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Sports-Related Concussions & Subconcussive Injuries

"The Smartest Team": Staking Out The Sensible Middle In The Polarized Debate About Football

It has been an exciting week for those of us who worked so hard over the past two years to produce "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer.

After kicking off with our premiere on Oklahoma Educational Television (OETA - PBS) in August, and with stations in North Carolina and Colorado having aired the documentary in September, the beginning of October marks the first full week of broadcasts on PBS stations in more than ten states. 

The buzz about the PBS documentary, "The Smartest Team," has been overwhelmingly positive, but some appear to be working overtime, on Twitter, through a whisper campaign, and via other back-channel means, to cripple MomsTEAM's ability to get its message out. Brooke de Lench explains.

PBS Stations Begin Airing "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer"

The Brooke de Lench documentary, "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer," will be broadcast on PBS affiliate stations across the country beginning September 17, 2013.

Sports-Related Concussions: Many Not Diagnosed, Says Study

Nearly a third of patients at two leading sports concussion clinics reported having previously suffered a concussion which went undiagnosed, says a new study, putting them at increased risk of longer recovery from concussion, the cumulative effects of concussive injury, and of second impact syndrome.

Cheerleading: High Rates of Catastrophic Injuries and Concussions

Cheerleading:carries the highest rate of catastrophic injury in sports, accounts for fully two-thirds (66%) of all catastrophic injuries in female athletes has experienced a sharp rise in the number of emergency room visits since 1980, with cheerleaders ten times more likely to sustain concussions in practice than in competition

After Sports Concussion: Physical Therapist Can Play Important Part In Return To Play

While physical therapists cannot help heal an athlete's brain after concussion, they can be an important member of the concussion management team, helping in a variety of ways to ensure that athletes only return to play once their brains have fully healed.

Limiting Contact Practices In High School Football: Proceed With Caution, Study Concludes

Limiting or eliminating contact practices in football would result in an 18% to 40% reduction in head impacts respectively over the course of a high school football season, reports a new study,  which urges policymakers to proceed with caution in imposing such limits.

Coaches Can Play Important Role in Encouraging Athletes To Report Concussion Symptoms, Studies Find

A growing number of studies challenge the conventional wisdom that inadequate athlete concussion knowledge is the principal barrier to increased concussion symptom reporting.  Because educating youth about the dangers of concussion is unlikely to improve concussion reporting, they say other ways need to be found to increase reporting, among them being to enlist coaches to help create an environment where athletes feel safe in reporting.

NFHS Partners with USA Football to Advance Player Safety

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has partnered with USA Football to advance high school football player safety on a national level by endorsing USA Football's Heads Up FootballSM program.

"The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer" Film Screening at The Micheli Center

The Micheli Center for Sports Injury will be hosting a free screening of the just-released informative PBS documentary, "The Smartest Team: Making High School Football Safer," on Wednesday, August 21st at 7:00 PM. Dr. William P. Meehan, III, Director of The Micheli Center for Sports Injury Prevention and a featured expert in "The Smartest Team," and the documentary's producer/director, Brooke de Lench, Founder of MomsTEAM.com, will be on hand after the screening to answer questions parents, coaches and athletes have about the making of the film or about concussions in general.

NOCSAE and Helmet Sensors: An Ounce Of Prevention

There is still confusion about the recent position, or should I say positions, taken by NOCSAE over the past month, first deciding that the certification of any helmet with a third-party add-on would be viewed as automatically void, then, this past week, making a 180-degree U-turn and leaving it up to the helmet manufacturers to decide whether affixing impact sensors to the inside or outside of a helmet voided the certification.  Unless you read my article on NOCSAE's original decision and Lindsay Barton's this past week on its clarification, and perhaps even if you did, you are probably scratching your head and wondering what the heck is going on!

Well, I am scratching my head, too.

With all the controversy surrounding NOCSAE's recent rulings on the effect of third-party add-ons on helmet certification, what Brooke de Lench and others are wondering is why NOCSAE isn't asking the helmet manufacturers to explain to them and the rest of us how a 2-ounce piece of plastic stuck to a 4+ pound football helmet has them so worried?  Whether the NOCSAE rulings were intended to put the brakes on the market for helmet sensors to give the helmet manufacturers time to catch up, it is hard to see how it won't have exactly that effect, she says.
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