Alexandra Mangano and Eliana Slater
Whether cheerleading is a sport or not is a controversial topic. Most cheerleaders will immediately argue that it is a sport, which is understandable. Cheerleaders endure constant criticism and disapproval of their sport.
“I do not understand how people can disrespect a sport they have never been a part of,” said Brooke Black, a junior on the cheerleading squad.
Cheerleading checks off every qualification that activities require to be considered a sport. The first requirement is that it must be a physical activity that involves propelling a mass through the air; stunting does exactly that. Cheerleaders lift and throw girls in the air frequently. Bodies weigh more than typical sports equipment, and that shows how much strength it takes to be successful in this sport.
The second qualification is contesting or competing against an opponent. Cheerleaders spend hours of practice running through routines, stunting, tumbling, and cheering. They do this because competitions are extremely difficult and require dedication. Just like football players create plays to run, cheerleaders create routines to perform.
The last qualification is it must have rules that govern the activity, there must be a set time, space, purpose of the contest, and the conditions under which a winner is declared. There are different rules for each level of cheerleading and for school cheerleading. Points are taken off of the score sheet for each illegal stunt performed at each level.
Cheerleaders are often considered weak athletes. As previously stated: It requires a lot of muscle to perform stunts. Stunting also causes major injuries that are just as serious as any other sport. After all, the injuries that cheerleaders endure are ranked second among all sports. Motions have to be sharp and voices have to be loud. Approximately 37,000 cheerleaders end up in the emergency room every year. This statistic just goes to show that cheerleading should be weighed as heavily as other sports.
Cheerleading is a sport because it meets all of the qualifications needed to be one. While doing cheerleading, every member is physically active whether they’re throwing girls in the air or doing backflips, but it’s fun too.