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US court: Cheerleaders pompom routine is not sport

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Cheerleaders at the match between Miami Dolphins and New York Giants at Wembley, London.

Cheerleaders at the match between Miami Dolphins and New York Giants at Wembley, London.

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Cheerleaders perform during the NFL International Series match between New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium

Cheerleaders perform during the NFL International Series match between New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Wembley Stadium

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Cheerleaders from the Merrimack Mudcats scrimmage with the cheerleaders from the Carrabassett Valley Rats during the World Championship Mud Bowl in North Conway

Cheerleaders from the Merrimack Mudcats scrimmage with the cheerleaders from the Carrabassett Valley Rats during the World Championship Mud Bowl in North Conway

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Benfica's cheerleaders wear t-shirts with a photo of legendary Portuguese midfielder Rui Costa

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A paramilitary policeman watches over cheerleaders as they wait for the Olympic flame to arrive in Tiananmen Square during the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay in Beijing Wednesday Aug. 6, 2008.

A paramilitary policeman watches over cheerleaders as they wait for the Olympic flame to arrive in Tiananmen Square during the Beijing Olympic Torch Relay in Beijing Wednesday Aug. 6, 2008.

hinese cheerleaders perform at the break of the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team against the Russian National Team during the USA Basketball International Challenge exhibition game at the Qizhong Arena on August 3, 2008 in Shanghai, China.

hinese cheerleaders perform at the break of the USA Basketball Men's Senior National Team against the Russian National Team during the USA Basketball International Challenge exhibition game at the Qizhong Arena on August 3, 2008 in Shanghai, China.

Cheerleaders perform during the men's semifinal beach volleyball match between Georgia and the United States at the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China.

Cheerleaders perform during the men's semifinal beach volleyball match between Georgia and the United States at the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneer Cheerleaders

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Cheerleaders of the Dallas Cowboys perform on the field during the NFL game against the St. Louis Rams

Cheerleaders of the Dallas Cowboys perform on the field during the NFL game against the St. Louis Rams

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Cheerleaders perform prior to the NFC Eastern Division match between Miami Dolphins and New York Giants at Wembley, London.

Cheerleaders perform prior to the NFC Eastern Division match between Miami Dolphins and New York Giants at Wembley, London.

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The New Orleans Saints cheerleaders "The Saintsations" during the NFL match at Wembley Stadium, London.

The New Orleans Saints cheerleaders "The Saintsations" during the NFL match at Wembley Stadium, London.

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Cheerleaders perform during a time out in the Women's preliminary match of Beach Volleyball at Beijing's Chaoyang Park Beach volleyball ground

Cheerleaders perform during a time out in the Women's preliminary match of Beach Volleyball at Beijing's Chaoyang Park Beach volleyball ground

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A girl from the RSD Action dance group performs at the BCA International Cheerleading and Dance Competition at the Ricoh Arena on July 17, 2010 in Coventry, England.

A girl from the RSD Action dance group performs at the BCA International Cheerleading and Dance Competition at the Ricoh Arena on July 17, 2010 in Coventry, England.

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COVENTRY, ENGLAND - JULY 17:  Girls from the RSD Action dance group perform at the BCA International Cheerleading and Dance Competition at the Ricoh Arena on July 17, 2010 in Coventry, England. The annual competition is the largest of its kind in Europe with over 1800 cheerleaders from 47 teams from across the UK and Europe performing for the coveted title.  (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

COVENTRY, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Girls from the RSD Action dance group perform at the BCA International Cheerleading and Dance Competition at the Ricoh Arena on July 17, 2010 in Coventry, England. The annual competition is the largest of its kind in Europe with over 1800 cheerleaders from 47 teams from across the UK and Europe performing for the coveted title. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

Dan Kitwood

Chinese women pose for photos after a rehearsal to be cheerleaders for the upcoming 2007 FIVB Beach Volleyball Women's Challenger held from Aug 13-19 at the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground in Beijing, China

Chinese women pose for photos after a rehearsal to be cheerleaders for the upcoming 2007 FIVB Beach Volleyball Women's Challenger held from Aug 13-19 at the Chaoyang Park Beach Volleyball Ground in Beijing, China

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Cheerleaders at the match between Miami Dolphins and New York Giants at Wembley, London.

Cheerleaders have been angered by a US court ruling that their routines don’t constitute a sport.







In a ruling that could have ramifications for the most popular girls at colleges across the country, cheerleading was deemed too “disorganised” for full sporting status and declared a “support activity”.

The decision followed a legal case brought by players on a university women's volleyball team who claimed they were the victims of discrimination in favour of cheerleaders.

Quinnipiac University in Connecticut announced in March last year that it was cutting the women's volleyball team to save money. That would have put it in breach of equality laws that require it to offer similar athletic opportunities for male and female students.

The university said it would instead offer a sporting outlet for girls by setting up a cheerleading squad, which was cheaper. Volleyball players were outraged and sued the university, arguing that cheerleading was not a sport.

US District Judge Stefan Underhill ruled: “Competitive cheer may, some time in the future, qualify as a sport.

“Today, however, the activity is still too underdeveloped and disorganised to be treated as offering genuine varsity athletic participation opportunities for students.”

It was believed to be the first time the sporting status of college cheerleading has been decided by a judge.

The volleyball team, which won only five of its 35 games last year, has been reinstated.

Belfast Telegraph