Safety & Security: Athlete Safety
Recent Team Bus Crashes Focus Attention on Seatbelts
by Paul Steinbach May 2013
For many observers, the 2007 bus crash that killed five members of the Bluffton University baseball team and two others had become a tragic but distant mile marker in the mind's rearview mirror. But here it is again, lending context to a motorcoach safety movement gaining momentum in the wake of three separate team bus accidents — one fatal — within the span of 18 days this year.
HS Football Players: Concussions Won't Sideline Us
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor May 2013
If the results of a study presented Monday are any indication, there's still a long way to go in efforts to educate high school football players about the dangers of concussions. In fact, many of the 120 players from the Cincinnati area who participated in the study claim it's okay to play with a concussion - even though they know they are at increased risk of serious injury.
Technology, Education Keys to Keeping Athletes Safe from Lightning
by Michael Popke April 2013
Within a four-week span last fall, a 71-year-old soccer spectator in Demarest, N.J., and an 11-year-old middle school football player in Fort Myers, Fla., were struck and killed by lightning.
Football Camp Video Shows Coach Knocking Out Player
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor April 2013
Police in two states have been investigating reports of a football coach from Thunder Mountain High School in Juneau, Alaska, knocking unconscious a then-incoming freshman player while boxing at a team camp last July. The incident, which was captured on video, occurred in Gold Beach, Ore., where the team attends a camp every summer. Law enforcement officials in that city recently took over the case.
Major League Lacrosse Pilots New Concussion Strategies
by Emily Attwood April 2013
As lacrosse has increased in popularity among both male and female participants in recent years, so have the number of brain injuries attributable to the sport. Lacrosse ranks third in diagnosed concussions among high school female athletes, according to the Florida Hospital Sports Concussion Program, and only hockey and football have higher concussion rates than men's lacrosse. To address the issue, Major League Lacrosse has teamed up with Boston-based brain trauma research organization Sports Legacy Group to develop and implement a comprehensive concussion plan for the 2013 season.
Smartphones Newest Tool in Concussion Testing
by Emily Attwood April 2013The latest advancements in technology have opened another door for advancements in concussion diagnostics, as well. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame have developed a software program that can turn a tablet or smartphone into an on-the-spot concussion diagnostic tool simply by analyzing the speech patterns of the person suspected of having a concussion."This project is a great example of how mobile computing and sensing technologies can transform healthcare," says Christian Poellabauer, an associate professor of computer science and engineering who was part of the team that developed the software. "More important, because almost 90 percent of concussions go unrecognized, this technology offers tremendous potential to reduce the impact of concussive and sub-concussive hits to the head."
The program still requires baseline testing, though less rigorous and involved than testing that uses MRI or CT scan imaging. Athletes record a voice sample before a game using a smartphone or tablet equipped with the software program. Should a brain injury be suspected, the player is asked to repeat a selection of words that the software analyzes for signs of brain trauma, which could include distorted vowels, hyper nasality or imprecise consonants.
More States Adopt Heat Management, Acclimatization Policies
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor March 2013
Snow may still be on the ground in some parts of the country, but at least two northern states have adopted heat-management policies for high school student-athletes during the past week.
Blog: 'New' Concussion Guidelines?
by Emily Attwood March 2013
The American Academy of Neurology released an updated set of concussion guidelines this week, calling for athletes to be removed from play if a concussion is suspected and not be allowed to return until cleared by a medical professional.
Update: NFL Passes Controversial Rule on Helmet Hits
by Michael Popke — AB Managing Editor March 2013
The biggest news to come out of the National Football League's annual owners' meetings this week in Phoenix was the decision to ban ball carriers and defenders from delivering forcible blows with the crown of their helmets in the open field - a significant step toward making the game safer.
Sports Injury Expert Dawn Comstock Talks Concussion Prevention
by Paul Steinbach March 2013
There are few better brains to pick on the subject of prep sports injuries than the one residing in Dawn Comstock's head. Eight years ago, the injury epidemiologist joined the faculty at Ohio State University and established as her first major research initiative the National High School Sports-Related Injury Surveillance System - an NFHS-endorsed online tool that hundreds of certified athletic trainers across the country use weekly to report injury exposure and incidents, logging up to 300 distinct variables for each injury in the process.