Posts Tagged ‘Cheerleading’

2016 Insurance Program Released For American Youth Football

AYFThe gold standard that is the envy of the competition

The American Youth Football and American Youth Cheer endorsed insurance provider, Sadler Sports Insurance, has released the new 2016 insurance program for teams /associations /conferences.

Detailed 2016 coverage, rate information, and online enrollment are available now on our website!

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The 2016 offering is, once again, the gold standard in youth football and cheer insurance with an unbeatable combination of low rates, broad custom coverages, and best-in-industry automation that allows instant online enrollment and issuance of proof of coverage documents and certificates for field owners. But that’s not all: the program also provides best-in-industry risk management resources to prevent injuries before they become claims and groundbreaking studies on safety in youth football and cheer.

Apply, pay, and print proof of coverage documents and certificates in as little as 10 minutes

Our advanced automation is so simple and fast that you can complete the entire insurance purchase transaction and print all your documents in as little as 10 minutes. Many competitors require the completion of forms and days of waiting just to get a quote. Then, once the quote is bound, it can take several days to get the proof of coverage documents and certificates for field owners. Or, they could charge $100 extra for next day rush delivery.

After the purchase, we provide our clients access to our website so that they can self-issue certificates for new field owners 24/7. It’s so easy and our clients love this benefit.

Beware of competing programs that seem too good to be true

We often hear stories about a competitor offering cut-rate policies with a per team rate that is too low to be believable. Whenever this happens, something ends up being defective with the offering, which illustrates that if something is too good to be true, it usually is. We’ve seen cases where the quoted price did not include the cost of both the Accident and General Liability policies, where the organization never reported the transaction to the insurance carrier and no insurance was in force, and where a big corporation was going to foot the bill for the insurance (dream on), etc. Just this year we found a competitor that was bragging about their great insurance program but had grossly misrepresented its limits and coverages to the public. We brought this to the attention of their insurance carrier and corrections were made. After a little bit of digging, these schemes fall apart.

What is being done to combat the risk of concussion/brain injury and related litigation?

Sadler Sports Insurance provides a sample Football/Cheer Concussion Awareness Risk Management Program (short form) that is strongly recommended for all teams/associations/conferences. This free program can be found under the risk management section of our AYF Insurance page. This program consolidates accepted risk management practices into a three-page document for easy board adoption and implementation. We recommend coaches complete the AYF coaching education program. Certification is required of head football and cheer coaches participating in AYF national championships. We also encourage coaches, volunteers and players view our Seahawks’ tackle resources page. which demonstrates their tackling methods. AYF has provided a certification test to take in conjunction with this video on myafy.com. It is important for all teams/association/conferences to thicken their shields by adopting and fully implementing a comprehensive concussion/brain injury risk management program. The future of our sports depends on this action and it’s the right thing to do to protect the kids.

Check Out Our New, Improved AYF Webpage And Video And Our 98% Staff Awesome Rating

Our AYF/AYC webpage has been totally redesigned for an enhanced user experience where our prospect and clients can access all of our services (ex: applying, renewing, issuing certificates, add/delete teams, claims, etc.) without ever having to speak to a staff member at Sadler. However, should you have a question or need assistance, you can contact our staff by email, chat, or phone. We are very proud that surveys indicate that our staff is graded as 98% “Awesome” by those who have contacted us.

Also, all the football and cheer specific risk management content and related blogs are now available directly from the webpage.

In addition, we created a new video that can be viewed individually or by a small group to explain how to access our insurance and risk management services.

Best-in-industry risk management resources (free)

We have an incredible line up of free risk management resources including articles, legal forms, risk management program templates for your easy adoption and customization, and training videos for administrators and staff. This includes the newly created document entitled Sample AYF/AYC Advanced Plan, which is a comprehensive risk management program customized for AYF/AYC organizations.

Be a part of groundbreaking injury studies

If you purchase your insurance through the endorsed insurance program, all Accident claims automatically become part of the database where our custom software analyzes the information to produce meaningful injury reports. This has led to groundbreaking studies on the comparison of injuries in age only vs age/weight categories and the incidence of concussions within AYF/AYC.

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Please visit our webpage at www.sadlersports.com/ayf or call us at 800-622-7370 if you have any questions.

 

Cheer Injuries: Low Frequency But High Severity

Posted | Filed under Cheerleading

Risk management and coach training integral to safety

In the last 20 years, high school cheerleading has morphed from an activity on the sidelines of the athletic field to a highly competitive sport. This and the increasingly difficult stunts cheerleaders perform are contributors to the increase in serious cheer-related injuries. However, findings of a recent study published in Pediatrics show that cheer injuries tend to be more severe in nature but fewer in number in comparison to almost all other high school sports.

The study’s results found that only gymnastics had a higher proportional rate of injuries than cheer that resulted in athletes being benched for periods of three weeks to an entire season. Other significant findings are that male cheerleaders are more likely to experience injuries and that most injuries occur during practice.

What’s behind the injuries and how to prevent them

Nearly half of cheer injuries are suffered by cheerleaders who make up the formation bases for pyramids and other stunts. Fliers account for 36 percent and spotters 10 percent.

Concussions, while the most common cheer injury, were significantly lower than all other high school sports combined. However, most cheer concussions were the result of elbows and other body parts hitting a cheerleader’s head rather than the head hitting the ground or other surface. Other common cheerleading injuries are ligament fractures, sprains, and muscle strains.

The complexity of the stunts performed and the height at which cheerleaders fly mean that having an experienced coach is integral to each team, according to Mark Riederer of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan.

Proper safety equipment, making sure the cheerleaders are all at the same performance level, and having an athletic trainer on the high school staff can all help reduce the risk of injuries.

Sport or extracurricular activity?

Approximately 400,000 students across the U.S. participate in high school cheerleading each year. This number includes more than 123,000 who participate in competitive squads that include dynamic tosses pyramids, and other stunts in their routines.

Not all schools classify cheerleading as a sport. The distinction between cheer as a competitive sport and a non-athletic extracurricular activity is significant because sports incorporate stricter safety rules. For cheer rules would designate  practice locations that are relatively free from distractions and specify coach certification requirements.

All in all, cheerleading is not a particularly dangerous sport and appears to be safer than other sports, said Dustin Currie, lead author of the study. But, he added, precautions to minimize the potential risks of injury and to alleviate parents’ fear of participation in cheer should be a priority.

According to John Sadler, this information is consistent with our studies on youth cheer outside of school sports. We see relatively few injuries by frequency but some are severe. Therefore, quality, high limit Accident and General Liability insurance is still a must. Also, there is definitely a correlation between injuries and the quality of coach training and certification, as well as the standards that are being followed.

We have several articles on the topic of cheer safety on our blog and in our risk management library. And please contact us or  click here for further information or a fast quote for cheerleading insurance.


Sources:
Ashley Welch. “Cheerleading injuries less common, more severe than other sports,” cbsnew.com. 10 Dec. 2015.
Maureen Salamon. “Concussion is top injury among cheerleaders, study finds,” chicagotribune.com. 10 Dec. 2015.

The Dangers of Cheerleading

Lack of safety standards needs attention

I recently came across a news release from the national media on cheer injuries.  In addition to the usual horror stories, it included the following points of interest:

  • Over the pasta 26 years, 73 cases of catastrophic cheerleading injuries in the U.S. have been traced by the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research at UNC.  These included fractured skulls or broken necks that led to permanent disabilities and two deaths.
  • According to estimates by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, almost 30,000 cheerleaders are treated in emergency rooms nationCheer Stuntawide each year.
  • Emergency room visits from cheerleaders have tripled since the mid-80’s when cheerleading turned competitive and incorporated high risk gymnastics stunts. Cheerleading popularity and participation also increased during  this time.
  • High risk stunts such as basket tosses, pyramids, and certain tumbling runs top the list for injuries, which are frequently executed on gymnasium floors, grass, and dirt with nothing separating the cheerleader from the hard surfaces.
  • High school cheer is not considered an official sport in most states.  Therefore, cheer doesn’t necessitate the same limits on practice time, safety equipment, or training for coaches that are essential for other high school sports.
  • The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) requires cheer coaches to be certified in 13 states.  Certification often only requires an online test for coaches, which offers no training in spotting techniques or gymnastics.  And only about a dozen states regulate cheer by the rules that are set by the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS).
  •  NFHS  offers an online cheer coach certification course comparable to the AACCA course.  Yet, each state will determine if the coach is required to take the certification course.
  • In 2010, AACCA  introduced its first set of rules, which bans double twisting dismounts and basket tosses.  However, that rule only applies to the youngest cheerleaders who are on either the elementary, middle or junior high teams.
  • Susan Loomis, the NFHS rulebook editor for spirit teams comments that there is no acting ‘cheer police’ at the high school level.  She herself does not know what the repercussions would be if someone did not follow or broke a rule.

Source:  MSNBC 

Cheerleading Causing Catastrophic Injuries

Regulated or not, cheering poses serious risks

CheerlCheerSquadeading has evolved well past the days of “Rah, rah, rah, GO TEAM” It has quickly become one of the most dangerous sports among young women. According to an article in the Washington Post, cheerleading accounts for more than half of all catastrophic injuries to girl athletes.  We have seen an increased number of squads that are not just cheering for a localsports team, but are in competition for themselves.

Concussions and the serious side effects associated with them are in the news for good reason, but usually associated with football and soccer players. Concussions suffered by cheerleaders apparently aren’t being reported as frequently as those suffered in other sports. This could be a result of the ongoing effort of cheerleaders, coaches and parents to gain respectability for the sport.

Much of the concern for young athletes at risk for concussion goes to the obvious heavy-hitters:  football, soccer, basketball.  But an expert who studies the injury in youth sports say one major activity is being overlooked: cheerleading.

Female athletes may be at even higher risk for suffering a concussion than their male counterparts.  Girls’ neck muscles are generally weaker than boys’, making them more susceptible to dangers that come from rapid acceleration or deceleration, and whiplash.Melissa Dahl, msnbc.com

It is always important to make sure that the participants are well trained, not only in the how to execute stunts, but to do them in ways to protect themselves and their squad members.

We offer cheerleading insurance for teams and cheer school. For more information or a quote, call us at (800) 622-7370.

Cheerleading Should Be Classified as a Sport

The American Academy of Pediatrics weighs in

The American Academy of Pediatrics announced it’s recommendation that cheerleading  be classified as a sport in all 50 states. This would mean cheerleaders would receive the same safety attention as other athletes. Currently, only 29 states classify cheerleading as a sport, an activity that approximately 3 million girls participate in every year. There is an average of 26,000 cheerleading injuries  each year, and there were 37,000 injuries requiring emergency room treatment reported in 2011.

According to NBC Nightly News video below, performing the high-flying lifts and flips requires the skills of a gymnast. Injuries have been surging in terms of broken bones and concussions. In addition, 66% of all catastrophic injuries to high school girls occur in cheerleading. Falling from 15 to 18′ in the air while performing can result in skull fractures, broken necks, and broken bones.

The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests the following should be mandated:

  • Qualified coaches
  • Better medical care
  • Limits on practice time

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Source: NBC Nightly News

Court Rules Cheerleading is a Contact Sport

Ruling affects unintentional injury claims

The Wisconsin Supreme'Uhhh... sorry Lincoln, this table is for equipment managers for the sports teams. I don't think cheerleading counts as a sport... yeesh, what a nerd.' Court ruled that a cheerleader who was dropped by her male teammate can’t sue him under state law. Wisconsin has a state law the prevents participants in contact sports from suing other potentially negligent participants for unintentional injuries.

NCAA studies on catastrophic injuries support the proposition that cheerleading is the leading source of catastrophic injuries including death, paralysis, and other disabilities. The most common cause of such injuries is contact with floor and contact with another participant.

Source: Wisconsin Court Bars Cheerleader’s Injury Suit Against Teammate