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Competitive cheerleading is a sport still in its infancy. In the words of Federal District Judge Stephen Underhill, in a 2010 court decision.

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But his rule had more to do with a lack of organization at a high level than athleticism. The days of pomp and applause are over.

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There is no question that competitive cheerleading is a physically demanding sport. Teams incorporate elements of dance, tumbling and gymnastics.

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All cheerleaders must, at a minimum, be able to do the standing back handspring and the standing back tuck, which is a flip without hands.

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To achieve and maintain these athletic qualities, a competitive cheerleader must train as hard as any other athlete. Collegiate-level cheerleaders..

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In addition to attending cheer practice to practice stunting, tumbling, and dancing, cheerleaders must lift weights and exercise several times a week.

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Competitive cheerleading is led by a coach, just as other team sports are led by a coach or coaching staff. The coach will dictate routines.

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Some coaches are highly sought-after; For example, Felecia Mulkey of the University of Oregon was hired after a nationwide search.

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For an activity to truly be considered a sport, it must involve competition against others. In competitive cheerleading, squads compete.

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Nevertheless, each member of these organizations competes against each other in scheduled, organized matches like any other sport.