Cheerleaders train regularly, usually perform on a ball field and get a heck of a workout, but there is a debate over whether cheerleading is a sport, and that decision will be made in federal court.
What the court decides could have a major impact on college sports.
A judge will decide whether chants, pyramids, dances and pep constitute a sport because several members of Quinnipiac University's women's volleyball filed a lawsuit after their school eliminated their team in favor of a competitive cheer squad.
The volleyball players say the school has been exaggerating the number of its female athletes and improperly counts competitive cheerleading as a sport.
On Monday, testimony will be heard in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport to determine if cheerleading can be counted toward the school's Title IX requirement -- a federal law that mandates equal opportunities for women in sports.
Last month, a district court granted class action status to the lawsuit. The Title IX blog reports that class action status would allow the volleyball team to represent:
a class of all present, prospective, and future female students who are harmed by and want to end [Quinnipiac University's] sex discrimination in: (1) the allocation of athletic participation opportunities; (2) the allocation of athletic financial assistance; and (3) the allocation of benefits provided to varsity athletes. They also file this action on behalf of females who are deterred from enrolling at [Quinnipiac] because of the sex discrimination in its athletic program, including its failure to offer the varsity sports in which they want to participate (despite [Quinnipiac's] failure to provide equal athletic participation opportunities to females).
The case could set a precedent and critics argue including cheerleading is “a cheap way to inflate Title IX numbers that Quinnipiac must report to the federal government,” Salon.com reports.