Is cheerleading a sport?

RB Athletics

Hrvoje Zolo, Staff Reporter

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Is cheerleading a sport?

This topic has been controversial for quite some time now. There are different opinions from everyone, but the most important opinion was the judge’s when U.S District Judge Stephan Underhill confirmed that cheerleading was not a sport in federal court.

According to Fox News, he said,” Competitive cheer may, sometime in the future, qualify as a sport under Title IX. Today, however, the activity is still too underdeveloped and disorganized to be treated as offering genuine varsity athletic participation opportunities for students.”

 The main reason why this topic was brought to the federal courts was because of a school in Connecticut called Quinnipiac University. The girls’ volleyball team at that school was cut due to their budgets, and that’s when they revolted.  They sued the school soon after because the volleyball team was being replaced by a competitive cheer squad. The final decision was that cheerleading was not a sport under Title IX.

Over the week I interviewed some of our students and there were many different opinions. Senior cheerleading  captain Maeve Cloherty said,“ Cheerleading is a sport because we compete and practice like any other sports, and we cheer at games.  It compares just the same to any other sport because we compete about seven times a year and we have to be in shape to throw a girl and lift a girl in air.”

A lot of people agreed with Cloherty like Junior Marika Floros who said, “Yes it’s a sport because we compete against other teams, just like any other sport. We work just as hard as other sports just like football, and we go to state, which will hopefully repeat like last year.”

On the other hand, some people disagreed and thought cheerleading is not a sport. Senior Mike Buckley said,” Cheerleading is not a sport at all because there is no competition. Yes, it compares athletically and it takes a lot of skill, but there is no competitive edge.”

 Another student who agreed with Buckley is freshman Mike Gmitro who said, “No, it isn’t a sport because certain sports like poms actually involve dancing where you have to train for, but that’s more of a mental aspect and not physical. It’s a team sport, but as an individual you don’t really compete against other individuals like football or soccer.”

Clearly the students at RB have completely different opinions on this topic. Despite good points on both sides, everyone has their own opinion and you have to respect that. On the other hand, my opinion is that cheerleading is in fact a sport. I think it would take a huge amount of physicality to lift another teammate above your head. Also, it is competitive because RB’s cheerleaders went to state last year and took second. They don’t compete as much during football games, but when it comes down to state, the competition is very fierce. As of now cheerleading is not a sport, but I think in the near future it will in fact be a competitive sport.


2 Responses to “Is cheerleading a sport?”

  1. kristyn on October 5th, 2010 8:53 pm

    who ever said cheerleading is not a sport has never really looked at what we do or has never tried it. as far as the competitive part of cheerleading there is a big competition! we compete against and times like 20 schools if thats not competitive then i dont know what is! cheerleading is both mental and physical and requires lots of skill and pratice i would know i have been cheering competitivley for 9 years. as for cheering at the games, is that a sport? no its not but competitive cheerleading like we have at our school IS a sport

  2. Ben on October 6th, 2010 11:35 am

    Just because there are competitions does not make it a sport. Let’s look at what other groups compete against other schools: math team, scholatic bowl, band, chess club, and even science club. Are those activities super competetive? Yes. Do they require a ton of practice? Yes. Are they a sport? Absolutely not. I understand that these activities require much less physical activity than cheerleading (although marching band is debatable), but using the competitions as justification does not work. Cheerleading cannot be a sport because it was created simply to rouse crowds at real sports (football and basketball) hence the name “cheerleading.” In this sense, it is really no different from marching band. Cheerleading is an art form that requires a certain amount of talent and hard work, but it is absolutely not a sport.

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Is cheerleading a sport?