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Research Article Open Access

Injuries in Collegiate Male Cheerleaders in the United States: A Descriptive Study


As the popularity of cheerleading continues and the athleticism involved increases, understanding injuries among the participants is a key component in prevention. Most research to date has focused on injuries among females, but data about male cheerleader injuries is needed to fully understand and reduce injuries. The purpose of this study is to describe the injuries among male collegiate level cheerleaders. Methods: A sample of 89 male collegiate cheerleaders completed an online survey to self-report injuries occurring within the last year. The participants had an average age of 21.98 years (s=3.21 years), 5.29 years (s=3.26 years) of cheerleading experience, and 3.71 (s=2.76) career injuries. Results: Forty-eight (54%) of the participants were injured during the designated time frame accounting for a total of 85 different injuries incidents. Thirty-four (40%) of the injuries reported were to the lower body and 31 (36%) injuries reported were to the upper body. The type of injury reported most often was a strain or sprain (55%; 47/85). Stunting was most often the skill being attempted (48%; 41/85) and basing or spotting was the main cause of injury (41%; 35/85). Most injuries (86%; 73/85) occurred at practice, on a foam floor (55%; 47/85). Significant differences existed for the skill attempted and cause of injury depending on the primary skills performed by the participant. Discussion: Similar types and cause of injuries occur among male cheerleaders when compared to previous research on female cheer injuries; however, male cheerleaders might be at an increased risk for upper body injuries. By understanding the injuries of all participants, preventative measures can be developed.

Bracken LE, Jacobson BH and Smith D

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