Safety Update!
One of USA Cheer's primary objectives is to "promote safety and safety education for cheer in the United States." It is a responsibility that is central to everything we do, including growing cheer participation and representing the USA in cheerleading internationally.

This safety update includes information on new high school rules and the new rules course, as well as the updated safety manual and course.

Thanks to the combination of appropriate safety rules, ongoing safety education, and increased safety awareness by all, cheerleading has been ranked among the lowest risk high school sports for ten years!

We are excited to provide this safety update to our members, partner organizations, and friends!

Jim Lord
Director of Education and Programming
New High School Rules
The 2019-20 high school rules were published to the USA Cheer site on May 1 and are available here .

Some of the highlights of the new rules include allowing certain braced flips using one bracer, allowing inversion releases to land in extended stunts, modifying the “switch lib” rule to allow landing on one or both feet. In addition, new restrictions were placed on sign use, prohibiting signs from being released from a top person.

Further changes were made to clarify previous rules, and minor changes were made so that the USA Cheer and NFHS rules are virtually identical!
Rules Training for Coaches and Officials!
USA Cheer announces the first ever comprehensive safety rules course! 

Unlike other rules training that primarily reviews new rules, this 4-part course covers the entire spectrum of the high school cheerleading rules. There are two courses available, with one geared towards coaches and another with additional fifth training section for rules officials. 

The course is developed by the USA Cheer rules committee which is led by rules experts Bill Ahern and Jim Lord, both of whom are also advisers to the NFHS rules committee. The course is designed to be compatible with both the USA Cheer and NFHS safety rules, and should serve as the foundation for rules understanding for any cheerleading coach or choreographer.

The course will be updated each year, along with a “new rules” add-on for coaches who have completed the comprehensive training. 

For more information, and to complete the USA Cheer Safety Rules Course, click below and select "Responsibilities and General Rules (Part 1)" from the "HS Rules" section. Join USA Cheer for course discounts!
New USA Cheer/AACCA Safety Manual
The long-awaited USA Cheer Safety Manual update has been completed!

The manual is the 4 th edition of the original AACCA Cheerleading Safety Manual, which made cheerleading history when published in 1990. It was the first publication to specifically address risk minimization in all areas of safety awareness, legal and medical responsibilities, skill progressions, emergency planning, and performer readiness.

The new manual builds upon the foundations laid by the latest AACCA Cheerleading Safety Manual and updates important information and concepts that have changed since the last publication in 2006.

In addition, the manual also now includes an online appendix, so that future updates or additional forms and reference material can be added as needed.

The manual is currently in the printing process, and online versions can be downloaded as part of the new online course, which is available on the USA Cheer training portal. To complete the course, click the button below and select "USA Cheer Safety & Risk Management Section 1" from the "Safety/Risk Mgt" section. Join USA Cheer for course discounts!
NCAA Endorses Catastrophic Injury Policies
The NCAA Board of Governors recently unanimously approved a set of policies to help prevent catastrophic injury and death across all NCAA sports.

We are proud to say that the recommendations include areas that the American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators, now part of USA Cheer, has been promoting since its first Cheerleading Safety Manual, published in 1990, and which many of USA Cheer's member organizations have teaching at camps and clinics for at least as long.

These include developing a practiced emergency action plan, acclimatization and conditioning, strength and conditioning of personnel, protective equipment, and education and training. Additionally listed is an area that is already a centerpiece of cheer - sportsmanship.