Did you know that 65% of all the catastrophic injuries in girls high school sports in the past 25 years are Cheerleading injuries? Did you know that when it comes to high school sports as a whole that Cheerleading is 2nd only to football for the most number of injuries? According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research annual report it is.
Cheerleading used to be all about the cheers, the chants, the jumps and if you had a former gymnast on your team, the tricks. Now, there seems to be a greater emphasis put on the stunting, tumbling and more difficult tricks. Many of the high school cheerleaders are training on basketball courts, hallways and backyards as opposed to training facilities with appropriate matting, training aids (like trampolines and pits) or trained/certified coaches.
If cheerleading is going to continue to grow and become more of a “sport”, then it needs to have the same types of guidelines for training, coaching and safety in place like other scholastic sports. Every sport has its risks and kids can get hurt doing any sport, however, the numbers revealed in the report are definitely alarming and should send up flags that cheerleading as a high school and college sport needs to revamped. I'm not saying it needs to be eliminated – because at the high school and college level, I think it is pretty cool. They just need to re-evaluate the programs to try and reduce some of the risk factors.
What's your take? Here are some additional articles on cheerleading injury statistics and safety:
- Sports Injury Research – Cheerleading Riskier than Football
- Cheerleading changed by injury
- Cheerleading Injury Statistics
- Cheerleading Safety
- Preventing Cheerleading Injuries