The Oklahoma City University Stars cheerleading team is on a mission to introduce a new sport called STUNT to its peer institutions and will host a competition in February with three other Oklahoma colleges.
STUNT is a new sport developed by USA Cheer, the governing body for cheerleading in the U.S. It is a competitive team sport that was derived from traditional cheerleading and includes categories like partner stunts, pyramids, basket tosses, jumps and tumbling skills.
The USA STUNT competition at OCU will be Feb. 11 and 12 in Abe Lemons Arena at N.W. 27th Street and Florida Avenue. Other teams in the competition are Oklahoma State University, University of Central Oklahoma and Southern Methodist University.
Brandy Corcoran, coach of the OCU cheer team, said STUNT will help raise the identity of cheerleading.
“Instead of being a supporting cast to another team on the field, cheerleading is a spectator sport all its own,” Corcoran said. “We are proud to help pioneer this visually stunning and challenging sport.”
A STUNT game is made up of four quarters in the following categories: Partner Stunts, Pyramids and Tosses, Group Jumps and Tumbling, and Team Performance. Within each quarter, teams perform skill sequences of varying levels of difficulty, technical execution and synchronization.
USA Cheer says that those who follow other sports will have little trouble figuring out STUNT. Teams compete simultaneously, and the head-to-head format simplifies the scoring process and allows fans to track the results of the competition as each round is completed.
Because of the new format, teams will have records and national rankings, which will determine their postseason play much like other sports. In addition, postseason play can be tracked by the fans.
There were 22 colleges competing in the first STUNT season in the NCAA last year, and the University of Louisville won the national championship. OCU is launching the sport’s introduction to the NAIA.
OCU captured the first-ever NAIA championships awarded in cheerleading and pom last season.
The Stars recently placed two entries in the top 10 of the all-girl group stunt rankings and picked up berths in the Universal Cheerleaders Association College Cheerleading Team National Championships this weekend in Orlando, Fla.
The Stars are ranked third and eighth in the ratings. OCU picked up the highest ranking among Oklahoma entries. OCU's group consisting of Lisa Reichardt, d'Lora Rogers, Erica Spicer and Hayley Tannery took the No. 3 ranking, while Alicia Clifton, Alex Rogers, Savannah Owen and Jamie Lu Sheppard were the eighth-ranked team.For more information on STUNT, visit http://usacheer.net/.