Cheerleading Ruled "Not A Sport"

... by Federal Judge Stefan Underhill.

This all began when Quinnipiac University in Hamden Connecticut decided to cut their women's volleyball team due to budget issues. Under the 1972 federal law, Title IX, male and female college athletes have to be given equal opportunities. So Quinnipiac, in order to comply with Title IX, told the female volleyball players that competitive cheerleading would be an acceptable alternative. A lawsuit followed, and Judge Underhill found several places where the University wasn't adhering to Title IX, but what got the most headlines was his ruling on cheerleading as a Title IX sport.

Underhill wrote that "the University's competitive cheerleading team does not qualify as a varsity sport for the purposes of Title IX and, therefore, its members may not be counted as athletic participants under the statute."

Under Title IX, an activity can be considered a sport if it meets certain criteria, namely that it has coaches, practices, competitions during a defined season, a governing organization, and competition as its primary goal — not just the support of other athletic teams, reports The Associated Press.

Of course, hard-working competitive cheerleaders from all walks of life are disgusted with the ruling. But based on Title IX's criteria, even though cheerleaders do compete, it's not typically their primary purpose. So at the end of the day, the judge was correct in saying it's not a Title IX sport.

Maybe due to this ruling, more college squads will choose to just compete and not cheer on the sidelines? Guess we'll wait and see!


  1. Have I inspired you to write about law?

    Very interesting opinion, though!

  2. Haha. Actually, when I was writing this entry, I thought "this is something I'd expect to see on Andrew's blog"!

    Sometimes I learn about legal stuff. :)