OWINGS MILLS, Md. — Stevenson University announced Tuesday that it will add women’s acrobatics and tumbling as its 28th NCAA varsity sport to begin competition in the spring of 2022.

Stevenson becomes the second school in the state of Maryland, and the first in the Baltimore-Washington, D.C. metro region, to add acrobatics and tumbling. Nationally, Stevenson becomes the 39th member of the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA), the sixth NCAA Division III program and the 37th NCAA program across all divisions.

“Stevenson University is supportive of women’s sports and has a long history of creating opportunities for female student-athletes to compete. With the NCAA approving acrobatics and tumbling as an emerging sport last summer, this is a great time to add this to our roster of programs,” said Brett Adams, Stevenson’s Director of Athletics. “We are excited to be the only university in the region to offer this opportunity to compete in acrobatics and tumbling at the varsity level to the many student-athletes already competing in the sport at a club level.”

Acrobatics and tumbling is the evolution of different disciplines of gymnastics, which includes the athletic aspects of competitive cheerleading. The format was created at the collegiate level to address the interest and abilities of young women competing in this skill set. Individuals and small groups execute acrobatic lifts, tosses, and tumbling. Meets include six events, all of which are competed on the floor and in varying group sizes.

Acrobatics and tumbling was added to the NCAA emerging sports list in August 2020 after receiving backing from the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics in 2019.

The addition of acrobatics and tumbling continues an expansion of opportunities for student-athletes and in particular female student-athletes over the last decade at Stevenson. After football was introduced in 2011, the Mustang women’s ice hockey program played its inaugural season in 2012-13. Swimming and diving was added in the 2014-15 academic year, followed by Stevenson becoming the first NCAA Division III women’s beach volleyball team in 2016. Men’s ice hockey, Stevenson’s newest varsity sport prior to today’s announcement, began play in 2016-17.

“We are thrilled to announce the addition of Stevenson University as a member of the NCATA family,” said Dr. Renee Baumgartner, NCATA President. “Each program added moves the needle, creating more opportunities for young women to compete in Acrobatics & Tumbling at the collegiate level and in a NCAA emerging sport.”

“Stevenson is our second NCATA member in the state of Maryland, and our first in the state from Division III,” added Janell Cook, NCATA Executive Director. “They join several other new programs announced in the past two years in the northeast region, where we are hopeful for additional growth in the coming year. This is an exciting period of growth for the sport, and we are excited to have Stevenson on board.”

A search for a head coach will begin immediately. Interested prospective student-athletes should contact Matt Grimm, Assistant Athletic Director and Director of Campus Recreation, at [email protected] or by phone at 443-352-4280 for more information.

Stevenson University, founded in 1947 as Villa Julie College, serves more than 2,600 undergraduates at its campus in Owings Mills, Md. In fall 2021, the University will open the new Owings Mills East campus, adding more than 100 acres to the campus for athletic and recreational facilities, including a new track and field complex, and fields for lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, baseball, and softball.