SENATE, No. 2275




DATED:  MAY 7, 2015


      The Senate Education Committee favorably reports Senate Bill No. 2275.

      The bill requires the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association (NJSIAA) to establish cheerleading as an interscholastic athletic program, and requires certain health clubs (e.g. gyms and fitness centers) to have a safety harness available for use by cheerleaders.

      The bill requires the NJSIAA to set forth guidelines governing student participation in cheerleading and to conduct cheerleading tournaments between member schools.  The bill also requires the NJSIAA, in consultation with the New Jersey Cheerleading and Dance Coaches Association to establish cheerleading coach and program safety requirements for all student athletes, recreational athletes, and competitive athletes, such as All-Stars.  The NJSIAA also is to require any cheerleading coach to receive training specific to the sport of cheerleading and the safety of cheerleaders.

      The bill’s provisions further require a health club with a membership of at least six cheerleaders holding a health club services contract, or with a cheerleading squad or team holding a group health club services contract for membership, to have at least one safety harness available for use by the cheerleaders or squad.

      The bill amends existing law to include recreational cheerleading squads as youth-serving organizations for purposes of the protocol for “removal-from-play” when a child exhibits symptoms of sudden cardiac arrest.  Also, certain references to cheerleaders or cheerleading programs are deleted from current law since under the bill cheerleading will be considered an interscholastic sport.