Skip to main content

Cheerleading ruled to be a contact sport in Wisconsin; could start happening in other states

By Brian Hillabush

 Cheerleading coaches have been saying for years that their sport is a contact sport and it has been proven to be one of the more dangerous sports in the past.

But the Wisconsin Supreme Court made a ruling this week on a case where a cheerleader was dropped while attempting a stunt in 2004.

She filed a lawsuit against the cheerleader that dropped her, causing a serious head injury.  The District Court ruled cheerleading was not a contact sport and ruled in favor of the cheerleader that was dropped.

The reasoning was that the competing teams do not have contact with each other.

So then it went to the Supreme Court and was overturned, making it a contact sport. That means that cheerleading is the same in Wisconsin as sports like football and basketball, where an athlete cannot sue another a member of your own team that causes a mistake that leads to an injury.

Many people disregard cheerleading as a sport, but with this decision many states could look to do the same, including New York. The Section 5 championships are on Feb. 22.

High school cheerleading is a contact sport and therefore its participants cannot be sued for accidentally causing injuries, the Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in a case being closely watched in the cheerleading world.


The court ruled that a former high school cheerleader cannot sue a teammate who failed to stop her fall while she was practicing a stunt. The court also said the injured cheerleader cannot sue her school district.

The National Cheer Safety Foundation said the decision is the first of its kind in the nation.


You can read the full Associated Press story here.

Authentically Local