Cheerleading: Is it a Sport?
Debate Rounds (3)
Imagine going to a football game. The football players are on the field or watching from the sidelines. But who else is there standing on the sidelines? Yes, there are the coaches, the trainers, the team managers and a couple other people. But there are also cheerleaders. Many people in the world do not consider cheerleading a sport, but by definition, cheerleading should be considered a sport. There are also many risks involved in cheerleading and it requires great athleticism. Cheerleading should be considered a sport because of the athleticism needed, the risks it has and it meets all criteria to be considered a sport.
By the definition of a sport, cheerleading fits it perfectly. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, a sport is "a contest or game in which people do certain physical activities according to a specific set of rules and compete against each other." (Webster 1297) Cheerleading competitions have time limits, mat and floor regulations, and squads compete against each other. All of which makes cheerleading fit under the definition Cheering at a competition may fit under the definition easily but cheering at a game is harder. On the sidelines, most persons that attend the game just hear the cheers but do not watch the cheerleaders. While yelling "Go Team," cheerleaders also perform a set of motions, jumps, tumbling, or stunts. It is a game in which people are doing physical activity and there are specific rules that need to be followed. Therefore, even cheering at a football or basketball game is considered a sport. Based on the definition, cheerleading is a sport, and every sport has multiple risks.
Due to the risks it has and the injuries that occur, cheerleading is just as risky as other sports. Cheerleading is, in fact, what "causes the largest number of catastrophic injuries among girls and young women." (Bernstein 1) In 2012, a study showed that 65% of catastrophic injuries for females were suffered by cheerleaders. Over "110 closed-head injuries, skull fractures and cervical spine injuries that resulted in permanent brain injury, paralysis, or death." (Bernstein 1) It is true that the number of injuries is going down but that is only because more and more people are beginning to recognize cheer as a sport. If more individuals classify it a sport, then more time and money can be spent on "improving training for coaches, changing rules and raising awareness of the sport"s dangers." (Bernstein 2) The more training and rules, the safer cheerleaders will be. When a sport contains so many risks, it should not surprise anyone with the amount of athleticism it takes to be able to keep up with everything that goes on.
When it comes to cheerleading, athleticism is key due to the amount of physical demand that is existent. Cheerleading requires a lot of time and most cheerleaders practice "12-14 hours per week." (Warner 1) Starting practices over the summer, cheerleaders work towards going to nationals and learn at least one routine from a professional choreographer. Working on multiple skills, "including jumps, tumbling, partner stunting, basket tosses, pyramids and dance," requires great athletic ability. (Warner 2) What everyone sees at a game is only a small portion of what cheerleading really is. The majority of cheerleading "cannot be demonstrated at games because of National Cheerleaders Association rules and safety concerns. Thus, fans only see basic cheers, a few minor stunts and some tumbling." (Warner 2) Cheerleading requires great effort on and off the field.
Due to the athleticism needed, the definition of a sport, and by the risks it has, cheerleading should be considered a sport. Cheerleading meets every requirement to be a sport. It also contains many risks and the need of athletic ability. Cheerleaders do more than just cheer on their school at sporting events. They support community events, practice hard, cheer through any weather conditions, power through injuries or any risks that are present and even though most do not consider cheerleading a sport, they still stand up and continue to do the sport they love. Cheerleaders are as strong and as tough as other athletes. It is time that everyone considers cheerleading a sport. Not just those who participate or care about cheerleading.
Bernstein, Lenny. "Cheerleading Accounts for More Than Half of 'Catastrophic' Injuries..." Washington Post 2013 sep 12: N.p. DB - SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://sks.sirs.com...;.
Purvey, Lee. "These Teens Are Full of Cheer." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette2013 aug 29: N.1 DB - SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 19 Nov. 2014. <http://sks.sirs.com...;.
Warner, Pete. "'It's Something They're Passionate About'" Bangor Daily News 2014 oct 29: N.p. DB - SIRS Issues Researcher. Web. 18 Nov. 2014. <http://sks.sirs.com...;.
Webster, Noah, William Allan Neilson, Thomas A. Knott and Paul W. Carhart. Webster"s New International Dictionary of the English Language: Utilizing All the Experience and Resources of More than One Hundred Years of Genuine Webster Dictionaries. Springfield, MA: G&C. Merriam, 1948. Print.
No, of course not! That'd be absurd, wouldn't it? Just like cheerleading, cheerleading competitions are sports, but cheerleading is not a sport. Why!? Based on the definition given by you, a sport would have to be at least either be a contest or a game. Based on the Internet, a game would actually have to be an activity that one engages in for amusement. Since you have mention that many deadly injuries could be taken place in this activity, will we still find it amusing? Other than that, cheerleading is also not a contest because as I have already explained earlier, cheerleading competitions are contest because it has at least two teams to compete against one another. However, in cheerleading, there will always be a team and a team cannot compete against itself. Therefore, like competitive eating, cheerleading competitions are sports. However, same as eating, its unlikely that cheerleading is a sport, because it is in fact more of a routine dedicated to lift other' spirit. For an activity to be clarify as sport, that activity has to be a game or competitive, as I have pointed out, cheerleading is NOT a sport. Just to be clear, the topic of our debate is 'Is cheerleading a sport?', not 'Is cheerleading competition a sport?'.
Therefore, as a conclusion for my side of this round, cheerleading does not fit the definition of sport, it is not any form of a game nor competitive, and it is obvious that cheerleading is not a sport:D
Waukee_Student forfeited this round.
Waukee_Student forfeited this round.
P.S. Pro has forfeited two rounds after I have posted my first argument.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
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