Second Circuit Says Cheerleading Isn’t a Sport

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that competitive cheerleading isn’t a sport. In doing so, the federal court of appeals upheld a 2010 lower court decision, Biediger v. Quinnipiac Univ., where a women’s volleyball team of Quinnipiac University sued in an effort to stop the school from dissolving the team. The team alleged Title IX violations, which requires schools to afford equal participation opportunities in varsity sports to female students. Quinnipiac claimed that it made up the loss of the volleyball team with opportunities in other sports, including more than two dozen positions on the school’s cheerleading team. The courts had to decide whether cheerleading qualified as sport under Title IX. The answer, for now, is no.

The Second Circuit stated in its decision:

"[W]e acknowledge record evidence showing that competitive cheerleading can be physically challenging, requiring competitors to possess “strength, agility, and grace.” Similarly, we do not foreclose the possibility that the activity, with better organization and defined rules, might some day warrant recognition as a varsity sport. But, like the district court, we conclude that the record evidence shows that that time has not yet arrived."

For the entire opinion click here.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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