It’s official: Cheerleading will be considered a sport in New York schools.
Starting with the winter athletic season, competitive cheerleading teams will be subject to safety requirements similar to other high school sports, like baseball or football. Those include certification requirements for coaches, mandatory rest days between competitions and limits on season length.
All 17 of the Regents voted to authorize the change Tuesday.
There wasn’t much suspense with the vote, however. On Monday, the 11 Regents on the board’s P-12 education committee voted to recommend the regulation change, which was more than a majority of the full board that voted Tuesday.
Now that cheerleading will be recognized as a sport, the New York Public High School Athletic Association says it hopes to organize a full state cheerleading championship within the next two years.
The new regulations do not apply to traditional sideline cheering, according to the state Education Department. The change only applies to schools with teams that participate in cheerleading competitions.
(Photo by Simon Wheeler / Ithaca Journal)