Every season in every team sport, everyone dreads injuries. Unfortunately, they happen, but on the bright side, cheerleading, according to a recent study, sees less injuries when compared to other high school sports. “On average, cheerleading typically has less than one injury for every 1,000 minutes of participation time, meaning there’s no more than one accident every 17 hours, the study found.” Cheerleading is now ranked as low in injures per participation time as swimming and track and field. On the downside, the injuries that occur in cheerleading do tend to be more sever.
Dustin Currie, a public health researcher at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus conducted the study that reached this conclusion. “To assess cheerleading injury rates, Currie and colleagues analyzed data from a national registry of high school sports injuries from 2009 through 2014.” “Over the study period, there were 1.1 million athletic exposures (AEs), or competitions or practices with a potential for injuries, and 793 cheerleading injuries.”
At the conclusion of the study, the researchers found the injury rate was 0.71 per 1,000 athletic exposures. This gives cheerleading a 63% lower injury rate than all other high school sports combined and 51% lower than all female oriented high school sports. While the rate of injury is far lower than other high school sports, concussions were the most common injury reported.
“Concussions were the most common injury for cheerleaders, accounting for about 31 percent of cases, the study found.” This number may seem high, but cheerleading does have a lower concussion rate than other sports, including all female based sports combined. Concussions and fractures were the most common injures reported during this study. Most injuries occurred during stunting when athletes fell from stunts, or individuals fell on top of one another while stunting. While injuries will alway happen, the education among coaches towards minor and serious injuries is improving.
This study highlights the strides the cheerleading industry has made towards educating coaches and safety among coaches. Most high schools across the nation require their coaches to be certified through their state, as well as tested to be able to identify concussions when they occur. There is additional rules and safety testing available through the National Federation of State High School Sports (NFSHS) and American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA). In the All Star world, there is additional certification required to coach certain levels to ensure the safety of all athletes involved from the U.S All Star Federation (USASF).
With continued education and focus on safety, hopefully cheerleading continues to be one of the lowest injury rate sports in high schools.
If you would like to read the original article that highlighted this study, please follow the link below:
“Cheerleading Injury Rates Lower than Other High School Sports, but May Be More Severe.” Fox News. Fox News, 11 Dec. 2015. Web. 5 Jan. 2016.