As the sport of cheerleading soars in popularity so does the competition. More gymnastics and stunts are performed by cheerleaders, both sideline and competitive.
Competitive cheerleading is regulated by the Michigan High School Athletic Association, but rules for sideline cheerleading are made by the school administration. So it's up to coaches to keep kids safe.
All coaches are not required to be certified and this is something some local cheerleading coaches hope will change in the future. They say a trained coach can teach kids early on safety rules to keep them from getting injured.
John Johnson of the MHSAA says it would be wonderful to have all coaches certified, but it's just not a reality. He says the best way to keep cheerleaders safe is to look at the coaches’ qualifications and tailor the rules for flying or staying grounded based on that.