The Instigator
koppime
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
DoctorDeku
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

Is cheerleading a sport?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
DoctorDeku
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/15/2013 Category: Sports
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,079 times Debate No: 29233
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (3)

 

koppime

Con

I am not talking about competition cheerleading, just basic sideline cheering. I do not believe it is a sport. It does take a lot of athletic ability, but there is no competition, and no winner. If it was a sport they wouldn't be on the sidelines cheering on people playing sports.
DoctorDeku

Pro

Thanks to Con for instigating this debate!

I will argue that sideline cheerleading is indeed a sport. First we must confront a qualified definition of the word 'sport' to know exactly what we're talking about here. According to Princeton Wordnet[1], a sport is "an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition."
[1] http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu...

This definition can be broken down into three parts: An active diversion -- requiring physical exertion -- and competition. These three divisions of this definition shall be my arguments in this debate

First; An active diversion...
My opponent has already agree that cheerleading takes quite a bit of athletic skill, and for anyone who has ever watched a cheerleader, you'll agree it's not easy. A 145 pound person will burn on average 300-500 calories an hour while cheerleading[2]. Obviously the more you weight the more calories you'll burn as well, so there's no dispute as t whether cheerleading is an active diversion.
[2] http://tinyurl.com...

So,

Second; ...requiring physical exertion...
I could have honestly just grouped the first two points of this definition together, but I'd rather not risk dropping an argument due to laziness. Simply put I've already shown that cheerleading takes some energy, but the expansion here should be that the energy it takes comes from the physical exertion of the cheerleaders. They aren't losing those calories from drinking slim quick.

Now,

Finally: ...and competition.
My opponent has preempted competitive cheerleading from the scope of this debate, so that's not going to be what I intend to argue. I make the point to say this so that my opponent doesn't come back later and try to claim there are no competitions for cheerleaders.

Instead my argument will follow the following logical syllogisms-
a. They compete with their sports team,
Major Premise: If the cheerleaders are supporting a team, they are a part of that team.
Minor Premise: The team they they are supporting is in some manner of competition while they are cheering.
Conclusion: Therefore the cheerleaders are competing against

b. They compete against the opposing team's cheerleaders,
Major Premise: If one team has cheerleaders, it stands to reason the other will as well.
Minor Premise: One squad of cheerleaders will not want to be out done by the others.
Conclusion: The cheer team will be competitive in their cheering to ensure they are not out done

c. They compete among themselves,
Major Premise: There are different ranks among cheerleaders in a given squad.
Minor Premise: It is unavoidable that one more cheerleaders will want to be the head cheerleader.
Conclusion: Because they are all working towards being the head cheerleader, they must compete against one another.

In Conclusion,
I have shown how sideline cheerleading fulfills every prong of a competitive sport.
Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 1
koppime

Con

Hello, and thank-you for joining me! I have read your 1st two reasons and I do agree with them, so I will only be addressing your third reason. Of course I can't consider cheerleading a sport quite yet because it only matches part of the definition of sport. It still is not competitive (in my perspective).

a. You state that "If the cheerleaders are supporting a team, they are a part of that team.". Does this means if I am supporting my brother at his football game I am part of the team, and am now competing in a sport? No.

b. I don't see two cheerleading teams on different sides of a gridiron as competing. The cheerleaders are cheering FOR the team and to the audience, not to the other teams cheerleaders, who probably can't even see them (I know I can't.)
A competition is a contest for some prize, honor, or advantage. (According to Dictionary.com) There is no prize for cheering on the team as a cheerleader, just as there is no prize for someone in the audience to cheer on the team.
There is no honor, or advantage. They are cheering in hopes to pump up the team and audience, and that is it. Just as the girls on the other side of the gridiron are. Also, Cheerleaders have certain cheers for different things, if their team is losing they have cheers for that, if their team scores a touchdown there is a cheer for that. So you saying a cheerleader is trying to out do a cheerleader (that they cant see) doesn't make sense. The cheerleaders just do the cheers appropriate for the game. They aren't going to cheer about winning if their team is losing 19-3.

c. There are ranks in many different activities that are also not sports. I will simply use school for example. There is always someone who has the highest grade, everyone is working to be the best. That doesn't make school a competition. People are ranked by level of skill and also physical features, and is not a competition. If you weigh 200 pounds you aren't a flyer, you are a base. If you are the shortest girl in the group you wont be head cheerleader. If you can not do a back handspring you will not be one of the tumblers. There is no competition there. It is what it is, and you get put where you fit. Just like a puzzle. Think of theatre. There are main characters, but if the main character is a 20 year old man I would not audition for that part because I am merely a 14 year old girl. That is also not a competition.
I end my portion of this round by saying there is no competition in cheerleading, therefore it is not a sport. Thank-you!

Vote Con!

The
DoctorDeku

Pro

Thanks for your responses!

I ask the audience to take note that my opponent has agreed to my first two argument, so all that is left is to show that sideline cheerleading contains a competitive element.

That said I will now continue on to defend the one argument my opponent did attack.

First; Cheerleaders Compete with their Sports Team-
I'm sure your brother is grateful that you come to his games and support him as he plays football -- however there is a difference between you and anyone else in the stands. The cheerleaders came to the game with the football team as a part of their squad; they play a role in boosting moral unlink any member of the audience, and even have a portion of the game where they cheer on the field in front of everyone else.

Furthermore, cheerleaders are a legitimate element to any sporting event. They are a part of the sporting event's team which cannot be said of the audience.

Second; Cheerleaders compete against the opposing team's cheerleaders-
I don't meant to be rude when I say this, but it really doesn't matter what you *see* cheerleaders as. If you cannot back up your claims with solid logical arguments then your analysis of your opinion doesn't matter.

Cheerleaders are athletes just as the boys on the football field are. They want to do their best when out on the football field, and do not wish to be outdone by the opposing team's cheerleaders. Despite the fact that my opponent is unable to see the other teams cheerleaders, doesn't mean that the two cheer squads cannot see one another.

Furthermore my opponent fails to realize that professional sports have cheerleaders as well as high school and college levels[3]. Even if the cheer squads on a high school level don't see one another, professional cheerleaders certainly do. They have entire shows dedicated to their practice and work, and they do not wish to be outdone by another squad.
[3]http://www.dallascowboyscheerleaders.com...

Finally my opponent offers a new definition for the term competition which must be rejected for a number of reasons.
a. Because not all recognized competitions have prizes honors or advantages associated with them. A perfect example would be a game of chess with a friend; it meets none of the aforementioned standards, but is certainly a competition.
b. Professional cheerleaders such as the Dallas cowboys do indeed have honor and advantage to gain from doing well in their cheerleading.
c. my opponent fails to provide this definition of competition in the opening round, and it is abuse to reject my prior established arguments because of a definition.

Third; Cheerleaders compete among themselves-
While I agree that just about any organization has ranks and competition not all of them are "an active diversion requiring physical exertion...", two things that Con has already agreed apply to cheerleading. So saying that it doesn't matter that cheerleaders compete among themselves to get top honors on their squad simply rejects my argument when it is firmly grounded logically.

I do not need to prove that all persons are capable of vying for the position of head cheerleader, only that it is possible for multiple people to want that head position. When there is more than one cheerleader who wishes to become head cheerleaders and they work against each other to get that position, then those two cheerleaders are competing against one another.

Again I reference the example of the Dallas cowboys who not only compete against one another for the spot of head cheerleader, but must compete against one another to even be on the squad.

Trying out to be on a cheer squad isn't unique to just professional cheerleaders either, to get on a squad one must try out and make the cut following auditions. So even in that sense cheerleading is a competition.

In conclusion,
My opponent has made several flawed assumptions which unfairly limit my ground. She rejects certain argumentative premises I provide to warrant a vote for the Pro and she unjustly discounts the my third argument related to competition as irrelevant when it fits he glove of competition.

I have therefore show, that cheerleading is "an active diversion requiring physical exertion and competition."

Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 2
koppime

Con

koppime forfeited this round.
DoctorDeku

Pro

:( Aw man. I was enjoying this debate.
Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by DoctorDeku 1 year ago
DoctorDeku
Not a problem :-). There's nothing wrong with speaking about the debate in the comments, but outright making arguments is frowned upon.
Posted by Sharkdad 1 year ago
Sharkdad
My apologies. I thought the debate was primarily between a pro and con individual so I was just commenting with amplifying information. I will comment in the main forum in the future.
Posted by koppime 1 year ago
koppime
Great! :)
Posted by DoctorDeku 1 year ago
DoctorDeku
It's alright :-).
I'll have my round 2 posted later on tonight.
Posted by koppime 1 year ago
koppime
DoctorDeku, you're right, but its my fault for continuing the argument. I do apologize.
Posted by koppime 1 year ago
koppime
Please correct me if I am wrong, but those cheerleaders did not appear to be on the sidelines of a game, and if they aren't then it is different than what we are discussing which is cheerleaders that cheer only on the sidelines of sporting events, without going to any competition.
Posted by DoctorDeku 1 year ago
DoctorDeku
Sharkdad, it is considered very ad debate etiquette to argue in the comments section.
Posted by Sharkdad 1 year ago
Sharkdad
Sideline cheer competitions have a strict format with a time limit to accomplish the activities you would normally see during a game: tumbling, building skills (referred as stunts and pyramids), tosses, a dance and a yell leading section. They get scored both in their level of skill and the amount they lead the crowd with the cheer.

Here is the multiple national champion University of Kentucky cheer squad at 2009 college nationals as an example. http://youtu.be...
Posted by koppime 1 year ago
koppime
Thanks a bunch for commenting. I find your input very interesting, would you please elaborate how exactly sideline cheerleaders are competing?
Posted by Sharkdad 1 year ago
Sharkdad
It is interesting you both agree on the first two points.

The fact about point #3 is there there in fact cheer competitions for sideline cheerleaders. To properly define this ill outline a few assumptions.

1. Competitive cheer is the type of Cheerleading where the team exists solely to compete. There are some competitive cheer teams at schools, however the majority of the purely competitive teams exist in what is called All Star Cheerleading programs run from commercial gyms outside of any school system. This would basically be the team that could not be included per the con argument stipulations.

2. A sideline cheer team is a team that exists to cheer in support of another team. These teams are what most consider a "traditional" Cheerleading team as they in fact lead a crowd to help support the institution sport team to victory. By "sport" definitions and the 1st round of debate, a sideline cheer squad does not compete in any form.

The part that is mis-represented in both arguments is that there is in fact competition for sideline cheer squads. The format included some athletic skills and in fact does compete the the teams' abilities to lead crowds in direct completions format.

In conclusion, not all sideline cheer teams compete, however those that do are by both arguments engaging in sport.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by rross 1 year ago
rross
koppimeDoctorDekuTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 1 year ago
1Devilsadvocate
koppimeDoctorDekuTied
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Reasons for voting decision: F.F.
Vote Placed by tmar19652 1 year ago
tmar19652
koppimeDoctorDekuTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Ff