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An assessment of injuries in college cheerleading: distribution, frequency, and associated factors
  1. B H Jacobson1,
  2. B Redus2,
  3. T Palmer1
  1. 1School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA
  2. 2University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, OK, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Jacobson
 Oklahoma State University, School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology, 204 Willard Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA;


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.

  • ankle
  • cheerleading
  • college
  • injuries

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  • Competing interests: none declared