October 23, 2012 by admin?

Labeling Cheerleading a Sport is hardly Cheerleading Reform and hardly a cure for the recent outbreak of Cheerleading Catastrophic and other Injuries and Deaths. An Epidemic of Cheerleading Injuries by any other name is still a tragedy and the label Sport is far from the final resolution.

From The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): ?In a new policy statement, the AAP urges coaches, parents and school officials to follow injury-prevention guidelines, develop emergency plans and ensure cheerleading programs have access to the same level of qualified coaches, medical care and injury surveillance as other sports and Cheerleading should be designated as a sport in all states.

?Although most high schools and colleges have cheerleaders, only 29 state high school athletic associations recognize cheerleading as a sport, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) does not include competitive cheerleading in its list of sponsored sports.

?This is an important omission, according to the AAP, because being classified as a sport gives athletes valuable protection including qualified coaches, well-maintained practice facilities, access to certified athletic trainers, mandated sports physicals and surveillance of injury.

?The AAP makes key recommendations for preventing injuries, including:

? Cheerleading should be designated as a sport in all states, allowing for benefits such as qualified coaches, better access to medical care and injury surveillance.
? All cheerleaders should have a pre-season physical, and access to qualified strength and conditioning coaches.
? Cheerleaders should be trained in all spotting techniques and only attempt stunts after demonstrating appropriate skill progression.
? Pyramid and partner stunts should be performed only on a spring/foam floor or grass/turf. Never perform stunts on hard, wet or uneven surfaces. Pyramids should not be more than 2 people high.
? Coaches, parents and athletes should have access to a written emergency plan.
? Any cheerleader suspected of having a head injury should be removed from practice or competition and not allowed to return until he or she has clearance from a health professional.
[Policy statement: ?Cheerleading Injuries: Epidemiology and Recommendations for Prevention, was released at a news conference at 9 a.m. Monday, Oct. 22, at the AAP National Conference & Exhibition in New Orleans and published in the November 2012 issue of Pediatrics (published online Oct. 22, 2012]

The above recommendations are excellent. However, the AAP failed in their Policy Statement to identify the most important deterrent for Not-Accidental, Preventable Cheerleading Injuries that are not Inherrent or Natural to the Cheerleading Athlete Activity, namely understanding the Coach and Child / Youth Athlete Relationship and Coaching Maltreatment of Child and Youth Athletes. [The Coach and Child Athlete Relationship http://www.cappaa.com/coach-and-child-athlete-relationship%5D

?Everyone knows SRE accidents happen, while playing by the rules of the game, in safe SRE environments, with proper athlete protection, coaching supervision and conduct. Serious Injuries and Deaths that occur during blameless circumstances are Inherent and Natural to the game that athletes play. They are called Accidental and Not-Preventable. An aggressive clean football tackle that fractures an arm is an Accident and Not Preventable.

?Contrarily, Preventable, Not Accidental Injuries and Deaths occur at a rate of approximately fifty per-cent.

?Preventable, Not Accidental Injuries and Deaths of SRE Children (

?Recently I was consulted concerning push-up punishment to an adolescent swimmer that resulted in a Preventable, Not-Accidental torn shoulder labrum and dislocation necessitating surgery. The violation was said by the consultee to have been reported to authorities and will probably result in serious consequences.

?Child SRE Coaches are ?Temporary Substitute Caretakers? (TSC) in the eyes of the Public Law 111-320, Child Abuse Prevention Treatment and Reauthorization Act 2010 and in the eyes of the U.S. Surgeon General and the Kentucky Department of Community Based Services (DCBS) and Child Protection Services (CPS).

?However, the Coach?s role of TSC is not ?crystal clear? and has not been heard, reported and promulgated to the ears of doctors, all public citizens. coaches, parents and child athletes.

?Education, awareness and enforcing the Coach TSC role are the simple solutions to fifty percent of the complex SRE child athlete injury risk management problems.

?Children athletes with SRE injuries and deaths will be prevented, athlete safety first will be promoted and coaches will not be blind-sided with criminal and civil litigations and citizens and doctors will report and child athletes will more likely self-report Child Athlete Physical, Psychological and Sexual Maltreatment once the role of the Coach TSC becomes ?crystal clear? public policy. [Letter to the J KY Med Assoc. Editor, Sept. 2012, vol.110, p384]

Illegal Athlete Maltreatment by Coaches accounts for about 50% of Child and Youth Athlete Not-Accidental and Preventable Injuries in SRE. The interface of Athlete Injury and the Law is Forensic Medicine. The medical doctor that takes the history, examines and treats the Athlete morphs, possibly unbeknown, into a Forensic Doctor as he/she ?investigates? while taking a precise history, Athlete Injuries that are secondary to Coach Maltreatment of Athletes.

Naming Cheerleading a Sport does not cast it into a Legal Corpus called Sports Law when unlawful Coaching Behavior becomes manifest. ?Currently, Sports Law is not separately definable body of law and the possibility, that such a body of law will ever develop, is extremely remote.? [1.Timothy Davis, Marquette Sports Law Review. Article 7, Vol 11, issue 2, Spring]

And it has not happened. The most important deterrent to Illegal Behavior, unfortunately, is punishment by the Law. Relegating Cheerleading or any other SRE activity to a domain of Sport will not suffice as the main deterrent to unlawful SRE Injuries and Deaths secondary to Child and Youth Athlete Abuse Syndrome i.e. Physical, Psychological and Sexual Abuse.

Regarding only the Amateur Child and Youth Sports, High School Athletic Associations, School and Non-school Athletic Associations and the NCAA are non-legal rules of order for how the games are to be played and Athlete Eligibility. They are created by private non-legal, non-governmental organizations that govern sports play.

The main characteristics are first that they are contractual organizations with binding forces coming from agreements by teams to submit to the authority and jurisdiction of Sport Non-Governmental Organizations. While Sport Participation and Play are not regulated by state and national legal systems, they must comply with Federal and State Rules of Law. All U.S. citizens serve the Rule of Law no matter the venue, including Sports.

Rules, Regulations and By-Laws of National and State Amateur School and Non-School leagues, federations and associations do not include the Rules for Child and Youth Protection Laws that have been enacted into Law and willfully or inadvertantly foster ?Closed Sports Societies? that appear to want-to-be impervious to outside interference and the Rules of Law because Child Abuse Laws are not published to the Sport Culture and Athletic Community. The Coach is not defined as should be as a ?Temporary Substitute Caretaker?. In those circumstances labeling Cheerleading a Sport alone would not suffice as a deterrant and possibly be detrimental without spelling out the Coach and Child/Youth Athlete Relationship.

Furthermore, assuming that private non-legal non-governmental organizations are the Law would be a Phony Masquerade of Legal Interpretation of Assumed Legal Authority.

Example: ?The monster question is if the Florida High School Activities Association, the self-governing, self-righteous, self-appointed, all-knowing autocracy of Florida sports.? [Michael Batchelder, FHSAA Is The New High School Bully, The Tampa Tribune, Published: November 15, 2008]

The News is that High School Athletic Associations are not above the Law. ? Senate President Pro Tem Katie Stine , R-Southgate, KY said Tuesday. She has introduced legislation that would allow high-school athletes and their schools to obey court orders without fear of punishment from the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. ?An agency such as the KHSAA is not above the law.? She also said Kentucky high schools should be encouraged to follow the law, not ignore it [http://www.kentucky.com/2009/03/11/721477_amendment-would-limit-khsaas-authority.html – Lexington Herald Leader, Mar. 11, 2009]

Legal Practitioners and others are attempting to birth a new legal area, Sports Law. National and State Amateur School and Non-School leagues, federations and associations appear to be attempting to develop Closed Sports Societies.

But as Secretary Condeleezza Rice stated, ?No Sport is a Kingdom unto its own?. No one is above the Law.? [former Secretary of State, Condeleezza Rice, CNN Interview, Candy Crowley, State of the Nation concerning Coach Jerry Sandusky Penn State Child Sexual Abuse Tragedy]

Presently there are no such animals: Sports Law and Kingdoms operating in the U.S. unto their own.

?The Am Ac Pediatrics made key recommendations for preventing injuries: ? Cheerleading should be designated as a Sport in all states, allowing for benefits such as qualified coaches, better access to medical care and injury surveillance? (maybe mbmsrmd).

The AAP Policies are noble and will be helpful for the Prevention of Cheerleading Injuries and Deaths when implemented, but they are incomplete.

First and Foremost, the Cheerleading Coach is a Temporary Substitute Caretaker of Child Athletes. The Coach and Amateur Athlete have a Legal Relationship.

All Children have Special Standards of Care when under temporary custody and control of a Coach and must be treated and governed accordingly. SRE are not ?Nations Unto Their Own? operating in the U.S. There is no recognized Legal corpus called Sports Law within which to operate.

Child Protection Laws are the Standards of Care for minor Children. Because the Child and Youth Athletes are minors, Cheerleader Athletes are Child (

The AAP Policies are noble and will be helpful for the Prevention of Cheerleading Injuries and Deaths, but currently they are incomplete, because they have neglected the Special Standards of Care for all Children and Youth, including Cheerleaders and have neglected the complete Role of the Coach, a Temporary Substitute Caretaker.

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Source: http://www.cappaa.com/american-acacamey-of-pediatrics-and-cheerleading-injuries

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