Over the past five years, USA Cheer has been exploring the creation of a new competitive discipline that would derive out of cheer as a way to grow the activity and expand participation opportunities for young people. USA Cheer recognizes that the growing prominence and movement on this issue at the interscholastic and intercollegiate level over the past year has elevated the urgency of USA Cheer’s timing to develop a new, exclusively competitive discipline of cheer.
Specifically, there is a growing body of schools at both the high school and college level that have created different models of competitive cheer in hopes to count it as a sport for Title IX purposes. However, none of these programs have been successful so far in gaining the approval of the Department of Education. To ensure that this new sport is developed properly, in a way that preserves traditional cheerleading and creates a new discipline that provides additional opportunities for athletes, is feasible and compliant with the law, USA Cheer has created a new
sport called STUNT and is launching an initiative to have it recognized as an NCAA Emerging Sport.
STUNT is a new competitive team sport that has derived from traditional cheerleading.STUNT removes the crowd-leading and focuses on the technical and athletic components of cheer, which include the partner stunts, pyramids, basket tosses, jumps and tumbling skills. Each contest will consist of four quarters (Partner Stunts, Team Tumbling/Jumps, Pyramids/Tosses, and Team Performance) with a halftime in between the second and third quarters.
In STUNT, the rules and scoring system are focused solely on performance evaluation and there are only two teams competing at a time. There is one set of rules and one scoring system that is followed at every game. The competition is much more objective and thus easy to follow for the crowd with the head to head format. Judges are primarily in place to evaluate the execution of predetermined skills and the technique used by the team when performing their different elements.
Predetermined sequences in each of the technical areas (Partner Stunts, Team Tumbling/Jumps, Pyramids/Tosses, and Team Performance) are distributed to all STUNT teams at the start of the season and the coach with possession selects the level to be performed head to head. The new format incorporates all the excitement of a typical cheerleading competition, coupled with the coaching strategy of a regular sporting event. The fourth quarter is the “Team Performance” which allows teams to incorporate their 20 members of their team and arsenal into a 90 second routine.
Anyone who follows sports will be able to follow STUNT. The head to head format simplifies the scoring process, while also allowing the fans to track the results of the competition as each quarter is completed. Games will last approximately an hour and fifteen minutes and teams compete simultaneously on the mat similar to most other sports. Because of the new format teams will have records and national rankings which will determine their post-season play, much like other sports. In addition, post-season play can be tracked by the fans, much like “March Madness”.
For complete information download the STUNT Handbook