Girls' Most Dangerous Sport: Cheerleading
Sometimes I catch a glimpse of the national cheerleading contest on TSN (ESPN) and some of the stunts that they do are really impressive. Throwing people up in the air while they are flipping and spinning then having the ability to catch them when they are about to hit the ground. The equivalence is of a person jumping off the second floor of a building. The room for error is minimal. You can imaging when the stunts turn bad, and the catastrophic consequences that incuse after the fall.
For high school girls and college women, cheerleading is far more dangerous than any other sport, according to a new report that adds several previously unreported cases of serious injuries to a growing list.
High school cheerleading accounted for 65.1 percent of all catastrophic sports injuries among high school females over the past 25 years, according to an annual report released Monday by the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research.
The new estimate is up from 55 percent in last year's study. The researches say the true number of cheerleading injuries appears to be higher than they had previously thought. And these are not ankle sprains. The report counts fatal, disabling and serious injuries.
The statistics are equally grim in college, where cheerleading accounted for 66.7 percent of all female sports catastrophic injuries, compared to the past estimate of 59.4 percent.
Reason for the increase of catastrophic injuries:
Catastrophic injuries to female athletes have increased over the years, since the first report was published in 1982.
"A major factor in this increase has been the change in cheerleading activity, which now involves gymnastic-type stunts," said Dr. Frederick O. Mueller, lead researcher on the new report and a professor of exercise and sports science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. "If these cheerleading activities are not taught by a competent coach and keep increasing in difficulty, catastrophic injuries will continue to be a part of cheerleading."
No longer are cheerleaders the eye candy for the crowd, but now they have to do acrobatic stunts to please the crowd. As the stunts increase in difficulty, there is also an increase in devastating injuries. I am not surprised that cheerleading is the most dangerous sports for girls.