February 23, 2013
Is Competitive Cheerleading a Sport?
For girls and boys who train hours a week, push through physical injuries and mental struggles, and leave everything they have on the competition mat, the answer is simple. For parents who drive hours to the gym, travel across the country, and make sacrifices so their children can follow their dreams, the answer is simple. And also for coaches who pour their heart and soul into their programs and demand commitment, hard work, and perfection, there is no question about it. Cheerleading is as tough (or tougher than) any other sport.
First off people tend to get confused between competitive cheerleading and sideline cheerleading. Well there is a huge difference. Sideline cheerleaders main goal is to entertain the crowd and lead them with cheers, which I believe, should not in any way be considered a sport. We are talking about competitive cheerleading here!
What is a sport? The definition of a sport is an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others, governed by rules and conditions under which a winner is declared. Competitive cheerleading follows all of these guidelines to this definition.
Just as basketball and football have guidelines, so does competitive cheerleading. The whole routine has to be less than three minutes and fifteen seconds and cheerleaders are required to stay in a certain area (inside the white lines). Certain skills can be preformed only on certain team levels. Just like gymnast, the team is awarded points for difficulty, technique, creativity, and sharpness. Cheerleaders must also learn to tumble. They perform standing back flips, round off flip flops, and full layout twists. Cheerleaders also perform lifts and tosses known as stunts. This is where the fliers are thrown in to the air held by bases in different positions that require strength, cooperation, and trust with...