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Is Cheerleading A Sport? Essay

924 words - 4 pages

Imagine an arena with bright lights, ESPN camera crews, screaming fans, and a huge trophy at stake. No, it’s not the Superbowl or the World Cup. It’s the NCA All-Star National Championship. This is where competitive cheerleaders step onto mats and perform a one to three minute routine. These routines include stunting, cheering, tumbling, dancing, and performing which accumulate to receive the highest score from the judges. Competitive cheerleaders perform in front of audiences and judges in hopes of receiving a first place title. In contrast, the traditional sideline cheerleaders do not compete, but instead support sports teams. Many individuals do not consider cheerleading a sport, because ...view middle of the document...

One must be in good physical shape and must possess dedication.
Secondly, competitive cheerleading is involved in several national competitions throughout the year. During these national competitions, such as the NCA All-Star National Championship, multiple cheer teams compete to win the first place trophy. It is clear that competitive cheerleaders take part in a very competitive event. ESPN broadcasts several national cheerleading competitions a year, including the UCA and UDA College Cheerleading and Dance Team Championship (“ESPN...”).
Thirdly, every sport must have a set of rules in order for the games or competitions to be fair. National cheerleading competitions have rule books, in which the judging of scores and other guidelines are followed. There is the “NCA Competition Rule Book for All-Star Teams” which states the eligibility policies, performance area, routine requirements, and judging panels. An example from the “NCA Competition Rule Book for All-Star Teams,” is that music is required during the entire routine, and a 2.0 penalty will be issued if music is not used for the entire cheerleading routine (7). This allows for the competitions to be fair and judged properly.
Finally, for an activity to be a sport, a winner must be declared, whether it is an individual or a team. In cheerleading competitions, winners are declared based on the quality of the performance and the ability to meet specific requirements noted in the rules. Judges award points for different aspects of a cheerleading routine which accumulate and the team with the most points at the end of the competition is awarded first place.
Critics argue against competitive cheering as a sport because of its scoring system, which is seen as subjective and unfair. A panel of qualified judges evaluate the competing teams, assign points according to difficulty and performance, and rank teams by a scoring system. All of the judges receive identical score sheets with specific...

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