Reasons why Cheerleading is a Sport

Published: 2021-08-12 07:10:06
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People often say that cheerleading is not a sport. Many people don’t know that cheerleading is split into two different types; such as competitive cheerleading and school cheerleading. These two things may sound similar but they are completely different. For that being said, the article Cheerleadingstates,origins of the sport are defined by its name. I In the late 1980s competitions against other teams started to take place (Ruder). The competitive aspect of cheerleading that has evolved throughout the years should be enough to make cheerleading a sport. School cheerleading is when a team is cheering on the football or basketball team using cheers and chants (Cheerleading). Competitive cheerleading is when different cheerleading teams compete against each other. Each team competes for a two minute and thirty-second routine (Cheerleading). Which Includes very hard skills that require training; such as stunts, tumbling, jumps, and a dance. There are guidelines and skills that are split into different divisions. All these skills are placed in a routine that is choreographed to music. The music is very upbeat and helps the cheerleaders when it comes to timing so the skills can be synchronized. Each skill that is placed into the routine is meant to be performed in the best way as possible (Cheerleading). If any skills are executed outside of the guidelines, it may result in a penalty of points (Foley 464). Each team is scored based on the cleanness and how well the routine was executed (Gianoulis).
No matter how hard the routine might be, the athletes are supposed to look good and have a good form while performing because they are being watched by the judges(Ruder). Like most sports, the athletes are required to train and prepare their bodies for the sport in order to be strong enough. In all sports, there is a winner and a loser. In school cheerleading you technically don’t compete against anyone, therefore, you can’t win or lose (Ruder). In competitive cheerleading, the purpose is to compete against the other cheer team and there is always a winner or a loser. A sport is defined as, an activity that involves physical exertion and skill in which each individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment (Ruder). Cheerleading fits that definition because of the amount of training and skill that is required. Cheerleaders spend large amounts of time training, they spend hours and hours to be able to do elaborate stunts and learn specific routines(Ruder). It is important for cheerleaders to have muscular endurance in order to obtain and perform skills. Stretching and flexibility is a large part of cheerleading in order for cheerleaders to obtain success. The article, Cheerleading states that, the athletic skill required to become a cheerleader has increased, however, so has the number of cheerleading-related injuries(Gianoulis). There have been many injuries in relation to cheerleading. However, the risk and the serious possible injuries should make cheerleading more visible as a sport. In 1987 the important cheerleading safety standards were created by the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (Machuca 9). There have been lots of injuries because of cheerleading and the risks are increasing still today. Machuca states that cheerleading has been deemed one of the most dangerous female sports (9).
The most common injuries that have taken place are to the ankles and to the wrist. These injuries are due to an overload of pressure from either tumbling or lifting someone up in the air (Foley 464). Stunting and tumbling pertain to large amounts of force and cheerleaders must be trained properly to learn how to absorb the pressure. If the pressure is not absorbed correctly, it can result in a broken bone or another serious injury. Foley states that cheerleading accounts for sixty-three percent of catastrophic injuries to female high school students and fifty-six percent of injuries at the college level in the USA(464). Foley states that there are only twenty-nine high schools in the USA that recognize cheerleading as a sport(464). Due to the large amounts of risk of injuries, the instructor should be certified in order to teach and coach the stunts that cheerleaders learn. Competitive cheerleading is just as competitive as any other sport. Ruder states Cheerleading requires some of the highest athletic ability of all. You can travel out of state and stay overnight for competitions. Ruder also states that, Cheerleading competitions didn’t take place until the 1980s, with the competition itself that defines cheerleading as a sport (Ruder). Cheerleaders spend tons of money traveling and buying uniforms.
For competitive cheerleading, you can practice up to four times a week. As a competitive cheerleader, you have many responsibilities that you have to uphold on the team (Ruder). If you fail to uphold your responsibilities you may let your team down. If you make one mistake it may result in points being deducted for the entire team. If you have good standings, your team could have the chance to make it to The Cheerleading Worlds. It is the largest competition in the world. The teams that compete there, compete against other teams that come from all over the world. School cheerleading is completely different from competitive cheerleading but many people don’t know the difference. Ruder’s article explains, In my eyes, the main reason why people try to argue that cheerleading is not a sport is that in their mind, they are picturing girls in skirts yelling, ‘Go team!’ on the sidelines (Ruder). This proves that school cheerleading changes what people think cheerleading really is. However, some school teams may compete competitively once or twice. With that being said, the routines that are competed by school cheerleaders are not the same as competitive cheerleading routines; for example, they are not as complex. Some could say that school cheerleading gives cheerleading a bad name.
However, because people think that people participate in school cheerleadingfor the social status. The social status of cheerleading can be a good or a bad thing. As a school cheerleader, cheerleaders are supposed to uphold a standard of representing the school. Gianoulis says, there are many people who reject the school status hierarchies and who view the cheerleaders as shallow snobs rather than social successes(Gianoulis). People think that cheerleaders are strong athletes who try to seek a recognition in one acceptable way for females(Gianoulis). This explains, that in schools, cheerleading can start issues because people think cheerleaders think they are above everyone else. Gianoulis’s article states that cheerleading plays an important role. In many schools, cheerleading has become a battleground for social issues(Gianoulis). A student from the University of Connecticut charged the school with discrimination because they kicked her off the cheerleading team for being overweight(Gianoulis). There are also other issues that take place that gives cheerleading a bad name. In movies and tv shows, they make cheerleaders seem like they are being sex objects; making them seem bad and giving the name of cheerleading a bad name(Giannoulias). Gianoulis’s article states that cheerleaders are easy targets and are often stereotyped as being stupid and superficial(Gianoulis). The article, Cheerleading, states that, Some women devote their lives to cheerleading, for themselves or their daughters; others condemn it because it turns women into boosters at best and sex objects at worst(Gianoulis). People give cheerleading a bad name because they assume things about the sport that isn’t true.
Also because of what they might see on tv or other things. Gianiulis’s article talks about a situation that happened in a high school in Texas that staged a walkout for twenty-eight days in protest of their school’s racist policies concerning the cheerleading selection(Gianoulis). As any other sport does, cheerleading provides a lot of businesses in the economy. In the 1940’s, Lawrence Herkimer created the National Cheerleaders Association. NCA holds large competitions and camps that originate in Dallas, Texas. The camps teach lots of skills that help the cheerleaders at a very good price (Gianoulis). Over the years, the business’ profits have increased tremendously as cheerleading has grown and become more popular. This also attracted competition. Jeff Webb started his own company as well. His company originates in Memphis, Tennessee. This company is named the Universal Cheerleaders Association, also known as UCA. This company also pairs with the Varsity Spirit Corporation. The Cheerleading article states the Varsity Spirit even expanded abroad, signing a deal in Japan, where cheerleading is popular(Gianoulis). The debate is very popular , on social media and in relation with other people who participate in other sports. Someone who participates in cheerleading understands the amount of time, money, and energy that goes into the sport. For someone talk badly about a person that dedicates their life to cheerleading, it would be insulting. Overall, I strongly believe that competitive cheerleading is a sport because of a large amount of training, the amount of skill that has to be implied, and the risk of injuries due to the amount of difficulty within the sport. I would like to see a change in the way that people view cheerleading. Being a part of a team teaches kids how to work within a team. As a cheerleader myself, I would most definitely recommend it to anyone for their child.

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