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October 31, 2012

Interesting Fact of the Day


It may be hard to believe, but cheerleading produces a larger number of catastrophic injuries — concussions, skull fractures, cervical spine injuries, paralysis and death — than any other sport, male or female. Kids get hurt in gymnastics, softball, soccer and basketball, but there are twice as many severe casualties in cheerleading as in all the other female sports combined.

Posted by Cassandra at October 31, 2012 04:44 AM

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How long before we start hearing about bans?

Posted by: MikeD at October 31, 2012 11:08 AM

I remember reading somewhere that the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that competitive cheer counted as a full-contact sport.

Posted by: colagirl at October 31, 2012 11:11 AM

When we were stationed at the Naval Academy many moons ago, the Spousal Unit was tasked with being the liason for the cheerleading squad.

He was surprised at the injury thing - the guys get injured too. Very common to see bad shoulder injuries from hoisting these girls up into the air. There were very strict weight limits - any female over 105 lbs was off until they lost weight. This makes total sense when you look at it in perspective. Had nothing to do with looks and everything to do with not putting the guys in position where they'd get a potentially career ending injury.

He tried very hard to get cheerleading designated as an official sport - their season was longer than anyone else's and it absolutely did require significant athleticism. It just wasn't something he was aware of until he traveled with them and saw what they do, day in/day out.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 31, 2012 11:33 AM

Totally believable.

A 30-something petite niece of mine had a back x-ray done, and the first question from the doctor was "were you a cheerleader?". Multiple healed cracks, as I recall.

Posted by: tomg51 at October 31, 2012 11:43 AM


Posted by: spd rdr at October 31, 2012 05:15 PM

I think there's an issue of what sports were sampled. It looks like the comparison is with other common school sports. Cheerleading compares badly with, say, baseball or football; but the original report (I think that is it) has the injury rate at 1.0 per 1000 athletic exposures, which is 0.10%.

There are several sports more dangerous than that: car racing has a rate of 0.14%, motorcycle racing 0.24%, and equestrian eventing a rollicking 0.88%.

So, you know, if you really want a tough daughter, put her on a horse. Right, spd?

Posted by: Grim at October 31, 2012 09:08 PM


Mark it on your calendar, folks!
THIS is the day when spd had his vowel movement.

Posted by: DL Sly at October 31, 2012 11:44 PM

As Johnny Carson would say....

"I did not know that"

Posted by: Bill Brandt at November 1, 2012 08:31 AM

"Y" isn't a vowel except when it is.
Kind of like The Truth.

Posted by: spd rdr at November 1, 2012 12:08 PM

My catastrophic injuries in high school were the result of asking girls out on dates....

Had a darn high incidence of self-esteem damage:)

Posted by: tomg51 at November 1, 2012 03:09 PM

Some years ago, I saw an article arguing that the sport with highest percentage injured -- not the worst injuries, the most common injuries -- was women's cross country.

And there is absolutely no doubt that women are more prone to injuries playing basketball than men are.

In both sports, the injury differential seems to be mostly a matter of basic physics: You are less likely to be break a bigger bone or tear a bigger muscle or ligament.

Unfortunately, noticing these differences is politically incorrect in many places, so they don't get the discussion they deserve.

Posted by: Jim Miller at November 1, 2012 04:04 PM

I would have thought rugby would have made at least an honorable mention.

William sends.

Posted by: William at November 1, 2012 05:28 PM

"Full contact sport"? Is that what they're calling it these days?

Judging from what happened when my ex-girlfriends put on their old cheerleader outfits for me, "full contact sport" is probably as apt a description as any.:)

Posted by: a former european at November 2, 2012 01:57 AM

Concur. I stopped after our hookers neck was broken.

Posted by: tomg51 at November 2, 2012 08:13 AM

Was she wearing a cheerleader uniform?

Posted by: Bill Clinton at November 2, 2012 08:52 AM

Bill Clinton
OK, that is funny. But I can only chuckle because it happened over 30 years ago.
His neck was broken when the scrum came together. His parents came down to Texas from Pennsylvania to pick up their quadriplegic son.

Posted by: tomg51 at November 2, 2012 09:02 AM

Interesting, I knew that college and high school (HS) cheering was more like gymnastics, but wouldn't have thought it generated that many injuries. I sent this to my niece who has been a HS cheer-leading coach for year.

Posted by: Frodo at November 2, 2012 10:25 AM

Cheerleading and unicycle racing were the most common sports with injuries at my high school. I felt fortunate to survive unharmed. Unicycle riding however is a great lifetime sport. Cheerleading is over when school is over, unless of course you apply those skills to "adult dancing" or NFL cheerleading - which are pretty similar.

Posted by: man riding unicycle naked at November 2, 2012 02:06 PM

We were surprised, too Frodo.

I was a cheerleader only one year (not me) and that was before all the gymastics stuff started up. Back then, we used dinosaur bones for batons :p

Cheerleading is over when school is over, unless of course you apply those skills to "adult dancing" or NFL cheerleading - which are pretty similar.

MRUN, you'd better start pedaling... :)

Posted by: Cassandra at November 2, 2012 02:12 PM

Rugby itself is not hazardous, it's the party afterwards that is.

It's the only time I ever remember using a stock tank with a fire under it for a hot tub. Oh, oo, dang that's hot!

Posted by: Allen at November 5, 2012 12:12 AM

You remember? cool

Posted by: tomg51 at November 5, 2012 08:40 AM