Cheerleading: Is It A Sport or Not?


What are the first few ideas that enter your mind when you hear or think of the term ‘cheerleading’? Is it the loud cheers on the sidelines of all the football and basketball games? Is it the pom-poms? the megaphone? Or is it the bows that sit on top of the girls’ heads? I can assume that’s what it is because not many people have full background knowledge on what cheerleading is. People judge cheerleading and claim it to not be a sport because they’re only looking at it from an outward perspective rather than understanding what really occurs in the activity. What needs to be philosophically understood about this topic is ‘why isn’t cheerleading claimed as a sport?’ When people think of sports, they primarily think of sports such as football, basketball, soccer, or track. There are other activities that can be classified as a sport but society doesn’t look at it that way. For example, are swimming and gymnastics considered sports? What needs to be understood is if cheerleading isn’t considered a sport due to the fact that it is dominantly females involved. Being as though it is dominantly females, is it not considered a sport because females are known more for their gentle femininity rather than having the capability of being strong?

Areas of Philosophy:
The areas of philosophy that this idea touches on is logic because cheerleading is being generally defined. This topic also touches on aesthetics because there will be defining of what is ideally a sport as opposed to performing arts because cheerleading can be considered as that as well. The area of philosophy, politics, comes into play when analyzing the role that society plays in all of this and how their opinions on this idea affects why it needs to be philosophically understood. Lastly, phenomenology is involved because what it is like to be involved in an athletic endeavor will be examined.

What makes me an expert on the topic is that I am a cheerleader myself and have been for the past twelve years of my life. The significance of this is that it makes me very well- rounded and fully knowledged on the ins and outs of cheerleading. I understand the rules, the scorings, the levels, and all the illegalities of the sport. The upside to me being an expert on this topic is that not only am I a cheerleader, but I am an all-star cheerleader so I know more about cheerleading than someone who may have only been exposed to school cheerleading or cheering for another sport. Alot goes into cheerleading, way more than people think and me experiencing the work that is always put in allows me to understand why cheerleading shouldn’t be questioned on if it is a sport or not.

Significance in Relating:
What makes this topic so important and meaningful to me is being able to educate others on the real world of cheerleading and what it is really about. I have a passion for cheerleading and I tend to fall victim of being someone who “isn’t playing a sport” when I participate in cheerleading all year round. It is quite bothersome when people(males typically) don’t see cheerleading as a sport since it consists of mostly females and I say mostly because believe it or not, there are males who do cheer. So really, what makes cheerleading not a sport? The hard work put in and the conditioning of constant practices that goes unnoticed is almost equivalent to the amount of work a basketball player or track runner would put in on a daily.