Cheerleading is a Sport | Teen Ink

Cheerleading is a Sport MAG

By Anonymous

     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.



Similar Articles

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 493 comments.


bob marley said...
on May. 4 2015 at 9:29 pm
i still say cheers not a sport..... maybe an activity, but not a sport. when the cheerleaders come cheer for our games, its the most distracting thing ever!

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on May. 2 2015 at 10:02 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 when you do this debate you should be more resurrect on both sides of the issue

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Apr. 26 2015 at 8:48 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

But cheer leading and dance are art forms because a lot of timing is involved in each movement. Also when cheer leaders do a routine to music and make a cheer with physical percussion (hand clapping) that right there is an element that right there is the artistic side of cheer leading.It's the same thing color-guards do in the marching band, and why in ballet hand gestures are used to communicate the characters actions from a dying swan, a captured fire bird, and even a tribal society like in The Rite of Spring. When the chosen one is found in act two the other woman push her into the center of the ring to indicate to the audience she is the chosen sacrifice. To every movement there is meaning.

notmehaha GOLD said...
on Apr. 13 2015 at 8:05 pm
notmehaha GOLD, Suffolk, Virginia
17 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be who you are and say what you feel. Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -Dr. Suess

You are 100% right haha. But actually some dancers prefer to consider dance an art rather than a sport.

on Apr. 10 2015 at 2:15 pm
WriterForLife SILVER, Baltimore, Maryland
6 articles 0 photos 14 comments

Favorite Quote:
The measure of who we are is what we do with what we have

Incredible work here. As a football fan, it makes me appreciate our cheerleaders even more.

chα chα said...
on Apr. 10 2015 at 11:39 am
чєαh thíѕ mαkєѕmє mαd whєn pєσplє ѕαч dαncє αnd chєєr lєαdíng íѕ nσt α ѕpσrt í chσѕє tσ dσ α ѕpєєch σn thíѕ tσpíc αnd mч clαѕѕ hαd thíѕ hugє dєвαtє σn mч ѕpєєch αnd ít tσσk líkє thє hσlє pєríσd

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Apr. 10 2015 at 8:33 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

That is a very good argument for this issue. I think cheer leading and dance should be considered the same because they both use music and timing to create a good routine or performance.

notmehaha GOLD said...
on Apr. 9 2015 at 1:06 am
notmehaha GOLD, Suffolk, Virginia
17 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Be who you are and say what you feel. Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." -Dr. Suess

Okay, first off, I love this and I only had to read the title. I'm not a cheerleader, but I'm a ballerina, and it makes me want to snap someone in half when they say either of them aren't physically (or mentally) demanding. I give you props.

Alexis said...
on Mar. 26 2015 at 1:20 pm
Cheerleading is a sport and I'm talking about competitive cheerleading not the school stuff with pompoms and all that other stuff! It involves hardworking, teamwork, and skills. Until you've actually done cheerleading like being out on the floor and do it I suggest you take another look at it. Because I do competitive cheerleading so I can say something but to all the others who don't do it just say it that's wrong and I don't like those people!

izzyz SILVER said...
on Mar. 23 2015 at 3:25 am
izzyz SILVER, Vienna, Other
7 articles 1 photo 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Political language... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable and to give an appearance of of solidity to pure wind." George Owell

I fully agree with your opinion

Janaep34 said...
on Mar. 8 2015 at 12:10 pm
Actually two minutes and thirty seconds get your facts straight, boo

Heyyyy1234 said...
on Mar. 8 2015 at 6:50 am
I know im writing a paper thats due tomorrow and i need the date

shelisse said...
on Mar. 4 2015 at 12:39 pm
when was this article published

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Mar. 4 2015 at 9:27 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'am glad you have such compassion for cheerleaders. It reminds me about how hard color guards work, and yet directors and other ignorant people call them, "the shinny thing". It is very offensive and perpetuates the same stereotypes that cheerleaders are put under. By the way have you seen the show Blast?

Ausin Z. said...
on Feb. 26 2015 at 3:55 pm
I'm in middle school and I play in a band and we play at our football games and we have cheerleaders on the sidelines cheering and people sat its easy but to me it looks really hard.

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Feb. 18 2015 at 9:25 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 really agree with you, it's the same situation with marching bands. Too much competition is hurting the creativity, choreography, and individuality of many bands and makes them single-minded and too focused on winning. Any form of art should be appreciated by the public not showed off to a bunch of judges and directors that are part of the single-minded persona that arts should be turned into sports. It cannot happen and it should not be accepted as a norm.

Riaaxo said...
on Feb. 12 2015 at 9:17 am
I believe that school cheerleading is not really a competition sport, unless you compete against other school cheerleading teams. Competiton Cheer is called All - Star Cheerleading because there are levels of diffuculty unlike school cheerleader , there are levels 1- 5 in All- Star Cheerleading, the higher level team, the higher the diffuculty. All - Star Cheerleading is done at seperate gyms in cities and towns, not at schools. It is more rigorous than school cheerleading, I am a school cheerleader and I don't think school cheerleading is as much as a sport as all star cheerleading and it is the truth.

mary said...
on Feb. 12 2015 at 7:35 am
Actually it is ave you ever tried it?

Maryk PLATINUM said...
on Feb. 10 2015 at 9:30 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

So does ballet and other forms of dance, you start out with your positions and then you learn the other steps. Also lots of timing is involved because you must fallow the time signature of the song or score. Imagine if they made ballet a sport,it would look and sound different than The Firebird, Nutcracker, or even The Rite of Spring. Same issue with marching bands, if you make it a sport you have to sacrifice the creativity, interpretation, and expression in the music itself to focus on points and profit. Dance and Music is an art, you learn the rules and then you creativity break them like in interpretive dance and jazz. There needs to be a balance between the guidelines and the creativity and if their are too many guidelines then creativity is eliminated and the art form becomes bleak and plain.

Cheer said...
on Feb. 10 2015 at 3:23 am
Cheerleaders do not think it's a sport just because its on a field or court but because it is a specific diversion that involves physical exercise with a set body and form. Also cheerleaders work harder than it may look many people that think of cheer as easy or not a sport wouldn't last a week in cheer