Tasha's Paper

January 18, 2009

Why is cheerleading a Sport?

By: Natasha Hemmelrick

When people hear the word cheerleading, they automatically think of girls on the sidelines of real “sports.” While in the dictionary the definition of a “sport” is a particular game or physical activity with set rules. No one thinks of cheerleading as being a real sport when it has been brought up to be the most intense and dangerous sport to high school girls and college women.

“High school cheerleading accounted for 65.1 percent of all catastrophic sports injuries among high school females over the past 25 years,” states LiveScience Staff in their article Girls’ Most Dangerous Sport: Cheerleading, 2008. With this high percentage for women’s sports this shows that cheerleading has the highest injury rate. Not all people think this is true but stated in the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, “cheerleading is the No.-1 cause of serious sports injuries to women.” Most injuries occur at younger ages from five to eighteen, which has “jumped from10, 900 to 22,900 in 2002, according to research publishes in the journal Pediatrics in 2006.”

There are two types of cheerleading. There is the kind that sits on the sidelines and “supports” the team that is out playing, and there is the kind that lives for the sport and compete to be the best, just like a real sport would. The goal in other sports is to be the best. Points are given to the team with the most unique, creative routine, difficulty, and ability to stay within the lines of the mat. “Competitive cheerleading includes intense physical activity. Cheerleaders must learn to tumble. They perform standing back flips, round flip-flops and full layout twists. These skills are not easy.” States Dallas Cook in is cheerleading a sport? In competitive cheerleading you are able to see the difficulty dealing with the stunts and flips. Flexibility is one of the main requirements for cheerleaders. If you are not very flexible things come a lot harder for completion cheerleaders.

Many rules follow with being a cheerleader. Not only for competitive cheerleading, but even only being on the sidelines of that one sport you are also expected to follow these rules. “The whole routine has to be completed in less than three minutes and 15 seconds and the cheerleaders are required to stay within a certain area.” Says Renee R. in Cheerleading is a Sport. Cheerleading isn’t a very hard sport to follow when it comes to the rules. Not only in competitive cheerleading but also in cheerleading for another sport you have many of the same rules. Some of these include keeping your hair out of your face; nails must not be able to be seen over the front of your finger tips, and no jewelry. These are only a few examples of why cheerleading is a sport, when it comes to the definition in the dictionary.

People think that cheerleading only pertains to women, well in reality there are almost as many guys and men cheering as there are girls in high school and women in college. Men aren’t known for their cheering but for their basket tosses, ability to hold a woman in the air with one hand, and to throw and catch a woman. Males are a very important role in competitive cheerleading.

For those who still choose to believe that cheerleading is not a real sport, there are many others who would like to argue with that. There are many factors that make cheerleading like any other sport out there. We have competitions to see who the best is and we train very hard. Work-outs are very important when it comes to being able to lift another body in the air and to throw them. People can say what they want about cheerleading only pertaining to the sidelines, but in reality cheerleading is a sport that takes a lot of time, preparation, memorization, perfection, and concentration.

http://graphic.pepperdline.edu/sports/2006/2006-09-28-cheerI.htm
http://www.teenink.com/Poetry/article.php?link=past/2006/January/19759.xml
http://www.usatoday.com/sports/_stories/2002-04-26-cheerleading-lover.htm
http://www.livescience.come/health/08081/-cheerleading-injuries.html

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