USA Gymnastics has announced the addition of the sport of acrobatics & tumbling to its "Gymnastics For All" program. The National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association, the national governing body of acrobatics & tumbling, will continue to oversee the sports governance.
"USA Gymnastics adding and sanctioning Acrobatics & Tumbling, as an official discipline, is yet another huge benchmark for the sport," director of athletics Jack McDonald said. "Quinnipiac University and the 10 members of the NCATA are very grateful to USA Gymnastics for their support and vision on behalf of the thousands of young women who want to compete in this growing intercollegiate sport."
Quinnipiac was one of the original teams in the newly formed NCATA in 2009. The Bobcats recently finished as National Championship Runner-ups after falling to Oregon in the NCATA finals, hosted at the TD Bank Sports Center in Hamden, Conn. Quinnipiac currently boasts three All-Americans in the sport all-time, including last year's honoree Stephanie Palange, as well as National Rookie of the Year Montara Tomasetti.
Gymnastics For All (GfA), also known as group gymnastics, provides competitive and performance opportunities for all levels and ages that feature elements from each of the gymnastics disciplines – artistic, rhythmic, acrobatics, trampoline and tumbling. Team acrobatics and tumbling will serve as a new developmental pipeline for women's collegiate acrobatics and tumbling, which is a varsity team sport and administered by university athletic departments through the National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA).
NCATA organizes collegiate acrobatics and tumbling for women and is working to achieve NCAA emerging sport status. USA Gymnastics sanctions NCATA events, and its athletes and coaches are members of USA Gymnastics and adhere to the rules and policies of the organization. NCATA has also attracted athletes from USA Gymnastics' existing programs in individual tumbling and acrobatic gymnastics.
NCATA's all-female acrobatics and tumbling teams are recognized and treated as fully sponsored varsity sports at their respective institutions and comply with NCAA rules and regulations. The teams range in size, providing opportunities for up to 40 student-athletes to compete. Each acrobatics and tumbling team represents its educational institution six to eight times each season in a head-to-head competitive format against other collegiate acrobatics and tumbling teams, culminating in a national championship tournament. A NCATA meet includes six rounds – compulsory, stunt, pyramid, toss, tumbling and a team routine. The scoring system includes pre-determined start difficulty values for each skill in each round for consistent scoring by officials. NCATA's unique meet format with standardized scoring and officiating provides clear separation from other related sports or activities.