Arizona Pop Warner, Mayo Clinic Researching Youth Sports-Related Injuries, like Concussions

Arizona Pop Warner Football and Cheer and Mayo Clinic recently announced a collaboration to conduct medical research about the effects of sport-related injuries, like concussions.

All participants ages 10 years and older in Arizona Pop Warner’s flag and tackle football programs, as well as all participants in the organization’s cheerleading programs, will be required to complete a comprehensive evaluation prior to play, including baseline testing.

“This is a very serious issue and one that we want to address immediately,” said Paul Watkins, Arizona Pop Warner Football and Cheer commissioner. “Youth football and cheer have so many wonderful benefits for kids, both on the field of play and in life. Our goal is to continue to provide these experiences and these benefits for our kids in the safest way possible. Between Arizona Pop Warner and Mayo Clinic, it is our duty to help drive the national conversation and spearhead research so that players and parents can feel confident about participating in youth football and cheer.”

The two organizations will officially launch the program at a state-wide clinic for Arizona Pop Warner’s Football and Cheer coaches on July 26 in Phoenix. David Dodick M.D., a neurologist at Mayo Clinic in Arizona and an expert in concussion care and director of the Mayo Clinic Concussion Program, will present the program details to more than 250 Arizona Pop Warner Football and Cheer coaches and administrators who are expected to be in attendance.

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High School Coaches Opine on WIAA New Contact Rules

Last month, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association introduced new contact rules designed to limit concussions in high school football.

Per the new rules, major contact will not be allowed the first week, limited to 75 minutes the second week, and 60 minutes each week thereafter.

In a recent article in the Leader-Telegram, a Wisconsin paper, various high school coaches gave their opinion on the new mandates.

Fall Creek football coach Josh Tumm, for example, worried about the new rules’ effect on evaluating linemen.

“That’s definitely our biggest concern is getting our linemen ready to go,” he said. “That drill time where you teach guys to block man-on-man and working on some of that footwork that helps kids learn how to block, that’s limited. That’s definitely a concern about how we play football, because it is based on the power run.”1-IMG_1890 (2)

Durand football coach Rod Rosemeyer echoed that concern, suggesting that blocking a stationary bag is not the same as a “moving target.”

“We do block a lot on bags, but anybody can block on a bag,” he said. “You don’t really get a good understanding unless you’re blocking a moving target. We’re going to have to be very careful with the time we use and make sure we’re more efficient. We’ll probably move at a faster pace so we make sure we don’t go over the time allotment.”

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Concussion Training Extends to School Nurses in Rhode Island

A Rhode Island state law requires that school nurses must also take concussion training.

The legislation was sponsored by State Rep. Raymond E. Gallison, Jr.and State Sen. Walter S. Felag, Jr.

Gallison said in a statement: “Our goal is to help identify concussions whenever they occur, and since kids spend so much of their time in school, there’s an excellent chance the school nurse will be the person faced with determining whether a student is suffering a concussion.”

For Felag, the issue is personal, since his son suffered two concussions playing high school football.

He said in statement: “Kids, especially student-athletes, are often reluctant to admit they’re suffering an injury because they know it could keep them off the field. For that reason, even those who feel the effects of a concussion might try to avoid getting treatment until the problems become overwhelming. We want to make sure school nurses, as well as coaches and other adults, are kept up-to-date on the latest information about concussions so they are always as equipped as possible to recognize when kids are suffering concussions.”

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