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WSDDCA wants to support middle school and junior high dance/drill programs.  The following guidelines are designed to help both middle level and high school coaches.
Contact us!  Reach out to our Middle Level Representative.


The information below is intended to provide guidance. These are not rules and there are no penalties associated with this guidance.


Middle level programs include middle schools and junior high schools, typically grades 6-8, although specifics may differ in individual school districts. The school district, not WSDDCA, determines if a school is considered middle level.


When considering middle level programs, it is important to consider the individual school and school district beliefs regarding middle level athletics and activities. Coaches should work with their school and district administration to develop their programs. 


Middle level programs should follow all applicable rules and regulations found in the NFHS Spirit Rules book, the casebook, and the WIAA Dance/Drill SOPs (formerly Bound for State Regulations).


It is important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of middle level teams throughout the season.  A positive and encouraging atmosphere benefits both middle level students, and the programs they may eventually join in high school. Competition directors should bear this in mind when determining awards for their events. Middle level teams should be encouraged to participate in competitions, as these help prepare these students for success at the high school level.



Some middle level teams only practice and perform during one middle level sports season (usually about three months), while others follow a more traditional high school season with tryouts in the spring and practices and performances throughout fall and winter (more than three months).


For competitions, directors should consider separating teams from each group to level the playing field. Separate awards may be given to shorter season (about three months) vs. longer season (more than three months) teams.



Schools may host middle level only events. These events can be held any time/day that works for the host school and teams attending. In addition, middle level teams may compete at high school qualifying events. Participating in middle level only events does not preclude a middle level team from participating in events that include high schools. Considerations for middle level teams are outlined in the following sections.
Middle level teams may compete at the WSDDCA sponsored Junior Championship.  Details can be found here.


At this time, there is not a set process for scheduling middle level only events. Please contact if you are interested in hosting an event.


Middle level teams should be scored using the Washington State Dance/Drill Official Scoresheet. Scores are determined using the Levels of Achievement.


Middle level teams should be regarded as their own classification, similar to 1A/2A/3A/4A classifications for high school. Middle level teams should not compete against high school teams.


In creating the performance order, the competition director should make an effort to have middle level teams scheduled by category (dance, hip hop, kick, military, pom, show), not as a separate middle level group. Additionally, middle level teams should be grouped together at the beginning or end of a single category. For example, if there are 10 hip hop performances and two of them are middle level, the middle level teams should be the first or last to be scored so that judges are not moving between different classifications.


Since middle level teams are not attempting to qualify for postseason events, it is not mandatory that they are judged by WSDDJA judges, but judging should follow WSDDCA/WSDDJA criteria.


Middle level teams do not compete against high school teams. They should receive separate awards from high school teams.


Competition directors should consider giving separate awards to middle level teams. In addition, they should consider separating categories when possible so teams that compete in multiple categories are not competing against themselves. Awards should encourage middle level participation to promote continued participation in high school.



Middle school team achievement shall be recognized at the end of the high school competition season.

  1. The highest scoring middle level team for the season will be invited to perform their high scoring routine as an exhibition at their local District’s championship competition.

  2. Middle level team routines scoring in the Excellent, Exceptional, or Superior categories will receive WSDDCA certificates of achievement for those routines.

    • For consistency, routines must be judged by WSDDJA judges and not guest judges.

    • Routines must reach the level of achievement at a minimum of two competitions during the season.


The WSDDCA sponsored Junior Championship recognizes middle level and junior varsity teams.  This culminating event recognizes the achievement of middle level and junior varsity teams. It is an opportunity for middle level and junior varsity teams to compete for a Junior Title (sponsored by WSDDCA) in their respective divisions and to prepare teams for a future varsity experience.

Registration begins in January.  The event is held in March.  Details are found on the Junior Championship webpage.


People interested in starting a program at their school, it is important to talk to administration, network, and do research. Consider all the pros and cons of a new team from multiple perspectives. Below are some suggestions for getting started.

  1. Is there a demonstrated student interest in dance/drill?

  2. What would the costs be? Consider coaching staff, uniforms, music, choreography, end of season awards, etc.

  3. Would dance be classified as a sport or activity? Teams that follow the season and other guidelines for a sport may be counted in Title IX numbers, which could be advantageous.

  4. Would a club be a better fit for the school, or an easier place to start?

  5. Work with the high school coach/program.

    1. Use high school program/coach as a resource 

    2. Model program so it is preparing students for the high school program

    3. Consider planning joint activities that benefit students from both levels

    4. Possible share resources, such as uniforms or poms

  6. Would adding dance take away from another program?

  7. Find out what the school rules are about students paying for items like shoes or t-shirts (not allowed at some schools). 

  8. Find out if fundraising is allowed. If allowed, what kind of fundraisers would the team do?

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