2016 Season Updates

At the end of each season, we do a review of the year, and see what worked, and what we could improve. Here’s our list of new happenings for 2016:


For the competitor, one of the main challenges with the registration process is deciding which level to enter. While mandatory level testing is not something that we want to require at this time, an optional level evaluation is a service that we would like to begin offering, along with recognition of leveling up. It should be cool to be at a higher level!  

You can read more about the optional level testing resource here.

To cover the cost of testing and recognition, a $19 fee per test will be assessed. The fee goes towards paying the pros who will evaluate you, the pin and certificate per level, and updating our website and newsletter with the level ups. We will also be including our new Competitor Training Manual, to those who submit for evaluation.

You can purchase the level evaluation here.

We would like to give special thanks to Ruby Red as the model for the demo videos, and Renee Wu for filming. Thanks also to guinea pigs: Caitlin Marco, Dana Carina, Lauren Manzano, Melissa Hyde, Rage Monster, and Reamey Belski, who all took the beta test to help us work out the kinks.


This manual was born out of the need to address the challenges that pole dance competitors face when they are training for competition. We have studied the habits of competitors from all areas of the United States, and we see the following as major issues that competitors face, in both the amateuer and the professional realm:

  • Overtraining, injury and burnout

  • Lack of support from the home studio, or lack of effective training methods available at the home studio

  • A sense of being overwhelmed by the task at hand

  • Lack of knowledge about routine building

This manual attempts to address each of these issues. If we are successful, we want each competitor to feel:

  • She or he worked very hard physically, but without injury or repetitive stress issues.

  • There was a logical program of training to follow.

  • Preparation for competition was challenging, but a task that she or he could complete successfully.

  • Confident that she or he can put together a routine.

The training manual is included in the optional level evaluation fee of $19, and will be emailed at the time of purchase. The manual will be updated on a yearly basis. Contributors and editors of this manual include Seanmichael Rau, Amy Guion, Amy Rosvally, Katerina Paskaris, Rikki Little, and Tristabel Akila. Pro tips are by Seanmichael Rau, Shaina Cruea, and Maggie Ann.


Trained judges are the next step in improving our judging system.

A preliminary version of the judge exam is now available. The exam is free to anyone who wishes to take it! You can take the exam at this link. The exam is 60 multiple choice questions about PSO rules, levels, and ethics. Coming soon, it will also include videos to be evaluated. Taking a course and passing the exam will eventually be required to be a PSO judge. For now, have fun learning, take the test, and get a certificate of completion if you pass.


The judge exam will be helpful to those who are planning to judge at a PSO event, and also to those who are training themselves or others for a PSO competition. Knowing the rules and how the judges are scoring a performance is a great way to improve your own routines.

We would LOVE feedback on this program, as it’s in the very beginning stages. You can email us with suggestions at info@polesportorg.com.


We would like to welcome Caty Mae as our 2016 Lyra Program Director. As director, Caty is our specialist on all things lyra, as is the advocate for lyra artists in PSO events. She has reviewed our rules and setup from last year, and has recommended several changes to the program that we will be implementing. If you are interested in learning more about Caty, booking her for workshops, or would like to contact her about the PSO lyra program, you can find that information here.

Lyra competition will be available at Pacific, Central, and Nationals, with fall artistic shows TBA. There will be a 36” hoop available to all competitors that will not have a tab or taco (one smooth circle). The spanset will be choked directly onto the lyra.

Our new level structure:

  • Level 1: This is the appropriate level for the beginner/intermediate lyra artist. Competitors may not be teaching lyra nor performing lyra for compensation.

    • Planches are not allowed. A “planche” is defined as a hold where the body is held parallel to the floor, with contact points of the hands on the bar only.

    • Backward dynamic movement is not allowed (ex. rolls, elbow circles). Beats are fine.

    • Drops between the bars are not allowed. “Drops” means a complete release of weight from the top bar and catch on the bottom bar.

    • A mat must be used underneath the lyra during performance.

  • Level 2: This is the appropriate level for the intermediate/advanced lyra artist.

    • All moves are allowed, except for safety violations, including not hanging from the truss.

    • Competitors at this level may be from anywhere in the world.

    • A mat must be used underneath the lyra during performance.

  • Professional: This is the appropriate level for the advanced lyra artist.

    • All moves are allowed, except for safety violations, including not hanging from the truss.

    • Competitors in the professional level must be a citizen or resident of the country where the competition is taking place, as we have cash prizes at the National level.

    • The top 3 competitors at regionals will move on to the U.S. National Pole & Aerial Championships.


Registrations are now open for Pacific Pole & Aerial in the disciplines of Hoop Flow, Staff Flow, and Poi Flow, together known as the Flow Arts. We are trying this out as an experimental discipline with a limited number of competitors to see if you like it!

Judges will include Samantha Taylor of Rawktails, Lester Mooney of Fire Groove, and Jeweliette Luminess of Bombshell Fire Entertainment.

Here are the Rules for Flow Tools.

Not ready to compete yet in Flow Arts? You can also catch some free demos and try out flow tools for yourself at PPC.




We’re going to Switzerland! Pole Sport Organization Competition, European Edition, will be on May 7 in Zurich. Our local coordinating committee for the event is Gravity Arts. We are doing just a one day show, and are about half way sold out for competitor spots at this time. More information, including competitor registration, is at www.polesportorg.com/events/europecompete


In the spirit of separating the Artistic Professional division more clearly from the Championship Professional division, Artistic Professional finalists in the 2016 U.S. National Pole Championships can have people as props or backup dancers onstage for Nationals with approval. Concepts, ideas, and additional props that have to be moved by stage hands, can be discussed and cleared with Amy at amy@polesportorg.com. As we get closer to the event, Amy will be reaching out with deadlines for submissions of additional materials, dancer names, etc.

In the spirit of keeping the Artistic Professional finals judged based on the actual finalist’s performance and not the individual skills of back up dancers, any additional person on stage may not touch or make physical contact with the finalist.


We’ve been looking for a balance between keeping our registration management under control, and honoring the fact that hey, sh*it happens, and sometimes you need to drop out. We’re going to try this policy for 2016 and see how it goes. If you are a competitor wanting to transfer a 2016 registration and had previously been denied, please email us again and we can make the change for you now.

If you are signed up for a competition as a performer, and wish to transfer your registration to another person, you may do so up until we close registration for the competition. You must email us with the following information for the person you are transferring to, before the close of registration:

  • Stage name of new competitor

  • Email address of new competitor

  • Studio affiliation (if any) of new competitor

  • Event, level and age group of new competitor


  • Transfers must be to the same section, for example lyra professional competitors may only transfer to other lyra professionals, and pole amateurs may only transfer to other pole amateurs. Transfers between sections are not allowed.

  • Transfers are only for the same competition, for example, you could not transfer your registration for Central to a registration for Southern.

  • Transfer requests must be emailed BEFORE the close of registration. Many times, this is far in advance of posted deadlines, because we sell out! We are unable to honor requests sent after closing.

  • If you are getting paid for your registration spot by the person you are transferring to, we are not responsible for making that happen, and are not liable if that transfer person defaults on their payment to you.


In order to continue our mission of inclusion, it’s become necessary to clarify our policy on transgender competitors. We have consulted with several individuals as well as reviewing NCAA rules and Olympic rules in order to come up with a policy that respects all participants.

For professional level competitors who identify as transgender:  One year living as the gender you identify as, including average gender testosterone levels. Documentation may be required to confirm current status on a case-by-case basis. If documentation is requested, all information can be sent to info@polesportorg.com for confidential review. Any inquiries, questions or comments by competitors will also be kept confidential. Medical documentation of average target gender testosterone levels for our purposes are approximately 270-1,070 ng/dL for men and approximately 15-70 ng/dL for women.

For amateur level (levels 1-4 pole, levels 1-2 lyra, all levels flow tools) competitors: Competitors may enter as the gender they most identify with and are currently living as. Any inquiries, questions or comments by competitors will also be kept confidential.

Happy 2016, and we hope to see you at a show soon!