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Cheer, a diverse and dangerous sport is a very foggy subject for many. The majority of the population would say cheer is just a group cheering on a sports team. Before being able to define what cheer is, one must first look at current day competitive cheer. How cheer gained its stereotypes lays in its history, and rapidly evolved into a completely different function. With cheer being the number one cause of sports injury for girls under twenty, twenty thousand deaths from stunting, and seventy percent of girls sports injuries in high school, the statistics raises an eyebrow as to just what cheerleaders are doing. Cheer went from chants, to stunt groups, to worlds championships in just a century. Cheer was started in America at Princeton University in 1884 by men. The first cheer was put together to cheer on the varsity football team. The cheer went, "Rah, Rah, Ray! Tiger, Tiger, Sis, Sis, Sis! Boom, Boom, Boom! Aaaaah! Princeton, Princeton, Princeton!", and soon the students on campus formed the "pep club" ( The Cheerleaders). Thomas Peebles, a graduate from Princeton, took the spirit of his pep club to Minnesota University in 1884 and formed a new club. For a rugby game, the pep club created "team yells" which the crowd started joining in on. Johnny Campbell picked up a megaphone and led the crowd in the uproar for the game, thus was the beginning of cheer. As cheer advanced, new skills were added to it such as choreography, tumbling, and stunting. Women were not permitted to be a part of pep clubs. This should not be a surprise; universities had only just started admitting female students at the time. A fight for the right to cheer was hardly supported by women because they lacked so many other rights. In today's world, scholastic and competitive cheer teams have spread across the globe to Australia, Germany, Tobago and sixty seven other countries. Cheer teams were dominated by men, so how did it gain all the stereotypes? During World War II the men were drawn away from their occupations, so women stepped up and took over their places in the workforce. This included women taking over the men's job in rooting for the home teams. When the war was over, social rules had changed. Cheer became an acceptable activity for girls. With the options for female athletes being small, women quickly took over cheer. As cheer became more geared toward women, people began seeing it as a girls only activity. Schools used to have their teams be picked by election. This is where the stereotype was created. Just how the majority of school voting's turn out, the majority vote goes to the people more popular or more well-known on campus. To put it simply, girl cheerleaders gained a stereotype due to schools intervening with election; a popularity contest, not trying out like other sports. This type of cheer team would be classified as a recreational scholastic cheer team. These types of cheer teams are put together with no tryouts and don't compete. The majority of schools had this type of team system well into the fifties. Back then, cheerleaders could not wear skirts above the knees, it would be out of the question. With baggy clothing, the girls got exhausted easily from the type of clothing. On top of that, wearing long clothing causes injuries during stunting when clothing gets caught. Today, there is over twenty thousand deaths from stunting accidents alone, and cheer is the number one sport injury cause in girls under the age of twenty. That's with the uniforms today, the rates of injury back then would have been higher. Girls on cheer teams began wearing shorter skirts. Again, no surprise for the girly stereotype to blossom. As time progressed, school teams fought against administration for the right to govern themselves as other teams. In 1972, a court case was brought up by feminists for equality which stirred matters up even more. Although times have changed drastically to where there are cheer teams who are completely independent from school and have grown into an all-star sport, the stereotypes have stuck as media has fed the public with the original roots of cheer, on top of the spotlight on teams like the Dallas cowboys cheerleaders, who are in fact dancers and not actual cheer teams. Back in the day choreography, tumbling, and stunting were all limited by inexperienced minds. The first cheer competition was held during the sixties, by the International Cheerleading Foundation (ICF). It wasn't until mid seventies that music was added to routines, so the competition was more closely between the different teams stunting and tumbling abilities. In 1987, a group called American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) was put together, making rules and regulations for cheer. The meetings reguarded safety measures and official rules to make it an official sport. This caused a several stunts to become illegal for certain age groups. What are today's cheer teams doing that could possibly be so dangerous? Originally, pyramids, and five man stunts were the only stunts cheer teams participated in. As competition rose, the stunts became more dangerous and required more skill. Stunts such as one mans, where only one person would support the flyer. An example of today's stunts is the rewind, where the flyer does whats called a back hand spring, and is raised in the air by one base over their head. Before laws were put in place, middle school teams were doing double doubles. This stunt is where the flyer spins on the hands of the bases and jumps balancing from one foot to the other. Depending on the age group, there are certain stunts that are now illegal for younger people to preform due to the amount of deaths or injuries it caused for that age group. For example, it is illegal for middle school to perform a basket toss. In a basket toss, the flyer is thrown in the air off the bases' wrists to hit a motion, whether it be a toe touch or a heel stretch. There is no end to what cheer can do, because the stunts progress further along with cheer teams. Looking back on the beginning of cheer, no one thought that by picking up a megaphone and doing a couple motions they would inspire a new sport. Cheer went from worlds championships in just a century. At that rate, what cheer will continue to become is limitless. Even today Scholastic teams compete, along with all-star cheer teams who have exceeded what seems to be humanly impossible to the public eye. From not being allowed to even join in "team yells", cheer took off and its creators ran with the idea. After decades of gaining publicity, the sport gained four million cheerleaders as of 2013. The original cheerleaders formed together to inspire an uproar from crowds for other sports to raise team spirit. After all that, cheer became its own sport, inspiring others to go above and beyond their limits, and inspires an uproar from crowds who come to watch them compete.
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The History of Cheerleading
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The History Of Cheerleading

Words: 1189    Pages: 4    Paragraphs: 6    Sentences: 72    Read Time: 04:19
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              Cheer, a diverse and dangerous sport is a very foggy subject for many. The majority of the population would say cheer is just a group cheering on a sports team. Before being able to define what cheer is, one must first look at current day competitive cheer. How cheer gained its stereotypes lays in its history, and rapidly evolved into a completely different function. With cheer being the number one cause of sports injury for girls under twenty, twenty thousand deaths from stunting, and seventy percent of girls sports injuries in high school, the statistics raises an eyebrow as to just what cheerleaders are doing. Cheer went from chants, to stunt groups, to worlds championships in just a century.
             
              Cheer was started in America at Princeton University in 1884 by men. The first cheer was put together to cheer on the varsity football team. The cheer went, "Rah, Rah, Ray! Tiger, Tiger, Sis, Sis, Sis! Boom, Boom, Boom! Aaaaah! Princeton, Princeton, Princeton! ", and soon the students on campus formed the "pep club" ( The Cheerleaders). Thomas Peebles, a graduate from Princeton, took the spirit of his pep club to Minnesota University in 1884 and formed a new club. For a rugby game, the pep club created "team yells" which the crowd started joining in on. Johnny Campbell picked up a megaphone and led the crowd in the uproar for the game, thus was the beginning of cheer. As cheer advanced, new skills were added to it such as choreography, tumbling, and stunting. Women were not permitted to be a part of pep clubs. This should not be a surprise; universities had only just started admitting female students at the time. A fight for the right to cheer was hardly supported by women because they lacked so many other rights. In today's world, scholastic and competitive cheer teams have spread across the globe to Australia, Germany, Tobago and sixty seven other countries.
              Cheer teams were dominated by men, so how did it gain all the stereotypes? During World War II the men were drawn away from their occupations, so women stepped up and took over their places in the workforce. This included women taking over the men's job in rooting for the home teams. When the war was over, social rules had changed. Cheer became an acceptable activity for girls. With the options for female athletes being small, women quickly took over cheer. As cheer became more geared toward women, people began seeing it as a girls only activity. Schools used to have their teams be picked by election. This is where the stereotype was created. Just how the majority of school voting's turn out, the majority vote goes to the people more popular or more well-known on campus. To put it simply, girl cheerleaders gained a stereotype due to schools intervening with election; a popularity contest, not trying out like other sports.
             
              This type of cheer team would be classified as a recreational scholastic cheer team. These types of cheer teams are put together with no tryouts and don't compete. The majority of schools had this type of team system well into the fifties. Back then, cheerleaders could not wear skirts above the knees, it would be out of the question. With baggy clothing, the girls got exhausted easily from the type of clothing. On top of that, wearing long clothing causes injuries during stunting when clothing gets caught. Today, there is over twenty thousand deaths from stunting accidents alone, and cheer is the number one sport injury cause in girls under the age of twenty. That's with the uniforms today, the rates of injury back then would have been higher. Girls on cheer teams began wearing shorter skirts. Again, no surprise for the girly stereotype to blossom. As time progressed, school teams fought against administration for the right to govern themselves as other teams. In 1972, a court case was brought up by feminists for equality which stirred matters up even more. Although times have changed drastically to where there are cheer teams who are completely independent from school and have grown into an all-star sport, the stereotypes have stuck as media has fed the public with the original roots of cheer, on top of the spotlight on teams like the Dallas cowboys cheerleaders, who are in fact dancers and not actual cheer teams.
             
              Back in the day choreography, tumbling, and stunting were all limited by inexperienced minds. The first cheer competition was held during the sixties, by the International Cheerleading Foundation (ICF). It wasn't until mid seventies that music was added to routines, so the competition was more closely between the different teams stunting and tumbling abilities. In 1987, a group called American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) was put together, making rules and regulations for cheer. The meetings reguarded safety measures and official rules to make it an official sport. This caused a several stunts to become illegal for certain age groups. What are today's cheer teams doing that could possibly be so dangerous? Originally, pyramids, and five man stunts were the only stunts cheer teams participated in. As competition rose, the stunts became more dangerous and required more skill. Stunts such as one mans, where only one person would support the flyer. An example of today's stunts is the rewind, where the flyer does whats called a back hand spring, and is raised in the air by one base over their head. Before laws were put in place, middle school teams were doing double doubles. This stunt is where the flyer spins on the hands of the bases and jumps balancing from one foot to the other. Depending on the age group, there are certain stunts that are now illegal for younger people to preform due to the amount of deaths or injuries it caused for that age group. For example, it is illegal for middle school to perform a basket toss. In a basket toss, the flyer is thrown in the air off the bases' wrists to hit a motion, whether it be a toe touch or a heel stretch. There is no end to what cheer can do, because the stunts progress further along with cheer teams.
             
              Looking back on the beginning of cheer, no one thought that by picking up a megaphone and doing a couple motions they would inspire a new sport. Cheer went from worlds championships in just a century. At that rate, what cheer will continue to become is limitless. Even today Scholastic teams compete, along with all-star cheer teams who have exceeded what seems to be humanly impossible to the public eye. From not being allowed to even join in "team yells", cheer took off and its creators ran with the idea. After decades of gaining publicity, the sport gained four million cheerleaders as of 2013. The original cheerleaders formed together to inspire an uproar from crowds for other sports to raise team spirit. After all that, cheer became its own sport, inspiring others to go above and beyond their limits, and inspires an uproar from crowds who come to watch them compete.
Cheerleading Essay Sports Essay 
1. "History of Cheerleading." Cheer Union Organization. Cheer Union, n.d. Web. 16 Feb 2014. .

2. Maurer, Tracy Nelson. The Cheerleaders. 1st ed. Vero Beach, Florida: Rourke Publishing LLC, 2006. 4-8. Print.
Maurer, Tracy Nelson. Competitive Cheerleading. 1st ed. Vero Beach, Florida: Rourke Publishing LLC, 2006. Print.

3. Mozes, Alan. "As Cheerleading Evolves, Injuries Mount." Health.US News. N.p., 28 Jun 2013. Web. 16 Feb 2014. .
Webster, Merriam. Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language. New deluxe ed. San Diego, California: Thunder Bay Press, 2001. 352, 1884. Print.
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