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Is Cheerleading Really a Sport?

Is Cheerleading Really a Sport?

Cheerleaders across the country may be disappointed to hear the ruling from a federal judge stating that cheerleading is not a sport.  Reports from FOX News talk about Stefan Underhill’s ruling that Quinnipiac University in Connecticut can not replace their volleyball team with a competitive cheerleading squad.  The judge explains that the cheerleading is too “underdeveloped and disorganized” to be considered an actual sport.  

Those advocating for cheerleading as a sport disagree with this ruling arguing that the activity meets all of the requirements to receive federal funding like having coaches, practices, and competitions.  Director of the Gymnastics and Cheerleading Academy of Connecticut, Jane Marella, explains what makes it not only a sport, but a challenging one at that.  Marella says, “This isn’t about going in there and cheering for their football and basketball teams, it’s about competing.  The girls have to be gymnasts, they have to be able to tumble, they have to be dancers, they have to be able to be strong to lift other people or be lifted, they have to be able to have endurance...it’s not the rah rah with the pom poms.”

Many fear that Underhill’s recent ruling for the Connecticut university will lead to other schools cutting funding for cheerleading programs.  But others see Underhill’s ruling as a future opportunity for schools to include more women in other sports other than cheerleading since the Title IX regulations for federal funding require schools to have equal opportunities in sporting events for both men and women.  

ACLU staff attorney, David McGuire, explains what the ruling means to him.  McGuire says, “This decision makes clear that schools can’t make up numbers or just be creative in counting; they have to make genuine opportunities for women, and at this time the judge found that cheerleading doesn’t constitute a genuine varsity athletic opportunity for women.”  The judge did add that cheerleading may indeed become a sport some time in the future though.

What do you think of the ruling that cheerleading is not a sport?

Do you think cheerleaders should be considered athletes and get the proper funding?

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  • lola_michele By lola_michele
    07.28.10  

    As a cheerleader in high school, we ran a mile every day before practice, hit the weight room 3 days a week, did general calisthenics and stretching, and that was all before we started a 3 hour practice. we practiced 5 days a week and had games the other two. I was a basketball cheerleader, and that required constant motion during both a boys and a girls game, including breaks. if you can convince me that isn't an athletic opportunity or sport, I will give you my pom poms.

  • mom2taylor By mom2taylor
    07.28.10  

    I agree that cheerleading is a sport,and should be treated as any other sport. I am a volunteer cheerleading coach and i agree with lola_michele.

  • teddiirene By teddiirene
    07.28.10  

    I believe that cheerleading is definitely a sport. Cheerleaders train and work just as hard as any other athlete. They should get the same support and encouragment as any other sport.

  • qwhakedup By qwhakedup
    07.28.10  

    Yes they do train hard and work hard but how can it be a sport? Would people consider strippers or TV wrestlers as being a sport because they do the same hard intense training and work out?

  • julialalala By julialalala
    07.29.10  

    Cheerleading is a sport! These girls and even now in days boys work hard and practice just like any other sport does and compete! This is ridiculous. I SUPPORT CHEERLEADERS!

  • Mor812 By Mor812
    07.29.10  

    My daughter is a certified athletic trainer and believes that cheerleading is a sport due to the difficult moves that they make. They get injured just like football players do. When she was in high school and played soccer, they laughed at the cheerleaders. Now that she is a trainer, she appreciates the work that they do.

  • reneek By reneek
    07.29.10  

    Ridiculous, how can you say cheerleading isn't a sport with the stunts and dancing that these girls do. I totally support cheerleaders!

  • KrissKross By KrissKross
    07.29.10  

    Both my daughters participate in competitive cheerleading. They spend countless hours in the gym - between tumbling, stunting, conditioning not to mention the dance part of it, on average they are in the gym 12 hours a week. Both of my daughters have walked away with minor injuries (Thank God) but the risk of injury is greater than that to football (most recently addressed in a Sports Illustrated article). There is joy when they win and sorrow when they lose. Like any sport these girls and boys poor their hearts and souls into it. Anyone who thinks cheerleading is not a sport is oblivious. CHEERLEADING IS A SPORT!!!

  • TNTMama By TNTMama
    07.30.10  

    I think all we need to do is put a team of cheerleaders against a team of football players and have them do cardio, obsticale course, anything....cheerleaders would win HANDS Down because they are so in shape from their SPORT.

  • 1hotlilmama By 1hotlilmama
    07.30.10  

    No, cheer-leading is not a sport. It's a hobby or recreation. NOT a sport.

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