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Cheerleading officially becomes sport in New York after unanimous Board of Regents vote

Cheerleading has officially been deemed a sport in New York State after the Board of Regents unanimously voted on the measure on Tuesday.
Albany (WSYR-TV) – Cheerleading has officially been deemed a sport in New York State after the Board of Regents unanimously voted on the measure on Tuesday.

The New York State Public High School Athletic Association first announced the decision via Twitter.

In a statement released on its website, the NYSPHSAA says the decision is an opportunity to officially regulate the sport under its statewide umbrella.

The NYSPHSAA says it plans to convene its cheerleading committee at the end of May to review the approval and set up a strategy for implementation within its membership.

In the statement, NYSPHSAA Executive Director Robert Zayas says, “The NYSPHSAA is excited to have competitive cheer recognized as a sport; today’s vote allows our association to implement coaching and safety standards for cheer coaches as well as highlight and promote the incredible athletes who participate in the sport with a championship event."

According to Section III Executive Director John Rathbun, his section has been a leader in the effort to give cheerleading its status as a sport.

“They go through quite a bit. I mean everything that they're doing – they got athleticism with gymnastics, they've got throwing up in the air, throwing themselves in the air,” said Liverpool varsity cheerleading coach Lauren Clifford.

The vote will not impact sideline cheerleading.

Cheerleading teams that compete will be affected by the vote.

Changes include one statewide championship and coaches will now have to be certified.

In addition, practice and safety regulations may be created.

“What they're trying to do is bring all the rules and regulations associated with cheerleading in line with all the rules and regulations for a bona fide student athlete,” Rathbun said.

Section III already follows most of the rules that will likely be implemented.


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