According to a report, United States District Judge Stefan Underhill issued a ruling on Wednesday, July 22 that competitive cheerleading is not an official sport, regarding “gender equity requirements. “of Title IX.
The move came after volleyball players at Quinnipiac University – along with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – filed a lawsuit against the university, which tried to cut the women’s volleyball program and shut it down. replace with a cheerleading team due to budget restrictions.
The report states that Title IX gender equity requirements – adopted in 1972 – dictate that “male and female sports activities must have coaches, coaches, competitions and a governing body.” Beyond that, the article alleges that Justice Underhill found many of Quinnipiac University’s practices in violation of Title IX, including their “overestimation of female athletes” and their “understatement of men,” respectively. In a commentary on his decision, Judge Underhill was quoted as saying: “is still too underdeveloped and disorganized to be treated as offering genuine sports participation opportunities for students.”
Judge Underhill’s decision comes as a surprise to many cheerleaders and cheerleader enthusiasts, especially considering the explosion in global popularity of competitive cheerleading over the past decade. Over the past decade, the assimilation of cheerleaders into programming on sports networks – like ESPN – and major movie productions has made it hard to believe that a sport so popular (and demanding for its audiences) participants) can be considered as something other than a competitive sport. See the article in Time Magazine for a more detailed account.