Acrobatics and Tumbling Named an Emerging Sport by NCAA Division I Council

Baylor

Baylor Athletics Press Release:

WACO, Texas – The NCAA Division I Council voted to add acrobatics & tumbling to the NCAA Emerging Sports for Women program, announced late Wednesday.

The NCAA Division I announcement followed the approval of the sport to emerging status at the Division II and III levels this past January. 

Achieving this status is monumental for the continued growth of the sport, as many schools have already committed to adding acrobatics & tumbling as part of their strategic plans for athletics and having it be a part of the emerging sports program could convince others to do the same. 

Baylor head coach Felecia Mulkey said, “This is a big day for acrobatics & tumbling. It is the culmination of 12 years of work. The athletic administrators and coaches that started the sport have been dedicated to doing things the right way and for the right reasons. That dedication paid off today. There is still so much more to do for the continued growth of the sport, but we will take a moment and celebrate all of the pioneers of the sport, including those student-athletes who took the road less traveled and help pave the way for so many others.” 

A&T was recommended for the emerging sports program by the Committee on Women’s Athletics. The program is a pipeline supporting the advancement of women’s sports to NCAA championship status. The program also provides athletics opportunities for women and sport-sponsorship options for colleges and universities. Schools also may use an emerging sport to help meet minimum sports sponsorship and financial aid requirements. 

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. Current membership in A&T includes 30 NCAA programs across all divisions and two NAIA members.  The sport must reach 40 varsity programs to move forward to the NCAA governance structure for championship consideration.

The Emerging Sports for Women program has been in existence since 1994. In the past 21 years, several sports have reached championship status, including beach volleyball, rowing, ice hockey, water polo and bowling.

Baylor acrobatics & tumbling has won the last five-straight NCATA National Championships and was poised to once again take home the title in 2020 before the season was cut short due to COVID-19.

To read the full NCAA release, visit http://www.ncaa.org/about/resources/media-center/news/acrobatics-and-tumbling-women-s-wrestling-added-ncaa-emerging-sports-women-program

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