Cheerleading Is Not a Sport, Mud Wrestling Is a Sport


Photograph courtesy Craig Maccubbi

A Connecticut judge has ruled that Quinnipiac University cannot replace its volleyball team with a cheerleading squad without violating Title IX of The Education Amendments of 1972—which requires schools receiving federal funding to provide equal resources for male and female sports—because cheerleading is not a sport. According to USA Today:

U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill says competitive cheerleading is too underdeveloped.

Wednesday's ruling comes in a lawsuit filed by members of the volleyball team at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn. The players sued after the school announced last year that it would eliminate the team for budgetary reasons.

The school replaced it with a competitive cheer squad to stay in compliance with the 1972 federal law that mandates equal opportunities for men and women in athletics.

I just find it hard to believe that cheerleading is not a sport, but synchronized swimming is.


NEXT: You'll Follow This Law, and You'll Like It. And Don't Roll Your Eyes at Me, Young Lady.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. i could make a much better decision on this if you had an enlargement of that picture.

    1. I find your ideas intriguing and would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

  2. Threadjack. More Al Gore accusers emerge. The story ends with Al standing naked with an erect penis telling a woman to “take care of that”.…..rity/69024

    1. I need to go throw up now.

      1. That won’t help, Astrid. I’m gonna go Gore my eyes out now.

        1. Don’t skull fuck yourself man, that’s just way too much.


      2. I’m going to go scrub my brain with a Brillo pad, even though I’m pretty sure the dirty feeling isn’t going to be that easy to remove.

    2. Was Gore talking to Max when he said that?

      1. nah. If it had been Max he wouldn’t have had to ask.

        1. John, that’s your best one yet.

    3. The story ends with Al standing naked with an erect penis telling a woman to “take care of that”.

      Lemme guess. She was not unresponsive?

    4. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

    5. Don’t tell Chad his hero is a common pervert.

  3. Niiiice. Also, fuck Title IX.

  4. This judge is a giant douchebag.

    ESPN shows competitive cheerleading events.

    Cogito Ergo Motherfucking Sum, Motherfucker.* ESPN is definitive. Much more definitive than his pissy little court.

    *Yeah I know that’s not what it means.

    1. Yeah. It is just as much of a sport as gymnastics. That is really all it is “coed team gymnastics”. The judge is a moron.

      1. Moron like a fox. He knew damn well his decision would placate the “there’s not enough girls in sports, just icky men” crowd over in the hateful feminist holding area.

    2. Fluffy, I think what you were looking for was something along the lines of res ipsa loquitur.

      Or simply “ESPN is a television network dedicate to showing competitive sports; ESPN shows competitive cheerleading events; ergo, cheerleading is a competitive sport.”

      Add “motherfuckers” to taste.

      1. They should add a Women’s Texas Hold’em team then.

        1. Maybe there will be some good female poker players then. I can name exactly two: Annette Oberstad and Jennifer Harman.

      2. I like

        ESPN shows cheerleading in all it’s soaring clam glory. Quod erat motherfucking demonstrandum, bitches.

      3. ESPN also shows the Scripps Spelling Bee, is that a sport?

    3. By that definition, Superdogs, Superjocks is also a sport.

    4. A competition being shown on ESPN does not mean said competition is a sport. ESPN shows spelling bees.

      1. The hell you say, spelling is a sport. I mean, at least it has objective criteria to determine a winner. That’s more than many sports.

  5. Is competitive cheerleading that much cheaper than volleyball?

    Great photo either way.

    1. You’re asking for a “you don’t need balls to do competitive cheerleading”, aren’t you?

  6. I’m pretty sure Cheerleading was accorded the same status as any other NCAA accredited varsity sport – for instance scholarships and academic requirements – at the div 1A uni I attended, and that was nearly 20 years ago.

    1. NCAA doesnt do any cheerleading competitions, IIRC.

      1. Penn and Teller did an episode of Bullshit on High School cheerleading especially, and they found a few of reasons it isn’t considered a sport:

        1. Liberals with boners for Title IX don’t want it because it would be considered another female sport, and would “divert funds” from other female sports.
        2. Liberals think it enforces antiquated gender roles.
        3. The corporation which makes the uniforms and everything else that has to do with cheerleading (Varsity) makes huge amounts of money off of the hundreds of tournaments referred to as “Nationals”. Making cheerleading a sport would threaten that monopoly.

  7. I think Quod Erat Demonstratum is the latin you are looking for, but other than that, yeah. Unless the judge is enforcing the “if your opponent isn’t competing at the same instant it isn’t a sport” rule. In which case I heartily agree.

    1. Threaded comments also suck. This was in re: Fluffy’s post above.

    2. It was an intentional malapropism. Hence the asterisk.

      That is my way of saying I CAN HAZ CHEERLEADERZ?

      Golf would also not be a sport if both competitors must compete simultaneously.

      1. Full-contact golf would be cool. Maybe even full-contact arena golf.

        With hot cheerleaders, of course.

        1. I’ve always thought golf could be paired up with skeet shooting to create a fantastic sport. Although the other people yelling “Pull!” as you swing might throw your form off some. Probably have to move to handguns for putting.

          1. Hunter Thompson and Bill Murrary beat you to it. I don’t feel like digging up the link, but it was one of HST’s last ESPN columns

          2. Full-contact golf, Klingon rules. There’s you a sport, yo.

      2. Golf isn’t sport.

        1. Neither is Double Dutch and one requires fitness.

      3. Always hard to tell the joke from the “I-can’t-be-arsed-to-remember” post. Noted the tongue planted in cheek though.

      4. Since when do sports have to be competitive? How about fishing, which is a very popular sport worldwide, but rarely as competition, or hunting? Or hiking? Admittedly a fraction of bicyclists, skaters, etc. engage in races, but they’re a minority too. Does the Civil Rights Act actually specify competition, or does it just vaguely refer to “programs”, which are imputed to include sports and now only competitive ones?

    3. if your opponent isn’t competing at the same instant it isn’t a sport

      That rules out golf, bowling, curling, ice skating, luge, downhill skiing, bobsledding, and that spear-chucking thing the name of which I forget.

      1. Javelin you racist ratbagging teafucker.

        1. Tulpa had it right. Who gave you the hot PC injection?

          1. I was just kidding. And ratbagging teafucker is such a great term, like tow the lion, it should be in every thread.

            1. It’s the name of Stagliano’s latest movie, so I’m sure we’ll see lots of threads about it.

      2. Golf is in. At least skins golf.

      3. both compete at same time in curling, well, the defense cant sweep until after the one line, but still, sometimes their is simul-sweeping.

        1. The very fact you know this worries me.

    4. “if your opponent isn’t competing at the same instant it isn’t a sport”

      So, the long jump, shot put, high jump, discus, pole vault, javelin throw, triple jump, and hammer throw are all not-sports?

      1. That is correct. They may be feats of strength or skill, but they are not sports. Chess-boxing is a sport; curling is not.

        1. You people clearly have no idea about curling. Both sides are competing at the same instant. The opposing side is allowed to sweep once the rock goes past the tee line.

          Curling, like darts, qualifies as a sport.

          1. Its a fair cop. I was raised in Houston and live in Florida. Curling is the one without the helmets or costumes, right?

            1. Last Winter Olympics costumes were introduced. They had stranger pants than kitchen staff.

            1. And Curling has Cheryl Bernard, Canadian women’s curler and the world’s greatest Cougar athlete.

            2. That’s excellent

        2. You have a very strict definition of “sport”. But any excuse to start a curling thread on H&R is a net good.

      2. Hungry Hungry Hippos apparently counts as a sport, though.

        1. As does Rock`em Sock`em Robots, then.

      3. And what about those sports where the sportsmen don’t compete at all? I’m sure the great majority of sports participants engage in non-competitive sports.

  8. When will we have justice? When will snooker be recognised at the great sport it is? When will darts get its due?

    1. Darts already is a sport. Javelins are just really, really big darts.

      1. Yes. George Carlin had it right. Javelins are just big darts and all net sports are just variations of ping pong. Tennis? Ping pong played while standing on the table. Volley ball? paddleless team ping pong with a raised net played while standing on the table.

        1. You play volleyball while standing on a table?

          1. Metaphorically yes.

            1. The table that is Mother Gaia.

              1. While balancing the entire schmear on the back of a giant tortoise.

        2. Carlin also called lacrosse a “faggot college activity”. Very un-PC.

      2. And I’ve actually seen darts tourneys on ESPN.

        The amazing thing is that every throw is either a ton, T-40, or T-80. No one’s throwing a Murph on ESPN.

        1. Back before they became the sportscenter channel, ESPN used to fill their daytime slots with minor sports like darts or tractor pulls and the like. Some of it was actually kind of cool.

          1. One hundred and forrrrrrrrrrrrttttttteeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

            1. I think you mean:

              One hundred and aaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyteeeeeeee!!!!11!

          2. I always like the reruns of the World’s Strongest Man competitions.

            1. Those guys were so roided out. That was a scream. They would do shit like throw tractor tires and pull airplanes with their teeth. It was some made for TV entertainment.

              1. And they’d have names like Magner von Magnersen.

                I always liked the keg toss. It just seemed like someone was destined to miss and bust their head open with a 25 foot freefalling keg.

              2. I remember watching a dude on that show lift something so heavy and with such strain on his face that a shallow blood vessel on his scalp broke and blood started trickling down his face.

          3. I remember in the early 80’s, they actually had Australian Rules football.

            1. Yes they did. Clear through the mid 1980s That is a great sport to. I can remember coming home from high school and getting blitzed from my parents alcohol cabinet and watching those games.

              1. I can remember coming home from high school and getting blitzed from my parents alcohol cabinet and watching those games.

                We would have had fun hanging out.

                1. Hence the “baked” part?

                  1. I certainly enjoyed raiding (my parents & my friends’ parents) liquor cabinets in the 1980’s.

            2. Australian Rules football was on one of the sports networks this past weekend. First time I had seen it in years. They wear funnier uniforms now (tiny, 1970s style shorts). Sadly, gone are the referees in boaters who strike the double-finger-point pose for scores.

              Hahaha … Australia.

              1. Barrel Jumping. Now there was a sport!

              2. No double-finger pose?

                Then whats the point?

                1. Last time I saw it on ESPN (two weeks ago), there was the double- and single-finger points (“goal” and “behind” respectively). They just don’t dress as goofily and the cameras don’t linger on them like they did back in the 80’s.

                  And a mark is valid over 15 meters. 30 would be a bitch.

            3. Aussie Rules footie seems to be making a comeback. I know some of the dudes on the Seattle Grizzlies and they go to Nationals, and have sponsors and stuff. I cannot make sense of the game, but it’s still fun to watch.

              1. I know this much: Kicking through the middle goal posts is 6 points. Kicking through the side posts is 1 point. If someone kicks a ball more than 30 meters, and it’s caught cleanly, that’s a “mark”, and a free / unobstructed kick to the guy who caught it.

                Sadly, gone are the referees in boaters who strike the double-finger-point pose for scores.

                And single finger point for “asides” or whatever they call the 1 point score. Too bad about the refs I thought it was great they had those guys dressed like that. It seemed so incongruous compared with the rough game that was going on.

                1. And a mark is valid over 15 meters. 30 would be a bitch.

                  My bad – it’s been a while.

            4. You can watch it on the new thing and occasionally on espn2

      3. If darts is a sport (and I think it is), then curling is definitely a sport.

      4. But lawn darts are still outlawed!

        1. But you can buy all the components and assemble them yourself!

          Seriously. Do a few google searches.

          1. You better hope no CPSC moles show up at your BBQ.

  9. Of course cheerleading is a sport. It’s how girls participate in football.

    1. I thought they had the lingerie league for that.

    2. Im stealing that.

  10. Penn and Teller did a BullS*it story on Cheerleader. Billion dollar industry basically run by 1 company.

    The company run multiple “national” titles where the girls had to buy a new uniform for each. One group of parents had 3 children in cheerleading and it cost 15K a year.

    More interesting was the safety issues. To be a lisences coach you had to have 2 hours of online med training, that was it. If a girl falls you tell her to walk it off.

    The company fights for it not to be a sport because if it was a sport, the regs on it would call for a better trainers, more safety and practices of others sports.

    I just think college cheerleader girls look hot.

    1. “”The company fights for it not to be a sport because if it was a sport, the regs on it would call for a better trainers, more safety and practices of others sports””

      Wouldn’t libertarians agree that a private company should run it and more government regulations would be a bad thing?

      Why wouldn’t the company be better than regulators at taking the lead for better trainers, safety, or quality in general?

      While the cheerleading industry might be bullshit, that doesn’t mean it should be regulated bullshit does it?

      1. NCAA != government

        For example.

        1. Just another damn reglatory agency. 😉

        2. The NCAA may not be formally a gov’t agency, but the majority of those who govern it represent gov’t institutions. In that respect it’s similar to the US Pharmacopeia-National Formulary and other standards-setting bodies around the world.

  11. Ya, Penn and Teller really shed some light on this silliness. A little research will outrage anyone with an IQ above 5.

    1. But it is hard to have much sympathy for the parents. If they are so rich or so stupid that they can’t say no to their daughters demanding 15K a year to do a sport, I would say the company deserves the money more than they do.

      I do feel bad about the girls getting injured. But that again goes back to the parents not keeping track of what is going on and making sure they have coaches who know what they are doing or if they can’t guarantee that telling them no and not doing it at all.

      1. It’s the laws governing the activity. There are little or no safety laws, regulations, governing bodies (outside government) or anything else dealing with cheer leading outside a company. (libertarian law caveat here) The issue is as a sport the activity would be subject to more scrutiny like HS football and baseball.

        This is feminist bullshit backfiring.

        1. Don’t the feminists want it called a sport? I am sorry I am not following.

          1. Title IX was pushed by feminist retards and not only ended some male sports programs, but ensures that cheerleading will never be labeled a sport by any school or state due to the implications.

            1. When the legislation was pushed feminists were not fond, and still aren’t, of pretty girls in little skirts shaking their asses for a crowd.

              1. I am constantly being presented with evidence that all feminists are ugly.

            2. So instead they leave it unregulated and let girls get hurt doing it. Sadly, not surprising. Thanks.

              1. If you want to avoid getting hurt, don’t be thrown to the top of a human pyramid.

                There are a lot of injuries in gymnastics, which is the closest sports to cheerleading. It comes with the turf. How much they can prevent via regulations, I don’t know. But it’s hazardous by nature.

            3. “The wording of Title IX is very brief so specific language and clarifications on the implementation were very important. President Nixon charged the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (HEW) with this important task.[3] It wasn’t until this step that everyone truly understood the ramifications of Title IX as it would apply to college athletics.”


            4. Title IX was pushed by feminist retards and not only ended some male sports programs, but ensures that cheerleading will never be labeled a sport by any school or state due to the implications.

              This does beg the question.

              Why did men even listen to feminist retards? What did they have to offer in return?

            5. Yes, hmm, and thus the reason for this bullshit ruling. Feminist retards want cheerleading to NOT be a sport, so they can push for more Title IX shit.

        2. It’s the laws governing the activity. There are little or no safety laws, regulations, governing bodies (outside government) or anything else dealing with cheer leading outside a company. (libertarian law caveat here)

          Cheerleading is dangerous. Naturally, the linked story is a call for regulation, although it brings up a good point. Until cheerleading is recognized as a sport, safety will be a secondary consideration.

          1. But it’s not like you would want to force them to wear thick body pads, and helmets for protection. It would be banning certain extra hazardous routines, techniques, or whatever the hell they call it. Or perhaps they could be required to perform on the same crap they make playground floors with these days.

            I have no problem with leaving the decisons about how to cheerlead to the cheerleaders and coaches themselves.

            1. I have no problem with leaving the decisions about how to cheerlead to the cheerleaders and coaches themselves.

              I’d agree – I’m pretty sure the better coaches know best about how to perform routines safely. But whenever you’re tossing someone 15 feet in the air, there is going to be an element of unavoidable risk.

              To me, Cheerleading seems like a subset of gymnastics – and they could probably use the same safety protocols. But as you say, the coaches should know best.

    2. I would honestly and seriously suggest watching the P&T Cheerleaders, hell or all of them. What can I say. I have a man crush.

  12. Does synchronized swimming count as a sport under Title IX? And if so, why?

    1. My guess is the assumption that being in the Olympics = being a sport. I disagree with that however.

  13. Cheerleaders are people who support a sports. 😉

    1. If you can’t be an athlete, but an athletic supporter!

  14. I cna’t believe that nobody picked up on cheerleading being ‘underdeveloped’…you guys are a bit off today. I went to college with that judge, he was a political hack back then, prez of student council.

    1. I got here late, how’s this?

      U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill says competitive cheerleading is too underdeveloped.

      But cheerleaders aren’t.

      1. el-oh-el

        I’ve seen cheerleaders on TV who were quite the opposite of underdeveloped. More like…sheets on a waterbed-type developed. NTTAWWT.

  15. Obviously pistol shooting should be a required sport for all females at every school. Make more pro-gun voters, and screw title 9 at the same time.

    1. A shooting, cheering biathlon would be hot.

      1. Just say what you mean – you want to see pole dancing with guns.

        1. lap dancing with whips

        2. WHERE?

    2. As long as it is something like this, I am in full agreement.

  16. Clearly, they should start a Beer Pong league, sanctioned by ESPN. Who knows? Maybe the next great beer pong dunker is a lady Bobcat.

    1. In NZ the engineering schools have beer drinking teams (boat-race) that compete against each other semi-regularly. There are squad tryouts and everything.

  17. I have to agree with Jesse. Mud wrestling is a sport and should replace cheerleading.

    All cheerleading at all games should be done in the muuuuuuddddddddd piiiiiittttttt.

  18. For all the what is-what isn’t a sport, my definition – and I think it’s a damn good one – is that you need to have an objective method of scoring.

    If I’m watching your event, in order for it to qualify as a sport I need to know when someone is doing better than someone else. Unless I’m a cheerleading veteran, I have no idea who’s cheerleading better than someone else. Conversely, if my team puts more pucks in the net than your team we win.

    1. Bye-bye gymnastics and figure skating.

      1. And boxing. Unless there’s a knockout, it’s scored in the same fashion as figure skating and gymnastics.

        1. I believe Olympic boxing has developed some objective rules for scoring, based on how many punches connect.

      2. …and FIFA soccer…

        1. Goals aren’t objective?

          1. I think your sense of humor is offsides.

        2. +….wait….no, NO GOAL!

          Well played, Tulpa!

  19. Maybe they should just turn cheerleading into a 4-year degree program. Problem solved.

    1. If you can’t be an athlete, be an athletic supporter.

  20. Article on “Where Do Libertarians Belong?” ====== 18 comments

    Article with women’s volleyball team pic ========== 100+ comments

    1. Boobs get attention. They should have attached some boobs to the “Where Do Libertarians Belong” post.

    2. “Where Do Libertarians Belong?” wasn’t really a question – the answer was “alone in the political wilderness, because authoritarians control everything and they aren’t letting go anytime soon”.

      It’s not just about the cheesecake – this is a far less depressing thread.

    3. Clearly libertarians belong on the interwebs commenting on boobs, teh pron and legalizing weed – e.g. right here at Reason.


      1. …and I think I meant “i.e.” but


        1. What does it say about my priorities when I read that as “BOOOZE!”

  21. I was a cheerleader at my university (in Canada, so the actual cheering for football games part was pretty minimal). It was really athletic (I trained as hard as I ever did for volleyball) and yes, potentially dangerous. Feminists can hate all they want; I’d like to see that cranky Title IX lady from the Bullshit episode throw someone in the air and (safely!) catch them.

    1. Indeed. The local high school my youngest daughter attended has a kick-ass cheerleading squad, well supported by the students, but somehow they are considered less athletic than the golf team as far as official recognition goes.

      Also, Title IX bitch? Fuck me gently with a chainsaw.

      1. Ah, so that’s why she was led to drown her sorrows in THC. It all makes sense now.

        1. Heh.Self-medicating of high-school induced PTSD? Potentially more relevant to her chemical pursuits is the fact that while her sport in high school was cross-country, she also played competitive summer-league Ultimate (often, and wrongly, called Ultimate Frisbee). Yes, there is such a thing– she has friends on the US National Ultimate team, and again, yes, there is such a thing.

          1. Why didn’t they tell me this when I was in hight school? I coulda been a contenda.

    2. From the highschool bleachers, I saw more severe head injuries from the chearleading squad than the football team. Those flying gals ain’t wearin helmets.

      1. Some of them “wear helmets”, if ya know what I’m sayin’….

      2. Some of them “wear helmets”, if ya know what I’m sayin’….

  22. Synchronized swimming is difficult. But then, so is cheerleading. I’ve never been that flexible in my life.

    You know what’s not a sport? Bowling. Any sport in which you can smoke two packs a day and still come out on top is not a test of athletic prowess (of course I kid the bowlers…any sport during which you can drink beer is definitely tops in my book).

    1. There are professional video game players.

      Except for the lack of cardio, it fulfills every other requirement of a sport.

      In short, the whole, this is or isn’t a sport discussion is mostly just a way for people to spout off their prejudices and give whatever half-assed reason they have for not liking whatever they don’t like.

      Sport is like art; you can either have a real definition that excludes tons of stuff that is pretty sporty, or you can have a loose definition that includes Starcraft tournaments and flag waving.

      At the end of the day, I just don’t care either way.

      1. Funny that you chose video games, as some people try to debate their place as art, and some people try to debate their place as sport.

        I wouldn’t debate either point, I don’t care, as long as I can keep playing good games.

        1. One could argue the content is art and the act of using it is a “sport”.

          /yes, I know you are talking about the Roger Ebert thing

      2. Russians classify chess as a sport.

      3. Oh, art is easy. Art is the application of trained skill to the field of aesthetics.

  23. soo full contact wet tshirt competitions can’t be official college sports then… ah well keep them unsanctioned.

  24. We’re all athletes now.

  25. I would say that for an activity to be a sport requires the determination of a victor, with unusual physical movement required to win. So ordinary walking is not a sport, but speedwalking is (due to the unnatural movements in the latter). Video games aren’t, since they only involve pushing buttons. I guess Twister would be, and I’m not comfortable with that, but I have to stick by my definition.

    1. I just realized my definition would exclude rodeos, horse racing, and autoracing. Unless you count the physical movement of the animal or vehicle.

      1. Not only that, but your definition would exclude fishing, hunting, hiking, mtn. climbing, biking, bull fighting, jumping, and other sports where there’s no winning or losing, unless you count getting hurt as losing.

  26. Is there a single link to a picture of cheerleaders in this fucking thread?

    If not, why not?

    1. Here you go…..o-cbs.html

    2. How about 2.4 million links?

      googling “cheerleaders”

      1. Damn…only 2.4 million:)

  27. What they should do is still call themselves a volleyball team. Then at other sporting events they can introduce them as the girls volleyball team, and the girls can go out and cheer the whole game. They can schedule one intramural game a year and forfeit that. Fuck that judge.

    1. How about calling them the “gymnastic dancing team” ? Cheerleading combines those two elements in a rather obvious way. It also would avoid the OMG! MALE GAZE! bullshit that the Title IX assholes get in such a tizzy about.

      Remember, with leftists, it’s all about verbiage, nomenclature and perception.

  28. U.S. District Judge Stefan Underhill says competitive cheerleading is too underdeveloped.

    Most competitive cheerleaders I’ve seen have been very well developed, though the influx of Asian cheerleaders is diluting that (in a very good way).

    1. Flat chests are gross.

  29. Any sport in which you can smoke two packs a day and still come out on top…

    You clearly are not aware of some of the old stars of Major League Baseball.

    In fact, smoking is still quite common among baseball players.

  30. Why do I get the feeling the responses (and the post) would be different if it was a men’s team being disbanded in favor of a cheer squad?

    1. Probably the same reason there are men’s and women’s bathrooms.

  31. Kline strikes again with the hotness! Keep the streak alive.

  32. Why don’t they just write the law as they plan to enforce it: Title IX requires whatever the craziest feminist in the room wants.

  33. George W Bush is an athlete. I know this because he was a cheerleader.

  34. The debate is not “does this require strength/training/practice?”…..eryId=96#1

    but, are their competitions for this that are regularly entered? Or do the cheerleaders really just exist for the football/basketballs teams in which case they need to be counted under their budgets.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.