Cheerleading Not A Sport? Debate Lands In Court

June 23rd, 2010 - 7:59 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
cheerleaderJune 23, (THAINDIAN NEWS) A federal judge has been entrusted with the decision that will determine whether cheerleading is a sport or not. The question arose after a University in Connecticut dropped its volleyball side for a competitive cheerleading team.

The volleyball team in turn sued the university and now the case is in court. An expert in cheerleading has testified that making cheerleading a competitive sport would spoil the essence of ‘classical sideline cheerleading’.

Jeff Webb the CEO of Varsity Spirit (a cheerleading organization) said in court that cheerleading as much a sport as chess. The decision of the court in Connecticut is being watched by several competitive cheerleading teams across the universities of America, especially the University of Oregon. The federal judge will not only decide whether cheerleading is a competitive sport or not but also whether the University in Connecticut is manipulating the size of their rosters to accommodate the standards for gender equity.

Students however have given a mixed response to the debate. Some have called equivalent to any sport that requires training, practice, a coach and competitions. Some argue that it is unfair to other sports if cheerleading is called a sport as well.

Currently the NCAA does not recognize cheerleading as a competitive sport. As for the university in Connecticut cheerleading would be a more cost effective option than volleyball and that would mean more women can participate without putting much financial strain on the university.

Varsity Spirit has suggested a solution that will make cheerleading a completely different discipline whose sole focus is competition. CEO Jeff Webb said that the true values and function of cheerleading should be retained.

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