Is Cheerleading a Real Sport?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cheerleading is a staple of American culture. The mere mention of it conjures up images of high school — popularity, short skirts, pom poms, and elaborate, acrobatic routines. But is it really a sport?

That question is now before a judge in Connecticut. Five members of Connecticut’s Quinnipiac University volleyball team, plus their coach, filed a lawsuit against the University for cutting their sport, in favor of funding a cheerleading squad. The cheerleading team costs the University less, and has more members — which also helps increase the school’s Title IX numbers.

But the women of the volleyball team are arguing, among other things, that cheerleading is not a sport. Joining us to talk about the case, and its implications for women’s sports, is Linda Carpenter, a professor emerita at Brooklyn College and author of the book “Title 9.”


Linda Carpenter

Produced by:

Samantha Fields

Comments [16]

Latrell Johnson 3

"Cheer is the exact opposite of a sport" -- T-PAC

Feb. 06 2012 01:42 PM

as a cheerleader i would conciter it a sport because it meets all of the standerds in a dicanary to be a sport.

CHEER IS A SPORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dec. 01 2011 07:41 PM
lindsy from dellaware

CHEER IS A SPORT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dec. 01 2011 07:38 PM
cindy from chicogo

cheer is a sport competitive or sideline, i have done both and it bothers me when people say it is not a sport because i have done it for 7 years and we work hard and if you conciter gymnastics a sport than cheer is a sport because in cheer we all the stuff you do in gymnatics plus more. i would know this because i am in both.

Dec. 01 2011 07:34 PM

wow. people obviously have never cheered team is just a sideline team, and we concentrate on cheers, chants, a few jumps, and a lot of band dances for football season. we do some stunting, but no tumbling. sideline isn't a sport. but it DOES still take strength.
i would LOVE to be on a competitive squad, but theres not a team close to where i live. i think that if your team cheers for football and/or basketball for your school, but also competes (and actually does well) then its a sport. with sideline thrown in there for fun. some schools even have different squads like a sideline squad and a competition squad, with girls participating on one or the other, or both.

competition cheerleading is definitely a sport.

Mar. 30 2011 04:28 PM
andrea from miami FL

cheerleading is a sport nomatter what every one says i is the hardest and most competive thing ever

Mar. 24 2011 08:23 PM

i don't get what all the controversy is all about! cheerleading is a sport no matter what anybody can say! competitive cheerleading aka allstar competes for scholarships. meaning you could possibly get a scholarship for college from allstar cheerleading.i will say cheerleading is a sport until i am blue in the face because cheerleading is a sport! it can get you very far in life!

Mar. 15 2011 03:53 PM
hannah from kentucky

cheerleading is a sport. most people cant do a full, or do a tick tock. flyers have to trust the people under them and the people under them have to be able to catch them if they fall from a stunt. you have a lot of practices and you have to have dedication. routines are very hard, you do the hardest skill you can do and more in 2 and a half minutes...with no brakes at all. in routenes your stunts and tumbleing get harder, not easier. other sports teams do not compare to what cheerleaders do...cheeerleading is an intense sport, there are more injuries in cheerleading than there are in any other sport. it doesnt matter about who has the shortest skirt or is more matters what you bring to the mat. when you perform your routine you cant fall or anything... everything has to be perfect.
Cheerleading is a sport, and most people in america cant do it

Mar. 04 2011 03:07 PM
Portia from Kentucky

cheerleading is a sport, i don't care what anyone says. if you havent done it, then dont even talk about it. it is alot of hard work just like any other sport! Practice alot, and lots of dedication. A 2 in a half minute routine will kill you because you have to do everything back to back like stunt, tumble, dance, cheer, yell, smile. not anyone can do cheer, and not everyone should judge it because being popular or rich doesnt matter or having a short skirt or not. Before judging if cheerleading is a sport or not. Come to a competition or a practice and you'll see that it is a sport.

Mar. 04 2011 03:07 PM

i have been a all star cheerleader for 10 years , and its more than a sport if you dont think its a sport than you dont get out much to see the ALL STAR teams the little high school teams are nothingg like really , smileing matters its called haveing a good attitude and being postive , smileing has nothing to do with if its a sport or not,.

Dec. 10 2010 10:48 AM

so is it a sport?

Nov. 28 2010 03:23 PM

In all star cheerleading there arent even pom poms its not at all based on how short your skirts are or popularity. High school cheerleading is alot different people dont take it serious they just wana say they did somethin. all star cheerleading practice honestly can be as hard or harder than football practice at least on my team

Sep. 24 2010 11:38 AM

umm cheerleading is very hard work, there are long hours of stretching and tumbling practice, jump practice and a large amount of stunt practice. this does not even include the time that you have to spend learning the dances cheers and chants. its not all about wearing a short skirt or standing on the side lines. and it is not just waving your arms around. those are called motions. cheerleading is a sport.

Aug. 25 2010 05:38 PM

That makes no sense..^
smiling matters in figure skating and gymnastics and dancing and im pretty sure they are all sports.

i dont know why people are still debating this
if you compete its a sport if you dont its not

Jul. 07 2010 01:18 AM

I don't see why not. I guess it depends. There's the form of cheerleading that just involves standing around at football games yelling and waving your arms. This is probably the sort of team most schools have, where half the girls can't even do the splits. Then there's the sort you see in the competitions on TV--though I think those are beginning to be called dance teams, as they're obviously not leading any cheers?--where there's some pretty advanced tumbling and acrobatics going on.

Read an article not long ago about the frequent and nasty injuries that occur with the latter type.

Jun. 22 2010 07:50 PM

It's very simple. If smiling matters, it's not a sport.

Jun. 22 2010 08:01 AM

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