Is Cheerleading a Sport?


Is cheerleading a sport? This is a question that many people have different opinions on. Most people have different answers depending on what type of cheerleading is being discussed. Here at Lewis Cass we have a cheer program, but they don’t compete. Usually when we think of sports we think of teams and individuals that compete against one another. A sport is mainly an activity that involves physical exertion, and usually involves an individual or team that competes against another or others. I think that the Lewis Cass cheerleaders could be considered athletes in some form when you really look into it. 

There are two different types of cheerleading that come to mind when people are questioning if cheerleading is a sport. These types of cheerleading are competitive cheer, and sideline cheerleading. Competitive cheerleading is where a group of cheerleaders perform a two minute and thirty second routine. These routines involve stunting, tumbling, jumping, and dancing. Sideline cheerleading is where cheerleaders engage with the fans, and keep the spirits high at a sports game. When looking at these two different types of cheerleading I would consider the elements of competitive cheer physical activities, but I would not consider the elements of sideline cheer physical activities.

The Lewis Cass cheerleading program I would say is mainly sideline cheer, but also involves many elements that competitive cheerleading involves. The cheerleaders here at Lewis Cass do not participate in any competitions, but mainly focus on cheering on the football team, and the basketball teams. During football season the girls focus on getting the crowd pumped up, and cheering on the team. Even though they do not stunt or tumble during football games, due to the unpredictable temperatures, they work on stunting, tumbling, and jumping all year long at their practices. During basketball season the cheerleaders stunt, tumble, jump, and dance for band dances. They stunt multiple times during the basketball games. They stunt for the starting lineup, between quarters, and during full time outs. They also jump and tumble occasionally. The girls also work very hard to prepare for their yearly halftime show. The halftime show is a routine just like the competitive cheerleaders compete. The halftime show not only involves stunting, tumbling, jumping, and dancing. It also includes cheers and chants. 

Looking back on the definition of a sport you can see why I think that Lewis Cass cheerleading could be considered a sport. When looking at the things that Lewis Cass cheer does you can see that some of the elements involve lots of physical exertion. Stunting involves a lot of effort and practice. There are tons of techniques that go into stunts. To be able to get new stunts you have to put in lots of practice, and keep going until it is perfected. To get tumbling skills you have to practice very hard. Tumbling requires a bunch of your body strength to be able to do, so you physically exert yourself a bunch while doing it. Since the cheerleaders at Cass only tumble during basketball season they have to tumble on the hardwood basketball floors as well. This can hurt sometimes from flipping your body on such a hard surface. Both stunting and tumbling require lots of physical exertion. 

Overall I would say that Lewis Cass cheerleaders could be considered athletes depending on what season you are looking at. It all just depends on what you think makes an activity a sport. After looking into it I personally would not consider football season cheer a sport, but I would consider basketball season cheerleading a sport. The cheerleaders definitely train throughout the year as a sport I would say.  Although they don’t compete they still work hard on getting new stuff to show at games and perfect all that they do to entertain the fans.