• Youth Tackle Football Ban Likely Dead in Illinois

    by Paul Steinbach April 2018

    A bill that would have banned tackle football for children younger than 12 lacks sufficient support to proceed through the Illinois Legislature.

    State representative Carol Sente, a Democrat from Vernon Hills, had spearheaded the so-called Dave Duerson Act, and hopes it still has a future despite the fact she is leaving the assembly. "Passing this bill is an extremely important goal to me," Sente said, as reported by the Chicago Tribune. "I don’t plan to call the bill for a vote this year, but I’m going to keep it open because every week there is new information."

    Duerson, a safety on the Chicago Bears 1985 championship team, committed suicide at age 50 and was later found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy. His son, Tregg, stood with Sente when she unveiled the legislations in January. The bill also received support from scientists and former football players, but was opposed by youth football coaches. "Coaches and parents are looking at safety in everything we do," said Jeffery Nicoll, president of the Bill George Youth Football League, which covers 19 towns mostly in DuPage County and allows kids to begin participation as early as the second grade. "Given the changes to tackle football in the last four to five years, not to mention the last 20, it is much safer. CTE is not an issue with youth football as it is at the college and pro level."

    Added Bob Anderson, a coach and board member of the Junior Spartans in Northbrook, "We had 100 kids play tackle football last year and there were zero concussions."

  • Coaches Clinic Focuses on Player Concussions

    by Holly Kee April 2018

    On Friday, over 80 area coaches gathered at Rent One Park's Diamond Club in Marion for a first-of-its-kind clinic that provided information to help keep their athletes in prime condition.

  • U.S. Youth Soccer Faces Suit Over Background Checks

    by Scott M. Reid April 2018

    In 2005, U.S. Youth Soccer, the nation’s largest youth sports organization, conducted a survey of its 55 state associations on background checks of coaches, club employees and volunteers.

  • NFL Bans Helmets Ranked Tops by Virginia Tech

    by Andy Berg April 2018

    High Schools and colleges that use Virginia Tech’s 5-Star helmet scale for judging the safety of helmets might want to have a look at the list of 10 helmets banned this week by the NFL.

  • How Foreseeable is Scoreboard Operator’s Injury Risk?

    by Kristi Schoepfer-Bochicchio April 2018

    Courts have frequently sided with the owners and operators of baseball facilities and teams who face lawsuits when errant bats and batted balls injure fans. But what's the potential liability exposure when a player is injured by a batted ball after being assigned a facility operations task during the game? That was the question before a Wisconsin Court of Appeals last December in Radebaugh v. Wausau Underwriters Insurance Company P/K/A Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, No. 2016AP2357, (W.I. Ct. App Dist. IV, Dec 7, 2017).

  • Brett Favre Talks Concussions, Field Safety

    by Paul Steinbach April 2018

    The worst among Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre's many concussions resulted from his head hitting the playing surface, and it was just such a blow — on Dec. 20, 2010 — that ended a career that spanned 20 NFL seasons and 321 consecutive starts. Now Favre wants players, parents and coaches at all levels to realize what he never did — that head-to-surface contact causes one out of every five sports concussions, and that something can be done about it. As an executive producer of "Shocked: The Hidden Factor in the Sports Concussion Crisis," which asserts that a shock pad helps synthetic turf more closely mimic the resiliency of natural grass, Favre told AB senior editor Paul Steinbach on the eve of the documentary's January debut that he believes such padding can greatly reduce the occurrence of concussions.

  • Officials Investigate 'Beaning' Threats by Baseball Coach

    by The Union Leader April 2018

    A local father says a baseball coach threatened to have a child "bean" his 11-year-old daughter if she ended up on his team.

  • Opinion: Changing Tackling Won't Guarantee Football Safety

    by John Crisp April 2018

    American boys are often taught to use their whole bodies as weapons, a technique they do not readily unlearn simply because they no longer have the protection of a helmet.

  • Study: Brain Injuries Increase Risk of Dementia Later

    by Rachel Alexander April 2018

    People with even a single concussion are more likely to develop dementia than people with no history of brain injuries, according to a University of Washington study published Tuesday in the British medical journal The Lancet.

  • Protect Young Athletes From Infections Spread Through Sports

    by Norbert Herzog and David Niesel April 2018

    Parents of young athletes worry about their children sustaining injuries, but they rarely think about the possibility of their children acquiring dangerous infections.