It's official - cheerleading is not a varsity sport.
A Manhattan appeals court ruled Tuesday that cheerleading is not a varsity sport under Title IX, ??the 1972 federal law that mandates equal opportunities for men and women in education and athletics,?? according to the New York Times.
A Quinnipiac University women's volleyball coach sued the school after it tried replacing volleyball with competitive cheerleading.
The appeals court agreed with a previous decision which found that cheerleading doesn??t have the post-season structure, rules, or organization necessary to be considered a varsity sport, according to CBS News.
Quinnipiac says it??s disappointed by the decision but didn't say if it would appeal to the Supreme Court.
For cheerleaders themselves, it is another tough blow to something they love and work hard on every single day. Nick Ball has been cheering since the age of four, competing at every level on a high stage. He admits that it is not always easy to hold back when rulings like this one come down.
"I've learned to kind of bite my tongue and let them say what they want," Ball, who now cheers at Cortland State, says. "Sometimes I have to step in, especially when they talk about competitive cheerleading...I really consider it a sport."
While avid cheerleaders still want the title of playing a "sport", they realize that one of the main reasons they are not considered one is the variety of rules and regulations at different levels.
"It's understandable we do have some flaws in the system right now in terms of needing a universal scoring system," Emily Blakely, a former Maryland University and current CNY Storm cheerleading coach, says. "Hopefully this ruling will push cheerleading in the direction to get those kind of things accomplished."