Why Cheerleading Should Be an Official Sport

Some people may not take cheerleading seriously or believe it’s a sport just because it may not have a main objective to execute with a ball involved like a traditional sport or “dancing” in bright colors. In this paper, I will address some points why I believe cheerleading should officially be ruled a sport.

The activities and stunts the athletes perform during a daily routine may look fun to do but they go through a lot of training and preparation in order to perform the stunts correctly.

In an article I was reading it stated that “Cheerleaders practice for hours and hours to be able to do elaborate stunts and learn specific routines. They condition their bodies to be able to do flips and tumbles, throw other people into the air and catch them. Flyers have to be able to flip and twist in midair, or hold her entire body weight in perfect form when oftentimes being held up by just one of her foot.

” There are plenty of football, basketball, volleyball and baseball players who are unable to contort their bodies to do the same stunts cheerleaders do.” (Ruder, 2017) This shows that if you choose to become a cheerleader it’s not all fun and games when you have to put your body through tough workouts in order to perform extreme stunts like flips and tumbles as well as having the physical strength to hold up the athletes. Even athletes from official sports don’t put their bodies through as much exertion as cheerleaders do which shows the mandatory training they have to go through is pretty brutal.

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Furthermore, it unfortunately does not follow the same rules and regulations as other sports.

Cheerleading only follows 3 out of the 5 elements to be considered a sport according to the court but it’s still not ruled official by the title IX of education. As a result, since it isn’t officially deemed a sport, it doesn’t follow the same rules and regulations that would benefit the athletes. I have looked into an article that discusses the in depth information on the issue why it’s not following the same rules. “At many schools, cheer squads don’t receive the best equipment or facilities. Recognized sports have access to trainers, medical care, suitable facilities, certified coaches, and appropriate practice time. The regulations and training requirements ensure that the athletes aren’t exposed to avoidable risks.” “If cheerleading was recognized as a sport, regulations could prevent injuries and rules could provide coaches more access to training. A regulation could require that certain stunts be performed only on a spring or foam floor.” (Melissa, 2013) This is pretty evident that not being officially deemed as a sport negatively affects cheerleading as following the same rules and regulations plays a very crucial part especially for the athletes. I can see why people may not look at cheerleading seriously or think it’s not a sport as it’s not abiding by the same regulations needed that other official sports do follow. On the other hand, since it doesn’t have important rules and regulations in place, athletes are seriously getting injured as the number has skyrocketed over the years having one of the most severe injuries for sports.

It’s unfortunate with all of the outstanding stunts the athletes are able to pull off, some of them take a tumble and get hurt in the process. With all the dangerous stunts performed, many athletes have encountered serious injuries. An article I encountered broke down what kinds of injuries the athletes sustain. “From 1980 to 2013, cheerleading injury rates went up 440 percent. Compared to other sports, the overall number of injuries is actually low. However, cheerleading injuries are often much more severe, making up 50-66 percent of catastrophic injuries in female athletes such as a severe injury to the spine (spinal cord) or brain and may also include the skull or spinal fractures.” (BetterBraces, 2017) It’s pretty clear that the stunts and activities these athletes perform isn’t an easy task as some of them suffer through severe catastrophic injuries. Not only does it take lots of preparation to pull off the stunts but they all put themselves at risk of getting injured while performing if they don’t execute right. The stunts may be impressive but it’s a very dangerous task to pull off. On a side note, putting a lot of practice into something you eventually want to become good at doesn’t automatically make it as a sport.

Practicing an activity you’re committed to over and over until you get it right wouldn’t automatically deem it a sport. Yes even though the preparation and training routines the athletes go through is very crucial especially for their bodies, at the same time practice alone isn’t enough to categorize that activity a sport. For instance, I practice editing photos on Photoshop and videos as one of my interests in my free time but does that classify it a sport just because I prep to get better at it? I understand they’re two completely different things in different scenarios but the logic still applies regardless of the defying activity. You have to understand that putting hard work into practice for something won’t automatically make it official by the books. On the other hand, even though the brutal practice alone for the athletes isn’t automatically deemed a sport, the athletes get very competitive with other teams in various competitions across the world.

The athletes don’t get into uniform just to show off and look good with bright colors, they go through a lot of preparation to build up enough skill for big competitions. The impressive but dangerous stunts they pull off is a groundbreaking factor to competing and potentially winning the competition which is beneficial for the school or college they represent. In a very informative article I encountered it stated various information. “Last, but not least, they train to compete for a spot at National Collegiate Association College Nationals. College cheerleading teams from all over the country compete for the national champions’ title. These athletes not only need to know how to be an energetic cheerleader and inspire the crowd, but they must also have a knowledgeable background in tumbling and stunts.” (Bembry, 2015) This is very evident that the competitiveness is very high for this activity and shouldn’t be taken lightly especially with the NCA college nationals involved. It’s a big deal when you have varsity level cheer teams coming from all over the world to win the gold metals and trophies for their hometown or state. These teams would get lucky to qualify to compete in the big league competitions as the requirements call for no slouch with no room for any mistakes. Every member of the teams have to perform on their best game if they want to take home the righteous awards. In order to win it all they have to prove it all to the judges why they made the long trip to the nationals not to walk out empty handed. Not only is the activity very competitive, making it to the competition can show how much preparation went into the practice routines for hours but winning is the big takeaway for hard work put in.

In conclusion, there’s a lot more to “dancing to impress judges” as what some people think cheerleading is as a whole. Lots of practice routines, hard work, extreme stunts, and precise execution with team members goes into this activity as it shouldn’t be taken lightly. Sure, it may not be as broad and popular as football or basketball but that doesn’t mean it should be discredited as a true sport as it does have official competitions and leagues with multiple teams.

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Why Cheerleading Should Be an Official Sport. (2022, Feb 26). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/why-cheerleading-should-be-an-official-sport/

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