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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 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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  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • mardel By mardel
    07.28.10  

    Yes, I agree with Karen4 that Cheerleading is a sport!!

  • karent4 By karent4
    07.28.10  

    The dictionary defines "sport" as: an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature. YES, Cheerleading fits those criteria, and I'm a little baffled at why this question seems to have loomed for so long. Competition cheering (as opposed to standing on the sidelines during a game) is very athletic!

  • vintagepurple By vintagepurple
    07.27.10  

    ps, in case it wasn't clear i really think it should be a sport becouse those girls get busted, i don't know about you all be every chearlead i have ever talked to ( which havent been that meany) talk about there past injuries like 40 year old boxers. and with out question they need more regulation and protection, and it doesn't matter what you call it an art a craft or zen meditation. but in the school system the only way under the curent girls in sports act that will happen is if you call chearleading a sport,

  • tangy111 By tangy111
    07.27.10  

    My granddaugther has been a cheerleader for 3yrs.She has also taken gymnastic to improve her cheerleading skills.I don't think it should considered as a sport , because it is basically for entertainment. Don't get me wrong, it can be hard.But when I been to competitions I've seen the one's with the prefect smile ,loudest voices,win over the ones that were had physical talent. I have 5 brothers that have played sport and played in the band so I do know the differences between the 2.Also .I was considered to be a tom boy when I was growing up.

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