Cheerleading More Dangerous Than Hunting with Guns

I always loved it when a fellow instructor used to pull out the stats on range safety versus cheerleading. For many of the people in the room, the thought that they were sending their little girls off to a far more dangerous activity than if they took them to the gun range or took them out hunting with guns usually took a minute to settle in.

Today, NSSF released some data comparing various activities – including cheerleading – to hunting with guns. Now keep in mind that the numbers for hunting are many times not related to gun incidents. Tree stand falls are some of the most problematic injuries hunters face. So, if you want to give your kids a great activity to keep them outdoors and safe, teach them to hunt. Cheerleading, football, basketball, and even riding a bike are far more likely to result in injuries than hunting.

12 thoughts on “Cheerleading More Dangerous Than Hunting with Guns”

  1. The most important step you can take to minimize the danger of tree-stand falls is bringing your beer in cans rather than bottles. That pile of empties you land on doesn’t have to be a threat if you take precautions.

  2. Hunting however, does lose out on the “who is more attractive” statistical comparison with cheerleading. /snark

  3. Yes and no.

    I’m glad they at least did a per-participant rate, but it’s still misleading.

    I want rate-per-participant-per-day-of-participation; most people hunt a few days a year, is my impression.

    People that ride bikes (e.g.)? Lots of them do it every day.

    (It’s like talking about vehicular injury rates per passenger, rather than per passenger mile…)

    Not that I think hunting is all that un-safe, but I don’t like bad statistics. And these statistics have a bit of the whiff of the misleading about them. I want the best data, period.

    1. Well, according to the press release, bicycle riding has 1333 injuries/100,000 participants, while hunting has 50. So the break even is 1333/50 ~ 27. 365 days/(1333/50) ~ 13.7. So one bicycle-year/person = 13.7 hunting days/person. However, I suspect that the mean bicycle days per person is well under a year, heck probably on the order of a month, while its impossible to get under 1 day per hunter.

  4. Cute comparison, but I’d like to see something that also takes into consideration the severity of the injuries. Or perhaps include permanent disabilities and deaths too. “Injury” doesn’t tell a whole lot, and I think I’d rather have a “Running/Jogging” injury than a “Hunting with Firearms” injury. The former being more common doesn’t exactly convince me that hunting is the safer of the two.

    1. When you consider that a slip and fall is actually the most common accident at gun ranges, I don’t think you’d end up with the wildly different answers you’re assuming. The only thing I would really see potentially driving the number up for hunting would be tree stand accidents. But there are many hunters who choose game & hunting styles that don’t involve tree stands at all. There’s not much in the way too choose in cheerleading that doesn’t involve hardcore gymnastics moves or serving as a base or flyer for a squad.

      One of my friends was a competitive cheerleader for a while, as well as on the standard basketball cheerleading squad. When those flyers came tumbling down, it was not very pretty for either the girl on top or those below.

    2. At first I thought it was more than a little disingenuous to compare hunting injuries to tennis injuries, since I figure tennis is pretty safe.

      But then when I looked it up, hunting *fatalities* are in the US are only about 20 – 30 people every year, which is roughly the same number of people that get killed every year working on golf courses.


      International Hunter Education Association

      Fatal Occupational Injuries Associated with Golf Courses and Country Clubs, 2001-2006

    3. Bicycle fatalities are in the neighborhood of 700/year, probably mostly due to hit-by-car. Finding running/jogging fatalities doesn’t appear to be a trivial internet search, pedestrian traffic fatalities, surely a gross overestimate, are around 1900/year.

  5. Cheerleading should have an agency devoted to keeping the participants safe and generate revenue from them.

    I would tax the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.

    And I have a feeling they would tax me, too…

  6. Pregnancy rate is much higher among girl cheerleaders than girls that hunt.

  7. My favorite was when I was active in playing paintball ( before it got ruined by cheaters ). People would always ask about how dangerous it was, but I would point out that you had a greater chance of being injured playing golf vs paintball.

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