For decades, cheerleaders were about just that – leading cheers. They played a secondary role, bringing energy to the sidelines, drumming up team spirit, and supporting the athletes on the field. Today, cheerleading also has a competitive side, requiring mastery of skills from the worlds of gymnastics and dance. As competitive cheerleading grows in popularity, debates rage about whether to recognize it as a sport in its own right. This movement is fueled by both the athleticism required for competitive cheerleading and concerns about serious cheerleading injuries. As a San Francisco sports injury law firm, we are devoted to protecting and advocating for all young athletes, including those fighting to move from the sidelines to center stage.
Bill to Label Cheerleading a Sport Moves to Governor’s Desk
On Monday, as detailed by NBC’s Bay Area affiliate, California’s state senate unanimously voted to require the California Interscholastic Federation to treat competitive cheerleading as a sport. Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, the bill’s sponsor, says the need for safety-oriented regulations including training requirements for coaches is fueling a nationwide movement to formally recognize the sport. AB949 will now go to Governor Brown’s desk for his signature or veto. If passed, the bill would require the change be implemented by the 2017-2018 school year.