Many Cheerleaders may find themselves standing on the sidelines questioning whether or not if they are practicing for a sport or an activity? This sparks the ongoing debates on whether or not Cheerleading is a sport. Cheerleading is the performance of athletic skills, jumps, dance and chanting to gain a response from spectators at an event. Cheerleading should be considered a sport because you have to be in shape and active in order to perform the exercises required for this activity. Cheerleading is fun, it’s fast and it gives athletes so many opportunities to develop; not just physically, but mentally and emotionally too.
Cheerleading is a physical activity that requires a high degree of fitness. As a cheerleader, you need endurance, strength, flexibility and balance. Involving many of the muscles all over your body. (Kastner, 2017) Some people may argue that cheerleading is not a sport upon the fact they are only seen as cheerleaders when they are supporting teams but they don’t view them when they are competing. It takes a lot more work for a person to have strength in their upper body and lower body to be able to lift the other team members, as well as catch them. Personally, I did softball for a minimal amount of time but never pursued cheerleading. As a onlooker cheerleading had all the important assets of being a sport. These performance elements require strength, stamina, balance and timing, all clear athletic qualities. The elite level of athleticism currently in cheerleading requires extensive training in all of these areas. (Kastner, 2017), Cheerleading takes very much initiative. I believe cheerleading should be considered a sport because it takes a lot of work to be able to do all the things they do in the football games and the competitions out of school settings.
The requirements for something to be a sport are: It must be a physical activity which involves propelling a mass through space or overcoming the resistance of mass, “Contesting” or competing against/with an opponent is required, It must be governed by rules that explicitly define the time, space, and purpose of the contest and the conditions under which a winner is declared and, acknowledgement that the primary purpose of the competition is a comparison of the relative skills of the participants.(GAISF) The purpose of cheerleading that people mainly know them for is to motivate and support high school and college games but, in fact the competition out of school is the primary purpose of the sport. This is one of the reasons people say cheerleading is not a sport is because at a school sports game or pep rally, there is no competition for the cheerleaders. They’re not competing or scoring points against another team.
When a person is wanting to pursue cheerleading they need to “try out” in order for them to see that they’re capable of completing the physical activity required in this sport. Tryouts can also require a person to be able to do at the very minimum, a standing back handspring and a standing back tuck, which is a flip with no hands. It takes a lot of practice and you have to be fit in order to do the formations, flips, tumbles and tosses. People consider gymnastics as a sport and they do as much or even less than cheerleading. Some will start off in gymnastics before they start with cheerleading. Both dancing and gymnastics are in the olympics but not cheerleading even though cheer is basically dance and gymnastics put together. Cheerleading as well as any other sport put in the same amount of effort into training and practices. This is another claim as to why cheerleading should be considered a sport. Some people actually do other sports throughout the season, like track or dance to stay in shape for cheerleading, showing the dedication and initiative it takes to be apart of the team.
Sports like football, basketball are directed by a coach just like cheer. The coach will direct the routines, supervise training and motivate the charges to compete at their highest level. Coaches are trained not only in supervising stunting but in safety as well. In cheerleading you are being judged just like any other sport. Other things are considered a sport like golf and cheerleading is far more challenging than striking a hard ball with a club into a series of small holes in the ground. Cheerleading teams put a lot of work in what they do. People like to be able to define things in order to better understand them, but when it comes to deciding what is and what is not a sport, there is as much debate as with any other topic.
However, people can negotiate that cheerleading isn’t technically a sport because cheerleading doesn’t have their own National Governing Agency. The National Governing Agency determines what safety training coaches are required to have to be able to lead a team. Without these safety precautions cheerleaders are more susceptible to injuries, making cheerleading one of the highest ratings for injury. This is due to not having a athletic trainer on sight like common traditional sports. Does this interfere with their title as being a sport or not?
Though there is some things that can be used to argue that cheerleading is not a sport, there is still many things that show cheerleading is a sport. They go through the same process of competing as all sports. ” Prepping for hours a day searching for a pinpoint perfect 2 ½ routine.” (Bermea, 10 ) People may criticize cheerleading as not putting equal effort as other sports and it is continuously looked down upon as “girly” and ” not serious” but if it meets all the requirement of being a sport why isn’t it officially declared one?
In conclusion, Cheerleading meets all sports assets, it requires physical activity, social enterprise and contesting. Not only does cheerleading have all these properties of being a sport but it also has a tremendous amount of athleticism. As Cheerleading itself continues to become more popular and gain recognition and people show more support, it will one day be one of the most favored sports.