Championships Update
NAIA members,

The NAIA national office learned late last week that the Ann Arbor Sports Commission will be unable to host the 2021 Competitive Cheer and Dance National Championships because the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center has been assigned as a key COVID-19 vaccination site for Washtenaw County and, consequently, cannot allow other events in the venue.

Fortunately, because of the stringent, ongoing COVID regulations in Michigan, the National Office had proactively identified a backup location for this championship at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa. On January 26, the COP Executive Committee unanimously approved moving the Competitive Cheer and Dance National Championships to St. Ambrose to take place on the originally-planned dates of March 12-13.

You may recall that, in December, the full Council of Presidents approved a policy that recognized the difficulties inherent in relocating a national championship fewer than 90 days from the scheduled event. The exception to this policy approved by the COP’s Executive Committee this week for Cheer and Dance was due to several factors – including the fact that St. Ambrose hosted this event in 2019 and was the scheduled host again in 2020, when the championships were canceled. We are incredibly grateful that St. Ambrose has agreed to serve as host, especially on such short notice.

It’s important to note that, while we appreciate the ease of this relocation, we may not be able to secure back-up locations for every championship that have previous NAIA host experience with adequate time for planning and execution. Indeed, as we get closer to the start of our winter championships, we know that potential qualifiers want more information regarding event logistics. 

The National Office has been working closely with our Medical Advisory Panel to outline the various processes in a way that supports the safety of our members. On Monday, February 1, we will share requirements and recommendations for qualifiers leading up to arrival at the championship locations. This communication will include pre-travel testing requirements, as well as best practices for safe travel. Comprehensive, sport-specific “Championship Participant Manuals” will be available approximately three weeks prior to each championship.

Thank you for continued input and support of our student-athletes. We welcome your questions or comments at

Peace and all good things,
Arvid Johnson
Jim Carr
President, NAIA