Cheerleading is becoming too dangerous

By Brooklyn Thomas Posted October 14, 2009

High schools throughout the US are cutting teams because of budgets deficits, or a lack of student participation. On rare occasions, the activity can be cut due to being too dangerous.

The leading sport for injuries in high school is cheerleading. Since participants have learned how to ‘fly’ (being thrown in the air) cheerleading injuries have sky-rocketed. According to Fox News, the US has 95,000 female and 2,100 male students taking part in cheerleading and running the risk of sustaining an injury.

Tragically, some cheerleading accidents have lead to the deaths of participants. According to The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury from 1982-2007, 42 girls died due to accidents taking place during cheerleading.

Because of the high number of incidents, there should be more restrictions placed on the sport.

Cheerleading has become so dangerous because stunts have become more extreme, but the training or common sense of both the athletes and coaches must be lacking. The competition to do the best stunt has become too serious. A cheer squad’s primary motivation should be to support its team. So why are the more dangerous stunts necessary? Cheerleaders push the envelope to improve their skills and that is when they become tired and possibly careless.

In the 1970s cheerleaders remained grounded (no flying) and the injury rate was far less than it is today.
All cheer squads need to be regulated as they are in Nevada. The Nevada Interscholastic Activities Association (NIAA) has ground rules to increase safety. This includes, no flying inside without a mat, prospective coaches must pass classes, and coaches must take a yearly refresher course. The state has made these decisions with students’ safety in mind.

The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administration (AACCA) needs to follow Nevada’s example and make cheer safer; otherwise, all cheer squads should be grounded as they were in the 1970s.

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