Information on Cheerleading Stunts

Topics: Cheerleading, Concussion, Injuries Pages: 5 (1778 words) Published: November 12, 2012
Over the past 20 years, the athleticism involved in cheerleading has increased dramatically. Cheerleading in the United States is a year round competitive activity. Cheerleaders are asked to perform through 3 seasons, peak for national competitions, and attend cheerleading-training camps in the summer. Cheerleading begins at an early age and is estimated to include over a million participants between elementary school and the professional sports levels. Cheerleading is a kind of sports which combines music and physical activities and usually associates with football and basketball. There are five elements in this sport including stunts, tumbles, dance, cheers, and jumps. However, the origin of cheerleading does not contain so many components. In the 1880’s, a graduate student of Princeton, Thomas Peebles, took the Princeton cheers to the University of Minnesota, where football and fight songs were becoming very popular. After that, the idea spread across the country. In 1898, a medical student of the University of Minnesota named Johnny Campbell assembled a group to energize the team and the crowd with the first organized cheer: This set the stage for cheerleading to begin. In the 1960’s, cheerleaders were shaking pompoms, and doing toe-touch jumps, the splits, and claps to get the crowd to cheer for their team). The evolution of cheerleading to a sport was again developed by the University of Minnesota as the women became known for their athletic ability by including gymnastics in their routines. Cheerleading developed more showmanship and became more entertaining, and has evolved from service-oriented cheering on the sideline of other sports to a highly skilled athletic competition in its own right. The elevation of cheerleading to skilled athletic competition has brought with it an increase in the absolute number of injuries. The number of emergency department visits attributed to cheerleading injuries increased between 1980 and 1994, from 4954 to 16,000. Almost 50% of all catastrophic injuries (injuries resulting in death or permanent or partial disability) suffered by high school female athletes during competitions between 1980 and 1998 occurred during participation in cheerleading. Cheerleading was almost an extreme sport which involves gymnastic types of building human pyramids, showing body flexibility on partner’s palm and basket tossing flyer in the air. These risky moves are asked to continue making progress in many aspects such as dance, motion, jumps, tumbling, and skills of stunts. Gymnastic-type element of cheerleading is considered to be a major factor related to the high risk for cheerleading-related injury. Johnson and Easter stated that the national pay more attention to the risk of cheerleading started from a seriously accident happened in basketball game between Southern Illinois University and Bradley University in 2006. During the ball games, a cheerleader from Southern Illinois University named Kristi Yamaoka hit her head after her falling from a human pyramid but she still continued to perform until she was moved away from the game. In the accident she suffered from a fractured vertebra, concussion, and a bruised lung. According to the investigation, the reason for Kristi Yamaoka fall down was she lost her balance, therefore, some athletic conferences tried to prohibit lots of stunts with high risk of unbalance. For example, the Missouri Valley Conference tried to make a rule to ban its member from allowing cheerleaders to be launched or tossed and from taking part in formations higher than two levels. The same things happened in National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). During its conferences and tournaments NCAA recommended limiting pyramids two and one half levels high or higher, and basket tosses. On July 11, 2006, the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) established those prohibitions under the AACCA College Cheerleading Safety Rules. These injury...
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