• NATA to Help Increase Medical Services in Underserved High Schools

    by AB Staff May 2014

    Source: National Athletic Trainers’ Association 

    WASHINGTON, DC, May 29, 2014 –The National Athletic Trainers’ Association, in collaboration with the Professional Football Athletic Trainers’ Society, will support a national initiative to place athletic trainers (ATs) in underserved high schools in NFL markets during the 2014 football season. The National Football League Foundation and NFL teams will provide $1 million, with the NATA adding another $125,000, to improve the health and welfare of those student athletes. The announcement was made during the White House Healthy Kids and Concussion Summit in Washington, DC, this morning.

  • Seven Sports Safety Questions Every Parent Should Ask

    by AB Staff May 2014

    Editor's Note: In response to the story Athletic Business published on May 19 titled, "School Districts Grapple with Youth Tackle Football Safety," the National Athletic Trainers' Association sent us the following release which we wanted to pass on to our readers.

  • Study: Concussions May Lead to Smaller Brain Volume

    by May 2014

    A new study published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests college football players with concussion histories may have smaller brain volumes and slower reaction times than players with fewer years of experience.

    The study, conducted by the Laureate Institute for Brain Research (LIBR), looked at 25 college football players that already had a history of concussions and compared them to 25 college football players who had not suffered concussions and 25 non-football-playing control participants. Researchers then measured brain function using an MRI machine, while the participants took computerized cognitive tests.

    According to the research, the 25 college football players with previous concussion history had the smallest hippocampal volume when all three groups were compared. 

    The hippocampus is the brain region responsible for regulating emotion and storing and processing memory. The results may indicate that this region of the brain is particularly sensitive to mild traumatic brain injuries. 

    Beyond the impact that traumatic brain injuries can have on the hippocampus, the football players with more football experience also experienced slower reaction times than younger players. While the study itself could not provide any answers to this question, the researchers believe that the physical and psychological stressors that college athletes experience during their careers could be a factor. 

    Due to the small sample size, the study cannot make any definitive claims, but the researchers hope that it will serve as a starting point for further research into the effects of concussions on young athletes.

    “Other studies have evaluated the effects on older athletes, such as retired NFL players, but no one has studied 20-year-olds until now — and the results were remarkable and surprising,” the Director of Cognitive Neuroscience for LIBR, Patrick S.F. Bellgowan, told the University of Tulsa. “Our next step is to assess what caused this difference in hippocampus size.”

  • Technology, Collaboration Key to Protecting Open-Access Events

    by April 2014

    No one anticipated — no one could have anticipated — what happened on that day," recalls Boston Police Commissioner William Evans. An avid runner with more than 40 marathons under his belt, including last year's Boston Marathon, Evans has been preparing harder for this year's Boston Marathon than any other race he's run. But unlike previous years, his morning runs with a member of the Boston Athletic Association aren't meant as training for his participation in the race; they are meant as preparation for his more daunting task of protecting the race.

  • NJ High Schools Preparing for New Safety Mandates

    by Michael Gaio April 2014

    New Jersey high schools will soon have new rules in place aimed at keeping student-athletes safer.

  • Navy Freshman Dies After Collapse at Football Practice

    by Michael Gaio March 2014

    Navy freshman football player Will McKamey died while in a coma Tuesday night, three days after he collapsed during a Midshipmen football practice. He was 19.

  • Peeing in Public Pools Common and Harmful, Say Studies

    by Michael Gaio March 2014

    It might not come as a huge shock, but now there's actually proof to back it up: peeing in the pool is harmful to swimmers' health. And that's bad news considering the Los Angeles Times reports one in five Americans admits to peeing in a public swimming pool.

  • Blog: Every Athlete Deserves a Certified Athletic Trainer

    by Mike Hopper, Guest Contributor March 2014

    Youth sports injuries seem to continue to pile up. Unfortunately so do the fatalities. In recent years, we’ve heard about many football players who have died after suffering brain trauma. We’ve heard reports of athletes who have died of sudden cardiac death. And we’ve heard of athletes dying of heat illnesses such as exertional heat stroke or sickle cell anemia. In response to that, there have been significant regulations in the way of law or league policies for these various cases.

  • NATA Kicks Off 5th Annual Youth Sports Safety Summit

    by Emily Attwood March 2014

    Source: National Athletic Trainers Association                             

    WASHINGTON, March 10, 2014 – In its continued effort to address appropriate safety measures for youth athletes, the National Athletic Trainers’ Association hosted today the fifth annual Youth Sports Safety Summit in Washington, D.C.  

    The event built upon the success of the NATA-founded Youth Sports Safety Alliance and its prior summits. The Alliance, comprising nearly 150 organizations, is committed to preventing catastrophic injury and illness in youth athletes. The program will culminate with visits to legislators on Capitol Hill on March 11.

    “This year, we were all challenged to rethink student athlete safety from an accountability, liability, advocacy and best practice perspective,” says NATA president Jim Thornton, MA, ATC, CES. “We are seeing a decline in youth sports participation due to safety concerns, while at the same time we know highly competitive athletes may not report injuries in order to stay in the game. Finding that right balance and culture shift was an integral part of this summit’s dialogue and outcome,” he said.

    More than 7.7 million high school athletes participated in school sports during the 2012-2013 academic year with an estimated 46.5 million children playing team sports annually in the U.S. An estimated 1.35 million children were seen in an emergency department for sports-related injuries in 2012.

    As a result of the National Action Plan for Sports Safety introduced at last year’s Summit, Congress introduced House Resolution 72 (H. Res. 72), the Secondary School Student Athletes’ Bill of Rights. It addresses the important rights of young athletes when participating in secondary school sports programs. The plan is an educational initiative to improve sports safety, achieve appropriate medical care in secondary schools, understand the potential risks, and at the same time, bring to light the many benefits of playing sports. Recently, a companion bill has been introduced in the Senate. S.Res. 372 hopes to accomplish the same goals as the House version.

     To review the plan and Bill of Rights, please visit:

    Summit topics ranged from risk management for administrators to new research and recommendations on high school sports safety including concussions, pre-participation exams, mental health and the athlete and highlights of a new benchmark study that addressed appropriate medical care in today’s secondary school setting. Afternoon discussions included athletic administration, as well as best practices in awareness and training; on the field; and advocacy. NATA advanced released a new position statement on the management of sport concussion that will be published in the March Journal of Athletic Training, NATA’s scientific publication. To review the statement please visit:

     “We’ve taken youth sports safety to a new level of awareness,” added Thornton. “Each participant is now empowered to share this important learning with the coaches, legislators, family members, school administrators, medical professionals and others who work with and influence our student athletes and can help ensure their physical and emotional health on the playing field.”

    Nationally Acclaimed Speakers Address Trends, New Research and Liability Issues

    The Summit, held at the Westin City Center Washington, DC, included a full program of presentations featuring some of the country’s leading youth sports safety medical experts and advocates. Thornton opened the program and was followed by Brian Hainline, MD, chief medical officer, NCAA, who addressed accountability and transparency in intercollegiate athletics. Tom Farrey, director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program and an ESPN enterprise reporter, served as a school administration panel moderator. Other speakers included:

     Steven Broglio, PhD, ATC, director, NeuroSport Research Laboratory, University of Michigan, highlighted a new position statement on concussion management; Douglas J. Casa, PhD, ATC, FACSM, FNATA, Korey Stringer Institute, University of Connecticut, provided an overview of the adoption of guidelines and rules by state; Dawn Comstock, PhD, Colorado School of Public Health at University of Colorado, Denver, discussed recent research trends and scientific findings on the youth sports safety front; Timothy Liam Epstein, JD, partner, SmithAmundsen law firm, addressed liability and risk management; Neeru Jayanthi, MD, associate professor of Family Medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery & Rehabilitation, Loyola Stritch School of Medicine and board member, American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, spoke about preparticipation exams; Laura Long and Samantha Sanderson, co-founders, Concussion Connection, offered the athletes’ perspective; Timothy Neal, MS, ATC, assistant director of athletics for sports medicine, Syracuse University, talked about mental health and the athlete; and Riana Pryor, MS, ATC, director of research, Korey Stringer Institute, addressed the status of recent research of high school athletic training services.

    Case histories, additional speaker information or interviews are available upon request. For more information please visit: or

    March is National Athletic Training Month with the theme “We’ve Got Your Back.”

    About NATA: National Athletic Trainers’ Association (NATA)

    Athletic trainers are health care professionals who specialize in the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of injuries and sport-related illnesses. They prevent and treat chronic musculoskeletal injuries from sports, physical and occupational activity, and provide immediate care for acute injuries. Athletic trainers offer a continuum of care that is unparalleled in health care. The National Athletic Trainers' Association represents and supports 39,000 members of the athletic training profession. Visit 

    About the Youth Sports Safety Alliance
    Since 2010, the Youth Sports Safety Alliance has worked to raise awareness, advance legislation and improve medical care for young athletes across the country. High school athletes suffer 2 million injuries, 200,000 doctor visits and 30,000 hospitalizations every year. The alliance is committed to reducing those numbers and improving the health and safety of our young athletes. The YSSA was founded by the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and now includes nearly 150 member organizations. Visit:

  • Proposed Law Sets Cardiac Arrest Prevention Protocols

    by Michael Gaio March 2014

    More than 2,000 teenagers die from sudden cardiac arrest in the U.S. each year, according to the Connecticut Post. And now the state of Connecticut is trying to do its part to limit that number, particularly in high school student-athletes.