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Is Cheerleading a Sport?

By Edited May 5, 2016 1 0

     So the debate continues: Is cheerleading a sport? The first point in this argument is what is considered a sport.  Some say it is if it requires a ball or that it requires working as a team, but these eliminate many well-known and unquestionable sports such as track and field, gymnastics, and swimming.  According to Google's Dictionary a sport is, "An activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment."[3932]           

     So does cheering meet these definitions? The answer is both yes and no. It now depends on what you are considering cheerleading. Those non-cheerleaders out there are probably thinking everyone knows what cheerleading is, but there are actually multiple types of cheerleading. It can  be broken down by what is sponsoring them. First is school ( or city) cheerleading where private and public schools (or city organization) has a team and then there is all-star cheerleading that is only found in private gyms for cheerleading/gymnastics [may include other sports]. It gets even trickier. School teams cheer on other school sports teams, mostly boys' football and basketball, but may also have a competitive team similar to an all-star team. Both all-star and school competitive teams make a few minute routine showing off their best skills of tumbling(flips), stunting(lifting people), facials, jumps(jumping up and kicking your legs into a certain position), and, dancing against other squads. The difference between the two is like stated above, where they're from, the time of the routine, and all-star teams only have music while schools include one or more cheers.

   Now it is a lot more complicated. In the state of Illinois, competitive cheerleading is considered a sport according to the Illinois High School Association [IHSA].[3933]  If going by the definition previously stated, competitive cheerleading is considered a sport. However the original form of cheering on other teams is not. Even if some physical exertion and skill present there is no official competition. Therefore, disqualifying it by that definition. This is only one definition, yet there are many others that may agree or disagree. Many would agree with the outcome of today's new competitive cheerleading being a sport, but this is one topic that will continue to be argued over for a long time. 

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Bibliography

  1. "sport." Google. 27/May/2012 <Web >
  2. "Sports & Activities." Illinois High School Association. 28/May/2012 <Web >

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