Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Cheerleading as contact sport

The Wisconsin Supreme Court has ruled that cheerleading is a contact sport and therefore participants cannot be sued for accidentally causing injuries. The opinion is available here. The plaintiff in the case case was a "flyer" (the cheerleader who is tossed up in the air) who fell while practicing without mats. She sued the cheerleader who was supposed to catch her for failure to spot her, the school district for failing to provide a second spotter and appropriate surfacing/mats. The claim against the "spotter" was dismissed under a Wisconsin statute that provides immunity from liability for injuries caused by negligent conduct to participants in contact sports. On appeal, the Wisconsin Supreme Court found cheerleading to fit within the plain language of the statute ("physical contact between persons in a sport . . ."). For the full story, including many links to further comments, click here, here and here.

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