What do you get when you remove pompons, sidelines, megaphones and actual cheering from cheerleading? A new type of stunt and acrobatic hybrid that could become the next collegiate sport.
Now, before you jump to the conclusion that cheerleading in any form is not or could never be a sport, consider this: Can you toss someone your size in the air and catch her with ease? Can you tumble like a gymnast or balance gracefully (and with a smile) on one leg, 10-feet above ground? Do you train like a runner, but have the strength of a football player?
A competitive cheerleader can do all this and more, which has prompted the NCAA to consider two variances of cheerleading for “emerging sport” status — a move that will not only legitimize the athleticism that is required for certain aspects of cheerleading, but also help universities comply with Title IX, the federal law that bans gender discrimination at educational institutions.