Cheerleading squads perform on the sidelines for football and basketball games supporting their team and encouraging the crowd to show their spirit. These athletic events can get intense, and cheerleaders are in the middle of it all! While being on the sidelines offers a great view of the game, certain rules should be followed to make sure that cheerleaders, and the players that they support, are safe from the risk of injury. Safety On The Sidelines Before the game starts, the cheer coach and captain should check to make sure that the performing surface on the sidelines is clean, even and dry. Remember, sideline cheering with stunts is dangerous because of the hard performing surface. There are no mats or padding to provide protection. Cheer stunting should only be done in proper weather conditions, and only if there is adequate space. Cheerleaders should understand the game that they are cheering at, and they should always be facing the action so they can watch for and avoid plays that go out of bounds. Sideline cheerleaders have been accidental victims of out-of-bounds tackles at the high school level and also at the professional level‚ be careful and aware of your surroundings! Cheerleaders should not enter the court or field if the players are using that space to warm up. The cheer squad should make plans ahead of time to use an alternate space or to show up before the players arrive. Chants and stunts should only be performed during timeouts and halftime. If the ball is in play, cheerleaders should remain safely outside the live play area of the game. Limit the amount of participating cheerleaders based on the space that is available. Smaller areas should have less cheerleaders on the sidelines to avoid crowding and to ensure that they aren’t bumping into each other during their performances. Those cheerleaders that are not on the sidelines can still participate from the audience though! Any cheerleader that sustains an injury on the sidelines should immediately seek treatment. Failure to do so puts the entire squad at risk of further injuries. No chewing gum or eating candy while cheering at a game. This is no different from the same rule at practices, because it prevents the risk of choking. Share your sideline safety tips in our comments section!