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Over the past five years, USA Cheer, the governing body of cheerleading in America, has been developing a new sport derived from traditional cheerleading. As part of its NCAA Emerging Sport initiative, USA Cheer has created Stunt as an opportunity for colleges and universities to meet the strict Title IX requirements of a college sport, while still preserving sideline cheerleading. With more than 500,000 high school cheerleaders, Stunt will provide another way for colleges to expand participation opportunities for young women at the college level to use their cheerleading skill backgrounds.

Basic Information
Stunt is a competitive team sport specifically for college-level female athletes at this time. It will be a spring sport, beginning in February and ending in late April. Stunt teams will have a maximum of 30 athletes. Stunt teams will play in a head-to-head game format, which means they will compete for much of the game side by side on the competition mat, so execution judges and spectators can easily assess skill levels. Officials will regulate games and award points to teams based on execution of predetermined Skill Sequences.

The Game of Stunt
Trying to picture what a game of Stunt would be like? Think about how basketball or football is set up. Stunt is played on nine cheerleading mats inside an arena or indoor facility. There are two halves and four quarters like a football game, with one to three heats per quarter. Each quarter has specific skill sections:
• 1st Quarter- Partner Stunts
• 2nd Quarter- Team Tumbling/Jumps
• 3rd Quarter- Pyramids/Tosses
• 4th Quarter- Team Performance
In the 1st and 3rd Quarters, teams compete side by side on the competition mat and during the 2nd and 4th Quarters, teams will take turns executing their Skill Sequences.

Skill Sequences are predetermined routines developed and published by the USA Cheer Stunt Competition Committee prior to the season. The first three quarters will have distinct routines based on progressive levels (Skill Levels 1-4/5). The 4th Quarter will be a Team Performance. Official will award points per heat to the team that executes their Skill Sequence the best and split points between teams in the event of a tie.

Part of the excitement of Stunt is watching the opposing coaches strategize to win the game. Before each heat, teams will have possession of the Level Call. Imagine a team has possession in the 1st Quarter; the coach wants to call a Skill Level that he or she believes they can execute better than the other team. If they excel in partner stunts, the coach may call Skill Level 5 (the most difficult level) but if they are not very talented in partner stunts, the coach may call Skill Level 2 and try to earn points by tying. Just like football, coaches want to know their opponents strengths and weaknesses for each game and create strategies in order to take home a win.

The winner of Stunt is the team with the highest total points at the end of the 4th Quarter. Athletes, coaches, and fans will always know who is winning by watching the scoreboard rack up the points for each team. Participants and fans will enjoy other traditional NCAA sport elements, too. Stunt has officials, player introductions, a coin toss to start the game, timeouts, breaks at half time and each quarter, and much more!

For more information, check out USA Cheer’s website!

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