WSJ: What's the Point of Cheerleading?
I think that answers the "what's the point?" question, although the cheerleading lobby might feel differently. But the crux of the piece wasn't to denigrate the after-school activity (although, frankly, I'm fine with calling it a sport even if there aren't winners or losers), it was to investigate whether "... cheerleading has wandered too far from its original purpose, firing up crowds at football games."
And the reason anybody cares about this is because cheerleading now accounts for "65 percent of all female catastrophic injuries in high school and college, according to the University of North Carolina's National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research."
Much like* the East Coast-West Coast hip-hop debates of the mid-'90s, this is cheerleading's old school vs. its new school. On one side, the new schoolers are all about stunts -- the more technical, and tougher to pull off, the better. The old-schoolers prefer getting the crowd going by more traditional means: pom-poms, megaphones, cheers.
"The emphasis on stunting had detracted from the major purpose," says John Saddlemire, Connecticut's vice president for student affairs told the WSJ. "The focus, he says, should be on 'fan interaction and truly on cheering and cheerleading.'"
* Nothing like it, really.