Is Cheerleading a Sport?


Bayli Soles, Staff Writer

The definition of a sport is “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.” Cheerleading requires a lot of skill, qualifying it to be a sport. 

Cheerleading is often considered not to be a sport because people do not think cheerleaders compete. However, that is not the case, and it is quite the opposite seeing as most cheer teams compete more than once per season. Cheerleading competition performances takes hours of planning and rehearsing in order to pull them off correctly. The performance is based on many different things, such as stunting difficulty and creativity, jump difficulty and execution, motions synchronization, as well as pyramid difficulty and creativity. Being that there are so many categories included in the scoring, a person can understand why competitions are so intense. 

“ Cheerleading is a highly competitive sport and we train just like any other sport would beat other teams,” comments Julianna Carnucci, one of our varsity cheerleaders.

Cheerleading has many parallels to other sports, such as gymnastics and dance. All of those sports, cheerleading included, require the athletics to be in shape, precise, talented, and well-rehearsed. 

Physical exertion in cheerleading comes into play mostly in stunting. Stunting in cheerleading included lifting a person into the air, throwing them, and being able to properly catch them. It is very important that cheerleaders are very well-trained. That way they can all remain safe and prevent themselves from getting hurt. In 2012 a study was done by the American Academy of Pediatrics that said cheerleading “accounted for 65% of all direct catastrophic injuries to girl athletes at the high school level and 71% at the college level.” This goes to show that cheerleaders require a massive amount of practice in order to avoid injury. 

Jumping is also an important and necessary aspect of cheer that requires physical education and skill. Jumping requires flexibility, balance, and stamina. Cheer jumps put the jumper into an unnatural position which can really hurt someone if not done incorrectly. This means that saying cheerleading as a whole does not meet the requirements to be considered a sport, it is simply incorrect. 

Coach Victoria Moore shares, “ Imagine running for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Now imagine while running you have to cheer, tumble, jump and toss people into the air. This is what is expected of a competitive cheerleader. All out physical exertion for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Competitive cheerleading is a sport because it requires time, practice, and skill, and it can be dangerous. Cheerleaders push themselves every day just like any other athlete to hopefully gain a new skill and pray they don’t get hurt. Cheerleading competitions take place for teams to compete against each other and entertain the audience just like football, baseball, hockey, and so on.” 

There is so much more to cheerleading than standing on the sidelines and yelling. The sport requires intense physical education, a high level of skill, athleticism, and endless training.