The event featured remarks from the President and a panel discussion with experts in the field.

On Thursday, May 29, 2014, USA Cheer was invited to the White House Healthy Kids & Safe Sports Concussion Summit, which was held in the East Room of the White House. The event featured remarks from the President and a panel discussion with experts in the field.

In addition, USA Cheer has committed to increasing the educational materials available to coaches, cheerleaders and parents, as well as reviewing current injury studies with the goal of further reducing injuries.

We will follow up with a report from the meeting, as well as keep you informed of all developments that pertain to cheerleading safety in the months ahead.

USA Cheer’s Safety Commitment

  • A comprehensive Head Injury Protocol, developed by the USA Cheer National Safety Council, to be rolled out at summer clinics around the country to over 300,000 cheerleaders and their coaches. This protocol is based on current research and evidence-based methods including consistent assessment practices, evaluation protocols, and appropriate referrals consistent with all new published research. All instructors are trained on head injury policies and will be teaching more than 300,000 cheerleaders and their coaches how to prevent, identify, and seek treatment for any suspected head injuries.
  • Educational training videos, on the website, where cheerleading coaches, parents and athletes can review skills for legality and safety. The videos will expand the current training tools to anyone with internet access and will be available free of charge.
  • New cheerleading safety guidelines, intended to further reduce traumatic brain injuries in cheerleading. Past rules changes have resulted in lower rates of concussions and drastic reductions in catastrophic injuries.
  • Free training videos and online access to experts in the cheerleading industry, which will help educate athletes, coaches and parents and minimize risk for cheerleaders across the country and from every socioeconomic strata.
  • Updates to existing safety rules, developed in coalition with the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators, the National Federation of State High Schools Associations, and the U.S. All Star Federation cheerleading rules committees, which will further reduce the risk of injury to those who participate in cheerleading.
  • Publishing the first Cheerleading Return to Play Concussion Protocol, developed in 2010 by AACCA, which provided a framework for coaches and medical professionals to safely manage the return to cheerleading participation following a concussion.
  • Partnering with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “Heads Up” campaign to develop cheerleading-specific Heads Up awareness materials and has distributed these materials to the coaches of over one million cheerleaders.
  • Requiring, through AACCA, the NCAA and their insurance provider, risk management training for all college cheerleading coaches beginning in 2006. Since the implementation of this training, there have been no catastrophic injury claims stemming from a cheerleading practice, game or competition.
  • Developing the USA Cheer’s National Safety Council, which convenes annually to review cheerleading safety studies and implement necessary safety procedures. This panel includes esteemed cheerleading experts, biomechanics experts, pediatric surgeons, neurosurgeons, and athletes.
  • Participating in the Youth Sports Safety Briefing on Capitol Hill in April 2013, sponsored by representatives Tim Bishop (D-NY) and Mike McIntyre (D-NC). We were selected as a sports safety spotlight for our efforts in reducing catastrophic injuries and our ongoing commitment to youth sports safety for the over 4 million youth who participate in cheerleading.
  • Participating in the National Conference on Youth Sports Safety, held in Washington, DC in November 2013. USA Cheer was among a very select group invited to participate in the event hosted by Dr. David Satcher, former U.S. Surgeon General.
  • Participating in the Brain Injury Awareness Association’s Day on Capitol Hill in March 2014. We were a part of a comprehensive brain injury awareness event at the Rayburn House. This event gave USA Cheer the opportunity to disseminate information on the many initiatives being implemented to reduce the occurrence head injuries in cheerleading.