Release courtesy of Frostburg State Athletics

FROSTBURG, Md. — Frostburg State University Director of Athletics Troy A. Dell announced Monday that the department of athletics will add women’s acrobatics & tumbling as the institution’s 22nd intercollegiate sport.

Acrobatics & tumbling will begin competition in the fall of 2020 and is the first sport to be added to the varsity lineup since Frostburg added men’s lacrosse in 2010. Frostburg is the 30th school among all three NCAA divisions and the NAIA to add acrobatics & tumbling.

"I believe acrobatics & tumbling has the potential to become an NCAA emerging sport in the near future," said Dell. "We can create a full schedule within a couple hundred miles of Western Maryland and I believe this is a new and exciting sports opportunity for women."

Frostburg has been accepted into the Mountain East Conference contingent upon acceptance into NCAA Division II that will be announced this July. The MEC has six members who currently sponsor acrobatics and tumbling and Frostburg will become the seventh.

"We are so excited to welcome Frostburg State to the NCATA," said Dr. Renee Baumgartner, President of the NCATA. "The growth in the Mountain East Conference has been incredible for those members and for the sport, and we can’t wait to have Frostburg in the mix."

Acrobatics & tumbling is a derivative of the balance and grace of acrobatics, the power of gymnastics and the uniqueness of competitive cheer. Governed by the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA), it is an all-female collegiate sport in compliance and held to the same standards as other sports. Membership has grown from six to 30 schools since the first year of competition in 2010.

"We are very excited to add acrobatics & tumbling," said Crystal Redinger, Frostburg’s Assistant Director of Athletics for Budget and Finance/Senior Woman Administrator. "This is a rising sport that is growing in interest and its addition to Frostburg’s already comprehensive list of sport offerings creates additional opportunities and resources for women to compete and succeed in intercollegiate athletics."

Typical meets include 2-3 teams consisting of 28-member gameday rosters and last approximately 90-120 minutes. Six events are contested: Compulsory, Acro, Pyramid, Toss, Tumbling and Team. Each squad competes and is evaluated in each event, receiving a score based on starting difficulty values and execution.

Competition is in team rotation throughout and the order is predetermined by the head official prior to the meet. The highest combined score after all events wins the meet with the maximum score being 300 points.

"Adding a member in a new state is always gratifying, so we’re thrilled to have Frostburg join as the first NCATA member in Maryland," said NCATA Executive Director Janell Cook. "This opens up new opportunities for women to compete and will enhance the competitive opportunities within the MEC."

Acrobatics & tumbling is a spring sport, with competition lasting from February through April. Practices and meets will take place in Bobcat Arena in the Cordts PE Center.

A national search for the first acrobatics and tumbling head coach at Frostburg will begin in the coming weeks.