AMA says cheerleading should be designated a sport

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CHICAGO — The Amer­i­can Med­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion says cheer­lead­ing should be con­sid­ered a sport be­cause of its rig­ors and risks.

The na­tion’s larg­est doc­tors’ group adopted that as pol­icy Mon­day at its an­nual meet­ing in Chi­cago. AMA mem­bers say cheer­lead­ing is as rig­or­ous as many other ac­tiv­i­ties that high schools and the NCAA con­sider sports. Ad­ding it to the list would mean more safety mea­sures for cheer­lead­ers.

Cheer­lead­ing is a lead­ing cause of cat­a­strophic in­jury in fe­male ath­letes at the high school and col­lege level, Boston-area pe­di­a­tri­cian Saman­tha Ros­man told AMA del­egates dur­ing floor de­bate be­fore the vote. “These girls are flip­ping 10, 20 feet in the air,” Dr. Ros­man said. “We need to stand up for what is right for our pa­tients and de­mand they get the same pro­tec­tion as their foot­ball col­leagues.”

The new pol­icy means the AMA sup­ports hav­ing ap­pro­pri­ate ac­cred­it­ing bod­ies de­clare cheer­lead­ing a sport, and sup­ports bet­ter safety mea­sures. The pol­icy echoes one adopted two years ago by the Amer­i­can Acad­emy of Pe­di­at­rics.

In other ac­tion Mon­day, the AMA said trans­gen­der peo­ple should be able to switch the sex des­ig­na­tion on their birth cer­tif­i­cates with­out hav­ing sex-change sur­gery. Most states make the op­er­a­tions a pre­req­ui­site.

But the new AMA pol­icy ac­knowl­edges that gen­der iden­tity doesn’t al­ways match a per­son’s birth anat­omy. An AMA re­port says iden­ti­fi­ca­tion doc­u­ments that are con­sis­tent with gen­der iden­tity rather than anat­omy is es­sen­tial to ba­sic so­cial and eco­nomic func­tion­ing.

United States - North America - Illinois - Chicago - American Medical Association


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