By Allison Makula
One of the newest sports is rising up with more and more colleges giving scholarships for it. Acro and Tumbling have been around for 10 years but have recently become more popular. The sport of acrobatics and tumbling is the evolution of different skill sets used in gymnastics. Those skill sets are also the athletic aspects of cheerleading.
The collegiate sport of acrobatics and tumbling is competed on campuses of the member universities, just like a basketball or soccer game. The meets are held in a basketball or volleyball arena. The teams compete from head to head, with real-time scoring that is based on perfect routines just like a gymnastics or diving meet. Each meeting consists of six events broken down into 20 different waves of the competition. Depending on the heat, there can be from one to 24 athletes on the competition floor at any given time.
The NCATA, or National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association, has been guided by USA Gymnastics for training and sanctioning. USA Gymnastics has provided incredible support and last May announced it was adding acrobatics and tumbling as a discipline as part of USA Gymnastics’ Gymnastics for all programming. The head acrobatics and tumbling coach at the University of Oregon, Taylor Susnara, said that USA Gymnastics and “NCATA have worked together to create a safe and athletically rigorous opportunity for young women.”
Susnara also said, “We are creating new opportunities for female athletes to compete at the collegiate level, not shifting them. The women who are taking advantage of these opportunities are women who have trained hard and want to continue to compete at the collegiate level. There are so many different positions for an athlete to participate in this new sport, there are no height limits or weight limits, just athleticism.”
Almost four years ago in Easton, acro and tumbling had a new place open up called Power Athletics. Power Athletics is for K-12 students to not only tumble and stunt with friends but to prepare for the college level and have a chance to earn sports scholarships.