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Concussion Return-to-Play Protocols: Cheer

Spend 1-2 days at each level before moving to the next. You should take about 1 week to complete the protocol.

If you develop symptoms, NOTIFY YOUR CHEER COACH OR TRAINER IMMEDIATELY. Rest one day, then resume at previous level.

  • LEVEL 1 - Light aerobic exercise (increase heart rate); walking, jogging < 70% effort (heart rate <150). Begin with 5-10 minutes first day. Following days, gradually increase up to 20 minutes continuous. No resistance training.
  • LEVEL 2 - Sport specific exercise (add movement); examples; individual standing cheers, individual dance, jumping. Choreography. No tumbling, spotting, stunting, flying.
  • LEVEL 3 - Progress to Non-contact training drills (exertion, coordination, cognitive load); progress to more complex training drills, e.g., group dance & cheers. May begin resistance training (push-ups, sit-ups). Begin weight-bearing on hands (hand-stands, walk-overs, cartwheels, round-offs) with spotter.
  • LEVEL 4 - Full contact training after medical clearance; full participation, including stunting, spotting, flying. Full tumbling. If you are able to train at Level 4 without symptoms you may proceed to Level 5.
  • LEVEL 5 - Performance, Competition (may return to full participation)

Note: These return to play protocols are patterned after the generic return to play protocol proposed by the 4th International Conference on Concussion(1), and may differ from the UIL recommended protocol.

(1) McCrory P, Meeuwisse WH, Aubry M, et al.  Consensus statement on concussion in sport: the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012.  Br J Sports Med 2013; 47: 250-258.