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Cheerleading: Is it a Sport or Not?
It is specific to America. Specific to girls or teens. It is specific to football games, mostly. It is cheerleading. Is this a sport? What is a sport? Why do some think it is not a sport? Is it because of the rah-rah-rah, the jumping, the skimpy uniforms?
Cheerleaders practice long hours and for many months to create a unique and in-synch routine for a squad of 10-30. There are many organizations for this starting with PAL which has many cheerleaders from ages 8-14, all going to several hours of practice each day from August to March, when they go to regional cheer competitions to compete against the best teams. Their routines, when done well, are fully synchronized and quite stunning with flyers being sent into the stratosphere and landing. The gymnastics of many are equally cool. They practice to make the choreograph perfect, much like any stage production for their 2-3 minute routine in front of 5-8 judges who score them, much like the Olympics. Yet, cheerleading suffers from being not taken seriously by many.
Cheerleaders will argue their point that it is a sport. All their points are valid. Why is it a less sport than gymnsatics? than competitive dance? Granted, there are few boys in it, and when they are, they are almost always bases to support the flyers. If boys are on the team, their friends no doubt tease them about it, yet, what boy would not like being on a team of good looking girls?
Cheerleading is a sport, just not as most sports are thought of.