Cheerleading Is a Sport Essay Example: Dangerous Injuries
When you hear the word cheerleader you probably think of those girls standing on the sideline cheering for the football team while waving their pom poms. Cheerleading is actually much more than that. There are high school cheerleading, competitive, college, and NFL. There are competitions that they make a routine and compete against other squads. In high school cheerleading you cheer for sports and also you can have competitions. Competitive cheerleading is all about competing against squads all over. Cheerleading is all about cheering, stunting, dancing, jumping and tumbling. Although most people do not consider it a sport. Many injuries come out of it and a lot of them are can be very severe. In this paper I will be talking about leading causes of injuries such as stunting, tumbling, and jumping.
Between the years 1980 to 2013 the cheerleading injury rates have gone up 440 percent. Cheerleading has a very low number of injuries but usually when they happen they are severe. This sport can cause injuries throughout the whole body like wrists, shoulders, ankles, head, and neck. In terms of “severe injuries” they include injury of the spine/spinal cord and brain injuries that can lead to skull or spinal fractures. Sprains can also account for a large part of injuries in knees, wrists, neck, and back. Also concussions have started increasing and have started raising awareness. Although cheerleading itself is not completely responsible for all of the injuries that occur. Some have also been caused because of lack of training coaches have, lack of conditioning, or no protective gear (Better Braces 2019). In the past three decades there have been 30,000 hospital visits due to cheerleading (Ling and Ghadishah 2010).
Stunting as a cause of injuries
The leading cause of cheerleading injuries is actually caused by stunting (Better braces 2019). Stunting is the act of lifting another person called a flyer into the air with usually three people underneath holding her up (Cheerleading n.d). As the flyer, 2 bases, and back spots start to progress their level of stunting difficulty goes up. Due to trying new and harder stunts the girls are at more risk for injury. When a flyer and bases/back spot start out they may just start at working on a half and cradling out of it. As everyone in the group feels more comfortable stunting they may progress to a full then to a basket toss. Many things can go wrong in stunts which can cause injuries for everyone in the group. Stunting accounts for 42 - 60 percent of all injuries.
Also 96 percent of concussions can be caused by stunting. Other causes can be height restrictions.This means not having both bases the same height or not having the back spot tall enough to support the flyer. Not having your bases level can cause your flyer to get unbalanced and fall out of the stunt. Not having a back spot tall enough can cause some issues because most of the time back spots hold the flyers ankles and pull up on the flyer as much as possible to take weight off of the bases. If the back spot is not able to reach the flyers ankles they hold onto the bases wrists. Another possible cause of injury is not having enough people surrounding the stunt in case of a stunt falling. Usually there are always “extra spots” in case something does not go right they can step in and help catch the flyer (Better Braces 2019)
In 2008 there was a 20 year old named Lauren Chang that was doing a competition when she got kicked in the chest. Her lungs ended up collapsing. Another young girl named Patty Phommanyvong was only 17 when she got into a cheerleading accident. She had stopped breathing and her parents say the school defibrillator failed leaving Patty without oxygen for 45 minutes. She ended up with permanent paralysis (Ling and Ghadishah 2010).
Tumbling and jumps
In cheerleading tumbling is the skill, practice, or sport of executing gymnastic feats (as somersaults and handsprings) without the use of apparatus. When you tumble you can either tumble either forwards or backwards. Forward tumbling includes forward rolls, cartwheels, round offs, and much more. Some backwards tumbling could be back walkovers, back handspring, back tucks, and also so much more. Tumbling can also cause a lot of injuries like strain on the body. This can also lead to trauma from flipping yourself upside down and so fast. Other body parts it can affect is wrist, elbow, back, knee, and ankle. Tumbling can actually lead to long term spinal problems. If these injuries are not properly taken care of when they can occur they can be stuck with you for the rest of your life. This is why it is important for coaches to detect injuries in case things get too serious and lead to more injury. Coaches need to know how to teach tumbling and teach proper technique it not only prevents injury but the cheerleader will always do it the right way (Cheerleading n.d). Cheerleading jumps can also lead to injuries in the ankles and knees. When you land from a jump you are to land on the balls of your feet then gradually to your heal (Medicine August 16, 2018). Not landing the correct way is what can cause those injuries.
In conclusion, cheerleading is just a dangerous sports. So many injuries can come out of it just by doing simple things. There are numerous reported injuries from cheerleading especially from stunting. So many things can go wrong in a stunt sometimes they can be little other times not so much. It is very important in any stunt to be super careful and try to catch the flyer as much as possible. Also with tumbling it is very important that the tumbler knows the proper technique with any tumbling pass they may do. It is very important for the coaches to be able to detect injuries especially like a concussion. It is also always good to have the school nurse or trainer because in case anything does happen you have someone trained in that sort of stuff.
Tumbling. (199). Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Tenth Edition (p. 1271). Springfield,
Massachusetts, Merriam-Webster, Incorporated
Science in our world: Certainty and controversy (n.d) PSU. Retrieved from https://sites.psu.edu/siowfa16/2016/10/21/cheerleading-it-dangerous/
Geier, G.D (2019) Is cheerleading more dangerous than other sports? Retrieved from https://www.drdavidgeier.com/is-cheerleading-more-dangerous-than-other-sports/
Ling L., Ghadishah A. (2010) Most dangerous ‘sport’ of all may be cheerleading. Retrieved from https://abcnews.go.com/Nightline/cheerleading-dangerous-sport-young-girls/story?id=9473938
Common Cheerleading Injuries & How to Prevent Them UPMC. (2018, August 29). Retrieved from https://share.upmc.com/2018/08/cheerleading-most-dangerous-sport-injuries/
Better braces. (2019). Cheerleading: the most dangerous sport. Retrieved from https://www.activekids.com/cheerleading/articles/cheerleading-the-most-dangerous-sport