MHU to add Acrobatics & Tumbling for 2021-22 season

Mars Hill University will add Acrobatics & Tumbling for the 2021-22 season, as announced by Mars Hill University President Tony Floyd and Director of Athletics Rick Baker.

Baker stated, “We are extremely excited to add acrobatics and tumbling as a new sport at Mars Hill University. It has been declared an emerging sport for female athletes by the NCAA and its popularity is growing rapidly across the country. There is a strong base of teams that already compete in the Southeast that made adding this sport an easy decision.”

Acrobatics & Tumbling is the evolution of different disciplines of gymnastics, which includes the athletic aspects of competitive cheerleading. The format was created at the collegiate level to address the interests and abilities of young women competing in this skill set. Individuals and small groups execute acrobatic lifts, tosses, and tumbling.

Acrobatics & Tumbling meets include six events, all of which are competed on the floor and in varying group sizes.

NCAA DII and NCAA DIII adopted Acrobatics & Tumbling as an emerging sport in January 2020, effective August 1, 2020 for the 2020-2021 academic year. The vote for NCAA DI has been delayed due to COVID-19. Mars Hill University will be the 33rd member to compete at the NCAA Division II level and third member of the South Atlantic Conference, joining Coker University and Limestone University.

Tracy Parkinson, Mars Hill University’s Provost added, “The NCAA Division II philosophy is about academic and athletic collaboration to support recruiting, retaining, and graduating student athletes who are good fits for your institution. I am excited about the addition of acrobatics and tumbling because it is a sport that can help us achieve those goals.”

The university will begin its search for a full-time acrobatics and tumbling coach immediately with the intention to have the successful candidate announced in the next few weeks.

“We are thrilled to share that Mars Hill University has added Acrobatics & Tumbling on their campus,” President of NCATA Dr. Renee Baumgartner said. “Mars Hill is positioned in the southeast region where we have seen tremendous growth over the past two years, and Mars Hill will add to the strong DII competition in the area.”

NCATA Executive Director Janell Cook added, “New opportunities for women to compete at the collegiate level is our mission. The addition of a new program at Mars Hill will broaden the opportunities in the southeast, which is one of the top three regions for recruitment for potential student-athletes competing in gymnastics and in cheerleading.”

For more information regarding acrobatics & tumbling, please visit