March 11, 2006

Cheerleaders grounded by new rules: I say let 'em fly. One scary incident shouldn't take away the thrill these girls feel for cheerleading.

posted by GoBirds to basketball at 02:59 PM - 35 comments

No more then two high. Stop throwing the girls up in the air. I saw one girl get paralized. Not worth the risk.

posted by at 03:42 PM on March 11, 2006

Yet another case of the I Will Decide What is Best for You Syndrome! Leave these decisions up to the men and woman involved. Ultimately, they know what is best for themselves.

posted by panteeze at 04:02 PM on March 11, 2006

I could take two sides to this. The Cheerleaders should worry more about LEADING CHEERS, rather than doing flips in the air. They are meant to start cheers and look pretty, everything else has been added on as sugar coating over the years... I don't know how it became a sport either. OR The individual should be able to decide whether or not she wants to risk herself to show her spirit. Athletes get hurt all the time, this is just another form of "sports" injuries.

posted by Snikastyle at 04:54 PM on March 11, 2006

So, If one basketball player hurts themselves, or one football player, or one hockey player, or.... then they are going to say that they can't play the sport anymore? This is fairly silly, one accident should not change the sport, and while I realize that they are not competing, it is the place where they get to practice the stunts in front of people, and it is still a performance venue. Why would they chang it so funadamentally?

posted by everett at 05:32 PM on March 11, 2006

Typical response from someone getting hurt. It's no wonder kids don't ride bikes any more. They need a suit of armour because someone got hurt. Accidents happen. Let the cheerleaders do their thing. Quit legislating everything to everyone.

posted by dbt302 at 05:37 PM on March 11, 2006

I think it is stupid that one freak accident reshapes the entire sport for the time being. They train a long time to be able to do this, and there are many 15 foot pyramids that have been made succsesfully. To take away from what these girls have trained the whole year for is bullshit.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 06:03 PM on March 11, 2006

It isn't uncommon for people that are in accidents to blame themselves. I can't imagine the guilt that this puts on the young woman from Southern Illinois University.

posted by geekyguy at 06:54 PM on March 11, 2006

Not worth the risk. Then don't let your kid be a cheerleader. Pretty freakin' simple. But don't go out there telling other people what they can and can't do based on your own sense of what's acceptable or not. It's not your call.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 07:01 PM on March 11, 2006

Who are they leading in cheers???

posted by THE DOME at 07:41 PM on March 11, 2006

This is the stupidest thing ever. Did they start telling players they couldn't hit hard in football after that Detroit Lion got paralyzed a while back? If a hockey player slips on the ice and breaks an arm, are they gonna make the ice less slippery? Cheerleading is a sport. You must be in good shape physically and mentally to participate, just like any other sport. And there is also a risk of personal injury, just like any other sport. They all know the risk behind it, and if they still choose to do it, then let them. If they don't wanna take the chance, either don't do the sport or be on the bottom of the pyramid.

posted by zachaweenus at 08:41 PM on March 11, 2006

But don't go out there telling other people what they can and can't do based on your own sense of what's acceptable or not. It's not your call. That is what America has become. Someone complains and things are changed to make them happy. Cheerleading, college team names, and the list goes on and on.

posted by dbt302 at 08:49 PM on March 11, 2006

I don't go to sports that involve, or have, cheerleaders. It's naff.

posted by owlhouse at 09:00 PM on March 11, 2006


posted by everett at 09:57 PM on March 11, 2006

I had a cheerleader on top of me in college. Worked out great as far as I was concerned

posted by Wrigley South at 10:33 PM on March 11, 2006 Someone ought to outlaw legs like that! Look like they could hurt a fellow!

posted by Wrigley South at 10:35 PM on March 11, 2006

u could just put a mat under them and have them do the big flips everyside wins

posted by Barry-from-H-town at 10:51 PM on March 11, 2006

I can't believe some of u people saying that cheerleading isnt a sport. It is most definatly a sport and a very physical one at that. I never cheerleaded, but i watched my sister cheerlead, and the things they had to do. IT WAS CRAZY! There is a lot of physical and a whole heck of a lot of mental aspects that go into that sport, its not all about shaking you butt and trying to look cute while wearing a little skirt. Those of you who don't call it a sport, i would like to see you get out and do some of the things they do. I'm sure that would 360 your opinion. as it goes for cheerleaders to stay grounded at games...i think thats ridiculous! It's a risk you take in cheerleading, and they know that! People fall, and get hurt, it happens! let em fly!

posted by JDsGurl18 at 01:34 AM on March 12, 2006

Amen JDsGurl(I hope that means Jack Daniels) Amen for those legs too.

posted by GoBirds at 05:18 AM on March 12, 2006

I still remember an incident involving a Syracuse cheerleader during an SU game many years ago. It was identical to the one that resulted in the restrictions. In that incident the cheerleader suffered a skull fracture. What I remember most is the girls' cries of pain as she was removed from the arena. You are going to have these kinds of injuries in any high risk acrobatic routine. The answer isn't to ban them, but to require safety precautions for the teams that perform them. It's all a matter of training.

posted by Jaundiced Eye at 05:47 AM on March 12, 2006

I tore a shoulder muscle climbing ladders in an oil refinery. When can I expect them to build the elevator? The NCAA is a business, and like most businesses, is prone to knee jerk reactions. UNLIKE the NCAA, smart management learns to identify, and works to eliminate potential problems in its place of business. School systems are supposed to prepare you for the "big bad world out there", and how to survive in it, not cover you in bubble wrap, and send you out to play. Like the majority of you have said, the NCAA needs to butt out on this one, and do what they do best...sanction discriminatory and offensive team mascots. GO ILLINI!!!

posted by wolfdad at 07:32 AM on March 12, 2006

Pretty freakin' simple. But don't go out there telling other people what they can and can't do based on your own sense of what's acceptable or not. It's not your call. I love how any time the NCAA enforces a rule, they're "telling people what to do," as if you could have a collegiate athletic system without some kind of sanctioning body that tells members what to do. The cheerleading teams represent schools that choose to belong to the NCAA, which chooses to follow AACCA safety rules. If they don't like it, they can choose to cheer elsewhere or choose to lobby the NCAA to change the rules.

posted by rcade at 08:02 AM on March 12, 2006

My daughter has been involved in competition cheerleading for a few years, and you wouldn't believe the athleticism this activity takes. People focus on girls falling from the top of these mounts, but there are other dangers, also. When the girls who are being held up, or thrown up in the air come down, the individuals catching them are at risk. I've seen girls catching one of these flyers get their face smashed by the other girl's head. That happened to my niece, and she began having siezure episodes soon after (which doctors blame on this injury). She is still a big supporter (and coach) of cheerleading squads. It's risk that is associated with many other sports, from football to baseball to hockey. Accidents happen in all activities, but you have to let the individuals who enjoy them keep participating.

posted by dyams at 08:11 AM on March 12, 2006

The cheerleading teams represent schools that choose to belong to the NCAA, which chooses to follow AACCA safety rules. If they don't like it, they can choose to cheer elsewhere or choose to lobby the NCAA to change the rules. So is it acceptable to change the rules during the peak of their season? Seems unfair to me. I'm sure many of the cheerleaders think they are getting a raw deal.

posted by panteeze at 11:39 AM on March 12, 2006

Any further discussion of whether cheerleading is a sport will be deleted.

posted by rcade at 06:10 PM on March 12, 2006

With four daughters and five granddaughters having been or are currently involved in the sport of cheerleading or strutting or whatever, it frightens me so bad for their safety that I just go out to the hills and woods and swamps and ride my Yamaha Big Bear 4X4 and wonder why all my family goes bonkers with fear when I ask to take a teenager along for the scenery, fresh air, nature, even wildlife viewing.

posted by Bud Lang at 11:20 PM on March 12, 2006

rcade, I wasn't bitching about the NCAA or the possibility of their enforcing the new regulations. My response was to the poster who decided that the sport that thousands of young men and women devote themselves to was "not worth the risk." I do have a problem with knee-jerk legislation, and that's what I consider the AACCA's latest move in the wake of the Yamaoka accident. Besides, what's more important to the AACCA, the health of these student-athletes, or their image as it relates to funding? From the article: Jim Lord, AACCA executive director, said the new rules are an attempt to prevent another high-profile accident. Not "to protect the participants," not "to make sure nobody gets hurt," but "to prevent another high-profile accident." I still think it's a knee-jerk copout.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 09:01 AM on March 13, 2006

SpoFi censorship? I can dig it... I guess...

posted by everett at 09:14 AM on March 13, 2006

Dude, it's not censorship. It's keeping up the high quality of content on the site. Is it censorship because the New York Times decided not the publish your letter to the editor? Not at all. Same principle applies here. You're more than welcome to start your own weblog and debate to your heart's content whether cheerleading is a sport or not.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 10:56 AM on March 13, 2006

Dr. John, Chill man, I was joking, just as my comments made in the conversation were jokes that I though would point out the ridiculousness of the conversation. I agree with you totally. ok?... uh.... ok.

posted by everett at 03:44 PM on March 13, 2006

I swear attack mode is easy to spark these days.

posted by everett at 03:45 PM on March 13, 2006

Sorry. Tough to pick up sarcasm in text. All is well.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 03:51 PM on March 13, 2006

Don't worry JohnEvans the same thing has happened to me a couple times. I think TBH is right.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 05:26 PM on March 13, 2006

I swear attack mode is easy to spark these days. With the number of Yahoo! chatroom refugees increasing exponentially, whaddaya expect? People love this place, and hate to see it shat upon, which is happening quite a lot over the last few months.

posted by The_Black_Hand at 06:42 PM on March 13, 2006

I agree... I'm a relative newbie as well, but I feel like I add more than I take so I get defensive sometimes. But, there is no doubt that the conversation gets a little depressing at times.

posted by everett at 07:38 PM on March 13, 2006

The_Black_Hand, Don't believe everything you read. The comment I made was that we wanted to protect the athletes and to minimize the chance of having another high-profile injury. The reason for that was that all it would take is one more cheerleading injury that stopped an NCAA basketball tournament game on national television to have college administrators across the country start banning their cheerleaders from any stunts. This was not a knee-jerk reaction. The discussion about 2 1/2 high pyramids and basket tosses was already on the agenda for our upcoming college rules meeting. In light of that, and the injury, we determined we would go ahead and put the restriction in place for the remainder of the season. Now, about Oregon State. This appears to be much more about something they've been wanting to do for a while than real concern for the athlete's safety. If that were indeed the case, they would be eliminating all of their sports. To be clear, the NCAA has not made any restrictions on cheerleading other than that they follow our safety rules and that coaches are safety certified by August 1, 2006. These athletes are young adults. They do understand the risk involved and they accept it. At the same time, the NCAA's insurance company covers them with catastrophic insurance coverage like all of the other athletes, and there has to be a balance between what is possible and what is allowed. Safety precautions prior to this incident included requiring two spotters for every person above 2-high. Flipping basket tosses were already not allowed on the basketball court as well. Whether those skills will be further restricted as they are right now, or whether additional measures such as requiring two spotters in front and back, remains to be seen. There is a balance going on here that tries to find a reasonably safe performance level with the purpose of the cheerleading program in each environment (basketball, football, competition). I hope that clears up the issue a little bit. Jim Lord Executive Director American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators

posted by jlo at 11:02 PM on April 06, 2006

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