Is Cheerleading a Sport?

/Is Cheerleading a Sport?
Is Cheerleading a Sport? 2016-12-13T17:45:34-05:00


There are many who will debate the idea of cheerleading being a sport. For some, it’s viewed as a hobby. People view it as one of those high school activities that teenagers should grow out of.

However, there are many others who will argue that it is a sport. When you consider all the skills required in cheerleading, it’s easy to see why it is considered a sport—and it’s a professional activity at the same time. Just look at the amount of professional cheerleaders in the NFL, NBA, and more!

What makes cheerleading a sport? Well, here’s a look at the details to help you make your own decision.

Define ‘Sport’ and You’ll Struggle

Some people who claim cheerleading isn’t a sport wouldn’t be able to tell you why not. When they think about sport, they think about football, basketball, baseball, and other athletic team games. Some will include the likes of track running and types of fighting, but they won’t include cheerleading.

The truth is that there isn’t an official definition of “sport.” The definition is more personal. While some people view anything athletic as a sport, others will only view those that involve teams or physical competitions.

However, the Women’s Sports Foundation has noted that a sport should involve the likes of stunting, competition, time limits, score sheets, national championships, etc. These are all elements that cheerleading includes, including ESPN competitions.

It Incorporates Gymnastics and Dance

When you hear about gymnastics, would you consider it a sport? It’s part of the Olympics, right? Dance is also often considered a sport and an excellent form of exercise.

Cheerleading incorporates both of these. Members of a squad will need to learn tumbles, while moving around to the music and performing various routines. More high school cheerleading squads are moving past the use of pom-poms and involving more street dance and crumping into their routines, and we can possibly thank the Bring It On franchise for that.

If the other two are classed as sports, then cheerleading would need to be included in the mix.

Cheerleading Is More Than a Sport

Most people view cheerleading as a way to support teams. When watching a movie or TV shows, the cheerleaders support the football or basketball teams. There is very little focus on the national championships that the cheerleading squads go through.

It has really only been the Bring It On franchise that has focused on competition and national championships. This franchise has helped to highlight that there is a sporting element and it isn’t just to support high school and college teams.

This does make cheerleading far more than a sport. It is a way for individuals to join together and find a common like. There is a team element, while improving fitness, skills, and abilities. There is support offered to other teams and a moral boost for schools and colleges around the country.

Is Cheerleading a Sport?

Let’s turn the question back to you. What do you think about cheerleading and sport?

There’s definitely nothing to say that it isn’t. It fits all the criteria to be included as a sport, and certainly involves competition and fitness. What doesn’t make cheerleading a sport?