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Is Cheerleading a Sport?

Sports 2011/05/23 20:00:00
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Nothing really feels like a sport until you try it. I mean, how hard can it be to drive a car around a circle for a couple hours, or ride a horse less than two miles? But give car-racing and jockeying a try and tell me if your arms don’t feel ripped off and your back doesn't feel like someone hit it with an 80-pound bag of cement afterward.

But cheerleading? Really? A "sport?"

Laugh all you want, but the increasingly complex world of "rah rah" has evolved over the years to involve sky-high tosses, tumbles, pyramids and balancing feats of strength that wouldn't look out of place in a Cirque du Soleil show.

The New York Times looked at the renewed push to consider cheering a sport. While some women have fought against the designation – fearing it would send the wrong message to girls and young women and that it was a way for schools to avoid giving females chances in other sports like soccer and softball – others think the physical skills involved should be honored.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association may end the debate by recognizing a new version of cheerleading ("competitive cheer") as an "emerging sport" for women, a precursor to making it a championship sport. If the push works, dozens of athletic programs could start fully financing cheerleading teams, recruiting scholarship athletes and sending them to a national championships.

If the attempt works, college athletic programs could count cheering toward complying with Title IX, the federal law banning gender discrimination in education. That would help schools that have struggled to prove they are offering women enough opportunities.

The question now is how does cheerleading go from a pastime aimed at supporting athletes to one that is about being an athlete? A few ideas include making cheering competitions longer, giving athletes uniforms that are more like those of volleyball players and no longer using cheerleaders to rally the crowd for another team, but as their own self-contained units.

Should cheerleading be considered a sport?
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Top Opinion

  • Adam 2011/05/23 23:46:20
    A man falls 2 feat onto grass in armor and it's a sport. A woman does a backflip onto concrete with no protective gear and its just a hobby?

    Seriously, look into it. Guess what is the most dangerous high school sport out there is. It's Cheerleading! And why wouldn't it be? The modern day incarnation involves feats of athleticism that can easilly outstrip any game where you toss a ball around. It is only not considered a sport so private companies can charge outrageous prices for Cheerleading pariphenalia without any school support, and in the process the health and safty needs of the kids are not met because there isn't so many requirements for expertise and training when the activity isn't a sport.

    I urge anyone debating this to watch this. (A bit risque to warn you: it is Penn and Teller

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  • David 2011/05/24 15:40:57
    It is certainly a spectator sport!
  • Racefish 2011/05/24 15:35:43
    You'd think of it more as an "activity", but with the amount of gymnastics thrown in now, I'm wavering. My great niece is in a cheer squad and she's 13. By the time she's a senior, I can only imagine the training and discipline going into her training and skill.
  • Dub 2011/05/24 15:26:44
    But I don't watch cheerleaders younger than 18.
  • the_old_coach 2011/05/24 15:06:11
    This discussion has already been held on SodaHead.
  • LukeC 2011/05/24 15:00:44
    No its practice for girls for strip clubs.
    Think of all the young kids, old men and disgusting people in the audience enjoying your body.
  • Dark sector 2011/05/24 14:59:26
    Dark sector
    Their is deffinitly some sport aspect to it. But to call it a full fledged sport, idk. I mean their is only so many different ways you can throw a girl into the air.
  • kitty Dark se... 2011/05/24 15:18:11
    And how many different ways do you know of to cast a reel? Or swing a golf club? Or throw a bowling ball? Or drive a car? Or ride a bike? Or shoot a gun? Or run a track?
  • Dark se... kitty 2011/05/24 16:15:26
    Dark sector
    Okay, well fishing isnt a sport either. There is quite a few different ways to swing a golf club depending on the surface your striking off of and the type of club. Bowling isnt a sport to me either. Drive a car? Dont even get me started on that, that takes more concentration and practice and dedication than anything in my opinion. Ride a bike well, thats more physical endurance than anything. Shoot a gun? Anyone can shoot a gun, but not alot of people can sight and shoot a rifle at a target 6 football fields away and hit it. Run a track, also physical endurance. You argued no point here. I gave cheerleaders their due, it certainly has aspects to it that require practice, but i dont think its a sport. Think of it this way, football. If no one watched football it would still be a sport to the players. If no one watched cheerleading then...whats the point? Its purely for people to watch, its more of an entertainment property than a sport. Is the circus a sport?
  • Pam 2011/05/24 14:58:48
    I am no fan of cheerleaders, but it is becoming more than rah rah. The gymnastics alone qualify it as a sport.
  • Pam 2011/05/24 14:58:39
    I am no fan of cheerleaders, but it is becoming more than rah rah. The gymnastics alone qualify it as a sport.
  • Teancum79 2011/05/24 14:58:17
    I'm thinking no (but I think the same of golf). My guess is the push is to get the feds foot of the necks of the male sports teams in schools (you know how sexist some schools can be that sexiest practice of not bribing enough females to play sports)
  • dallasjoe 2011/05/24 14:58:07
    and are they going to have cheer leaders for the Cheerleaders
  • Ben 2011/05/24 14:51:19
    Anything that is judged is not a sport.
  • kitty Ben 2011/05/24 15:19:22
    Have you ever watched the Olympics?
  • Ben kitty 2011/05/24 17:44:12
    Everything from figure skating to high-diving is a competition. Everything that has a definite "is or isn't" is a sport, like Soccer, baseball, and tennis. I'm not dissing cheerleading. i like to watch it. its cool and very competitive and takes a ton of talent, but it isnt a sport.
  • Juan Iota 2011/05/24 14:49:09
    Juan Iota
    I hit the wrong button.........Sure it is. If Cheerleading is a sport, then so is "Stripping"., Can't wait to see the stripping world finals right after the cheerleading olympics. I am in the poole at work to pick the stripper pole MVP. :)
  • Whowho 2011/05/24 14:48:56
    Yes and very fun to watch .
  • Billy Board 2011/05/24 14:41:47
    Billy Board
    It's a spectator sport!
    spectator sport spectator sport volley ball womens butts
    spectator sport cheerleaders butts
  • brandi_so lovely 2011/05/24 14:35:01
    brandi_so lovely
    yes because they have competitions ,and you can go district or finals
  • dallasjoe brandi_... 2011/05/24 14:59:17
    and it is JUDGED no qualitive score not a Sport
  • brandi_... dallasjoe 2011/05/26 14:39:21
    brandi_so lovely
    well i think its a healthy athletic activity , it should count.
  • Defend Western Civlization 2011/05/24 14:27:18
    Defend Western Civlization
    Cheer leading is a wonderful sport
  • kenan01 2011/05/24 14:24:43
    it is a social activity. Something to do to draw attention to yourself.

    social activity draw attention Fat cheerleader social activity draw attention fail cheerleader
  • earl kenan01 2011/05/24 16:52:22
  • Micheal 2011/05/24 14:17:43
    it all depens i guess.
  • EdWhiteSpace 2011/05/24 14:14:42
    It sounds, on face value, silly.

    But if gymnastics is a sport, and water ballet, etc. then so is cheerleading. They don't just wave pom-poms on the sidelines anymore. Its very physical, requiring strength and precision timing.
  • big dipper 2011/05/24 14:12:12
    big dipper
    From a physical standpoint, yes! You must be fit and have cooridnation but it is subjective just like ice figure skating which leads to favortism and corruption. It is hard to select who is best because it is all about opinion.
  • ThinkAboutIt! 2011/05/24 14:10:41
    Anyone that thinks it not, has not tried it.
  • B 2011/05/24 14:06:46
    Traditionally it's not what I would consider sporty, but competeitive cheerleaders who do flips are like a combination of dancers and gymnist, which takes athletic ability.
  • harry 2011/05/24 13:51:31
    If you actively compete...
    Chess is a sport.
  • Omnibus Annie 2011/05/24 13:41:36
    Omnibus Annie
    It's a physical feat & you must compete to be on the team...why wouldn't it be?
  • Scooterseats 2011/05/24 13:30:49
    While it does enhance sports typically there are no guidelines to judge clear winners. Any contests would be popularity contests judged entirely by opinions and not score cards.
  • ThinkAb... Scooter... 2011/05/24 13:56:23
    Where have you been!? Cheerleaders are athletes that have been competing for years.
  • eatslee... Scooter... 2011/08/31 01:26:36
    There's actually a rubric they give points by
  • bluelady 2011/05/24 13:11:35
    cheerleading is hard work to keep fit,learn the drills , learn the chants.... practice , practice , practice....yes its a sport
    and by the way...jockeys have to control a 2000 pound horse ...guide him in a bone jarring run for up to 2 miles.... stay ON him.....when he /she gets back ....change silks fast cause you may have to ride the NEXT race, strict diet, convince trainers you can win for them, runs a risk of severe injury or death in every race(if 2000 pounds falls on 100 pounds ..you lose)..it is hard also
  • Boo Gotti 2011/05/24 13:07:54
    Boo Gotti
    Yes and a Eye Candy sport it is..Lol
  • Sofahead 2011/05/24 12:39:35
    Yeah, like Cirque Du Soleil and WWE wrestling.
  • Hukaatir 2011/05/24 12:35:11
    It's certainly entertaining to watch....

    entertaining watch sexy cheerleader
  • Artist~PWCM~ 2011/05/24 12:24:39
    Does getting a cheerleader in the sack count?
    All I know is I will be glued to the TV if this makes the Olympics!
  • Playerazzi 2011/05/24 12:23:33
    It's like gymnastics or figure skating. It's difficult, aerobic (to an extent), and requires physical skill and practice.

    It's a sport.

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