February 23, 2012
The sport of cheerleading
There has been an ongoing controversy for years on end about cheerleading being a sport due to Title IX laws and statements. It is now classified as a sport, but some people still argue about it being a sport. What most people do not know about cheerleading is that today, cheerleading involves skills which require the strength of football, the grace of dance, and the agility of gymnastics (AACCA 1). Competitive cheerleading hit the scene in the late 1970s, when the television network CBS first televised the Collegiate Cheerleading Championships, in 1978. Throughout the 1980s, tosses, stunts, and routines evolved increasing originality and difficulty. Safety guidelines were introduced by groups like the National Cheer Conference (The Sport Journal 1). New cheerleading organizations formed, eager to develop rules and guidelines for the sport: the Universal Cheerleaders Association, American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Advisors, National Council for Spirit Safety and Education, NFHS Spirit Association, Recreation Cheer Coaches Association, U.S. All Star Federation. Decades later, however, only 26 states appear to have given high school cheerleading Title IX status, despite its fierce competitiveness, its organization and rules standardization, its popularity and entertainment value, and the multimillion-dollar-value of the cheerleading industry (The Sport Journal 1). Proving that competitive cheerleading is a sport. Like most sports, cheerleading was born in the male domain (although 90% of cheerleaders are female today) (The Sport Journal 1). Title IX called for gender equity in school athletics, and part of its challenge was to increase girls’ interest in playing and competing in sports. Each school must demonstrate that (a) numbers of male and female athletes are substantially proportional to total numbers of males and females enrolled, or (b) that the school has a...
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