• More Softball Pitchers Adopt Face Masks

    by Jim Baumbach and Michael Gavin May 2017

    Sophomore pitcher Haley Lomax was hit in the face with a line drive during a Central Islip High School varsity softball game on April 27. She could not get her glove up or duck out of the way. But she is among a growing number of high school softball players on Long Island and nationwide who are choosing to wear a protective face mask.

  • Electronic Surveillance Technology for Drowning Detection

    by Courtney Cameron May 2017

    Human beings are fallible. This is the humble truth that has inspired recent technological advancement in the expanding field of aquatic safety, an industry that has long relied entirely upon that fickle surveyor, the human eye. New products in every imaginable form are making their debut on the market, all with the unifying goal of showing us what our eyes might have missed. From electronic surveillance and wearable alert systems to secret lifeguard audits and 3-D imaging, aquatic safety is in a period of flux.

  • Study: Odds of Cancer Caused by Infill One in a Million

    by Courtney Cameron May 2017

    A $200,000 testing project to determine the safety of synthetic turf sports fields containing crumb rubber infill found that the likelihood of developing cancer due to contact with the surface is less than one in a million. 

  • Not Just Football: Contact Sports Also Pose Concussion Risk

    by Dave George May 2017

    It's not just football. Of course, everyone knows that, or at least everyone who has ever given serious consideration to the long-term consequences of contact sports. At the end, however, of a week in which the degenerative brain issues of Miami Dolphins greats Nick Buoniconti and Jim Kiick have been so sadly spotlighted, it seems important to widen the discussion. There is a reason the American Youth Soccer Organization banned the basic skill of heading the ball for players 10 and younger and limited practice time with headers for older players.

  • Player from Legendary Dolphins' Team Likely Has CTE

    by Hal Habib May 2017

    Jim Kiick, one-third of the Dolphins' legendary championship backfield of the 1970s, has "near-definite CTE leading to dementia," Sports Illustrated reported Wednesday, citing the diagnosis of NFL-approved neurologist David B. Ross.

  • Crosby Case Reveals Flaws in NHL Concussion Handling

    by Nancy Armour May 2017

    The NHL has done Sidney Crosby no favors. The Pittsburgh Penguins star again finds himself answering questions after Monday's playoff game against the Washington Capitals about the league's concussion protocol and whether it failed him, a topic he is tired of and, quite frankly, doesn't think is anyone's business. But the curiosity and concern are warranted, given both Crosby's history and stature and the NHL's record of denial when it comes to head trauma. Be it the independent spotters' inability to pull Crosby off the ice after he slammed headfirst into the boards Monday in Pittsburgh or the NHL's absurd explanation for why that was OK, there is every reason to question whether the league is doing enough to protect its players.

  • No Easy Answers to Keep Kids Safe Playing Football

    by Dave George May 2017

    Dr. Manuel Gonzalez-Brito is deep into the research on traumatic brain injury and well-versed in all the frightening questions that arise when reading the new Sports Illustrated story on what has become of Nick Buoniconti's life.

  • Investigation Finds 'Hazing' Often Used to Minimize Assault in HS Sports

    by Reese Dunklin May 2017

    The Georgia school district said it was investigating the baseball players for "misbehavior" and "inappropriate physical contact." What it didn't reveal was that a younger teammate had reported being sexually assaulted. Even after players were later disciplined for sexual battery, the district cited student confidentiality to withhold details from the public and used "hazing" to describe the incident. Across the U.S., perhaps nowhere is student-on-student sexual assault as dismissed or as camouflaged as in boys' sports, an Associated Press investigation found. Mischaracterized as hazing and bullying, the violence is so normalized on some teams that it persists for years, as players attacked one season become aggressors the next.

  • Opinion: Retaliation Pitches Don't Belong in Baseball

    by David Lennon May 2017

    Once a 90-mph fastball leaves someone's hand, there's no predicting the full extent of the damage when a body part is targeted. If not for a few inches, the Orioles' Manny Machado might have been hospitalized last Sunday.

  • WIAA Approves Concussion Insurance for Student-Athletes

    by Mark Stewart April 2017

    Tuesday the WIAA Board of Control unanimously approved a policy with Dissinger Reed. The HeadStrong Concussion Insurance Program will provide athletes in grades 6-12 with up to $25,000 of coverage per injury.