NEWBERRY, S.C. — Newberry College will add acrobatics & tumbling as an intercollegiate sport beginning in the 2024-25 academic year. The addition was approved unanimously by the college’s Board of Trustees.
“This is a positive step in continuing our plan to grow opportunities for female student-athletes at Newberry College,” said Newberry College Director of Athletics Sean Johnson. “Acrobatics & tumbling is growing rapidly as an intercollegiate sport and has a strong footprint in NCAA Division II and in our region.”
The college will hire a head coach this summer to recruit a roster for competition.
Newberry College will be an associate member of Conference Carolinas for acrobatics & tumbling, which just hosted its third championship meet in April.
Acrobatics & tumbling currently has 38 schools competing across all levels of the NCAA, 27 of which are NCAA Division II. Participating regional schools include Belmont Abbey (D-II), Chowan (D-II), Coker (D-II), Converse (D-II), Emmanuel (D-II), Lander (D-II), Limestone (D-II), King (D-II), Mars Hill (D-II) and Presbyterian (D-I).
“We are thrilled to welcome Newberry College to the acrobatics & tumbling community,” said Janell Cook, executive director of the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association. “We look forward to working with Sean Johnson and his team to implement the program as they offer new opportunities for young women training in gymnastics and cheerleading. Their addition also marks the 36th NCAA DII institution to sponsor A&T, which brings the division nearer to the total of 40 programs needed to establish a NCAA DII national championship. This is a very exciting time as the sport continues growth and we are thankful to have Newberry join the NCATA.”
A sport must have a minimum of 20 varsity teams and/or competitive club teams that have competed in a minimum of five contests to be considered for the emerging sports program. The sport must reach 40 varsity programs to move forward to the NCAA governance structure for championship consideration.
Acrobatics & tumbling traditionally recruits student-athletes from the sports of gymnastics, competitive cheerleading and dance. Each meet is a contest between two to three teams, with 28 competitors on each team’s gameday roster. The teams compete in six events throughout the meet, including compulsory, acro, pyramid, toss, tumbling, and team events.
Teams compete head-to-head in a total of 20 heats during a competition, with each scored on starting difficulty values and execution of declared skills. In a meet, a team can score up to 300 points. The team with the highest overall score is declared the winner.