By David Wolf, Attorney
Published by Child Injury Lawyer Network
Cheerleading over the past 10 years has developed into a extremely competitive and dangerous sport. It is been quite some time since the role of cheerleaders has been relegated to the sidelines doing simple cheers and shaking Pom Poms. These days cheerleading is filled with gymnastic maneuvers, acrobatic moves, jumps, flips and other activities that are both exciting to watch and dangerous to perform. Because of the nature of the sport of cheerleading, it is important that schools, coaches, clubs and others set forth policies and procedures for practice and competition. In particular, cheerleading policies and procedures should be comprehensive and include rules, procedures, and guidelines for cheerleaders designated as “flyers” and “spotters”.
It is vital that spotters are in place to protect flyers or jumpers from the risk and dangers of these moves. If a cheerleader is injured during a practice or competition does the cheerleader have a cause of action or claim to pursue for personal injuries? In answering this question, an analysis of the incident should be completed to determine if the following elements of a case are met:
2. Breach of Duty;
3. Causation; and
Just because and injury takes place does not mean that the club, coach, school, or program is liable for the injuries. However if the coach and/or supervisors fail to follow safety protocol and this, in turn, causes or contributes to the injuries then a claim / case may be pursued on behalf of the injured cheerleader child. Because of the complexity of liability cases involving sport or extracurricular related activities like cheerleading can be quite complex, it is advisable that the parents of the injured child contact a Child Injury Lawyer for advice, consultation, and potential legal representation.
There are guidelines in place through the AACA (The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators). According to the AACA Website, a manual was created by the top cheerleading professionals, lawyers, professionals, and others. You can read more about the guidelines set forth by AACCA for Tosses at Cheerleading Rules and Procedures.
The book titled – The ABCs of Child Injury – Legal Rights of the Injured Child – What Every Parent Should Know – has chapters on School Injuries, Day Care Center Injuries, Sports Related Injuries, and other topics. You can get his book for free at The ABCs of Child Injury.