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Why A Trial in Connecticut About Cheerleading Could Affect Lacrosse

Two years ago Quinnipiac University cut Women's Volleyball and added (the much less expensive) Competitive Cheerleading in it's place.  The women's volleyball team sued and the end result will essentially decide if in the eyes of the law competitive cheerleading is a 'sport' rather than an activity.  Several schools, Maryland for example, have Competitive Cheerleading as a varsity sport.  Like the sport of Women's Crew, Competitive Cheer is of relatively low cost to operate, but more importantly to athletic administrators, these teams maintain a large roster size which helps with Title IX proportionality.  While a small number of schools have added Competitive Cheer to their varsity sport offerings, and some have considered it, it is likely that growth of varsity cheer has been slowed by it's lack of NCAA Emerging Sport status and the ambiguity of its 'sport' label.

This outcome will be important to the sport of lacrosse because when and if a university considers adding the sport of Men's Lacrosse, they will likely plan to add a women's varsity sport as well.  That women's sport may not necessarily be Women's Lacrosse, especially if the school already has the women's game at varsity status.  The option to add a women's sport that is in high demand, has low cost, and maintains a large roster size could make the decision to add Men's Lacrosse a little easier on university administrators. Regardless, allowing Competitive Cheer to be considered a varsity sport seems like a win-win; more female athletic opportunities, and the potential to assist with some much needed growth on the mens side of D1 collegiate athletics.

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