In 2010, the Office of Civil Rights deemed that both traditional and competitive cheerleading did not meet the requirements of Title IX to be considered sports.
The sport called stunt, a cross between gymnastics and competitive cheerleading, has been constructed to meet those standards.
According to The State, stunt will begin making waves across Wake County, N.C. high schools next spring. The sport will consist of both regular head-to-head matches and competitions, which will be divided into four parts: partner stunts, pyramids and tosses, group jumps and tumbling and team performance.
By beginning in the spring, stunt won’t have to jockey for gym time with existing sports like basketball and volleyball. And like diving, stunt scores will be determined by mastery. Rather than create new moves, participants are required to perfect particular routines.
Wake County will be the first in the state to offer stunt as a competitive sport, and their hope that it introduces more girls to interscholastic athletics is a promising one. “There is a tremendous amount of interest in it,” said Darren Coe, the Wake County Schools senior administrator for athletics.
Previously, Wake County didn’t have a high enough percentage of girls competing to meet Title IX standards. And the North Carolina High School Athletic Association currently hosts championships in 11 sports for boys—and only 10 for girls.
If stunt raises enough interest, however, it could very well become sport number 11 for girls. Here’s to hoping stunt becomes something greater than its name suggests.