Tryout Information

The 2016-2017 Tryout Packet can be downloaded and printed from the following link.  All tryout candidates including returning members must submit a completed tryout packet to participate in the tryout process.

2016-2017 Tryout Packet

Our Team


The Missouri State University Cheerleaders are ambassadors of the university and lead our fans on game day in Football, Volleyball and Basketball. Each team member can expect to participate in the following:

  • Numerous appearances and photo ops
  • All Home Football Games and some Away Games
  • About 1/3 of the Home Volleyball Games and Post Season Games
  • Maroon Team:  All Home Men’s Basketball Games and Tournaments
  • White Team:  All Women’s Home Basketball Games and Tournaments

Travel to away football games and post-season volleyball tournaments is usually limited to select couples per trip. In the fall, we typically select 9 guys and 7 ladies (plus 2 alternates) to compete at UCA College Nationals in Orlando in mid-January.


Team Eligibility


Tryout Packet Requirements

To be eligible for the Missouri State Cheerleading Team and to participate in tryouts, the following items must be submitted by Friday, April 29th, 2016.

  • Completed Tryout Application
  • Wallet Size Photo of yourself
  • Incoming Freshmen & Transfer Students:  Proof of Acceptance to Missouri State University for Fall 2016
  • Incoming Freshmen & Transfer Students:  Letter of Recommendation from Current or Previous Coach
  • Current Students:  Copy of your current class schedule and fall 2016 schedule.
  • Current Students:  Copy of unofficial transcripts from 
  • Signed Liability Release Waiver
  • Photocopy of your health insurance card (front and back)
  • Current physical clearing you to participate in cheerleading (tumbling, stunting, lifting, running, etc.)
  • Processing Fee:  $20.00 per applicant (Make checks payable to Missouri State University)


Academic Requirements

Missouri State Cheerleaders must maintain the following academic requirements to remain eligible to participate as a member of our team.

  • Must be a full-time student at Missouri State University – Springfield Campus.
  • Maintain a minimum of 12 credit hours per semester.  If your total credit hours drop below 12 at any point during the semester, you will be removed from the team.
  • Maintain a semester and cumulative grade point average of no less than 2.0.


Additional Requirements

All candidates participating in the tryout process must sign a contract agreeing to the final decision of the coaches and judging panel, and acknowledge that the team selection is final and that no further recourse is warranted.

The contract also includes an agreement to follow the University Code of Conduct and fulfill each requirement stated therein to receive the stated benefits of being an MSU Cheerleader. Under the agreement, team members also agree that if they terminate membership at any point prior to the completion of the entire season, that all expenses and benefits provided on their behalf by the University are to be paid back by them in full to the University. This includes quitting, being removed from the team, or losing academic eligibility.


Team Selection


Up to 10 Men and 10 Women will be selected during our tryout process to represent Missouri State as the official cheerleaders for the 2016-2017 season.  We may elect to leave positions unfilled based on the results of the tryout process. 

Selection Criteria

Candidates are selected based on a variety of factors. We consider more than just current skill level; we consider potential, team partnering, physical fitness, work ethic, and attitude. Because we partner everyone at games and we do lots of all-squad stunts, coed stunting ability or potential for it is very important. Also note that all returning team members must try out every year.

Ladies: In general, we’re looking for the “whole package.” The ideal candidate is in great shape, presents themselves well in front of a crowd, cheers with energy and enthusiasm, is easy to coed stunt with, has a solid standing tuck, and strong running tumbling on non-spring mats.

Guys: In general, we really like to see guys who have at least toss stunts and can tumble, but we take many guys who are stronger in one area and weaker in the other. We may also take guys who have little to no cheer experience if they show potential by being strong and athletic.




Video Tryouts

Pre-arranged or Video tryouts will be considered on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the Head Coach.  These are reserved for extenuating circumstances and must be completed BEFORE our official tryouts.  If you need to do a video tryout, the same tryout packet must be completed and turned in along with your video.  Contact the Head Coach to learn more about the video tryout process. 

Tryout Schedule

Depending on the number of participants, we may have a cut after any session. We will announce at the beginning of the session if we will be making a cut at the end. 

To be eligible for the team, candidates are required to attend all of the following sessions.  If you have a conflict with any of these sessions, you must have prior permission from the Head Coach to miss any portion and remain in consideration for the team.


Friday April 29th                   Hammons Student Center, West Court

4:00pm                                   Registration Begins

5:00pm                                   Interviews and Instruction Begin

Saturday April 30th               Hammons Student Center, West Court

10:00am                                  Informational Meeting

10:15am                                  Game Day Material

1:00pm                                   Stunts and Tumbling

6:00pm                                   Final Clinic Practice:  Master Material and Skills

Sunday May 1st                      Hammons Student Center, West Court

8:00am                                    Doors open – Stretch /Warm up

10:00am                                  Tryout Session 1:  Game Day

1:00pm                                   Tryout Session 2:  Stunts and Tumbling

5:00pm                                   Tryout Results Posted Online

6:00pm                                   New Squad Orientation


Tryout Skills (In order of actual tryout)


Game Day Material

Sideline: Run or tumble out and do a traditional Missouri State sideline along with a stunt. Judges will grade your energy, enthusiasm, and your ability to lead a crowd while looking confident.

Fight Song: After the sideline, the fight song will begin playing.  You will perform the fight song with motions and stunts.  Judges will be looking for sharp motions, the ability to stunt to count, confidence, and enthusiasm.

Crowd Engagement:  After the fight song, music will continue playing.  You will continue to engage with the crowd until the music stops.

Skills Demonstration

Stunts: Each participant will be scored on the following stunts:

  • A Single Leg Stunt
  • A Twisting Dismount
  • A Toss Stunt
  • Note: The required stunts can be combined. For example: Toss Heel Stretch-Full Down
  • 1 Optional Stunt:  Show us your best stunt!


Tumbling:  Each participant will be scored on the following skills:

  • Standing Handspring
  • Standing Tuck
  • Standing Handspring Tuck
  • Running Tumbling: Your Best Running Pass

All skills will be performed on a non-spring cheerleading floor.

Final Day Appearance

Be game day ready! You will be judged on your appearance so make sure you look your best!

Ladies:  Cheer shoes, spandex shorts, sports bra and t-shirt.  Hair half up, curled with a white bow, makeup and maroon lipstick.  No jewelry.

Guys:  Athletic shoes, shorts & t-shirt.  Clean shaven (no facial hair) and clean cut hair style.  No jewelry.


Tryout Advice


Here are some tips on preparing for tryouts:

  • Tryouts are not a safe environment to attempt new skills.  Our clinics will provide you with time to work on these.  During the formal tryout, only throw what you know you can hit.
  • Be in the best shape of your life!
  • Guys, especially high school guys, lift weights and eat well to gain as much strength as you can. It will make stunting easier and make you more valuable in pyramids and baskets.  Exercises for guys include standing dumbbell military press, squats, and power cleans.
  • Ladies, we recommend you practice coed stunt as much as possible either through private lessons or at a cheer open gym in your area. There’s no substitute for air time.
  • If at all possible, stunt with a variety of partners: good, bad, big, and small. This will improve your overall technique. Girls especially need to be careful not to stunt with only one guy, and also make sure to really learn proper technique and not unknowingly let the guy do all the work. Don’t try to skip ahead to the elite stunts even if a guy is able to throw you through them — make sure you first learn how to hold yourself tight and centered without balancing; learn a powerful toss, walkups, twisting cradles, etc. Our tryout format tests girls’ overall stunt technique and experience, so prepare accordingly.


Summer Obligations


Team members are required to be in Springfield over the summer for periodic summer practices.  The following dates are MANDATORY:

June 24-29:  Summer Session 1

July 26-31:  Summer Session 2

August 18-21:  Summer Session 3


School Year Obligations

Games, appearances, and practices are MANDATORY.  Sometimes we have games or practices over school breaks.  Like other athletes, we are required to be at each event.

November 19-27:  Fall Break (Potential Games)

December 9-23:  Christmas Break (Nationals practice, basketball games)

December 26-Jan 17:  Christmas Break (Nationals practice, basketball games, College Nationals)

March 11-19:  Spring Break (Potential Games)



If you have any questions about the tryout process or our team, please contact the Head Coach Matt Harris at