ACC to sponsor women’s gymnastics beginning in 2023-2024 academic year
The announcement follows the release by Clemson University confirming it will add women’s lacrosse and women’s gymnastics as varsity programs in 2022-2023 and 2023-2024, respectively.
“The ACC continues to be committed to maximizing the educational and athletic opportunities for our student-athletes – in the classroom, in competition, and in life,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips. “The addition of women’s lacrosse and women’s gymnastics at Clemson, combined with adding women’s gymnastics as the league’s 28th sponsored sport, only enhances our incredible collection of athletic programs.”
According to the league’s sports operation code, the Conference shall conduct a championship in any NCAA sport in which at least four member institutions field intercollegiate teams. The ACC will now sponsor 15 women’s and 13 men’s sports. This is the most women’s sports offerings of any Power 5 conference, while its 28 sponsored sports will tie for the most.
There currently are three ACC institutions that sponsor women’s gymnastics (North Carolina, NC State and Pitt), all of which currently compete in the East Atlantic Gymnastics League. With the addition of Clemson, the ACC will have four programs, the necessary number in the league’s sports operation code to host a conference championship. The ACC previously sponsored a conference championship in women’s gymnastics in 1984.
Women’s fencing was the last official conference sport established by the ACC in the 2014-2015 academic year. Prior to that, women’s rowing (1999-2000) was the last sport added to the ACC portfolio.
Clemson’s addition of women’s lacrosse for the 2022-2023 season will give the ACC 10 programs in the sport – most of any conference. The ACC began sponsoring women’s lacrosse in 1997 with four programs and has developed into the nation’s top conference while adding Virginia Tech (2005), Boston College (2006), Notre Dame (2014), Syracuse (2014) and Louisville (2015). Pitt will join the league for its inaugural year in 2021-22, with Clemson becoming the league’s 10th team the following year.
ACC women’s lacrosse teams have combined for 11 national titles since the sport’s addition in 1997, including Boston College’s first NCAA championship in 2021. At least one ACC team has played in 11 of the last 12 national championship games.
The league will conduct discussions regarding the conference’s regular-season and postseason formats at future ACC meetings.