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Concussions, by the New Book

For decades in the N.F.L., the operative term for the situation was that someone “got dinged.” It was a cute, almost harmless-sounding description of what was often a concussion or a worrying subconcussive blow to the head.

But with the N.F.L. agreeing to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle a lawsuit brought by about 5,000 former players who said the league hid from them the dangers of repeated hits to the head, a backpedaling league has corrected its lingo and hastily amended its methodology. The N.F.L. now has a concussion management protocol, outlined in an inches-thick document that commands teams to institute a specific, detailed game-day and postconcussion course of action.

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Coaches sign pledge for player safety

Lawmakers in every state have passed legislation dealing with concussions. Now, coaches are taking it upon themselves to tackling the issue of sports related injuries.

Some coaches who work with children from grade school to college are signing a pledge, committing to the health and safety of their players.

Concussions are the biggest concern. If not handled properly, lives are at stake.

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Football concussions: Amid the fear, UGA research brings some hope

While most concussion research focuses on college and professional players or young children, a team of neuroscientists at the University of Georgia is tackling an often overlooked cohort of athletes.

The average Joes are middle-aged men who played football, but not in any kind of national spotlight. They suffered concussions during their glory days on the high school gridiron.

Each participant underwent an fMRI scan, which measures brain activity by detecting changes in blood flow within the brain. An image of the brain appears on the computer screen, and as the volunteer performs various mental tasks, different regions light up to different degrees, representing activity in those areas.

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College Players Often Don’t Tell of Hits to Head, Studies Find

The controversy over why Michigan quarterback Shane Morris was allowed to return to the field with a “probable mild concussion” from a violent hit last Saturday highlighted a communications breakdown on the Wolverines’ sideline. But it also pointed to the inconsistent ways in which coaches and players acknowledge hits to the head — if they acknowledge them at all.

Three studies published in the past few weeks have offered more insight into that issue, concluding that the self-reporting of concussions by college players varies by position, with offensive linemen the least likely to report concussions and less significant hits to the head.

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Concussion dangers go beyond football, cross gender lines

The rate of concussions among U.S. high school athletes has more than doubled between 2005 and 2012, with numbers now as high as 300,000 per year, according to a study published this year in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.

 

While 29 percent of those concussions happened in football, the danger of such head injuriestranscends into other sports. It crosses gender lines as well.

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Concussion Risks Haven’t Slowed Down High School Football

Despite overwhelming evidence of the sport’s dangers, high school football participation is down just 2% since 2008. Since the kids won’t kick the sport, legislators and state athletic associations are trying to make it safer.

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California law limits school football practices to cut concussions

Football practices at which middle- and high-school students tackle each other will be restricted in California under a law signed on Monday by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, the latest U.S. effort to minimize brain injuries from the popular sport.

The measure, which limits practices with full-on tackling during the playing season and prohibits them during most of the off-season, comes amid growing concern nationwide over brain damage that can result from concussions among student as well as professional athletes. 

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Heading off danger: Concussions and teens

It’s a hot July afternoon, just before a thunderstorm. The Bonnette family is in the living room next to a fan, discussing schedules. 17-year-old Giuliana Bonnette plays the right side position for the varsity volleyball team at Dominion High School in Sterling. She is now recovered from two concussions she suffered in the spring.

“It started out as just a really bad headache, and a little bit of confusion,” Bonnette said.

These were Giuliana Bonnette’s symptoms after her first concussion 6 months ago. Her head slammed against the ground during volleyball tryouts. It was first diagnosed as whiplash.

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Concussions in football harder than ever to ignore

The days of jarring hits in football being brushed off as “dings” or “cleaning out the cobwebs” are long gone.

With growing concerns over sports-related concussions, prep football players, coaches and parents are urged to take every high-impact collision seriously.

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Can helmets protect your kids from concussions like companies claim?

From Pop Warner to the pros, football players will soon strap on their helmets for another hard-hitting season on the gridiron. Those hard hits can be dangerous, even deadly. Helmet companies claim new products can protect your kids from concussions, but do they really work?

The big helmet-to-helmet hits send football fans to their feet. The problem is that the hits also send players to the hospital. The concussion discussion dominates safety speak at every level.

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