California Weighs Cheerleading as Official High School Sport

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SACRAMENTO (AP) —

California lawmakers are sending Gov. Jerry Brown a bill that would recognize competitive cheerleading as a high school sport.

The state Senate on Monday unanimously approved a bill requiring the California Interscholastic Federation to oversee competitive cheerleading as it does other high school sports.

Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez of San Diego says at least eight other states treat competitive cheerleading as a sport. Formal recognition would mean consistent safety rules and training for coaches.

Her bill, AB949, would make the change by the 2017-18 school year.

Gonzalez is a former high school and college cheerleader.

Brown signed another of her bills this year, requiring minimum wage pay and overtime for professional sports team cheerleaders.