3 player or smart phone so that a patch cord may be easily inserted into the device.  Please ensure that jacks are clean and free of any debris which may impact connectivity.  You must ensure that your device has a jack into which a patch cord may be inserted.  Note that you may need to acquire an adapter in advance if your player does not have a head phone jack. One or several selections of music may be used as long as they follow the music licensing rules.
  • Please keep your routine music in your possession until you are called to enter the starting area. You will hand carry your music to the sound table.
  • Advisors/Coaches/Directors are asked to remain at the sound station while their squad performs and to take their music with them at the conclusion of the performance. Representatives will be asked to press “play” and “stop” for their routines.
  • There will be no music checks permitted on the main sound system.
  • Music guidelines are being followed at all USA and Varsity Brands events. Competition music must be properly licensed and a team must provide proof of licensing at team registration. If a team cannot provide proof of licensing immediately upon request, the team may be disqualified from the event. For further details visit www.varsity.com/music.

Awards Presentation

  • For Group Stunt divisions which advance to finals, approximately 25% of the total performances in a division will advance to compete again on Friday.
  • For “Non-Tumbling”, “Novice” and “Intermediate” divisions approximately 35% of the total performances in a division will advance to Finals.
  • For all “Advanced” teams, Mascot, Jazz (Song/Pom) and Pep Flag divisions, approximately 45% of a division will advance to finals.
  • All divisions will advance to Finals regardless of their size.

This information is subject to change at the discretion of competition officials.

NOTE – All Crowdleader® Teams will advance to Finals on Saturday evening.

RESULTS will be posted approximately 2 hours following awards announcements HERE.

General Information

Please check back here to watch the Coach Orientation video to get a walk through of event details so you feel prepared when your team arrives at #USAnationals! We can’t wait to watch your teams take the floor!

Participants — be sure you stop by the entrance to Open Warm-Up on the 2nd floor of the North Hall to pick up your 2018 Nationals bag while supplies last! No bags will be shipped out after the event, so be sure to stop by this area Friday or Saturday. See you soon!

Due to heightened security concerns, all bags are subject to search upon entry into any Anaheim Convention Center venue.  Bags must not be left unattended at any time.  Teams must be in possession of all personal items at all times during the competition (except while performing).  The United Spirit Association will not be responsible for any items that are left unattended by a representative of your organization at any time (including during your performance).  Unattended bags are subject to immediate removal by security.

Team signs may be brought to the competition, but may not be taped on any painted surfaces.  Air horns, or other excessive noisemakers are not permitted in the convention center.

Throwing of any type of item onto the performance floor and/or the use of laser-type devices in any venue is grounds for immediate removal from the competition and individuals will be subject to prosecution.

Personal video cameras will be permitted, but we ask that you please film only your own team.  Any individual who does not adhere to this request may be asked to leave the venue.  Camera tripods will not be permitted at any time during the competition.  Unauthorized videotaping of any team is subject to immediate removal from the competition venue.

The use of telephoto lenses on cameras and/or tripods is prohibited.

There are limited dressing rooms designated for participants in the Open Warm-Up space in North Hall 200 Level (2nd Floor Ballroom A). Numerous restrooms are located throughout the Convention Center, however, please refrain from changing in these locations. Neither the Anaheim Convention Center nor USA Nationals will be responsible for any lost or stolen items.

A FIRST AID station is located in the Convention Center and will be staffed throughout the weekend with a registered nurse.  First aid staff will also be on duty during the competition at all venues.

Should you need medical assistance, please contact a USA or Anaheim Convention Center staff member.

Concession stands will be open at the Convention Center on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Outside food and drink are not permitted in the Convention Center.   

A complete line of exclusive USA Nationals souvenirs will be on sale Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Convention Center.  Major credit cards are accepted.

Lost and Found will be located at the Arena Box Office.