In an effort to minimize risk of injury to high school cheerleaders, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has stated that basket tosses and other similar multi-base tosses may only be performed on appropriate mats, grass, rubberized and soft-yielding surfaces, effective with the 2006-07 season.
The rule would affect KIF cheerleading and upcoming competitions involving island athletes.
According to a press release, the NFHS Spirit Rules Committee made this addition to Rule 2-10 as a follow-up to its earlier meeting this year, and the NFHS Board of Directors has given its approval for implementation next season.
“The most visible change that will occur next year is that basket tosses no longer will be permitted on a basketball court, unless the stunt is done on an appropriate mat,” said Susan Loomis, NFHS spirit rules liaison. “Basket tosses will still be permitted, but only on grass or soft surfaces. When basket tosses are not done properly and the person being tossed is not caught, serious injuries can occur. By eliminating the performing of these stunts on hardwood floors, the risk of injury is reduced tremendously.
“The current cheerleading climate is focused on risk minimization, and this rule change is consistent with that emphasis.”
By definition, a basket toss is performed when a flyer steps onto the interlocked arms of two bases with an assist from a person who stands behind and lifts at the waist. The flyer is then tossed directly upward by these three participants, and often with an optional fourth tosser in front of the flyer.
The American Association of Cheerleading Coaches and Administrators (AACCA), a national organization dedicated to the promotion of cheerleading safety and the education of cheerleading coaches, promoted this risk-minimization change regarding basket tosses.