Today the concussion debate centers around the NFL and the numerous stories of players committing suicide or suffering form dementia and other brain-related illnesses. But the concussion problem is much bigger than the NFL.
Legislation for federal funding to help protect student athletes from concussions got the National Football League’s backing Monday in the shadow of the stadium where the Super Bowl will be played this weekend.
NFL Senior Vice President Adolpho Birch joined two New Jersey lawmakers in support of legislation drafted following the 2008 death of a New Jersey high school football player.
The proposal by Sen. Robert Menendez and Rep. Bill Pascrell involves national concussion guidelines currently under development for schools and youth sport programs by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The legislation would authorize a 5-year grant program to bring those guidelines to school sports programs nationwide.
Doctors focused on lowering risk of sports concussions and long-term head injuries introduced Hit Count, a data-driven personal analysis platform backed by Dr. Chris Nowinski of Sports Legacy Institute.
Hit Count was designed to establish guidelines for help parents and coaches regulate the allowance of brain trauma in children.
“It felt like my brain was floating on a cloud inside my head,” Nic Latham says, a former Denison student athlete who had to be excused from playing due to excessive head trauma from lacrosse.
For the amount of talk that goes into head injuries causing memory loss, the first concussion seems to stick in the brains of the affected like superglue.
Latham, the former midfielder and a face-off specialist who earned all-state honors as a junior in high school, continues, “It was April 30, 2011. I was knocked out for 10-15 seconds or so and then was very dizzy. Once the adrenaline came down from playing, I got a pretty bad headache and whiplash to the point where I couldn’t move my neck for a week.”
For the National Hockey League, Tuesday will either be the first day of a serious regeneration process, or the first day of truly entrenched denial.
Recently, 10 former players launched a class action lawsuit against the league claiming it didn’t do enough to protect them from concussions. The lawsuit alleges the NHL is guilty of “historically ignoring the true risks of concussive events, sub-concussive events and/or brain injuries suffered by NHL hockey players” and of “refusing to address the issue of brain injuries despite a growing body of medical opinion establishing such a linkage and their own study of the issue.” And, apparently, “refusing” to change its rules to effectively protect players.
A coach’s job, especially in high school, can be a difficult one when it comes to player safety.
Sometimes when a game is on the line, the temptation to push that player is always there. Even when a coach senses that his or her player is hurt, when the player says he or she can go, that coach is faced with the tough decision of rather to send the player back out there or whether he or she needs to sit the player out.
A new state law in California will hold private and charter schools to the same sports safety standards as public schools.
Assembly Bill 588 was signed into law in September 2013 and went into effect Jan. 1. The bill stipulates that if a student in a school athletic activity is suspected of suffering a head injury during practice or a game, that student may not play for the rest of the day.
Schools and sports clubs across Scotland are being sent a new leaflet with a “potentially lifesaving message” about the dangers of concussion for youngsters.
An author of a new medical study said the high cost of paying injured N.H.L. players should push the league to stiffen what he described as inadequate measures to prevent brain trauma, including rules that still allow fighting.
“N.H.L. owners need to do a better job of protecting their athletes — if not for their players, then for their own pocketbooks,” said the author, Dr. Michael Cusimano, a neurosurgeon at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto.
The hard-working, fun-loving people who run Sports Are for Everyone (SAFE), a nonprofit program for children with challenges, will now have volunteer support from the U.S. Navy.