Competitive Cheer and Stunt

Bylaw: Article V, Section A

“Institutional membership within either or both programs (men’s and/or women’s) or institutional membership on a sport-by-sport basis within a program charges each institution with the responsibility of knowing, administering and enforcing the eligibility standards adopted by the members of the Association in respect to the institution’s intercollegiate sports affiliated within the NAIA.

The eligibility rules which follow apply to all students representing their institution in any manner (scrimmages, intercollegiate, etc.) against competitors not directly identified with the institution in any sport recognized by the NAIA.”


The NEC has determined that the sports of stunt and sideline cheer shall not be considered a related competitive experience for the sport of competitive cheer. The style and structure of these two sports do not parallel with the NAIA structure of competitive cheer. Therefore, any students competing solely in the sport of stunt or sideline cheer will not be considered NAIA student-athletes and will not be required to meet NAIA regulations. Such a student who later goes on to compete in competitive cheer at the NAIA campus will not have her previous sideline or stunt experience counted as prior competitive experience resulting in a season of competition charged.

Mascots will not be considered members of the competitive cheer team.

Background and Intent

It is common practice for collegiate athletic programs to have a stunt cheer program, a sideline cheer program, as well as a competitive cheer program. The NEC has determined the athletic performance of stunt and sideline cheer are both significantly different than competitive cheer. (The NEC has previously used a similar process to evaluate similar sports like outdoor soccer/indoor soccer/futsol and freestyle wrestling/Greco Roman wrestling, and determine if competitive experience in one sport equates to competitive experience in the NAIA sport.) The participation in these particular sports do not equate to the athletic participation of competitive cheer.

Related Bylaws

Article I, Section H, Item 1: Frequency of Play

Article I, Section H, Item 5: 24-Week Season

Related Interpretations

Competitive Cheer Competitive Dance Camps

NEC Interp – Creation as of: August 1, 2017