An assessment of injuries in college cheerleading: distribution, frequency, and associated factors


Background: Over 50% of all catastrophic injuries in women's sport occur in cheerleading, but unlike other sports, no central tracking system exists.

Objective: To obtain, describe, and compare cheerleading injury data and associated factors.

Methods: Cheerleaders from randomly chosen division IA universities completed surveys designed to acquire basic information and data on injury frequency, type, and location, practice frequency and duration, and related factors.

Results: Participants (n  =  440) were aged 18-23 (mean (SD) 20.2 (1.8)) with 6.6 (2.2) years of experience. Most respondents (78%) reported having suffered one or more career injury. Of those injured, 39.7% reported an injury within the preceding year. Respondents sustained 1.0 (0.91) injuries during the preceding year with 1.8 (2.2) days lost. Ankles (44.9%) and wrist/hand (19.3%) were the most commonly injured. Practice frequency and duration were 205 (61.5) days a year (range 80-300) and 2.8 (0.7) hours (range 1.5-4) respectively. Training included stretching (99.7%), endurance activities (87.1%), and weight training (92.9%).

Conclusion: Guidelines and policy governing cheerleading should be developed according to mandatory injury reporting similar to that currently used in other sports.


Sports Medicine and Athletic Training

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British journal of sports medicine