The Daily Gazette
The Locally Owned Voice Of The Capital Region

Of course cheerleading is a sport

The state Board of Regents today will vote on a proposal to classify cheerleading as a sport.

Well ... yeah, of course it is.

From the linked Associated Press story:

"Right now, there are no limits on the length of seasons, time between contests or required practice days. ..."

Cheerleading involves coaches, practices, athletic moves, teams and competition. How can it be anything other than a sport?

Just like any other sport, cheerleading and its coaches should be regulated in order to optimize the safety of its athletes. Here is one stat that should convince anyone: Nearly seven out of 10 catastrophic injuries to female athletes occur in cheerleading.

I have a personal reason to buy that stat. My oldest kid has played a lot of sports, including softball and fencing and field hockey (which she will play in college starting in the fall). But her worst injury ever came in middle school in cheerleading, when she fractured one arm bone and bent another in a flip gone bad.

As she was taken away by paramedics, the football players practicing nearby took a knee -- a sign of respect for a fellow athlete injured.

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