Cheerleading – and what it has evolved into – is on trial right now in a Connecticut courtroom. The debate revloves around a law suit brought on by the volleyball team at Quinnipiac University over the school’s decision to cut their team violated Title IX because of the resulting imbalance of athletic opportunities for women at the school. The university claims that new opportunities in competitive cheer balance out the numbers. So, what this is boiling down to is the question of Cheerleading being a competitive sport or not?
No – cheerleading should not be considered a competitive sport for Title IX purposes. Even though cheerleaders are performing more and more athletic moves, train like athletes and now have more competitive opportunities within their “sport”, the primary role of cheerleading at the high school and college level has traditionally been to cheer on and support the school’s athletic teams.
If competitive cheer is going to evolve into a “sport” of its own that basically combines the elements of dance, gymnastics and acrobatics, then they need to give it a new name. And there is a trend to that – it’s called Stunt and Tumble. And even if it develops into a new sport, should a “new” sport replace a well establish sport in a college sport line up? I don’t think so. Even Cheerleading expert Jeff Webb agrees that cheerleading should not be considered a competitive sport for Title IX purposes.
So, what are your thoughts? Competitive sport or NOT?