What is Competition Cheerleading, And Why It’s A Sport


Photo by Sabrina McDonald

ADM Cheerleaders, 2018 squad, after winning 4th place at the Iowa High School Cheerleading Championships.

What is competition cheerleading? Competition cheerleading is a sport where boys and girls of many ages perform a 2 minute and 30-second routine composed of stunting, tumbling, pyramids, dance, and cheer segments. The performances are full of high energy moves and hard stunts that can push your body to its limits. Cheerleading requires a lot of physical skill and energy, making it a sport.

Competition cheerleading started in the early ’90s and has grown to what it is today with around 1.5 million people competing for 5,000 different teams across the nation. This type of cheerleading was originally started to get cheerleaders away from cheering on other sports and having their own platform as athletes.

Stunting in cheerleading takes a lot of effort, most of the physical skill and preciseness in cheerleading comes from stunting. This includes lifting one or more people into the air, being able to throw them, and properly catch them. Cheerleading takes a lot of elements from other sports and activities but, stunting is unique to this sport.

In the world of cheerleading, competition cheerleading involves the most high-intensity routines. Cheerleaders will practice up to 14 hours a week for 6 or more months to perform their routine only 1-3 times.

Overall, competitive cheerleading is, in fact, a sport and considered the most intense for teenagers today. The cheerleading population continues to grow every day and will continue to push athletes to greatness.