SPARTANBURG, S.C.- Converse Director of Athletics Joy Couch announced on Monday that the school will introduce Acrobatics and Tumbling as a varsity sport beginning in the Fall of 2016 and compete in the Spring of 2017. Acrobatics and Tumbling will serve as the Valkyries 12th sport and 11th NCAA sponsored sport. A search for the program's first head coach will begin immediately.
"We are delighted to bring such a rapidly growing sport as Acrobatics and Tumbling to Converse," said athletic director Joy Couch. "Converse Athletics has enjoyed tremendous success over the past several years, more than doubling our roster of sports to 12 and quadrupling our number of student athletes. Acrobatics and Tumbling continues converse's mission of providing access for students in areas where they have interest and ability to excel."
Acrobatics and Tumbling is the evolution of different forms of gymnastics. The sport involves tumbling, tosses, acrobatic lifts and pyramids. Teams compete in six events including – compulsories, acro, pyramid, toss, tumbling and team event. The skill sets of tumbling and acrobatics are the athletic aspects of cheerleading. Lifts and tosses seen in cheerleading are acrobatics gymnastics skills. Competitors in this sport demonstrate significant strength, power, flexibility, and balance in their skill set performed.
Member institutions have a team roster size of 24-40 athletes who compete in 6-8 meets each year. The season begins in February and continues through the end of April with the NCATA National Championships.
Converse will become the 14th member of the National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA). Current participants include: Adrian College (DIII), Alderson-Broaddus (DII), Azusa Pacific (DII), Baylor (DI), Concordia Univ. of Wisconsin (DIII), Fairmont State (DII), Gannon (DII), Georgetown College (NAIA), Glenville State (DII), Hawaii-Pacific (DII), King University (DII), Quinnipiac (DI), and Univ. of Oregon (DI).
Converse and Conference Carolinas member King College are the only schools in the Southeast region to compete in Acrobatics and Tumbling. There are over 160 facilities that specialize in gymnastics training in the Carolinas, Georgia and eastern Tennessee.
The National Collegiate Acrobatics and Tumbling Association (NCATA) is the governing body for Acrobatics and Tumbling. The NCATA exists to provide leadership, governance, and education for the sport of Acrobatics and Tumbling at the collegiate level based on fair and safe athletic competition while continuing to expand opportunities for female athletes at the collegiate level. All NCATA events are sanctioned through USA Gymnastics. For more information, visit www.theNCATA.org.