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POSA Rules & Regulations (2024)

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POSA Aerial Art
Rules & Regulations (2024)

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USPSF Concept Form (2024)

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Divisions are determined by the level of difficulty. 

Generally speaking, Amateur athletes perform elements up to the 0.5 point range, whereas Competitive athletes perform up to the 1.0 point range, as shown in the Elements Table in the Code of Points. Amateur athletes may only perform one element with a value greater than 0.5. However, athletes who violate this rule may be automatically and immediately put into the Competitive category.


Amateur and Para-aerial division routines are 3:00 to 3:20 minutes.

Competitive division length is 3:30 to 4:00 minutes.

The first tone of the music marks the beginning of the routine, while the last tone marks the end.

Age Categories

Categories are defined by the competitive year rather than the birth date.

Varsity: 6-9 yr (born 2015-18)
Junior A: 10-14 yr (born 2010-14)
Junior B: 15-17 yr (born 2007-09)
Senior: 18+ yr (born before 2006)
Masters 40+ (born before 1984)
Masters 50+ (born before 1974)


Doubles Junior A
Doubles Junior B
Doubles Junior Mix
Doubles Senior Mix
Group Mix

Competition Stage

A portable aerial rig may be used. The sling height is approximately 19.5 to 26 feet (6 to 8 meters). The sling is made up of an automatic or mechanical winch that can be replaced. The competition organizers can offer equipment, however, participants can also use their own silks or hoop if they match the requirements specified below. competitors cannot use their own carabiners or swivels.

Aerial silks consist of a durable fabric of medium stretch with a width of approximately 5 to 9 feet (1.5 to 2.8 meters) and a length of approximately 19.5 to 33 feet (6 to 10 meters). The longitudinal edges of the fabric should not be cut.

Aerial hoop is made of stainless steel, with a diameter ranging from approximately 31.5 to 43.5 inches (80 to 110 cm) and a tube diameter of 0.9 to 1.2 inches (23 to 30 mm). Hoop wrapping is mandatory. The hoop is attached at one point. A span set is required, and the length of the span set is optional. The presence of extra devices on the hoop (such as a pole or a loop) is prohibited.

The stage will measure 26x26 to 32x32 with wood or linoleum flooring and may be elevated. The competition area will include mats in the center, beneath the sling. Mats are 6.5x6.5 feet (2x2 meters) and at least 8 inches thick.

Specific information on aerial equipment offered, height, and stage dimensions will be disclosed in the National Competition Work Plan (when published).

Spotters are required in all Junior categories.

How the Competition is Scored

Routines are scored on artistry, execution, and technical presentation.

The judging panel will consist of one head judge, two technical judges, and three to five artistic and execution judges (each).

Artistic Scoring

This score is based only on the presentation of the routine, which includes moves around the apparatus and stage area. This involves the ability to perform dance and acrobatic choreography with emotion and expression, as well as having a strong stage presence. The routine should include a memorable character, persona, and story using theme, music, costuming, and dance that are truly unique.

Overall Artistic Presentation

Athletes are awarded points based on the overall level of each section listed below. Each section is worth 10 points on a 0.5-point scale.

Following the music throughout the performance and being in sync with the music not only through their body movements but also through their storytelling and interpretation.

Overall Presentation
The entire presentation, including song selection, choreography, costume and make-up, dance movements (floorwork and pole), and overall originality and uniqueness.

Confidence in the performance; not displaying nervousness, carrying themselves with confidence, being engaging, commanding the stage and audience's attention, and making their performance appear believable.

A developed, distinctive, and unique routine, including music selection, interpretation, and movement choices.

Facial Expressions
Having charisma and storytelling abilities that attract the attention of the judges and the audience. The ability to transmit feelings and emotions with their faces while dancing their routines.

Artistic Movement

Athletes are awarded points based on the overall level of each section listed below. Each section is worth 10 points on a 0.5-point scale.

Aerial Work (Level of Tricks and Transitions)

Selecting and executing the highest level of tricks based on their aerial level. Showing the ability to experiment with variations of a classic move to make it more fascinating and creative.

Producing moves that work with the beat and phrase of the music, are reflective of the song, require flexibility and strength, and are engaging and entertaining. They should be imaginative and fluid as they move around the surface of the stage.

Creating a smooth and fluid performance; moving from floor to apparatus, floor to standing, or standing to floor. The sequences, tricks, transitions, choreography, and/or acrobatic movements should be seamless, smooth, natural, and gracefully executed. Movement in and out of tricks should seamlessly transition to the next action. The routine should not appear fragmented in any manner.

Balanced Routine
A well-balanced routine that includes tricks, transitions, choreography, stage presentation, artistic content, use of span set on hoop or full height of silks, and the use of spins.

Quality of Movement
The way an athlete moves on stage on both the apparatus and floor. Athletes can express themselves uniquely through their background in movement knowledge and other influences.


A maximum of 100 points can be awarded for the artistic section. 

Execution Scoring

This score is based only on the technical execution of all the moves on the apparatus, transitions, and floor work.  For Doubles, this also includes timing and uniformity of movements.

What is Execution?

This is the ability to perform movements with flawless technique, maximum precision, proper posture, and body alignment.  This includes: 

The Knee and Toe Alignment
There is a straight line connecting the kneecap to the big toe. The foot and toes are pointed, and the toes are not clenched.

Clean Lines
Properly positioning the legs and arms, as well as pointing the feet and toes at full extension (the feet are not sickled). Maintaining tension-free fingers and toes, and only flexing the feet if performed as part of choreography.

Fully extending the legs, arms, back, neck, wrists, and chest. Avoiding rounded shoulders and back, and the head is held high. 

Maintaining proper posture while on and off the apparatus. There are no uncontrollable movements.

Execution within the Routine

Transitioning from one move to another with fluidity and grace, without hesitation, regripping,  or rebalancing. Transitions should appear effortless.

Angles of Moves
Performing every part of the routine at the desired angles. The athlete is keeping full control to avoid stopping at an unfavorable angle.

Use of Hoop
Athletes must use the span set.

Use of Silks
Being able to work on both joint and separate silks and demonstrate different elements (knots, grips, etc.). Ability to use at least 13 feet (4 meters) of height during their performance.

No Slipping, Losing Balance, or Falls
No loss of control or balance, and minor slips or losses of balance do not interfere with the performance.

No Fidgeting
No drying of hands on the costume, bo, apparatus, or floor as well as fussing with hair or outfit.

Execution for Doubles

Uniformity and Synchronicity
Performing as a single unit with identical range of motion, timing, and quality. Choreography includes precise and identical movements.

Using Full Height of Aerial Silk
At least one partner uses at least 13 feet (4 meters) of aerial silk during their performance.


Each athlete starts with 75 points for execution. Any deviation from "perfect execution" is deducted from the initial 75 points.  That then is the athlete's overall execution score.

Deductions for Each Occurrence
-0.5 points for each poor execution
-1 point for each poor transition, bad angle of move, slip, or loss of balance
-1 point [Doubles] for each lack of uniform movement
-2 points for each fidget
-5 points for each uncontrolled fall to the floor

One Time Deductions
-3 points for not using apparatus to its fullest extent or height
-5 points [Doubles] If the majority of the performance is not synchronized

Technical Scoring

This score is based on aerial tricks, their combinations, and the level of difficulty, execution, and transitions in and out of the aerial tricks.   

Technical Sections

Athletes are awarded points based on the overall level of each section listed below. Each section is worth 10 points (unless otherwise stated) on a 0.5-point scale.

The originality and uniqueness of the overall performance of transitions, entrances, and exits from tricks and combinations, movement on and off the apparatus, themes, and choreography. 

Execution of Tricks, Combinations, and Movements
Proper execution of aerial tricks, combinations, and choreography involving clean lines, extension, posture, and body placement. 

Level of Transitions 
Transitions in between moves, from the floor to the apparatus, and from the apparatus to the floor. The athlete uses flowing movement with proper body positioning and transitions with precision and ease.

Originality Bonus Trick [Singles] (up to 5 points)
The term "trick" relates to the originality of the trick. This bonus is given if the athlete does an innovative trick that has never been seen before and with excellent technical execution. 

Synchronization of Tricks and Combinations [Doubles] (up to 5 points)
Synchronization is the simultaneous performance of a trick or combination consistent in timing, execution, and range of movement. 

Level of Execution and Difficulty of Movements

Athletes are awarded points based on the average level of each section listed below. Each section is worth 10 points (unless otherwise stated) on a 0.5-point scale.  It is highly recommended to refer to the Elements Table of the Code of Points.

Performing tricks, combinations, and transitions with full extension and mobility showcasing the flexibility of the legs, back, and shoulders with fluidity throughout the routine. Athletes typically perform elements from Group A of the Elements Table in the Code of Points.

Performing strength tricks and combos showcasing the strength of the arms, core, and legs. Holding and controlling a strength technique for two (2) seconds or longer results in a higher score. Athletes typically perform elements from Group B of the Elements Table in the Code of Points.

Dynamic Movements
Performing strong momentum movements that allow the body to leave the apparatus for a measured length of time. Dynamic movement can include drops, turnovers, slips, screws, and flips. Athletes typically perform elements from Group D of the Elements Table in the Code of Points.


A maximum of 65 points can be awarded for the technical section. 

Head Judge Scoring

Deductions, warnings, and disqualifications are issued by the Head Judge.

Potential Deductions

-3 points (max) for failure to appear in the stage area within 20 seconds after being called
-5 points if an athlete purposely swings the hoop or silk, especially if it can cause a fall beyond the mats.
-5 points if a JuniorVarsity athlete performs a routine on the silk that exceeds 6 meters.
-5 points (max) for the wrong music length
-5 points (max) for performing clear sexual gestures during a performance, such as caressing the genitals or twerking
-10 points (max) if a costume malfunction occurs such as when a portion of the outfit unexpectedly falls, falls off, unravels, or interferes with the athlete's performance


- Intentional removal of undergarments.
- For inappropriate choreographic content that offends religion, race, gender, politics, etc,
- Interrupting the performance for reasons other than extraordinary circumstances.
- Walk-over: Failure to appear on stage within 1 minute after being called
- Serious violation of the POSA Rules and Regulations
- Disrespectful conduct toward the Head Judge and Jury

Competition Piece Subject Matter

At USPSF, we celebrate self-expression and free speech for everyone. However, competition is not the avenue for that. To create a safe environment for everyone, we require that political views be left out of our competition.

Here is a list of questions to ask yourself when considering the propriety of the subject matter of your piece:
1. Is it something we vote on?
2. Does it cause big feelings during an election?
3. Will you dress up/act like someone from a different culture?
4. Can you think of a person/group whose feelings would be hurt by the piece?

Please reconsider your theme if you answer yes to any of these questions.

Finally: Are you prepared to defend the subject matter of your piece as being non-political/racially insensitive to the ethics committee if necessary?

Let’s work together to ensure a safe and joyful competition for everyone involved.

This page summarizes the content provided in the USPSF Aerial Art Rules and Regulations. The athlete must thoroughly read and comprehend the material in the USPSF Aerial Art Rules and Regulations.

Still have questions?

Participate in our Code of Points training. We review each scoring section to assist athletes and coaches in understanding it better.