Sports in the Courts

The conversations and debates have taken place for who knows how long: Is cheerleading a sport? Recently, one Connecticut court answered the question with a "no".

Now to be clear, the purpose the court was even defining a sport in this instance was so as to come to a decision as to whether Quinnipiac (an old NEC foe) was violating Title IX or not. This determination hinged on whether or not the scholarships for the all women's varsity competitive cheer team counted towards the total number scholarships. Several factors, including lack of recognition as an NCAA sport, lack of off-campus recruiting, differences in campus resources, and lack of a singular governing body went into the ruling that varsity cheerleading, at least in this instance, was not a sport.

The debate over what is a sport enters into many arenas; cheerleading is among those often questioned, as are commonly accepted sports such as NASCAR and golf. And, of course, marching band/drum corps often get thrown into the mix as well.

I'm sure I've said it here before, but despite being the band nerd I am, I do not believe marching band or drum corps to be sports. True enough, they are physically demanding, athletic endeavors (if you're doing it right), but that doesn't make either a sport. I feel similarly about cheerleading.

But what of it? I'm a sports fan. I enjoy sports. But I also believe there's no golden star foisted upon anything that is considered a sport. There are things I don't consider sports (drum corps) which I'd be a whole lot more apt to watch than things I do (baseball). So if you seek the "sport" moniker for legitimacy, search elsewhere.

All that said, I still want regular marching coverage on ESPN. Just sayin'.


Amy Patterson said…
Since I'm a dancer and I see my profession as a sport, I definitely see cheerleading as a sport as well.
Neil said…
I don't believe any sport that requires judges to give arbitrary scores a sport. This includes extreme games with tricks, figure skating, diving, synchronized swimming and cheerleading.