Is Cheerleading Really a Sport?

SS Member Image By drodriguez 07.25.10
Is Cheerleading Really a Sport?
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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’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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  • vintagepurple By vintagepurple

    I was watching penn and teller on this topic on this topic. and some lady made a statement about how there you got feminist hate cheerleading, I think cheerleading should be a sport that looks hard! As for the idea it promotes antiquated ideas of femininity, it does, just as sports do for masculinity, but if girls choose (choose being the key word here) to play in to their over dramatic femininity then more power to them, (same with women who choose to be stay at home mom and what not, if they can afford it for that matter) as long as those who chose not to are also allowed to act as they wish. But I digress... I think it should be funded as much as anything, and I think they should be much stricter safety standards.

  • Tintotti By Tintotti

    Cheerleading not only requires fitness, committment and training, but it demands those who participate in this sport, be a team player and have a supportive personality. Not only is cheerleading a physical sport, but it is a mental one as well. Kudos to all those that give of themselves in this lively past time!

  • msfriendly By msfriendly

    I agree with the other ladies..Must be men deciding this. I would like to see them go through the training and do what these hardworking cheerleaders do!

  • MadHatter By MadHatter

    i believe it is a sport. i watched the competition's before and gosh! some of those moves i only wish i can do ex, backflips, cartwheels, lifts, and the training the girls/guys need to go through. I can't believed they ruled it not...

  • your1chef By your1chef

    Cheerleading is similar to gymnastics, which is considered a sport. They should be considered athletes and get the funding they need! They should not even be an issue.

  • MariPat By MariPat

    I think the ruling that cheerleading is not a sport is ridiculous. I have a 9th grade daughter who is a cheerleader,Sideline and Competitive, and also in AAU track. She is very athletic. Cheerleading is very brutal. You have to be in great shape athletically to do half the stunts a cheerleader does. My daughter runs 2 miles a day, 5 days a week, training for cheer. These girls work 5 days a week perfecting their back flips, tucks, splits, tumbling, etc. Not an easy thing to do. Stefan Underhill needs to spend a week with a cheerleader and understand the SPORT that it is!

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