Recognition of Cheerleading as a Sport Could Lessen Injuries

by Carmen Dellutri on August 5, 2013

Naples accident injuryWhile the debate over whether cheerleading should be recognized as a sport has largely focused on funding, injury prevention should be another top concern.

Cheerleaders no longer stand on the sidelines and rally the crowd. Instead, they frequently perform complex stunts that involve jumping, flipping and performing other high-flying acrobatics. Not, surprisingly, sports injuries are on the rise.

“Over the past few decades, cheerleading has evolved from leading the crowd in cheers at sporting events to a competitive, year-round activity featuring complex acrobatic stunts performed by a growing number of athletes,” said Dr. Cynthia LaBella, medical director of the Institute for Sports Medicine at the Ann & Robert Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. “As a result, the number and severity of injuries from cheerleading has also surged.”

“Relatively speaking, the overall injury rate is low compared to other girls’ sports, such as soccer and basketball,” LaBella said. “But despite the lower overall injury rate, cheerleading accounts for a disproportionate number — 60 percent to 70 percent — of all the catastrophic injuries in girls’ high school sports. That is an area of concern and needs attention for improving safety.”

Given the increased risks, groups like the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are calling for competitive cheerleading to be officially recognized as a sport. They argue that additional precautions are needed to regulate training facilities, practice times, onsite medical staff and allowable stunts.

“Cheerleading is still not considered a sport in many states, and it very much should be,” said Lisa Kluchorosky, a sports medicine administrator at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, who is also the National Athletic Trainers’ Association liaison to the AAP. “If it were designated as such, it would be subject to the rules of all other sports, which means participants would be afforded the same resources and health care, and held to the same regulations.”


The Dellutri Law Group is focused on making bad situations better and putting lives back together. If you or someone you love has been seriously injured in a Fort Myers accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation.

To learn more about your legal options, contact our experienced Fort Myers injury attorneys for a free consultation.

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