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Is Education Enough in the Battle Against Concussions?

The growing knowledge and awareness about concussions in contact sports has brought this important issue to the forefront of these games. From youth all the way through professional levels brain injury continues to plague players and teams. 

Winston Churchill is quoted as saying that "Americans eventually will do the right thing, after they have tried everything else first." That may be true when it comes to concussion safety, says longtime Minnesota hockey coach and referee, Hal Tearse.

Why Tougher Rules for Dangerous Hits in High School Hockey Will Not Work


As I watch the Stanley Cup playoffs I am reminded each spring about the ever-changing rules in hockey: One set for the regular season, and one set for playoffs. Or should I say one rule book and two or more interpretations of the enforcement of the rules in the book. Clearly there is much more leeway from the rule book during the playoffs. Players tripped on breakaways do not draw a penalty. Obvious rule violations are ignored. But lets be clear about the NHL: the league is an entertainment business that happens to play hockey. Fans like the brutality and violence. It sells tickets so it is allowed to happen. 

Tougher rules against checking from behind and blind-side hits in hockey won't make the sport safer. The problem is a lack of training, certification, education and compensation for on-ice officials, argues one longtime Minnesota hockey official and coach.

Pop Warner Concussion Scandal: Lessons Learned

The Pop Warner concussion scandal - one that, sadly, occurred right in my backyard here in Massachusetts - has put youth football under the microscope once again.

The Pop Warner concussion scandal has put youth football under the microscope once again. But is what happened in that single game reason enough to pull a kid out of football, or never sign him (or her) up in the first place? I don't think so.

Better Enforcement, Not Rule Changes Key To Reducing Dangerous Play in Hockey


Minnesota Hockey and the Minnesota State High school league increased the penalties for dangerous plays following the tragic life changing accident Jack Jablonski, a 16-year-old Benilde St. Margarets player, suffered in January of 2012. The question at hand now is should we continue with the stiffer penalties, modify them, add to them or return to the previous rule book? So far the consensus is to keep them and add to them.

It seems so simple, but as we learn in life nothing is simple. Perhaps we should look at the causes that are creating the current environment and then asertain if the  penalties are warranted, are sufficient or need changing.  

We won't make ice hockey safer for players by increasing penalties for dangerous play. We need to address the core issue: the violent culture of the sport.

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