Is Cheer a sport?

Cheer is a physical activity such as dancing and tumbling and physical stunting. Cheer is not officially considered as a sport because this activity is for entertainment and motivation of a crowd and sports team not as a competition against an opponent.

Why cheer is not considered as a sport?

  1. Sport is a physical activity which involves driving or pushing a mass through space or overcoming the resistance of mass therefore cheer is not considered as a sport.

  2. It is a competition against or with an opponent but cheer is not for competition, it is for an entertainment.

  3. For sports rules are applied that define the time, space, and purpose of the contest and the conditions under which a winner is declared but not in the case of cheer.

  4. Primary purpose of the sport is competition or comparison of the relative skills of the participants but cheer is for the motivation of crowd.

History of cheer:

Thomas Peebler brought together six guys to lead a yell on the sidelines in front of the student body at a Princeton University football game in 1870 so some said Thomas Peebler invented cheer.

In 1898 when a Johnny Campbell got so excited that he jumped out in front of the crowd so some thinks that it was Johnny Campbell who invented cheer.

After the first cheer fraternity, in 1900 Gamma Sigma, was organized the cheer megaphone became widely used and again these cheer squads consisted of men. In 1920’s women became more active in cheer and in the 1940 when many men went to war, women became the dominant participants in the cheer sport.

Why Cheer is so dangerous?

Cheer is at 16th number in a list of dangerous sports because of the highest numbers of injuries. Cheer is dangerous for females due to the risk of concussions and catastrophic injuries which is the cause of long term medical issues and permanent disabilities or a shorter lifespan. As cheer is still not considered as a sport so cheer players doesn’t follow the safety regulations of sports and which increases theInjuries rate.

There are some injuries related to cheer:

a. Concussion:

Concussion on cheer squad is more than football or other games. While doing stunt they are at a highest risk of concussion because flyers or those at the top of stunt may fall on others or dropped. Concussion causes long term problems for cheer players.
They must wait for complete healing of injury and than return to play.

b. Knee injuries

Cheer players when jumping or tumbling land down from a pyramid put stress on knees which causes strain or tear in the ligament and take 6 months to 1 year for healing, minor sprain can heal in 4 months. These injuries sometime cause long term affects.

c. Wrist injuries

When cheer player falls during stunt they want to protect their head by using their hand which causes some serious damages like breaking, dislocating or sprain in wrist. Healing may take weeks to months depends on the injury.

d. Ankle injuries

Practicing routine of running, jumping and flipping results in the stress on ankles which causes sprain or breaks specially in young children’s bone as their bone not fully grow. It may take six weeks for healing while some serious injuries need surgeries and take months for healing.

Prevention of cheer injuries

  1. Stretch all muscles for 30 seconds before every practice and performance repeat after every performance, it cools muscles and increase flexibility.

  2. Don’t perform tumbling activities every day, to prevent injuries.

  3. Training should include dynamic and stationary activities until you can successfully balance on unstable surfaces.

  4. Trained by only certified coach, who should know about all the proper training techniques.

5)Learn all the athletic positions, balanced position and how to land with shoulders over the knees and knees over the toe.

Sign and symptoms of injuries

a. Feeling of pain during activity.
b. Soreness of muscles
c. Swelling and pain in joints
d. Deforming
e. Tingling and numbness
f. Extremely hot or cold skin
g. Unable to bear weight
h. Unable to move
i. Tenderness over a bone
j. Bruising, swelling or discoloration

Main elements of cheer:

Main elements of cheer are jumping, dancing, stunt sequence, pyramid sequence, standing tumbling and running tumbling.

1) Jumping

Important and necessary element of cheer is jumping that requires physical exertion and skill, flexibility, balance and stamina. Jumpers put their body in unnatural positions which take a toll on the athlete if done incorrectly. Require repetition and practice to perfect the motions, and make them look sharp for competition. Jumping consists of a toe touch, pike and a front hurdler.

2) Stunting

Stunting is lifting a person into the air, throwing them and being able to properly catch them. It is extremely crucial that cheer players are properly trained, that way they can all remain safe and prevent themselves from getting injuries. Stunting makes cheer unique, compared to gymnastics and dance. Cheer involves stunting but other sports not. 2 stunting combos are, a pyramid, tosses, and usually a stunt in the opening and during tumbling. Stunt sequence is often used to show the flexibility of flyers with one-leg stunts like bow and arrows and spikes.

3) Tumbling

Tumbling requires a lot of leg power and upper body strength so it is very tiring. There is tumbling in jumps, the actual tumbling section, the opening and sometimes when there is an extra person during stunts or dance.

4) Dancing

Dancing lasts for about 30 seconds, it is fast and upbeat and it is everyone’s favorite it should be uniform, exciting and synchronized and it will be full of energy.

Purpose of cheer team

  1. Cheer team build connection between fans in a crowd and a sports team or athletes. Morale of the player increases because of the energy of the crowd.

  2. During sports week in a School, cheer team raise the spirit of students by planning rallies, decorating hall with banners and support the sport team.

  3. Being an ambassador cheer team spread spirit and share experiences of being leaders.

  4. Cheer team lead the game until the end. They boost the excitement of the game.

Advantages of Cheer:

  1. Cheer build strength because it is a full body workout specially lower body and shoulders.

  2. Dancing, jumping and stunting require a big stamina to smile throughout the game.

  3. It will develop flexibility which will be helpful in improving jumping and high kick.

  4. Cheer is helpful in improving leadership skills.

  5. Helpful in building confidence.

  6. Helpful in boosting good mode.

Why cheer should be considered as a sport?

  1. Cheer competition includes intense physical activity. They learn to tumble, perform standing back flips, round flip-flops and full layout twists which are not easy.

  2. Competitive cheer have rules and regulations too just as football and basketball.

  3. Goals of cheer is same as other sports like points are awarded for techniques, sharpness and difficulty and creativity.

  4. Cheer causes serious injuries than other sports.

  5. It is very intense game and require balance, coordination and flexibility.

Cheer is definitely a sport based on it’s requirements of skill, balance, coordination and flexibility as compare to other sports.

Cheer as a hardest sport:

  1. There is a high risk of injuries including broken bones, being paralyzed, permanent disabilities which causes a life span shorter. Injuries are mostly due to stunting, specially flyers are at high risk of injuries.

  2. It is very expensive because of the cost of uniforms, cost of warmup outfits, poms, cheer shoes, bows and the cost of cheer trips.

  3. Time commitment makes it more harder because cheer team practice 5 days a week and than play.

  4. One smallest mistake made by one team mate down the score of whole team.

  5. Team mates should always physically fit before starting a competition or game.

  6. Stunts in cheer needs lots of time, patience and team work. They must learn to be perfectly balanced and tighten every muscles.

  7. For dancing every team mate should be uniform and synchronize with each other.

  8. Flexibility is very important for flyers and it can be achieved by lots of practice, not achieved in one day.

  9. Cheer team usually deals with lack of respect which makes it more harder when they are appreciated for their hard work.

Cheer as an Olympic sport:

The international Olympic committee voted for cheer as a provisional Olympic sport which allow organizations to receive special grants and fund for 3 years and during this time (ICU) international cheerleading union can file petition to be fully included in the Olympic games. ICU is the world’s governing body of cheer located in US and hosting the ICU world championship for years. Regarding this matter ICU is not alone fans, coaches and athletes also support this matter and hope cheer will be in Olympic games next year.

Cheer uniforms

It consists of cheer top, bottom, cheer socks, cheer briefs and cheer shoes. Warm up clothes, visor and caps are also parts of their uniforms.
Some protective gear like athletic wrap and tape and bands and supports are also necessary things for their protection.

Some equipment such as megaphones, poms, cheer bags and first aid supplies they use.
Cheer players use floor mats and weight and medicine balls as a training equipment.

Top ranked cheer teams of 2019:

These rankings are in the basis of weighted titles:

1. Cheer athletics

They won 25 gold, 19 silver and 15 bronze medals. They were at number 1 for winning total 59 titles with the weight of 197.

2. California All Stars

They are on 2nd number for winning total 46 titles from these titles 18 are gold, 19 silver and 9 bronze with the weight of 156.

3. Gym Tyme Allstars

They won total 27 titles so on number 3. They won 20 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze with the weight of 111.

4. Top Gun All Stars

They won 12 gold, 10 silver and 8 bronze titles and there total titles are 30. Their titles are more than 3rd team but this ranking is based on weight so they are on number 4 because of their low weight which is 98 as compared to Gym Tyme Allstars.

5. Cheer Extreme Allstars

They won total 34. From these 34 9 are gold, 11 silver and 14 are bronze with the weight of 92.

Conclusion

Cheer is a physical activity such as dancing and tumbling and physical stunting.

Cheer is not officially considered as a sport because this activity is for entertainment and motivation of a crowd and sports team not as a competition against an opponent.

Main elements of cheer are Stunting, dancing, jumping and tumbling.

Cheer lead the game until the end. They boost the excitement of the game. It build connection between fans in a crowd and a sports team or athletes. Morale of the player increases because of the energy of the crowd.

Cheer competition includes intense physical activity. They learn to tumble, perform standing back flips, round flip-flops and full layout twists which are not easy. It is definitely a sport based on it’s requirements of skill, balance, coordination and flexibility as compare to other sports.