Send this article to a friend Print RSS

Competitive Cheer and Dance National Championship Could Happen Starting Spring 2012

May 14, 2010
Article Image
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics could conduct its first national championship in competitive cheer and dance as early as the spring of 2012. Competitive cheer and dance, under the NAIA governance structure, reached championship sport status when more than 50 member colleges and universities declared to participate during the 2010-11 academic year.

”Our members are enthusiastic about the growth of the sport and the new opportunities offered to young men and women competing in the NAIA,” said Jim Carr, NAIA President and CEO. “The expansion of competitive cheer and dance in the NAIA builds on our storied tradition of innovation and opportunity.”

"This movement by the NAIA to officially recognize the athleticism and dedication of collegiate cheerleaders and dancers is monumental,” said Bill Boggs, NCA/NDA Senior Vice President. “The role these students play on the sidelines as crowd leaders, in the classroom as student leaders, and throughout our communities as role models is vital.”

Currently, competitive cheer and dance is packaged with men’s volleyball as an emerging sport in the NAIA. Under NAIA guidelines competitive cheer and dance reached emerging sport status in 2009, when more than 25 institutions declared to participate as varsity.

The emerging sport is currently serving the required one-year provisional period and will host an NAIA Invitational event April 6-10, 2011, in Daytona Beach, Florida. The National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) and National Dance Alliance (NDA) will host the NAIA Invitational event.

“NCA/NDA is pleased and excited to partner with the NAIA in hosting its NAIA Invitational at our Collegiate Cheer and Dance Championship in Daytona Beach, Florida, along with over 220 other college teams from across the country,” added Boggs.

These defined steps are part of the requirements a sport must go through to reach national championship status.

“These young men and women are dedicated to their sport and what they’ve been waiting for is for a national sports organization to recognize that,” said Jim Abbott, Oklahoma City University’s Athletics Director. “I’m proud that the NAIA, which has been innovative and accepting in its approach to championships over the years, will be the first to sponsor championships in competitive cheer and dance. This is a very positive step for our organization.”

The committee for competitive cheer and dance collaborated with NCA and NDA to put in place policies and procedures. The NAIA will work with the National Administrative Council (NAC) to identify the following proposed legislative and policy changes: 1) Frequency of Play and Scheduling; 2) Hardship requests; 3) Upper limits of financial aid; 4) Rights fees for national championships; 5) Minimum number of contests to be eligible for post-season play; 6) Qualification models and definitions.

The NAIA Council of Presidents will review the legislative and policy changes proposed by the NAC in September. During the 2011 NAIA Convention, April 15-19, 2011, competitive cheer and dance legislation will be presented to NAIA membership. Before a vote during the annual NAIA business meeting various councils and committees will vote on proposed legislation and related policy handbook changes, as applicable.

With more than 50 schools declaring to participate in competitive cheer and dance the NAIA will begin to solicit hosts for a national championship in spring of 2012.