Cheerleading is a Sport MAG

By Renee R., Arlington Heights, IL

     The New York Times states that cheerleading is the fastest growing girls’ sport, yet more than half of Americans do not believe it is a sport. In addition, they fail to distinguish between sideline cheerleaders and competitive ones. Sideline cheerleaders’ main goal is to entertain the crowd and lead them with team cheers, which should not be considered a sport. On the other hand, competitive cheerleading is a sport.

A sport, according to the Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Advisors, is a “physical activity [competition] against/with an opponent, governed by rules and conditions under which a winner is declared, and primary purpose of the competition is a comparison of the relative skills of the participants.” Because cheerleading follows these guidelines, it is a sport.

Competitive cheerleading includes lots of physical activity. Like gymnasts, cheerleaders must learn to tumble. They perform standing back flips, round flip flops, and full layout twists. Cheerleaders also perform lifts and tosses. This is where the “fliers” are thrown in the air, held by “bases” in different positions that require strength and cooperation with other teammates.

Just as basketball and football have guidelines for competitive play, so does competitive cheerleading. The whole routine has to be completed in less than three minutes and 15 seconds and the cheerleaders are required to stay within a certain area.

Competitive cheerleaders’ goal is to be the best. Just like gymnasts, they are awarded points for difficulty, technique, creativity and sharpness. The more difficult a mount or a stunt, the sharper and more in-sync the motions, the better the score. Cheerleading is a team sport so without cooperation and synchronization, first place is out of reach.

According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, cheerleading is the number-one cause of serious sports injuries to women. Emergency room visits for cheerleading are five times the number than for any other sport, partially because they do not wear protective gear. While many athletes are equipped with hip pads, knee pads, shin guards or helmets, smiling cheerleaders are tossed into the air and spiral down into the arms of trusted teammates. The fliers must remain tight at all times so that their bases can catch them safely. Also, because cheerleading is not yet recognized as a sport by many schools, neither proper matting nor high enough ceilings are provided to ensure safety. Instead, the girls use whatever space is available. More recognition of competitive cheerleading as a sport would decrease the number of injuries.

So why do many Americans not think cheerleading is a sport? It cannot be because cheerleaders do not use balls or manipulate objects (if you do not count megaphones, pompoms and signs as objects). Wrestling, swimming, diving, track, cross-country, gymnastics, ice-skating and boxing are recognized sports that do not use balls. Some people argue that cheerleaders are just “flirts in skirts” with their only job to entertain the crowd, but cheerleaders today compete against other squads and work just as hard as other athletes.

Competitive cheerleading is a sport. It is a physical activity that is governed by rules under which a winner can be declared and its primary purpose is to compare the skills of participants. Hopefully, cheerleading will become as well-known a sport as football and basketball, and even appear in the Olympics since cheerleaders are just as athletic and physically fit as those involved in the more accepted sports.



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This article has 482 comments.


on Mar. 15 2016 at 10:15 pm
it is not considered a sport due to the fact that if u can play an instrument you can do it cheer requires you to be fit know exactly what you are doing and stunt safely. we also have to make it look easy and not show how much pain we are sometimes in many of my team mates including me have competed with something broken or broke something while competing

kotabear23 said...
on Mar. 11 2016 at 3:00 pm
Band isn't a sport its a hobby. I play the guitar does that mean i'm a athlete because of that? NO?? It means i have a cool hobby. Dont try to argue something thats pointless. TO argue that cheer is a sport is reasonable i play football and baseball competitive cheer in my opinion is a sport but not when they just cheer on the team.

ladybug1217 said...
on Mar. 10 2016 at 8:51 am
In my opinion, cheerleading is a sport. All cheerleaders have to keep good grades, just like any other sport player. You have to keep your grades great. Cheerleading is a sport and being in a marching band(booorrriiinngg) is not a sport. Being in a marching band has nothing to do with being an athlete. @sambest12498

on Mar. 4 2016 at 2:31 pm
in marching band, you dont break legs, nor do you throw people in the air and are expected to catch them. you may practice for hours and put alot of time and effort into it, but you do not go onto a mat for 2.5 minutes and work your butt off. In cheerleading, you get one chance to show people what youre really like. you do not get do over, like in football when you have different plays and more than one opportunity to score points. so please, tell me cheerleading isnt a sport.

sambest12498 said...
on Feb. 19 2016 at 9:02 am
sambest12498, Gallipolis, Ohio
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments
In my honest opinion, cheer leading is not a sport. Im a member of the marching band and if they cant consider that a sport, then cheer leading isnt a sport. we do as much if not more than any other sport, we go to competitons, band camp, way more than just going to a football game for half time entertainment. so if cheer leading is a so called "sport" then marching band should be one too.

theone said...
on Feb. 19 2016 at 8:08 am
I agree with you, competitive cheer leading should be considered a sport. You do everything that is required to call something a sport.

on Feb. 18 2016 at 11:42 pm
I agree. I find school cheerleading a competitive cheerleading to be very different. I used to e in competitive cheerleading and it takes a lot of work. Makes people actually think if cheerleading is a sport. Great poem.

JWALK said...
on Feb. 18 2016 at 1:47 pm
I completely agree. When I try to explain to my school's cheerleaders they do not agree. Cheering on the side lines of other athletic events takes zero athleticism. Competitive cheerleading seriously blows my mind. The athleticism involved is intensive and it takes hard work to actually be able to perform the stunts they've learned.

Mia7789 said...
on Feb. 18 2016 at 10:56 am
Awesome! Very informative, and I definitely agree wit the subject matter.

on Feb. 7 2016 at 6:14 pm
cheerleading should not be a sport all they do is cheer and are annoying s

on Feb. 5 2016 at 9:49 pm
juliacoccaro SILVER, Spanish Fort, Alabama
5 articles 0 photos 18 comments

Favorite Quote:
"I'd sell you to Satan for one corn chip."

I agree with this article wholeheartedly. Competitive cheerleading takes a TON of work and time. I've been to several competitive cheerleading competitions, including Worlds in Disneyworld. (I'm not a cheerleader myself, I just like to watch.) But on the sidelines, I can't see how that's a sport at all. An activity, sure, but waving pom-poms and being able to yell loud doesn't quite qualify as athletic ability.

icheer21 said...
on Jan. 28 2016 at 12:55 pm
@Jotai im also a competitive cheerleader. @jaydahhowell is right! we get banners, trophys and medals. but its not all about winning! cheer is a sport and i know this because i have been a cheerleader for 2 and a half years now. there is literally blood sweat and tears going into this sport,i think it is sad that you can not see all the dedication and work us athletes put into cheer.

on Jan. 25 2016 at 8:34 pm
@cheer_is_life, Lafayette, Indiana
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
@kelce thank you. people dont appreciate what we do.

CianaB GOLD said...
on Jan. 15 2016 at 3:51 pm
CianaB GOLD, Kennett Square, Pennsylvania
12 articles 0 photos 34 comments
I believe cheerleading is a sport. In my opinion, an sport is anything that requires athletic ability. The definition of a sport is "an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment." Based on the definition, dance, marching band, and cheerleading are all sports. And no matter how much you argue, cheerleading and dance(ballet in particular) both require more athletic ability then golf.

mgreenp said...
on Jan. 7 2016 at 1:13 am
you are confusing a prep squad with a competitive squad. and even prep squads, depending on their level will do hard stunts. and obviously competitive cheerleaders do crazy things. just remember you throw a ball, we throw people honey

mgreenp said...
on Jan. 7 2016 at 1:08 am
heres the thing, cheer is a sport made of other sports...such as gymnastics (and this is in the olympics just fyi) with other twists on it that add difficulty such as the stunting we have to do etc. ...just something to think about. also look up the definition of a sport, it doesn't have any of these "rules" those are made up my friend

jaydahhowell said...
on Nov. 18 2015 at 9:18 am
jaydahhowell,
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
@Jotai I'm a competitive cheerleader and first of all we do get trophies. and also we get banners and medals. And its not always about getting a trophy it's about hitting a perfect routine and knowing you couldn't of done anything better. so if your gonna base a sport off of winning a trophy then you need to consider cheerleading a sport

on Nov. 5 2015 at 9:53 am
carly_crochet BRONZE, Bayou Pigeon, Louisiana
1 article 0 photos 5 comments
I am a cheerleader, and I enjoy cheerleading. I agree that cheer is a sport because it is hard working alike other sports such as football and basketball. I also agree that most people do think it is a sport because our "only job to entertain the crowd," but we are more than just "flirts in skirts."

Jotai BRONZE said...
on Nov. 4 2015 at 10:58 am
Jotai BRONZE, Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be like a stamp, stick to one thing until you get there.

I'm Not taking any sides but in my own opinion, Cheerleading is not a sport. Yeah sure,you tumble and you Compete but what's the point? You don't get trophy for it. In my eyes, a sport is an activity in which you can get a trophy. I'm not cutting Cheerleading down, it does take physical skill, but it usually doesn't involve trophies or winning.

Jotai BRONZE said...
on Nov. 4 2015 at 10:53 am
Jotai BRONZE, Conneaut Lake, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 8 comments

Favorite Quote:
Be like a stamp, stick to one thing until you get there.

What about Cross-Country?




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