Mississippi physicians say cheerleading is a sport - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Is cheerleading a sport? Mississippi physicians weigh in

Posted: Updated:
Cheerleaders compete at the state fairgrounds at annual Cheer and Dance Competition. (Source: WLBT/Oct. 13, 2013) Cheerleaders compete at the state fairgrounds at annual Cheer and Dance Competition. (Source: WLBT/Oct. 13, 2013)
RIDGELAND, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

Cheerleading should be considered a sport.

That's what physicians agreed last week because of the high risk of injuries.

"We hope this will improve safety measures at Mississippi schools," said Lee Voulters, MD of Gulfport. Dr. Voulters is a Gulfport neurologist who chairs the Mississippi State Medical Association Board of Trustees.

Voulters was one of 22 Mississippi physicians and medical students attending a meeting of the American Medical Association in Chicago last week.

"Cheerleading is as rigorous as many other sporting activities considered by high schools and the NCAA as sporting activities. Adding it to the list would mean more safety measures for cheerleaders and proper training for coaches," Dr. Voulters explained.

The AMA physicians will ask accrediting bodies to declare cheerleading a sport and improve safety measures.

These include avoiding inappropriate surfaces when performing flips and other stunts and following established guidelines for properly performing stunts.

The policy follows the passage of Mississippi's "Return to Play" legislation, which goes into effect July 1.

With this law, if an athlete is suspected of having sustained a head injury in the course of play, the student will be immediately removed from play and will be prohibited from returning until they have received a thorough examination by a trained medical professional and are cleared to return.

Cheerleading should follow the same guidelines since it is one of the leading causes of concussions in female athletes he has treated, said Dr. Voulters.

"Cheerleaders are not exempt from the same type of injuries occurring in other sports," Dr. Voulters said. "I've had young ladies come in after a fall and I find they have suffered a concussion. Then, they are told by their coaches to get right back out there. I am very concerned about what is happening in our schools and want cheerleaders to have the same protection as athletes involved in contact sports."

Mississippi's delegation to the AMA included Sharon F. Douglas, MD, of Madison; Clay Hays, Jr., MD, of Jackson and Claude Brunson, MD, of Jackson.  Alternate delegates were Randy Easterling, MD, of Vicksburg; Lucius Lampton, MD, of Magnolia and James Rish, MD, of Tupelo.

On the AMA work team were Voulters; Lee Giffin, MD, of Vicksburg; Jennifer Bryan, MD, of Flowood; Thomas Joiner, MD, of Brandon; Geri Weiland, MD, of Vicksburg and Hugh Gamble, MD, of Greenville.

Representing various specialty organizations were Eric Lindstrom, MD, of Laurel; David McClendon, MD, of Biloxi; Nicole Lee, MD, of Jackson; Jane Beebe Jones, MD, of Jackson; William Waller, MD, of Hattiesburg and AMA past president Edward Hill, MD, of Tupelo. 

Copyright 2014 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Prosecutors: DNA evidence links Garcia to girl's murder

    Prosecutors: DNA evidence links Garcia to girl's murder

    Friday, August 29 2014 11:05 PM EDT2014-08-30 03:05:03 GMT
    The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia.More >>
    The horrifying details of the capital murder of 5-year-old Janaya Thompson were presented to a judge Friday. A Gulfport detective talked about the evidence investigators have against Alberto Garcia. During Friday's hearing, prosecutors revealed that DNA evidence found on Janaya's body has come back from the crime lab with a positive match for Garcia's DNA.More >>
  • Breaking

    Man involved in fatal accident that killed wife apprehended

    Man involved in fatal accident that killed wife apprehended

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:09 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:09:42 GMT
    The man involved in Thursday's fatal accident on Wolf River Road that killed one woman is now in custody.More >>
    The man involved in Thursday's fatal accident on Wolf River Road that killed one woman is now in custody. Harrison County Sheriff Melvin Brisolara said Joshua Emmanuel Ladner, 27, was arrested at his home on Fire Tower Road in Pass Christian on Friday. He is charged with felony leaving the scene of an accident causing death and felony fleeing.More >>
  • Breaking

    Man killed by stolen van in Biloxi identified

    Man killed by stolen van in Biloxi identified

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:07 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:07:04 GMT
    The man who was killed by an alleged drunk driver in a stolen van on Friday morning has been identified.More >>
    The man who was killed by an alleged drunk driver in a stolen van on Friday morning has been identified. Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said 26-year-old Christopher Curry, of Jackson, was pronounced dead at the Ocean Springs Hospital shortly before 7:15 a.m.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

208 DeBuys Road
Biloxi, MS 39531
(228) 896-1313

FCC Public File
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WLOX. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.