The Most Dangerous “Sport” In the US

12 December 2018

A sport is defined by Google as, “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment” (Google). When you think of a sport, what comes to mind? To some, football or soccer and to others, basketball or baseball, but what about cheerleading? Is cheerleading a sport? When the word “cheerleading” is mentioned, people tend to picture a blonde with her hair done flawlessly and in a little cheer uniform cheering for the football team. Overlook that archetype because the cheer world has taken a huge turn around. Cheerleaders no longer exist to cheer on teams, but to cheer on themselves.

Cheer gyms and cheer teams these days travel all-around the United States to compete in national championships. Every cheer gym or team has a designer that makes their uniforms. “Varsity Spirit, largest of about 50 companies catering [at cheerleading events], had revenue approaching $150 million [in 2002]” (Brady). Most teams use Varsity and the company has shoes, bows, uniforms, and cheer accessories that you can either buy online or at cheer competitions. There will never be a time where teams will have the same uniform as another. With other designers, such as Varsity, they have all different styles of designs, patterns or materials that can be used to make each uniform. Cheer uniforms are certainly not cheap and rarely do you see a uniform less than $45.00. Uniforms can range from $50.00 to at most $400.00 but that is not including all the accessories needed to make the whole uniform; Shoes usually cost about $50.00 to about $100.00, Spanks, the colored shorts that go underneath the skirt, cost about $10, Bows cost about $20.00 to about $40.00 (Varsity). Varsity will continue to grow with all these moms and dads becoming parents like you’ve seen on “Toddlers and Tiara’s”.

The Most Dangerous “Sport” In the US Essay Example

Cheerleading is usually for ages from about 5 to 18 years old with different age groups and levels depending on the skills of the individuals and the squad as a whole. Usatoday.com states, “There are about 3 million cheerleaders in the USA” and “there are about 1,500 All Star programs in the USA operating in 613 gyms” (Brady). With so many kids, teens, and adults who cheer and coach, cheerleading continues to grow and become more dangerous. For college students, cheerleading is at a whole new level and colleges can take cheerleading to the extreme. Teams are able to stack cheerleaders upon eachother to create a stunt called a pyramid. The pyramid can be as tall as 6 people high (Varsity). LifeScience staff states “For high school girls and college women, cheerleading is far more dangerous than any other sport” and with injuries in the United States from ages 5 to 18 have been to the hospital and injuries have “jumped from 10,900 in 1990 to 22,900 in 2002, according to research published in the journal Pediatrics in 2006” (LiveScience Staff). With so many injuries occurring, cheerleaders are putting their lives at risk, but when you truly love something, you would continue to do it no matter what happens. For the collegiate level of cheerleading, it has an extreme occasion of injuries. Most cheerleaders will jump, stunt, and tumble whenever, wherever because they absolutely love the sport and will cheer at any moment that they can. University cheer squads will typically have half the cheerleaders boys and the other half the cheerleaders girls. The guys lift the girls and do elite stunts that are dangerous to anyone that is involved in the stunt. Cheerleaders love cheering so much that their life consists of doing it at all times. Everyone wants to be the flyer and be on top of the stunt, but not everyone can do that.
There is a huge debate about cheerleading being called a “sport”.Teams such as gymnastics and dance reguire just about the same exact amount of people to join and a lot of muscle to hit each event or dance the right way. In order for a team to be called a “team”, the group needs to meet the following sport regulations:
Squad Definition – A group of students playing together against another group of students is a squad. A student is considered a member of a squad when the student is included on a school’s eligibility list for that sport [, or gym that sponsors the team].

Uniform Requirements – Uniforms worn by an individual or team representing a member school must comply with the adopted rulebook requirements for the activity.

Number of High School Squad- Each high school may field no more than one (1) Varsity and one (1) Junior Varsity squad per sport. The limitation of contests applies to each squad and to each player (Chism).
Cheerleading requires both guys and girls to have a lot, the ability to dance, and to have tumbling skills. There are stunts that they perform that “challenge” the body. AACCA, American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Cdministrators, is a safety associations have set guidelines and rules as to show coaches how to perform safe cheerleading skills. The association shows safe ways to do jumps, tumbling, and stunts. Cheerleaders learn best from their coaches so the AACCA helps the coaches to that. “In the past, cheerleading teams were able to get along with the support of a coach that did not need to have experience in cheerleading.” In today’s world, the coach needs to have experience and background with cheerleading. The coaches of these cheer teams and cheerleaders have to be trained at events that give “expert coaching in all areas of cheerleading. Some states are now formally recognizing cheerleaders as student athletes, which provide opportunities for academic honors and even exposure under the athletic tragic insurance policy carried by the school. They are allowing rational participation in competitive events. State activities and athletic associations are working together with state cheerleading coaches to provide training in safety and the day-to-day program development needed to continue the safe participation in cheerleading” (AACCA.org). With cheerleading rules and regulations changing year after year to update and to keep cheerleaders safe, coaches are able to protect their teams and also coach them with new ways to tumble, stunt, and jump.

Since cheerleading is now moving up and becoming well known, schools and colleges are now considering it to be a sport. Once people see the background and what it takes to be a cheerleader, they tend to change their point of view on it. The sport of cheerleading now exists for the cheerleaders to cheer on themselves.

Works Cited
AACCA.org – Cheerleading as a Sport.” AACCA.org – Cheerleading as a Sport. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.
Brady, Erik. “Cheerleading in the USA: A sport and an industry.” USA TODAY. usatoday.com, 2003. Web. 9 Oct. 2014.
Chism, Nancy Van Note. “Teaching Awards: What Do They Award?” The Journal of Higher Education 77.4 (2006): 589-617. Wiaa.om. Wiaa.com. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.
“Google.” Google. Google, n.d. Web. 10 Oct. 2014.
Live Science Staff. “Girls’ Most Dangerous Sport: Cheerleading.” LiveScience. TechMedia Network, 11 Aug. 2008. Web. 9 Oct. 2014.
Shields, Brenda J., and Gary A. Smith. “Cheerleading-Related Injuries In The United States: A Prospective Surveillance Study.” Journal Of Athletic Training (National Athletic Trainers’ Association) 44.6 (2009): 567-577. Academic Search Complete. Web. 9 Oct. 2014.
“The Official Site – Varsity.com – We Are Cheerleading.” The Official Site – Varsity.com – We Are Cheerleading. N.p., n.d. Web. 9 Oct. 2014.

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