Is Cheerleading a Sport? Doctors Will Decide
AMA vote could help reduce cheer-related injuries
By Ruth Brown, Newser Staff
Posted Jun 14, 2013 4:00 PM CDT
UC Santa Barbara cheerleaders perform during the an NCAA college basketball game.   (AP Photo/J.D. Pooley)

(Newser) – There are teams, uniforms, competitions, physical exertion, and plenty of injuries. But is cheerleading a sport? The NCAA says no. The American Academy of Pediatrics says yes. And now the American Medical Association will decide for itself, with a vote at its annual House of Delegates meeting this weekend, NPR reports. The decision is more than just semantics: Classifying cheering as a sport would mean more training for coaches in how to reduce and prevent injuries.

That would probably be a good move, given the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research says "high school and college cheerleaders account for approximately two-thirds of the catastrophic injuries to female athletes," according to NPR. Also on the AMA's meeting schedule: A debate on whether to back a ban on selling energy drinks to people under the age of 18, which physicians from the New York State Medical Society say are linked to an increasing number of ER visits, Forbes reports. The AMA can't actually regulate drink sales, notes Forbes, but it's a powerful lobby and its backing could add some serious heft to the proposed ban.

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Showing 3 of 23 comments
Jun 20, 2013 9:47 PM CDT
Cheer leading is absolutely a sport. They have competitions and it requires a good deal of skill and finesse. Also, when it comes to serious injuries, Cheerleading is the No. 1 female sport and No. 2 in catastrophic injuries when compared to all sports – only American football ranks higher. Quite often, these are spinal injuries so it's no joke.
Jun 15, 2013 3:18 PM CDT
No it's not a sport unless they do it in the nude. Then it's my favorite sport.
Jun 15, 2013 1:56 PM CDT
Pin a tail on it and call it a weasel. You only need one group like the AMA. Another way to prevent injuries is to not do the activity you are doing.