SPRAGGETT ON CHESS
SHOULD CHEERLEADING BECOME A SPORT?
( when did you first notice that the world is going mad?)
I have always considered my self a progressive-thinking kind of person …but having reached the ripe old age of 55 I am beginning to wonder whether a line should be drawn somewhere about how far we should want to go just for the sake of ‘progress’.
In recent times the poker craze has started a movement to have the card-game classified as a sport (it is already considered a mind-sport like chess!) and included in the Summer Olympics. Now a court battle is taking place in the US that might not only change our thoughts on cheerleading ….but actually make cheerleading a sport!
STATE COLLEGE, CENTRE COUNTY – This week in Connecticut, a judge will determine whether or not Quinnipiac University can call cheerleading a sport. That school wants to eliminate their women’s volleyball team in favor of a competitive cheer team.
This case could send ripples though the college and high school athletics community.
Quinnipiac contends it can cut women’s volleyball and instead field a competitive cheer team so that it complies with Title IX. That is a law that mandates there be equal athletic opportunities for men and women at schools.
The coach of the 55 students on the Penn State cheer team said Monday, not being considered a varsity sport has its advantages.
“Some of the stringent rules that other teams have to follow we might not have to follow as much, we still try to comply with the hours per week rules and things like that, but in other areas we can be a little more flexible,” Curtis White said.
White also sees a potential boon if cheering is acknowledged as a sport and schools recognize it in the same circle as baseball and football.
“I think the athletic activity that’s involved in cheerleading really is great, and it could increase the number of women who participate in something that is athletic.”
White believes it is cheaper for schools to field a cheer squad compared to other women’s teams.
“The one disappointing part about it though is the idea of eliminating a sport to add on something else, because any time you have to tell young people they can’t participate in something is not a good thing.”
If a school does consider cheerleading a sport, White said chances are the team will participate in dozens of competition’s each year. Right now, Penn State competes in just one of those a year
One tongue-in-cheek opinion recently expressed on this theme is :
”If not for cheerleading, it would be that much more difficult to suss out who the popular girls are in high school. (Also, Charlie Sheen would have to find a new sexual fetish.)
Add that to the fact cheerleaders wear skimpy outfits and perform feats of flexibility and bouncing, and we can all agree that cheerleaders have given the world so very much.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we turn to our friends at With Leather, who report that a federal court in Connecticut is deliberating whether cheerleading is a sport. If so, it fulfills Quinnipiac University’s Title IX requirement of offering the same number of male and female athletic scholarships.
The argument for cheerleading being a sport is that it requires athleticism, and cheerleading competitions are broadcast on ESPN. Then again, ESPN also carries bass fishing. (Also, athleticism is a requirement in some of your better porn.)
So what do you think — should cheerleading become an official court-sanctioned sport?”
WHAT DOES WIKI HAVE TO SAY ABOUT CHEERLEADING?
”Cheerleading is an intense physical activity (sometimes a competitive sport) using organized routines, usually ranging from one to three minutes, such as tumbling, dance, jumps, cheers, and stunting to direct spectators of events to cheer on sports teams at games and matches. The person involved is called a cheerleader. The National Cheerleaders Association (NCA) is one of the sanctioning bodies for cheerleading in the USA. Cheerleading originated in the United States, and remains a predominantly American activity, with an estimated 1.5 million participants in all-star cheerleading. The growing presentation of the sport to a global audience has been led by the 1997 start of broadcasts of cheerleading competition by ESPN International and the worldwide release of the 2000 film Bring it On. Due in part to this recent exposure, there are now an estimated 100,000 participants scattered around the rest of the world in countries including Australia, Canada, China, Colombia, Finland, France, Japan, the Netherlands, New Zealand and the United Kingdom.”
”There has been debate on whether or not cheerleading truly is a sport. Supporters consider cheerleading, as a whole, a sport, citing the heavy use of athletic talents while critics do not see it as deserving of that status since sport implies a competition among squads and not all squads compete along with subjectivity of competitions. One common argument is that cheerleading, while difficult and requiring athletic skill, should not be considered a sport any more than dancing. All-Star brings a whole new set of rules to the table, incorporating a high level of gymnastics and stunting, and very competitive routines. During the 2008 Cheerleading Worlds, the USASF launched its “Be an All-Star” campaign and public service announcement, promoting the positive qualities of All-Star cheerleading and the concept of cheerleading as a sport.
While competitive cheerleading qualifies as a sport according to some, normal cheerleading (that which is performed on sidelines of an athletic game) is not widely considered a sport since that form of cheerleading is not a competitive activity between two, or more teams.
On January 27, 2009, in a lawsuit involving an accidental injury sustained during a cheerleading practice, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that cheerleading is a full-contact sport in that state.” A ”full contact” sport in Wisconsin?! http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,483704,00.html
”WISCONSIN COURT: CHEERLEADING A CONTACT SPORT, PARTICIPANTS CAN’T BE SUED FOR ACCIDENTAL INJURY”
http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2010/06/chess_still_played_on_market_s.php”Chess Still Played on Market Street, Games Just Out of Sight”
They are not taking it laying down. Infact, they are still playing chess…but out of sight of the police!
Last week we told you about the Market Street chess games, and how a police action had purportedly meant checkmate for the beloved SF street sight. On Monday, The Snitch did a little “journalism” and found that the games aren’t quite dead yet.
However, the games’ new location — within spitting distance of Sixth Street rather than the Powell Street Muni/BART station — is an economic death sentence, the games’ operator says.
“It’s bullshit,” says John Powell, the current organizer of the games. He’s standing in the 1000 block of Market Street in front of a block of abandoned buildings, instead of in front of a mall and a BART station and constant foot traffic, which were once the games’ background and lifeblood. “This whole area? It’s dilapidated. It’s shit. Nobody can make money down here.”
And that’s the whole point. Running the games means long days and constant ego managing with the games’ patrons to maintain order, but they also mean food and hotel money for Powell and former games organizer Hector Torres. Games can be had for $1 an hour, and the ambitious chessmaster can make much more than that with a wee bit of wagering. Bet wisely: according to Powell, the crowd on Monday included one player with a Senior Master ranking from the United States Chess Federation.
But less foot traffic means much less of those kind of matches, and much less money.
Powell has a stay-away order from Fifth and Market streets, which means he cannot legally lug the tables, chairs, chessmen and chessboards from their home in a nearby liquor store owner’s storage area and set them up in front of the Powell BART. Other folks may be able to, and may be able to do so without police interference. But not Powell, and before Powell took over, not Torres, either.
Hector Torres of chessmusings
Torres says two police officers whom he knows only by badge number informed him in January that if he didn’t move the games, they would “fuck me up and trash the chess sets.” Torres complied, but shortly afterwards he ended up in the hospital for a variety of reasons (among them a gunshot wound, he says).
Powell started setting up the games in their traditional home, but moved to Sixth sometime around April after a few talks with authorities, he estimates.
It was not the San Francisco Police Department who ended the games with a “hostile situation,” Powell says. Other than cops coming by to check and see if players were drinking or smoking pot in public, cops barely noticed the games, he says.
“Someone — someone else — could take these tables and set them up [in their old spot] tomorrow, and SFPD wouldn’t care,” he adds. “The fact of the matter is, they don’t care. None of this is [here he points to The Snitch while talking] about chess. It’s San Francisco’s elite playing bigger games. It’s they who are battling. We’re just pieces on a chessboard.”
Powell says he hears rumors about city officials raising money to build permanent tables, eliminating the need for the current mobile setup. He also hears rumors about well-heeled interests deeming the chess games undesirable for their old location. He also hears that when and if the current block is redeveloped, the chess games will move again.
If nothing else, the Market Street chess games appear to be another victim of gentrification.
San Francisco Chess Players No Longer Welcome on Market Street
Since my initial letter to Gavin Newsom expressing concern over San Francisco’s Market Street chess ban, a web-based movement has quickly developed and caused growing concern among chess players internationally. It is our belief that San Francisco’s anti-chess stance was made without regard for the scores of individuals who have benefited from the chess games on Market Street over the last three decades. Below is a list
SPRAGGETT ON CHESS