Emerging Sport Hub
STUNT has received approval as an NCAA emerging sport for Division I and II, with Division III up for a vote at the 2024 convention! An emerging sport is a women’s sport recognized by the NCAA that is intended to help schools provide more athletics opportunities for women and more sport-sponsorship options for the institutions, and also help that sport achieve NCAA championship status. This page will help provide resources and updates on the progress of our journey!
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Emerging Sport Questions and Answers
An emerging sport is a women’s sport recognized by the NCAA that is intended to help schools provide more athletics opportunities for women and more sport-sponsorship options for the institutions, and also help that sport achieve NCAA championship status.
An emerging sport for women is a sport that:
- Meets the definition of a sport.
- Is accepted and recognized by the NCAA (as approved by its divisional governance processes) as an emerging sport for women.
- Provides additional athletics opportunities to female student-athletes and demonstrates the NCAA’s commitment to gender equity among student-athletes.
With the recent vote, STUNT is an official emerging sport for NCAA Division II!
The Committee on Women’s Athletics has officially recommended that all three divisions of the NCAA governance structure add STUNT as an NCAA emerging sport, and we hope to gain emerging sport status with Divisions I and III soon!!
Absolutely! Institutions can add sports at any time based on their own needs and interests. Twenty NCAA institutions already have STUNT as a varsity sport, with seven additional varsity programs joining in the 2023 season. Contact us for information on how to evaluate your institutional opportunities!
From the perspective of scholastic sports, a club sport is usually sponsored and led by students, with the student members making decisions regarding hiring, budget, travel, etc. Unlike intramural sports, club sports travel and play other university programs.
A varsity sport is funded under the athletics department, where the athletics department makes the hiring, budget, and travel decisions. Like other varsity sports, varsity STUNT programs have recruiting budgets and scholarships available based on their university’s criteria. Varsity programs can begin directly as a varsity program under athletics, or they may transition from a club sport to a varsity sport.
STUNT welcomes club and varsity programs!
The CWA’s endorsement of STUNT and the Division Management Council’s sponsorships of STUNT are a victory for Title IX and female athletes everywhere. Institutions can already count STUNT towards their Title IX requirements and help grow participation opportunities for female student athletes. However, the continued recognition of the competitive athletic nature of STUNT and the movement forward in the emerging sport process helps institutions commit to increased female athletic participation.
STUNT and Competitive Cheerleading are two different disciplines of “cheer” that both utilize technical skills in their sport, but there are differences. STUNT is the discipline that has been recommended by the CWA for Emerging Sport status.
|Event||45 -60 minute game||2:30 minute routine|
|Two teams in head-to-head competition.||Single teams perform one at a time at an event with many teams in the same competition division.|
|Scoring||Objective – Based on execution||Subjective/Objective – Based on routine choreography and execution|
|Format||4 Quarter Format Based on Skills – Quarters consist of Partner Stunts, Pyramids and Tosses, Jumps and Tumbling. Routines are all compulsory.||Based on individual routine choreography. Includes crowd-leading, and dance elements as well as stunting, pyramids, tumbling, and jumps.|
|Season||Teams compete as an exclusively Spring sport.||Teams compete year-round.|
For more information, see the USA Cheer Position Paper on Title IX
The safety and well-being of the STUNT athlete is of primary importance, and is the first guiding principle of each STUNT committee.
STUNT involves athletes participating in partner stunts, pyramids, tosses, jumps, and tumbling. These skills include height, inversion, and rotation of the body as well as working in coordination with other athletes to perform these skills. Special care should be taken by supervisory staff ensure that skills are taught in a progressive manner, requiring proficiency before advancing to skills with higher difficulty.
The STUNT format, scoring system, and coaches’ education work together to promotes athlete safety and risk management.
For more information, be sure to fill out the interest form and follow the step-by-step “How to Start a STUNT Team.” For high school or club/youth rec teams, look for the “How to Start a STUNT Team” under your menu tab in the main menu.
STUNT and Emerging Sport Timeline
DI Council adopts STUNT as an Emerging Sport
At its April meeting, the Division I Council voted to formally establish stunt as an emerging sport for women in Division I.
CWA reaffirms support for STUNT for DI and DIII
Following the adoption of STUNT as an emerging sport at by Division II, the Committee on Women’s Athletics agreed at its February 14th meeting to unanimously recommend that Divisions I and III reconsider approving stunt as an emerging sport for women.
DII Passes Proposal Adding STUNT as an Emerging Sport
The DII delegates attending the NCAA convention voted to approve Proposal 23-6, officially adding STUNT as an emerging sport, effective date Aug 1, 2023.
DI Council approves STUNT Proposal
The Division I Council on Wednesday voted to introduce into the legislative cycle a proposal that would make STUNT an emerging sport for women.
DII Presidents Council sponsors STUNT for the Emerging Sports for Women program
The Division II Presidents Council on Wednesday sponsored three proposals for the 2023 Convention and approved several recommendations from the Division II Implementation Committee.
The three 2023 Convention proposals sponsored by the Presidents Council were:
- Adding STUNT to the Emerging Sports for Women program.
CWA Reaffirms Recommendation for STUNT to Division Councils
Read the Feb 2022 Committee on Women’s Athletics Report
From the report:
In addition, with each division currently reconsidering CWA’s 2020 recommendation to add STUNT as an emerging sport, the divisions have expressed an interested in CWA reviewing and reaffirming this position to assist in their discussions. After reviewing and deliberating the 2020 recommendation, the committee voted to reaffirm its previous recommendation and communicate this to each division.
DIII Presidents and Management Council approve legislative proposals to add STUNT
Management Council: The Council approved a legislative proposal for the 2023 NCAA Convention to add stunt as an emerging sport for women and establish legislation related to playing and practice seasons and membership, as specified. The committee noted the continued growth in high school stunt sponsorship and participation, a steady increase in the number of member institutions sponsoring stunt, and support from the sport’s national governing body as compelling rationale to include stunt as an emerging sport for women.
Presidents Council: No action necessary.
DII prioritizes Convention proposals considering constitutional review, 7 proposals including STUNT were paused
“Considering the transformational work that lies ahead for all of the NCAA, it’s important we prioritize certain legislative proposals for the upcoming Convention. Student-athletes are always our top priority, which these 2022 Convention proposals reflect,” said Allison Garrett, president of Emporia State and chair of the Division II Presidents Council. “We will reevaluate other proposals after the Convention when there is more clarity surrounding the changes to the NCAA constitution.”
Read the 2021 DII Press Release
USA Cheer shares DII and DIII sponsorship news
DALLAS (August 10, 2021) – USA Cheer shares today that the NCAA Division II and III Councils will sponsor legislation to add STUNT as an emerging sport for women in their respective divisions. The legislation will be up for a member vote at the January 2022 NCAA convention. The Division I Council is expected to consider similar legislation at their meeting in October 2021.
DII Management Council Approves Sponsorship of STUNT
Read the 2021 DII Management Council Actions (pp 35,36)
From the Agenda summary:
Division Membership, Personnel, Amateurism, Financial Aid and Playing and Practice Seasons – Emerging Sports for Women – STUNT.
Management Council. The Management Council recommended that the Presidents Council sponsor legislation for the 2022 Convention to add STUNT as an emerging sport for women and establish legislation related to athletics personnel, amateurism, recruiting, financial aid, playing and practice seasons and membership, as specified.
Presidents Council. The Presidents Council agreed to sponsor the legislation for the 2022 Convention.
DIII Management Council Approves Sponsorship of STUNT
Read the 2021 DIII Management Council Actions (pp 11,12)
From the Agenda summary:
Management Council. The Council approved sponsorship of 2022 NCAA convention legislation to add STUNT as an emerging sport for women. The Council noted the continued growth in high school STUNT sponsorship and participation, steady increase in the number of member institutions sponsoring STUNT, and support from the sport’s national governing body as compelling rationale to include STUNT as an emerging sport for women.
Committee on Women’s Athletics recommends STUNT
Read the CWA April Committee Report
Read the press release from USA Cheer
Read the recommendation letter from the Committee on Women’s Athletics
From the NCAA Media Center:
…STUNT has received a recommendation from the Committee on Women’s Athletics to join the program.
…STUNT recently received a recommendation to be added to the program. Committee members were pleased that the sport has seen a steady increase in the number of NCAA member sponsorships, is relatively inexpensive to sponsor and provides participation opportunities for female student-athletes of all body types and from diverse sports backgrounds. Currently, nearly 20 NCAA schools sponsor varsity STUNT.
The Divisions II and III Management Councils will meet July 20-21 to consider the recommendation to add STUNT to the program. After reviewing the recommendation, each council will decide whether to sponsor a legislative proposal. If a council decides to sponsor a proposal to add STUNT, the membership of that division would vote at the 2021 NCAA Convention in January on whether to add the sport. The Division I Strategic Vision and Planning Committee did not recommend introducing STUNT as an emerging sport at this time due to budget constraints stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. The committee can revisit discussions in the future.
STUNT Submits Emerging Sport Application to the Committee on Women’s Athletics
STUNT submitted our 200 page application to the NCAA’s Committee on Women’s Athletics to be considered as an emerging sport! This application was the culmination of 10 years of hard work and commitment from administrators, coaches, and athletes across the country.
At the time of the application, STUNT had 25 NCAA schools participating, including 12 as varsity programs.
In the 2022 season, 42 NCAA schools will be playing STUNT, including 20 as varsity programs, with 7 more NCAA varsity programs committed to the 2023 season!
Inaugural STUNT Tournament
Louisville, KY was the site of the first STUNT tournament on January 29, 2011. The tournament featured the University of Louisville, Morehead State University, and West Virginia University.
Inaugural 2011 Season – 20 teams
Twenty college programs stepped onto the STUNT mats in Season One!
USA Cheer Founded
USA Cheer was founded in 2007 with the mission of promoting cheerleading safety, fielding a national team for international competition, and increasing participation in cheerleading throughout the United States.