The Second Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the District Court’s decision in Biediger vs. Quinnipiac University. In significant part, the appellate court accepted the lower court’s finding that cheerleading, as it was conducted at Quinnipiac University, was not a sport for purposes of meeting Title IX requirements. While the team met some of the necessary elements, it lacked the required threshold levels of competition, rules consistency and championship opportunity.
The NFHS has long been a proponent of Title IX, and is proud of the massive growth of girls participation in high school sports over the past four decades. As NFHS Executive Director Bob Gardner has stated, “From fewer than 295,000 in 1971, to more than 3 million today, high school girls have flourished under Title IX.”
The NFHS recognizes the benefits that girls and boys gain from participation in sideline cheer. They stay fit and learn leadership skills while helping their schools display positive energy in support of their teams. That being said, the NFHS believes that competitive cheer (whether called cheer, stunt or acrobatics and tumbling) can play a parallel role as a Title IX-countable sport. With an eye toward adherence to judicial and administrative guidance, the NFHS and its membership are exploring options. Enhancing opportunity under Title IX remains one of the central goals of the nation’s high school community.