The debate about whether cheerleading "is a sport" doesn't have an end any time soon. But those who feel it is have a lot more ammunition behind their argument.
A pair of decisions reached this week are helping move cheerleading into the same discussion as other sports.
On Monday, the American Medical Association adopted a policy that cheerleading should be considered a sport, citing how it is as rigorous as other sports at the prep and college levels. Then on Wednesday, Texas' University Interscholastic League approved a proposal for a pilot program sanctioning cheerleading for the 2015-16 school year.According to a report from CBS News
, Dr. Samantha Rosman told the AMA Delegates, "We need to stand up for what is right for our patients and demand that they get the same protection as their football colleagues." She added that cheerleading is the No. 1 cause of catastrophic injury in female athletes at the high school and college levels.
The story went on to say that the AMA's decision means that the organization supports more safety measures and other sanctioning organizations declaring cheerleading a sport. The American Academy of Pediatrics did the same two years ago.
A perfect segue into Texas' decision. According to the Houston Chronicle
, the UIL will give cheerleading a try for 2015-16, but not 2014-15, as was originally suggested.
"Our cheerleaders are a big part of all of our school systems.
Cheerleaders are athletes now, so giving them the opportunity to perform
under the UIL umbrella I think eventually will be a great thing," said Mark Henry, a legislative council member. " It's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when."
The chronicle story reported, citing the National Federation of State High School Associations, that 32 states hold "competitive dance squad" competitions.