Cheerleading Ranked Most Dangerous Sport for Women

For middle-school, high school and college aged students, the fall sports season is well underway. This means cheerleader tryouts, football games and long-practice hours for all athletes. Cheerleading is a recognized sport in 29 states and continues to attract young girls, even at the elementary level. When sending their daughters to cheerleader camps and competitions, many parents do not realize how dangerous the sport can be. A recent study published by the Journal of Pediatrics stated that cheerleading is the most dangerous sport for women.

Sports injuries may range from scrapes and minor sprains to permanent injuries, including paralysis. Our Charlotte personal injury attorneys are experienced in handling complex injury cases and are dedicated to protecting the rights of our clients. We are also committed to preventing serious injury and raising awareness about potentially dangerous sports, including cheerleading.


When thinking about the role of a cheerleader, you may picture smiling young girls with pony tails and pom-poms. Despite the pretty, happy faces, cheerleading is a very competitive and difficult sport, requiring years of training and practice. Though many girls may dream of becoming a cheerleader, the gymnastics, lifting and throwing can be very, very challenging and physically demanding. In the United States, cheerleading causes the most serious injuries amongst women throughout the country.

According to the study published in the Journal of Pediatrics, 66 percent of catastrophic sporting injuries were caused by cheerleading. A catastrophic injury is one that results in permanent disability or a permanent medical condition, such as paralysis. At the college level, the figure is higher, with over 70 percent of catastrophic injuries suffered by cheerleaders.

When you picture the pyramids and the throwing and catching of girls high in the air, the risk may seem to fall heavily on those launched in the air. Instead, it is the girls on the ground responsible for catching that suffer the majority of the injury. The latest study indicates that injury rates are on the rise, potentially because cheerleading tricks are becoming more complicated and the sport more competitive and demanding.

Both men and women involved in the sport of cheerleading are at risk. They are not simply entertainers, but trained athletes who face the risk of injury or even death when at practice, performing at a game, or in competitions. Safety advocates are urging stricter guidelines to prevent injury. Many cheerleaders are at risk because coaches are unqualified and many do not take necessary precautions to prevent injury.

In the United States, there are approximately 3.6 million cheerleaders and 96 percent of them are women. The injuries that they face could include paralysis or wrongful death. Recognizing cheerleading as a dangerous sport is critical to raising awareness and preventing future injuries. If you are a cheerleader and have suffered an injury you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, long-term care, lost future earnings and other personal losses resulting from a catastrophic sports injury.

Parents, school administrators, coaches, and cheerleaders should approach this season with caution and remember the risks associated with the sport.

If you have suffered an injury, contact our attorneys at the Lee Law Offices, P.A. for advice about your rights. Call for a free consultation at 1-800-887-1965.

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