SportsEvents Magazine

JAN 2017

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Page 40 of 67 January 2017 41 t SPORT Report New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees raised eyebrows in June 2016 when he told a reporter that he doesn't worry about concus- sions, then said women's soccer and cheerlead- ing were second and third behind football in sports with the most head injuries. Whether Brees is accurate in the ranking is debatable it is true that cheerleading has its risks. A 2015 study found that while cheerleading may be among the safest of high school sports, the injuries can be severe. A total of 752 female cheerleader injuries occurred in 1,090,705 "athletic exposures," according to the study conducted by the Col- orado School of Public Health at the University of Colorado Anschutz. Most injuries occurred during practice. The study found that cheerleading is relatively safe compared to other high school sports, ranking 18 out of 22 sports in overall injury rate. When injuries did occur, however, they were often serious. Lead author Dustin Currie, a researcher and doctoral student, found that cheerleading had the second-highest propor- tion of injuries of 22 sports examined, resulting in time loss of at least three weeks. The most common injuries are concussions (31.1 percent), ligament sprains (20.2 percent), muscle strains (14.2 percent) and fractures (10.3 percent), according to the study. Surgery was required for 4 percent of the injuries, mostly for fractures and sprains. Male cheerleaders had significantly higher injury rates at 25 per 18,784 athletic exposures. The majority of injuries occurred during stunts, often during dismounts, the study found. Making cheerleading an official sport at the high school level can help prevent injuries, officials say. Sideline cheer activities that take place outside of official guidelines do not have the same safety precautions as those that come under a sport. "Cheerleading has always reported as one of the sports more likely to get injured. We keep that in mind when writing our rulebook," said Chris Boone, assistant director of publications and communications for NFHS. Those rules require a certain level of supervision, require various stunts to have spotters focused on the flyer, and require proper equipment such as matting and harnesses. Athletes should sit out when injured. New rules implemented in 2016 by the NFHS also state that "an athlete who exhibits signs, symptoms or behaviors consistent with a concussion (such as loss of consciousness, headache, dizziness or balance problems) shall be immediately removed from participation and shall not resume participation until cleared by an appropriate health-care professional." n BE CHEERING FOR! FOR AN EVENT THEY'LL BEAST OF THE EAST CHEERLEADING For their annual event, the Beast of The East Cheerleading Competition jumps at the chance at having it at The Wildwoods Convention Center every April. Can you blame them? With 260,000 square feet of flexible space, convenient access to five beautiful miles of free beaches, a variety of nearby accommodations and an iconic boardwalk, youth events here are anything but routine. Choose the Wildwoods Convention Center and your young guests will be giving it an 'A' for Awesome! SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT EVENT WITH US! 800-992-9732 Modern amenities | State-of-the-art communication services | Catering/concession services | Adjacent to Wildwoods world-famous boardwalk and 5 miles of FREE beaches | Over 8,000 hotel rooms nearby | Convenient on-site parking for over 700 vehicles Cheerleaders At Risk

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