COVID-19 NCAA Categorization of Sport Risk and STUNT

STUNT is in the NCAA Emerging Sport process. Following the guidance found in the NCAA’s document Resocialization of Collegiate Sport: Developing Standards for Practice and Competition, Second Edition (Updated), USA Cheer considers STUNT to be in the Intermediate Sports Transmission Risk category with masks and High Sports Transmission Risk category without masks. Key determining factors in this designation include the following:

A STUNT game:

  • Does not involve any direct physical interaction between players of opposing teams.
  • Does not involve sharing of any equipment between players of opposing teams or the same team.
  • Does not involve sharing of playing surface between players of opposing teams.
  • Does not involve close proximity between players and officials. Officials remain off of the team playing surfaces at all times.
  • Can be played without spectators.
  • Can be played while wearing masks.
  • Can be played outside.

Player Interaction in a STUNT Game:

  • Players never have physical interaction with players from the opposing team.
  • Quarter 1 – Partner Stunts: Players interact in cohort units of four athletes, with no physical interaction with other groups or players.
  • Quarter 2 – Pyramids & Tosses: Players interact primarily in cohort units of four athletes, similar to the Partner Stunts quarter. There are brief 5- to 10-second interactions of 12 to 16 athletes within the team for one or two pyramids per routine. This type of interaction only takes place 7 times during the entire game.
  • Quarter 3 – Jumps & Tumbling: All players act independently of each other with no physical interaction.
  • Quarter 4 – Team Routine: Each routine in the 4th quarter combines the previous quarter’s rounds and interaction.
Additional risk mitigation procedures should follow your association, conference, and institutional best practices. Some risk mitigation measures include:
  • General:

    • Periodic testing of athletes, coaches, and officials.
    • Requiring protective masks during practice, games, and on sidelines by all players and personnel. (Masks may be worn during STUNT play)
    • Keeping partner stunt groups together for as many routines as possible and working in functional units for practice.
  • Game environment:
    • Separate team entrances and exits.
    • Provide additional benches or add additional space between chairs in the team bench area.
    • Coaches and officials may keep one full mat clear between them during the coin toss. The official can remain in their neutral zone with teams coming no closer than their third mat from the bench.
    • The challenge rule may be removed to eliminate any close contact with officials.
    • In the event that team separation more than the current 6′ neutral zone is needed, an additional mat may be added to make the neutral zone 12′ wide.
    • Remove end-of-game “high five” ceremonies or any similar interaction with the opposing team.

COVID-19 Action Plans for Practice and Competition from national collegiate associations may be found below.