To help promote safety among cheerleaders, USA Cheer and the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA) have designated March as National Cheerleading Safety Month and launched a new Web site (www.cheersafe.org) to promote the cause. The goal is to help protect cheerleaders by spreading the word about cheerleading safety and by making sure cheer programs follow recognized progressions and safety rules.
The site offers information on how to keep cheerleaders safe, including a number of training and education resources. Online resources include the NFHS Coach Education courses, Cheer and Dance: Fundamentals of Coaching Cheer and Dance and AACCA Spirit Safety Certification, available at www.nfhslearn.com.
The NFHS is part of a coalition of national, regional and state organizations that are committed to improving cheerleading safety by increasing awareness throughout the extended cheerleading community. In addition to USA Cheer and AACCA, other members include the NCAA, the National Athletic Trainers' Association and the International Cheer Union, among others.
"With the popularity of spirit and cheerleading continuing to be at an all-time high, the NFHS is committed to working with AACCA and fully embrace the effort behind National Cheerleading Safety Month," said Kent Summers, NFHS Spirit Rules Editor and Liaison to the Spirit Rules Committee. "The spirit committee has worked hard at ensuring that NFHS spirit rules are consistent with AACCA guidelines and put the safety of cheerleaders first."
According to the 2011-12 NFHS High School Athletics Participation Survey, 108,307 students participate in competitive spirit, which ranks ninth among girls sports.