Curling Canada Adopts Concussion Policy for National Championship Events

Athletes who suffer suspected head injuries at Curling Canada-operated events will be subject to a return-to-play protocol, it was announced Friday at Curling Canada’s National Curling Congress in Cornwall, Ont.

It was part of a new set of guidelines surround head injuries and protection that are being recommended for adoption by Canadian curling centres.

The concussion protocol, though, will be mandatory for all athletes attending events operated by Curling Canada, and falls in line with protocols in place for other non-contact sports.

“With so much more attention being paid to the issue of head injuries, it was time that Curling Canada took a proactive approach before something along these lines happened at one of our events,” said Hugh Avery, Chair of Curling Canada’s Board of Governors. “Protecting our athletes is vitally important, and we all know the ice can be very unforgiving, so I’m happy to see that we have this protocol in place going forward.”

When an athlete falls during a game, and a head injury is suspected, the athlete will be required to be examined by a physician and undergo tests to determine whether a concussion has occurred. If no concussion is diagnosed, the athlete can return to the game. Otherwise, the athlete will be required to undergo and pass a five-step testing process, each requiring a minimum 24 hours, before being cleared to return to play by a physician.

“We appreciate Curling Canada’s efforts in making sure the curlers’ health and well-being over the long haul is protected as best as possible,” said Jon Mead, president of the World Curling Players Association. “Obviously, this would only be utilized in extreme circumstances, but it’s important that the protocol is in place to avoid what could be a tragedy if not treated correctly.”

While the return-to-play protocol applies only to Curling Canada events, the national governing body is recommending that the guidelines covering head injuries and protection be adopted by Provincial and Territorial Sport Organizations as well as curling centres.

The guidelines cover such aspects as warm-ups that focus on stretching strengthening and improving balance; using proper equipment and making sure procedures are in place to detail with head injuries when they happen.

Additionally, the guidelines include a helmet policy that would strongly recommend using protective headgear, as well as grippers on both shoes (other than the player delivering the stone), for youth curlers 12 and under (unless they have two years of on-ice training), casual curlers (not in leagues) and curlers 65 and over.

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David Robinson’s Son Says He Is Retiring from Football After Multiple Concussions

Having suffered three concussions in the span of 12 months, a Notre Dame football player has decided to hang up the cleats.Corey

The player, Corey Robinson, is not just any player. He is the son of NBA Hall of Famer David Robinson and  young man who was just elected the Notre Dame student body president in February. Robinson suffered his third concussion in 12 month during spring practice. After consulting with a neurologist, he made his decision.

“After much contemplation and prayer, I have decided not to continue football due to multiple concussions,” Robinson said in a statement. “I couldn’t have come to this difficult personal decision without the incredible support from so many within the Notre Dame football program. I am extremely thankful to Coach Kelly and his staff for the life-changing opportunity to play football at the greatest University in the world. I will continue to help our team as a student assistant and look forward to a great senior season.”

Head Football Coach Brian Kelly added: “This was an extremely tough decision for Corey. He’s such a committed kid to everything he does–whether its academics, football, community service or campus leadership initiatives–that he wanted to finish four-year career on the field. He was so excited to lead a group of young receiver this fall. While that won’t happen in the manner Corey initially intended, he will remain involved with the program on a day-to-day basis as a student assistant. He sets a remarkable example for all our players–not only how to represent yourself on and off the field, but also how working hard through adversity can lead to tremendous success.”

 

 

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Attorneys Debate California’s Worker Compensation Laws and the Role They Play with Concussions

(Editor’s Note: What follows is an excerpt from an article that appeared in the June issue of Concussion Litigation Reporter. To see the full story, please subscribe at http://concussionpolicyandthelaw.com/subscribe/)

Modesto Diaz and Michael Gianchino have most assuredly spent many years opposing one another in workers’ compensation cases in the state of California.

Diaz, the managing partner at Santa Ana-based Leviton Diaz & Ginocchio, Inc. represents plaintiffs, while Gianchino, a partner an Oakland-based Hanna, Brophy, MacLean, McAleer & Jensen, LLP, works with defendants.

But on one Friday afternoon in May, the veteran lawyers shared a table, along with moderator Richard L Wagenheim of Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, at the annual Sports Lawyers Association meeting in Los Angeles. They sought to find common ground at the intersection of sports concussions and workers compensation claims in that state.

At best what they found was a tiny patch of grass.

Throughout the session, Diaz empathized with former professional athletes, who have suffered cognitive decline after having their “bell rung” too many times over their careers. Meanwhile, Gianchino questioned whether there was “substantial medical evidence” linking garden-variety impacts in professional sports with Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE).

Diaz set the stage, noting that California is one of a handful of states that recognize the cumulative trauma injury, which occurs over a period of time.

“One occurrence may not be that significant, but if it happens over an extended period over a time, such as player’s career, then you have an issue,” he said. “No one wants to accept responsibility for the consequences of these injuries and this is where …

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