Is Cheer A Real Sport?

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Is Cheer A Real Sport?

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If you ask many people if cheer is a sport, you will quickly recognize the debate is real. While some think cheer is a sport, many will disagree, and some? They just don’t care.

Ms. Hunter, current math teacher at Hall, a previous cheer-leading coach, says that at first cheer may just look like a sport that supports another. For instance “You lump together the ‘creative sports’, where they are graded on a rubric so it’s about the artistry, the technical side of what is done and how you perform compared to others… Unlike football or basketball because there’s no winner or loser [in cheer & creative sports], they’re not seen as a sport.”

So what officially classifies something as a sport? According to the Oxford dictionary, a sport is: “Any activity in which there is competition against others that involves physical exertion.” Not only is there physical exertion in cheer, there is also massive competition against other cheer teams at the national level.

There is a lot of cardio, muscle and technique that go into cheer. Not many Hall students know that Hall’s own cheer team won the national championship in 2014, but some do have knowledge that some popular sports last championship was won even further back than five years ago.

The issue? Visibility. Mr. Franklin, a coach and teacher at Hall says: “I think they don’t realize how much work they put in and how the tumbling and all that is really complicated and hard to do… it’s not just what they do at basketball games.”

So is cheer a sport? According to the United States Sports Academy, cheer-leading was ranked first for catastrophic injuries in women’s sports and ranked second in comparison to all sports. Cheerleaders are subject to sprains, broken bones, and even concussions. “Cheerleader falls from gymnastic-type stunts have been reported to have a greater impact than being tackled by a professional football player.”

Under the National Council on Strength & Fitness platform, competitive cheer-leading is recognized as a varsity sport. Therefore it can be governed by same safety regulations as gymnastics, which people consider a sport.

Cheer-leading is considered a sport because it takes tons of training and preparation just like basketball,football, or even soccer. One mess up can put someone in the hospital just like any other sport.  Ms. Hunter said “If one person gets sick or injured an entire group is stunned, you rely on one another, everyone is used all the time.” This is like the linemen in football. If one person isn’t doing their job a person will get through and tackle the quarterback.

Why do people think cheer isn’t a sport? Ms.Hunter says “You lump together the creative sports, where they are graded on a rubric so it’s about the artistry and the technical side of what is done and how you perform compared to others. Any sport where there are judges, some take issue to that and believe because there is a judge, it’s not an actual sport. Unlike football or basketball  Because there’s no win or lose(victors), its not seen as a sport.” This being said if any sport with a judge isn’t a sport then why is Taekwondo, Boxing, Wrestling, and Weightlifting considered sports in the Olympics? All these sports have judges in the Olympics.  

So do you consider cheer a sport? Whether you do or not, it is no secret that cheerleaders work extremely hard as a team to excel at what they do.