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Is Cheerleading a Sport?

             Cheerleading is a very controversial subject. It can be argued whether or not is should be considered a sport and different people are always going to have different opinions on the matter. Suits used four characteristics to define a sport: it is institutionalized, there is physical skill, the outcome of the competition must be somewhat related to the skill level, and the four characteristics of a game must be present. He then states that sports can be divided into "judged performances" and "refereed games". Not only would Suits consider competitive cheerleading a sport, but he would also define it as a judged performance.
             Suits first states that in order for an activity to be considered a sport, it must have the four characteristics of a game: it is goal directed, it has rules, it has rules that make the goal harder to attain, and the rules are accepted in order for play to take place. The goal of cheerleading is mainly to win the competitions. There are other goals that go along with that, for example having a complex routine and performing it faultlessly. There are also rules in competitive cheerleading. Some rules are that the performances have a time limit, and that they must have a verbal cheering portion as well as a dance routine. The rules also make the goal harder to attain. It would be fairly simply to get up on stage and simply cheer "GO OWLS". However, there is tumbling, towering, and dancing involved. It makes it a lot more complicated than simply cheering. Also, the rules are accepted in competitive cheerleading in order for the competition to take place. If each cheering squad went by their own rules, there would be no standard and it would make judging impossible. Cheerleading passes the first component of a sport by having all four characteristics of a game. .
             Cheerleading is also institutionalized, which is another characteristic Suits says is essential in a sport.

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