Cheer Terms

A glossary of terms adapted from the USASF – The sanctioning body under which we operate:

Aerial: Cartwheel or walkover executed without placing hands on the ground.
Airborne/Aerial: To be free of contact with a person or the performing surface.
Airborne Tumbling Skill: An aerial maneuver involving hip-over-head rotation in which a person uses their body and the performing surface to propel himself/herself away from the performing surface.
Assisted-Flipping Mount: An entrance skill into a stunt in which a top person performs a hip-over-head rotation while in direct physical contact with a base or top person when passing through the inverted position. (See “Suspended Flip”, “Braced Flip”)
Assisted Tumbling: Any form of physical assistance to an individual performing a tumbling skill. This does not apply to gymnastic oriented “stunts” permitted at each level.
Awesome: A stunt where a top person has both feet together in the hand(s) of the base(s). Also referred to as a “Cupie.”
Back Walkover: A non-aerial tumbling skill where one moves backward into an arched position, with the hands making contact with the ground first, then rotates the hips over the head and lands on one foot/leg at a time.
Ball – X: A body position (usually during a toss) where the top person goes from a tucked position to a straddle/x-position
Backward Roll: A non-aerial tumbling skill where one rotates backward into/or through an inverted position by lifting the hips over the head and shoulders while curving the spine to create a motion similar to a ball “rolling” across the floor.
Barrel Roll: See “Log Roll”.
Base: A person who is in direct weight-bearing contact with the performance surface who provides support for another person. The person(s) that holds, lifts or tosses a top person into a stunt. (New bases – bases previously not in direct contact with the top person of a stunt)
Basket Toss: A toss with no more than 4 bases, 2 of which use their hands to interlock wrists.
Block: A gymnastic term referring to the increase in height created by using one’s hand(s) and upper body power to push off the performing surface during a tumbling skill. The
momentary airborne position created by blocking is legal for all levels.
Block Cartwheel: A momentarily airborne cartwheel created by the tumbler blocking through the shoulders against the performing surface during the execution of the skill.
Brace: A physical connection that helps to provide stability to a top person. A top person’s hair and/or uniform is not an appropriate or legal body part to use while bracing a pyramid or pyramid transition.
Braced Flip: A stunt in which a top person performs a hip-over-head rotation while in constant physical contact with another top person(s).
Cartwheel: A non-aerial gymnastic skill where one supports the weight of the body with the arm(s) while rotating sideways through an inverted position landing on one foot at a time.
Catcher: One of the person(s) responsible for the safe landing of a top person during a stunt.
Chorus Line Flips: A skill in which a cheerleader back flips between two other cheerleaders with locked arms and/or wrists.
Coed Style: A single base grabs the top person at the waist and tosses the top person while unassisted from ground level
Connected Tumbling: Physical contact between two or more individuals performing tumbling skills simultaneously. Exception: A double cartwheel would be defined as a stunt.
Cradle: A release move in which catchers, with palms up, catch the top person by placing one arm under the back and the other under the thighs of the top person. The top person must land face up in a pike position.
Cupie: See “Awesome.”
Dirty Bird (D-Bird): Toss to a laid out X-position to the back of the base, through the base’s legs and typically transitioning to a scooper.
Dismount: The movement from a stunt or pyramid to a cradle or the performing surface. The movement from a cradle to the performing surface is not considered to be a dismount.
Dive Roll: A forward roll where the feet leave the ground before the hands reach the ground.
Double-Leg Stunt: See “Stunt”.
Double Cartwheel: A partnered or paired cartwheel with hand/ankle or arm/thigh connection done simultaneously.
Downward Inversion: A stunt or pyramid in which an inverted top person’s center of gravity is moving toward the performing surface.
Downward Motion: The movement of one’s center of gravity towards the performing surface.
Drop: Dropping to the knee, thigh, seat, front, back or split position onto the performing surface from a airborne position or inverted position without first bearing most of the weight on the hands/feet which breaks the impact of the drop.
Eighteen Inches above Extended Arm Level: The maximum distance allowed between the highest point of a base’s extended arm and the lowest point of a top person’s body during a release move in Level 5 only.
Entrance Skill: The beginning or mounting phase of a tumbling skill or stunt.
Extended Arm Level: The distance from the performing surface to the highest point of a base’s arm(s) when standing upright with the arm(s) fully extended over the head. Extended arms do not necessarily define an “extended stunt”. See “Extended Stunt” for further clarification.
A top person supported by a base(s) with fully extended arms. Extended arms do not
necessarily define an “extended stunt”. See “Extended Stunt” for further clarification.
Extended Stunt: When the entire body of the top person is extended in an upright position over the base(s). (Examples of stunts that are not considered “extended stunts”: Chairs, torches, flat backs, arm-n-arms and straddle lifts. These are stunts where the bases arms are extended overhead, but are NOT considered to be “extended stunts” since the height of the body of the top person is similar to a shoulder/prep level stunt.)
(Clarification: If the primary bases go to their knees and extend their arms, the stunt
would be considered extended.)
Extension Prep or Prep (or Half): When the top person is being held at shoulder level by the base(s).
Flat Back: A stunt in which the top person is lying horizontal and is usually supported by two or more bases.
Flip: An aerial skill that involves hip-over-head rotation without contact with the performing surface as the body passes through the inverted position.
Flipping Toss: A toss where the top person rotates through an inverted position.
Flyer: See “Top Person”.
Forward Roll: A non-airborne tumbling skill where one rotates forward through an inverted position by lifting the hips over the head and shoulders while curving the spine to create a motion similar to a ball “rolling” across the floor.
Free-Flipping Mount: Immediately prior to the stunt, the entry into a stunt where the top person passes through an inverted position without physical contact with a base, brace, or the performing surface.
Front Limber: A non-aerial tumbling skill where one rotates forward through an inverted position to a non-inverted position by arching the legs and hips over the head and down to the performing surface landing on both feet/legs at the same time.
Front Spot: A person positioned in front of a stunt that may also add additional support or height to that stunt. (Also know as “fourth base”.)
Front Tuck: A tumbling skill in which the tumbler generates momentum upward to perform a forward flip. (Also know as “punch front”.)
Front Walkover: A non-aerial tumbling skill where one rotates forward through an inverted position to a non-inverted position by arching the legs and hips over the head and down to the performing surface landing one foot/leg at a time.
Full: A 360 degree twisting rotation.
Full-Up Toe Touch: A non-flipping skill (typically performed in a dismount or toss) in which one performs a 360 degrees turn before executing a toe touch.
Ground Level: To be at the height of or supported by the performing surface.
Half: See “Extension Prep”.
Hand/Arm Connection: The physical contact between two or more individuals using the hand(s)/arm(s).
Handspring: Springing off the hands by putting the weight on the arms and using a strong push from the shoulders; can be done either forward or backward.
Handstand: A straight body inverted position where the arms are extended straight by the head and ears.
Hanging Pyramid: A pyramid in which one or more persons are suspended off the performing surface by one or more top persons. A “Hanging Pyramid” would be considered a 2 and ½ high pyramid due to the weight of the top person being borne at the second level. This would be illegal in levels 1-5.
Helicopter Toss: A stunt where a top person in a horizontal position is tossed to rotate around a vertical axis (like helicopter blades) before being caught by original bases.
Inversion: See “Inverted”; it is the act of being inverted.
Inverted: When the athlete’s shoulders are below her/his waist and at least one foot is above her/his head. Arch-back dismounts to a cradle are not considered inverted.
Jump: An airborne position not involving hip-over-head rotation created by using one’s own feet and lower body power to push off the performance surface.
Kick Arch: Type of trick that involves the straight ride to a kick with one leg and an arch out of the trick into the cradle position.
Kick Double Full: Skill, typically in a toss, that involves a kick and a 720 degree twisting rotation. A quarter turn performed by the top person during the kick portion is customary and permitted to initiate the twists.
Kick Full: Skill, typically in a toss, that involves a kick and a 360 degree twisting rotation. A quarter turn performed by the top person during the kick portion is customary and permitted to initiate the twist.
Knee (Body) Drop: Dropping to the knees, seat, thigh or splits from an airborne position without first bearing the majority of the weight on the hands or feet.
Layout: A stretched body position, straight, hollow, or slightly arched
Layout Step Out: Similar to Layout skill. However, the tumbler “scissors” their legs and lands with one foot before the other.
Leap Frog: A braced top person is transitioned from one set of bases to another or back to the original bases by going through the arms of the brace. The top person remains upright and stays in continuous contact with the brace while transitioning.
Second Level Leap Frog: Same as above but performed at any level above ground level.
Log Roll: A release move whereby the top person’s body rotates at least 360 degrees while remaining parallel to the performing surface. (Also known as “barrel roll”.) An assisted log roll would be the same skill, with assistance from an additional base that maintains contact throughout the transition..
Mount: See “Stunt”.
Multi-based Stunt: A stunt having 2 or more bases not including the spot.
New Base(s): Bases previously not in direct contact with the top person of a stunts
Non-Inverted Position:The body is upright. The top person’s shoulders are at or above the waist.
One half (1/2) Twist Toe Touch: A non-flipping skill in which one performs a 180° twist before executing a toe touch.
Onodi: Starting from a back hand-spring position after pushing off, the tumbler performs a 1/2 twist to the hands, ending the skill as a front handspring step out.
Original Base(s): A base which is in contact with the top person during the initiation of the stunt.
Paper Dolls: Identical single-leg stunts bracing each other while in the single leg position. Th e stunts may or may not be extended.
Partner: See “Top Person”.
Pendulum/Pendulum Style: When the top person falls away from the vertical axis (usually landing in a flat-bodied position) and is caught by additional bases.
Pike: Body bent forward at the hips while the legs are kept straight.
Power Press: When bases bring the top person from and extended position, down to prep level or below, and then re-extend.
Prep: See “Extension Prep”.
Prep-Level: The height of the bases hands and at least one foot of the top person are at shoulderlevel (also known as shoulder-height). Chairs, torches, flatbacks, arm-n-arms and
straddle lifts will be considered prep level stunts.
Primary Support: Supporting a majority of the weight of the top person.
Prone Position: A face down, flat body position.
Prop: An object that can be manipulated. Flags, banners, signs, pom pons, megaphones, and pieces of cloth are the only props allowed. Any uniform piece purposefully removed from the body and used for visual effect will be considered a prop.
Punch: See “Rebound”.
Pyramid: A grouping of connected stunts. Individuals standing at ground level may be incorporated into the grouping.
Rebound: A position not involving hip-over-head rotation created by using one’s own feet and lower body power to bounce off the performance surface from a tumbling skill. Also known as “Punch.”
Release Move: When the base(s) and top person become free of contact with each other and the top person comes back to the original set of bases. This interpretation applies to “stunts” only, not “pyramids.”
Reload: Returning to the loading position with both feet of the top person in the hands of the bases.
Retake: Reloading to a stunt, whereby the top person brings one foot to the ground prior to reloading.
Rewind: A free-flipping release move used as an entrance skill into a stunt.
Round Off: The tumbler, with a push-off on one leg, plants hand(s) on floor while swinging the legs upward in a fast cartwheel motion. The feet snap down together landing at the same time to the performing surface.
Running Tumbling: Tumbling that is performed with a running start and/or involves a step or a hurdle (etc,) used to gain momentum as an entry to another skill. Any type of forward momentum/movement prior to execution of the tumbling skill(s) is defined as “running tumbling.”
Scooper: An entrance/transition skill into a stunt in which a person (usually a top person) passes between the legs and under the torso of another person (usually a base).
Scrunch Toss: See “Sponge Toss”.
Second Level: Any person being supported away from the performing surface by one or more bases.
Second Level Leap Frog: See “Leap Frog”.
Series Front and/or Back Handsprings: Multiple front and/or back handsprings performed consecutively by an individual.
Show and Go: A transitional stunt where a stunt passes through an extended level and lands into a loading position or non-extended stunt.
Shoulder Stand Level: A stunt in which the top person’s hips are at the same height they would be if in a shoulder stand. (Clarification: If the primary bases squat, go to their knees or drop the overall height of the stunt and extend their arms, the stunt would NOT be shoulder stand level, but rather extended.
Shushunova: A straddle jump (toe touch) landing in a prone support (push up position)
Single-Based Double Awesome/Cupie: A single base supporting 2 top persons who have both feet in each hand of the base; see definition of “Awesome/Cupie”
Single-Based Split Catch: A single base extending a top person (who is in an upright position having knees forward) by holding both inner thighs as the top person typically performs a high “V” motion, creating an “X” with the body. This is an illegal stunt.
Single-Based Stunt: A stunt using a single base for support.
Single-Leg Stunt: See “Stunt”.
Split Catch: An extended stunt where the top person is held in an upright straddle/x position and supported on the thighs by the base(s).
Sponge Toss: A stunt with multiple bases, which have their hands gripping the top person’s feet prior to the toss.
Spotted Tumbling: See “Assisted Tumbling”.
Spotter: A person whose primary responsibility is the protection of the head and shoulders area of a top person during the performance of a stunt/toss. The spotter must be positioned to the side or the back of the stunt/toss. Must be in direct contact with the performing surface. Must be attentive to the skill being spotted. Spotter is required for each extended stunt. Must be in the proper position to prevent injuries and does not have to be in direct contact with the stunt. Cannot stand so that their torso is under a stunt.
A spotter may grab the wrist(s) of the base(s), other parts of the base(s) arms, the top person(s) legs/ankles, or does not have to touch the stunt at all. The spotter may not have both hands under the sole of the top person’s foot/feet or under the hands of the bases. The spotter may have one hand under the foot as long as the other hand is placed either at the back wrist of a base or at the back side of the ankle of the top person. All “Spotters” must be your own team’s members and be trained in proper spotting techniques. Spotters may also be counted as a base in some cases (e.g. transitional stunts).
Squishy (Toss): See “Sponge Toss”.
Standing Tumbling: A tumbling skill (series of skills) performed from a standing position without any previous forward momentum. Any number of steps backward prior to execution of tumbling skill(s) is defined as “standing tumbling.”
Straight Cradle: A release move from a stunt to a catching position where no skill (i.e. turn, kick, twist, etc.) is performed.
Straight Ride: The body position of a top person performing a toss that doesn’t involve any trick in the air. It is a straight line position that teaches the top to reach and to obtain maximum height on toss.
Stunt: Any skill in which a top person is supported above the performance surface by one or more persons. Also referred to as a “mount.” A stunt is determined to be “Single” or “Double” leg by the number of feet that the top person has being supported by a base(s).
Suspended Flip/Roll: A stunt in which a top person performs a hip over head rotation while in constant physical contact with a person(s) who is in direct weight bearing contact with the performing surface.
Tension Roll/Drop: A pyramid/stunt in which the base(s) and top(s) lean in formation until the top person(s) leave the base(s) without assistance.
Three Quarter (3/4) Front Flip (stunt):A forward hip-over-head rotation from an upright position to a cradle position.
Three Quarter (3/4) Front Flip(tumble):A forward hip-over-head rotation from an upright position to the ground, with the hands and feet landing first.
Tic-Tock: A stunt that is held in a static position on one leg, base(s) take a downward dip and release top person in an upward fashion, as the top person switches their weight to the other leg and lands in a static position on their opposite leg. The dip may or may not pass through prep level before release.
Toe/Leg Pitch: A single or multi-based toss in which the base(s) push upward on a single foot or leg of the top person to increase the top person’s height.
Toss: An airborne stunt where base(s) execute throwing motion from waist level to increase height of top person. Top person becomes free from all bases. Top person is free from performing surface when toss is initiated (ex: basket toss or sponge toss). Note: Toss to hands, toss to extended stunts and toss chair are NOT included in this category. (See Release Moves)
Top Person: The person(s) on top of a stunt or toss. Also referred to as the “Flyer” or “Partner.”
Transitional Pyramid: A top person moving from one stunt to another. The transition may involve changing bases, however at least one person at prep level or below must maintain constant contact with the top person.
Transitional Stunt: Top person or top persons moving from one stunt to another thereby changing the configuration of the beginning stunt.
Traveling Toss: A toss which intentionally requires the bases or catchers to move in a certain direction to catch the top person. (This does not include a quarter turn by the bases in tosses such as kick full)
Tuck Arch: Similar to kick arch, except instead of kick it is an arch out of a tuck position.
Tuck Position: A position in which the knees and hips are bent and drawn into the chest; the body is bent at the waist.
Tumbling: Any gymnastic or acrobatic skill that begins and ends on the performing surface.
Twist: Rotation around the body’s vertical axis.
Twisting Mount: Mounts that begin with a twisting motion of the top person within the vertical axis (can be as few as 1/4 twist up to 2 twisting rotations) that end up either a) in a prep level stunt, b) in a loading position prior to the execution of a stunt, or c) in a fully extended stunt.
Twisting Toss: Any type of toss that involves the top person rotating at least 1/4 rotation around the vertical axis of the body
Two – High Pyramid: All top persons must be primarily supported by a base(s) who is in direct weight- bearing contact with the performing surface. Any time a top person is released from their base(s) in a “Pyramid Release Move”, regardless of the height of the release , this top person would be considered “passing above two persons high”. “Passing above two persons high” does not relate to the actual height of the top person but to the number of layers they are connected to.
Two and One Half (2-1/2) – High Pyramid: For Level 6 Only: Pyramids higher than 2 1/2 body lengths are prohibited. Pyramid height for a “Two and One Half High Pyramid” is measured by body lengths as follows: chairs, thigh stands and shoulder straddles are 1½ body lengths; shoulder stands are 2 body lengths; extended stunts (i.e. extension, liberty, etc.) are 2½ body lengths. Exception: an extended stunt on top of a thigh stand is allowed.
Two-Leg Stunt: Stunts that are above prep level in which the top person is bearing weight on both feet and both feet are in the hands of the base(s).
Vertical Axis of the Stunt Group: The up and down direction of a top person with a stationary stunt group during stunts and pyramids.
Walkover: A non-aerial acrobatic skill involving hip-over-head rotation in which a person rotates forward/backward (usually performed with the legs in a split position) with support from one or both hands.
Whip: Flip or somersault, with the feet coming up over the head and the body rotating around the axis of the waist, while the body remains in an arched position (not tucked and not in layout position). A whip has the look of a back handspring without the hands contacting the ground.
Wolf Wall Transition: Transition that involves the main top person traveling over (front to back, back to front, or side to side) a bracing top person’s (at prep level) leg. The leg of the bracing top person is extended away from the body and connected (foot to waist) to a third top person at prep level.
X-Out: Flip or somersault skill performed that involves spreading the arms and legs into an “x” fashion during the rotation of the flip

Comments are closed.