Safety

Concussion Education For High School Soccer Players Lacking, Survey Finds

A survey of high school athletic directors, coaches, and certified athletic trainers in Michigan finds that, while concussion education is very common in football, less than half of girls' soccer players received such education.

Women Hockey Players Sustain More Heavy Hits Than Previously Thought

There are a many more hits in women's college hockey of the kind that can lead to concussion than previously believed, new Canadian research finds.

Concussions in Hockey: A Dark Cloud Hanging Over the Sport With A Simple Solution: Play By The Rules

January 19th  was a great day for ice hockey in North America with the return of the NHL, and especially in my state, which celebrated our annual "Hockey Day in Minnesota." Today, two high school teams played outdoors on Lake Pokegema in Grand Rapids, Minnesota, the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers mens' hockey team played North Dakota, and then the Minnesota Wild played their season opener - all on TV.  Across the state, youth and high school teams were also playing the game they love. But, while it was a day to celebrate hockey, it is also a reminder of the dark cloud that hangs over the game: concussions.

The end of the NHL lockout and the annual Hockey Day in Minnesota should have been cause for celebration, but for a longtime Minnesota high school hockey coach and official the hockey-fest was also a reminder that concussions continue to be a dark cloud hanging over the sport.

Extending Body Checking Ban To Age 14 and Stricter Rules Enforcement: The Wrong Approach?

Just a couple years ago USA Hockey banned body checking at the Pee Wee (12 and under) level, based in part on evidence that the risks of concussion and other serious injury resulting from body checking was simply unacceptable.  The primary reason USA Hockey made the change, however, was to promote skill development at an age where kids are still developing, and because that development was being hindered by aggressive play intended to intimidate opponents and a winning-at-all-costs mentality.  In making the rule change, USA Hockey assumed that all kids play because they want to develop their skills.  I think that the majority simply want to play.

Will extending the ban on body checking in hockey to age 14 and better rules enforcement make the game safer? Perhaps we need to take a different approach, argues a longtime youth hockey official.

Safety Matters in Youth and High School Hockey

As the new season begins there is a renewed focus on safety in youth hockey in the USA, and in Minnesota in particular. With a heightened awareness of the potential for severe injury in contact sports like hockey and football the NGOs like USA Hockey are attacking the problem with more infrastructure surrounding teams to help protect players from each other, coaches and strangers. 

As the new season begins there is a renewed focus on safety in youth hockey in the USA and in Minnesota in particular. With a heightened awareness of the potential for severe injury in contact sports like hockey and football the NGOs like USA Hockey are attacking the problem with more infrastructure surrounding teams to help protect players from each other, coaches and strangers.

Parents Rethinking Contact Sports

Local youth football organizers in Minnesota say they are experiencing a 20 percent decline in registrations this year, citing increased awareness of the potential of serious injury and parents who are apparently picking other sports for their 3rd and 4th grade children.

Changing Hockey Culture: Are We Reaching A Tipping Point?

Playing the game of ice hockey within the rules would seem like a simple concept.  Yet all efforts to accomplish this objective have thus far proven elusive, from the NHL all the way down to the youngest levels.  In a previous post I reported that Minnesota Hockey has retained the much harsher penalties for two of the three most dangerous plays in the game. In fact, Minnesota has the toughest rules in youth and high school hockey in the country. The question is, will this be enough to change the culture of the sport?

Playing the game of hockey within the rules would seems like a simple concept. Yet all efforts to enforce the rules have thus far proven elusive.  Will making the rules for dangerous play tougher be enough to change the culture? This coming season may be the tipping point.

Minnesota Hockey Retains More Severe Penalties, Aims for Better Enforcement

Minnesota Hockey, the governing body for 40,000 youth hockey players in the state, has voted to continue with the pilot program begun last Janaury that made checking from behind and boarding 5 minute major and 10 minute misconduct penalties.  The program was instituted after high school player Jack Jablonski suffered a spinal cord injury from an unpenalized check from behind. The USA Hockey rule book allows for escalating levels of penaly time depending on the incident. That discretion no longer exists in Minnesota in youth or high school hockey. 

Minnesota Hockey, the governing body for 40,000 youth hockey players in the state, has voted to continue rule changes enacted last January which stiffened the penalties for checking from behind and boarding and hope for better enforcement.

NFHS Clarifies Rules On Checks From Behind in High School Hockey

In an effort to promote safer play and minimize the risk of head, neck and spine injuries, the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has clarified the rules on checking from behind in high school hockey.  The changes seek to stem the rising tide of violence in high school hockey, and come in the wake of several highly publicized catastrophic injuries to players after illegal checks from behind, but is better enforcement the simpler, and better, answer?

Seven Ways To Reduce Risk of Traumatic Brain Injury In Sports

Brain trauma to youth and high school players in contact and collision sports can occur not just from violent helmet-on-helmet collisions but from repetitive sub-concussive blows.  There are five major ways to reduce exposure to such hits, experts say.
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