New requirements call for increased safety measures for all event organizers.
Updated Procedure for a team Emergency Plan also released.
Memphis, Tenn. (July, 2009) – As part of an ongoing effort to address safety issues in cheerleading, the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) has announced its new safety standards for cheerleading competitions. Event organizers are expected to be compliant with the standards no later than the 2010-2011 competitive season. All organizations are urged to implement these standards as soon as possible.
“In working with Emergency Medical Technicians, Certified Athletic Trainers and cheerleading experts to develop these standards, our goal is to ensure that competitive cheerleading events are as safe an environment as possible for cheerleaders and are consistent with other athletic contests,” says Jim Lord, Executive Director of AACCA.
The Minimum Safety Standards addresses the proper environment for cheerleading activity, and the need for appropriate equipment including mats, border area and ceiling height, as well as the emergency medical technicians that must be available. The new standards also address the requirements for spotters on the competition floor.
“We believe that when followed correctly, these standards will improve the safety of all participants,” says Lord. “Most importantly, they address the prevention of injuries in the first place, and provide for a vital tool of having trained personnel in the event that an emergency situation does arise.”
In addition to establishing standards for competitive events, AACCA has also updated its Emergency Action Plan to be used by teams at practices and games and made it available to the public. Lord recommends that teams renew their Emergency Plan every season and practice it throughout the year to ensure that all participants are aware of the procedures should a serious injury take place during a practice.
Founded in 1987, AACCA is the recognized leader in cheerleading safety. AACCA has worked on behalf of cheerleading safety with the NCAA and the NFHS to develop safety training for coaches and cheerleading.
Emergency Action Plan
AACCA has also updated their Emergency Action Plan, available as a downloadable pdf in the “Resources” section of the http://aacca.org/ website. Coaches are encouraged to lead their squads in practicing the procedure should an injury occur during a practice, game or performance.
The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators represents more than 20,000 cheerleading coaches and are the leading advocates of cheerleading safety in the U.S. AACCA is the most recognized source for cheerleading safety education. The AACCA manual, composed by a team of doctors, lawyers, cheerleading industry professionals and Gerald S. George, PhD, has been endorsed by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, the University Risk Management and Insurance Association, the Women’s Sports Foundation and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, as well as the NCAA and NFHS.