The first question that should be asked is what is the definition of a sport? It seems that the definition of a sport varies depending on who you ask. However, many cheerleaders and cheer organizations believe that cheerleading is absolutely a sport and are disappointed that it is not recognized as a collegiate sport through the NCAA. In the article, a cheerleading coach notes that, under Title IX and the NCAA, cheerleading is not considered a sport because it does not have established “annual contests”; however, several cheerleading squads do go to competitions throughout the year to compete.
While reading this article and watching the video, I was a surprised that the NCAA does not consider cheerleading as a sport. Many people may think that cheerleading is not challenging enough to be considered a sport, however, after watching the video, I can assure you cheerleading seems extremely challenging and requires a great deal of skill. I have played many sports while growing up, and I certainly do not have the flexibility, rhythm or the strength to perform these intense routines and stunts.
My question is, is cheerleading not considered an NCAA sport because it is a bit different than current sports? There are so many athletic variations between all of the sports and I believe that cheerleading should not be excluded from the list NCAA sports. From diving, to golf, to football, to crew, each of these sports do not require many of the same skills and they are all considered sports at the collegiate level. I think it is time to recognize cheerleading as a sport and understand what cheerleading has become and the potential it has if it were considered an NCAA sport.