Is Cheerleading a sport?

March 8, 2012
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People throughout America have often argued on the topic Cheerleading, and whether it is considered a sport. Students everywhere have discussed the idea of Cheer being a sport, in classrooms in many high schools. What people don’t really understand is that there are two types of cheerleading, and most people just think that there is one form of it, and that all cheerleaders are capable of is yelling “go team go” and wearing miniskirts as a uniform. Competitive cheer and Sideline cheer are two different things, completely different things. During sideline cheerleading, the cheerleaders are normally on the side of the field/court cheering for another sport while they are playing a game. In competitive cheer, the team comes up with a routine that consists of tumbling, stunting and dance that they perform in front of judges and compete for 1st place against other cheerleading teams. Whether cheerleading is a sport is often a topic that usually ends up in arguments. Competitive cheerleading follows the requirements of being classified as a sport, and is a sport.
Cheerleaders work just as hard as some sports, and have practice around 3-4 times a week, that usually last around 2 hours. Just as other sports do, cheerleaders run, improve their strength, memorize cheers (or in other sports case’s “plays”), and stretch. Cheer requires the strength of football, the agility of gymnastics, and the grace of dance all in one sport. It is just as dangerous as other sports, and in about one year, around 16,000 cheerleaders are injured due to just stunting and tumbling. Cheerleading has evolved in athleticism in the past 20 years, and in just a 13-year time period, the number of emergency room visits for cheerleaders (ages 5-18) increased over 110%. "Cheerleading is an important source of injury for girls. These injuries doubled during the 13-year period we studied," said Brenda Shields, research coordinator at the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Columbus Children's Hospital. Cheerleading isn’t just something easy that anyone can do, it takes skill, dedication, and hard work.
There are many stories of injuries during cheerleading and some of these stories are very life threatening, people would of never guessed how many injuries happen during cheerleading and how serious they are. Cheerleader Megan was practicing a pyramid with her cheer team. She was a base and was basing a five stunt-pod pyramid in the center stunt; one of the stunt pods fell and came tumbling down on the center stunt pod. The flyer of the stunt that fell landed on Megan’s head, elbowing her in the face. Megan was having migraines and her pupils were completely different sizes, she was sent to the Emergency room and was diagnosed with a mild sports related concussion, just because of that one pyramid. Another cheerleader was tumbling and went to go do a running full, she didn’t complete the full and landed on the ground only completing the full ¾ of the way and ended up having to go into surgery and have physical therapy for over a year. She still needs to wear a brace and is in college now. These injuries can affect a cheerleaders way of living for the rest of their lives, this sport can cause problems for people and sometimes even death. Just like other sports.
There are reasons that people don’t consider it a sport, and wouldn’t dream of ever saying that it is a sport. Some reasons might be because as some people put it “Cheerleaders were meant to cheer on the players”, and others may think it’s not a sport because “You aren’t earning points like in a football or basketball game, you don’t have to make a goal/shot/touchdown in order to get points”. People often say that cheerleading has been ruled by a judge in a supreme courthouse, that it has not been proved a sport. And that the judge ruled that it is not a sport. In the article “Connecticut University cannot use Title IX to justify replacing women’s volleyball with cheer squad” it is stated that the judge ruled in the favor of Cheerleading not being a College sport. It is nowhere stated in this article that cheerleading is not a High School sport, and it depends on the school that you go to on whether cheerleading is a sport or not. So when people say “Cheer isn’t a sport, it was even said by a judge in a court case”, they don’t have the full story. Cheerleading has not been proved a “not-sport” by anyone yet.
When people say that cheerleaders don’t make points by scoring a touchdown/goal, so that’s why they aren’t athletes. That is true; cheerleaders don’t participate in making points that way. When they compete, they do earn points by the way that they perform their routine. Whether if the stunts don’t hit or if one of the tumblers falls while they are doing their tumbling sequence, the whole team gets marked down and that affects the final score of the cheer team. You are not having a cheer off, face to face, but in the end, the “winner” of the competition is based on all of the cheer teams’ scores, and which team had the highest score on the routine that was performed. Competition teams are more than just having extra practice, and “looking pretty”, they are about showing what skill that cheer team has. Bringing that skill to the table and showing everyone what they can do. And if they succeed at their routine, and the stunts, and tumbling, they are able to gain points and become the winner of the competition.
People may consider Cheerleading a sport, others may not. It could just be a matter of opinion, and that opinion may be based on what people know on cheerleading, or what they think cheerleading is. Cheerleading can be just as difficult as other sports, and although it is said to be very easy, it takes a lot of skill, strength, and agility. Some people don’t believe that cheerleading is a sport because of what they have heard and not on what they have researched. Competitive cheerleading is a sport, and what is commonly questioned by people (usually cheerleaders) is that a man can fall less than 2 feet onto turf covered with armor/pads and it is considered a sport, but a girl that falls out of a stunt over twice the height of her or lands on her back/neck while doing a back handspring and it’s just considered a hobby? You tell me.

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InNeverland said...
Dec. 17, 2013 at 10:29 pm
I'm a cheerleader and I compleetly agree with you 100%. I am currently doing a persuasive speech for my english class on why cheerleading should be considerd a sport . What gets me is that activities such as Hot Air Baloon racing and Racecar driving are consierd sport ( even chess is consedered a sport) and yet none of them require any asthletic ability and or athletic skill ( chess i can see would work out your brain), but still its unfair to be told your not good enough , even when you are... (more »)
sundayworklol replied...
Jan. 9, 2015 at 9:09 am
I agree with you ImNeverland
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