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.


kinzie3 said...
on Jan. 5 2015 at 3:05 pm
kinzie3, Moore, Oklahoma
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"she didnt just fight the competiotion, she fought the sterio trypes."

okay let me tell you this, i am in cheer and i practice up to 10 hours a day and i go horseback riding on my horse and i have two brothers that play football who will say cheer is very hard. im not saying cheer is harder than footbal but give it a chance because sports are clasafied at one of the most dangerouse contact sports for a reason!

kinzie3 said...
on Jan. 5 2015 at 3:03 pm
kinzie3, Moore, Oklahoma
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"she didnt just fight the competiotion, she fought the sterio trypes."

praise the lord! somone understands me! oh and spellcheck!

kinzie3 said...
on Jan. 5 2015 at 3:01 pm
kinzie3, Moore, Oklahoma
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"she didnt just fight the competiotion, she fought the sterio trypes."

okay lets get this straight, competive cheerleading- you spend all year prepairing and going to small comopetitions to go to competivive NCA. the hard practices can end badly i have had many concussions and i know many girls who have broke bones and gone to the hospital for injurys resulting in cheer (i do both school cheer and competitive and competitive is harder in my opinion) school cheer- yes the girls will cheer on the side line of football games but they honestly hate it! plus the real work is behind the scenes. school cher has girls that have a hard mat that is like fliping on cement (competitive has a spring floor which has springs under the mat.) it is very bad for girls (and boys) ancles and wrists. also i know my school cheer team is forced topractice in the cafiteria and roll up our mats and put them against the wall where kids throw food in them. pkus today we had one girl go to the E.R. and another have a confirmed concussion after falling 10 feet down. but the point is school cheer also goes to NCA and they practice all year for it i hope this shows you cheer is not just girls that want to be poplular or wear the short skirts and the tite half tops because tbh winter is competition season and it is freazing! but cheer IS a sport.

kinzie3 said...
on Jan. 5 2015 at 2:53 pm
kinzie3, Moore, Oklahoma
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments

Favorite Quote:
"she didnt just fight the competiotion, she fought the sterio trypes."

i practice 5 to 10 hours a day. at least.

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Dec. 18 2014 at 10:48 am
Maryk PLATINUM, Waterford, Michigan
22 articles 1 photo 66 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The ability to learn is greater than the ability to teach." - Arnold Jacobs
"He who slays monsters will become a monster himself"-Nietzsche
"UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better its not"-Dr.Suess
“They are poor, especially for the player, I think it is very difficult to have auditions and find a suitable way to judge, because we have a great many talented players to choose from. This means a lot of heartbreak for the people who are very capable.”-Arnold Jacobs, Teacher and Tuba Player

I do not really see this as a sport but more an art-form like all forms of dance. Just because they do it on the football field or at a basketball game does not justify it being a a sport.

on Dec. 15 2014 at 3:30 pm
thatweirdone BRONZE, Bardwell, Kentucky
4 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Wrist are for bracelets, not cutting" Kellin Quinn

"Its hard to stop crying when the only person who can get you to stop is the person who made you cry..."

"Do you remeber who you were before the world told you who you had to be.."

Omg finally someone gets it! (: 

on Nov. 20 2014 at 2:26 pm
pineappleprincess BRONZE, Easley, South Carolina
2 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
if you want something you have never had, you must do something that you have never done

yes! i completely agree! i am in the color guard and winterguard and i get mad when they say its not hard work it so easy its not a sport but it is. im not a fan of spirit cheerleading but competitive is amazing!

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Nov. 7 2014 at 10:11 am
Maryk PLATINUM, Waterford, Michigan
22 articles 1 photo 66 comments

Favorite Quote:
"The ability to learn is greater than the ability to teach." - Arnold Jacobs
"He who slays monsters will become a monster himself"-Nietzsche
"UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot nothing is going to get better its not"-Dr.Suess
“They are poor, especially for the player, I think it is very difficult to have auditions and find a suitable way to judge, because we have a great many talented players to choose from. This means a lot of heartbreak for the people who are very capable.”-Arnold Jacobs, Teacher and Tuba Player

I think that cheerleading should fall under the same leage as marching band and color-guard because it is more based in choriography and timming like ballet. Therefore, it should fall under arts because dancing is an art that has manny styles that are conected and allways changeing like cheerleading itself

on Nov. 5 2014 at 11:59 pm
Cheer is a school activity usually to support other athletes in a season and competitive cheer is going against other squads showing each suads talents and capabilities.

sara_xoxo said...
on Nov. 3 2014 at 10:52 am
Whoever thinks cheerleading isn't a sport can go sit on a cactus. Competive cheerleading is just as hard or even harder than any other sport. We don't "dance" in cause you haven't realized the stunts we do are not considered a dance. Cheerleaders get as hurt as any other althetic and we keep our crap going just as you guys. If you don't consider cheerleading a sport you can kindly go get a reality check.

ilovetoeat said...
on Sep. 25 2014 at 9:53 am
well cheerleading is a very active sport btw... and uh yeah ur probably just sitting around around eating my food!  

byefelicia said...
on Sep. 24 2014 at 1:18 pm
Sideline cheer is the one that cheers on football players and is basically just a season of conditioning that prepares you for the following sesason of cheer known as competitive. Both types of cheer have 3 hours practices everyday plus many camps that last 4 hours or more over the summer

CloutGirl said...
on Sep. 23 2014 at 3:19 pm
What's the difference between cheerleading and competitive cheerleading ? Most people think cheerleading is a sport because it you have to practice in order to get better.

byefelicia said...
on Sep. 16 2014 at 1:16 pm
Most of those who say cheer is not a sport are highly uneducated and unlike those who believe it is a sport, you dont have facts to back up your oppion. Going off of what you see in movies hardly compares to what goes on in reality. Unless you have been in the shoes of a competitive cheerleader or have actual facts to back you up, your oppinion is most likely invalid and should probly be kept to your self.

on Sep. 11 2014 at 1:25 pm
you tell em kayley

on Sep. 9 2014 at 3:56 pm
agreed this is a very contructive thing

on Jun. 23 2014 at 12:20 am
sorry but UR WONG CHEERLIDING IS A SPORT U TRY STANDING ON PEOPLES HANDS A FAR AS THYEY CAN PUT UP UR ARMES 

englotgg said...
on Jun. 9 2014 at 10:50 pm
Just watch smoed 2014 wordls on youtube. then you can come up and tell me tht im not an athlete. But please at least come up with an intelligent reasoning. Btw on of the girls on m cheer team skippe a year we aren't all dumb blondes.

on May. 28 2014 at 10:02 pm
emeraldcaroline BRONZE, Madison, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
I agree about high school cheerleading, but competitive cheerleading is definitely a sport. 

on May. 21 2014 at 11:53 am
burnsboy12 BRONZE, Lebanon, Pennsylvania
1 article 0 photos 1 comment
I personally think cheerleading is not a sport.  all you do is dance around in short shirts.  


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