Tag Archives: baseball
ImPACT Applications, Inc., developer of the ImPACT® test and ImPACT Concussion Management Model, has announced a partnership with New York Schools Insurance Reciprocal (NYSIR), provider of property and casualty insurance programs for New York State public schools and Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES), to introduce “a comprehensive” Head Injury Prevention Program.
The Head Injury Prevention Program is designed to help subscriber school districts manage student athlete injuries and train faculty and staff to recognize, respond to and prevent school-sports-related concussions. NYSIR’s program utilizes ImPACT for neurocognitive baseline and post-injury concussion testing and to educate athletic directors, trainers, coaches, physical education instructors and school nurses on concussion management.
ImPACT testing and training is currently being phased in by NYSIR and by the end of February, NYSIR plans to have the Head Injury Prevention Program in every subscriber school district—over 350 New York public school districts altogether. School sports covered by NYSIR’s agreement with ImPACT will include football, basketball, diving, hockey, lacrosse, soccer, baseball, softball, cheerleading, field hockey, wrestling and alpine skiing.
“For 26 years,” notes NYSIR President Carleen Millsaps, “we have been a leading insurer of New York’s public schools. The ImPACT-NYSIR partnership is a giant leap forward in our endeavors to continually provide programs and services that protect our subscribers’ student athletes, and a positive step in the education of school officials and staff about the risks of sports related head injuries.”
“ImPACT is honored to partner with NYSIR in its Head Injury Protection Program,” says Michael Wahlster, Chief Executive Officer of ImPACT Applications. “The organization is leading a national trend where innovative insurers recognize the important role they can play in helping subscribers implement an end-to-end concussion management program.”
(What follows is an excerpt of a column written exclusively for Concussion Litigation Reporter by Jordan Kobritz, a former attorney, CPA, and Minor League Baseball team owner as well as a Professor in the Sport Management Department at SUNY Cortland. To view the entire article, subscribe to CLR.)
San Diego Padres pitcher Alex Torres wasn’t trying to make a fashion statement, he was merely trying to protect his head. Torres, a 26-year old lefthander from Venezuela, became the first MLB pitcher to wear a protective cap in a game when he was summoned from the bullpen in the eighth inning of the June 21 game against the Dodgers.
The cap is arguably the ugliest item of clothing ever worn on a baseball diamond. A close second might be the softball-style uniforms worn by the Oakland A’s during the 1970’s at the insistence of their maverick owner, Charles Finley. The new headwear is fitted with energy-diffusing protective plates that create bulges around the sides and front of the cap. Not surprisingly, it’s also heavier than the normal baseball cap, adding seven ounces to the normal 3-4 ounce cap. It looks awkward, but its looks are no more awkward than its name: isoBLOX, manufactured by the company of the same name. The company says the cap can absorb impacts up to 90 miles per hour in the front, and up to 85 miles an hour on the sides.
No sooner had Torres taken the mound then social media erupted with comments, most of them negative and some downright derogatory. Players, commentators, fans and even Torres’ wife mocked him for donning the cap. Padres’ announcer Dick Enberg said the cap “didn’t look sexy,” to which Torres responded, “”Timeout, who the hell cares if it doesn’t look sexy?” For Torres, the cap was all about safety, and with good reason. Every time a pitcher takes the mound, he puts his career – indeed his life – in jeopardy.
While the so-called contact sports – football and hockey – have monopolized the headlines when it comes to concussions, baseball is not immune to such injuries. Concussions are a growing concern in MLB, as evidenced by the fact that a specific rule was instituted in 2011 which allows teams to place players on a seven-day concussion DL (Disabled List). Catchers are particularly at risk, despite their extra padding and protective headgear. In the 2013 season, 18 DL moves were related to concussions, up from a total of 13 in 2012 and 11 in 2011. Ten of the 18 moves involved catchers, including Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross twice. Those numbers pale in comparison to the numbers in the NFL – 190 in 2011 – but every concussion injury should be cause for concern.
(Editor’s note: This post originally appeared earlier this week in NFLConcussionlitigation.com, a site founded by Anderson)
While many organizations—NCAA, NHL and the NFL—take reactive measures, the MLB has taken steps to ensure it is not caught with its pants down, facing a multi-million-dollar lawsuit.
The Players’ Association and MLB announced that they have agreed to enact a home-plate-collision rule for the 2014 season. The rule seeks to limit violent collisions at home plate that have caused season-ending injuries, concussions and the potential for long-term cognitive impairment.
I’m not on a mission here to try to do anything except do what’s right,” [ ] “First of all, make people aware that the concussion thing is real and not just in football and hockey. It’s real in baseball, and I did a real poor job of communicating that early on. And the other thing is, let’s take a risk-reward analysis of this thing. What is the risk of the good of the game, let alone the individual, and the long-term repercussions? And what’s the reward?”
“I don’t know how it’s all going to play how except for the fact that we think it’s the right thing. And the right thing is to try to keep our guys on the field.”
Although there is no firm scientific data that proves this rule will reduce concussions, common sense clearly dictates that it will.
Unlike the NCAA, which repeatedly makes empty promises about player safety and simultaneously manufactures doubt about enacting hit limits, MLB has chosen not to wait.
MLB recognizes the threat and has taken proactive measures to ensure their players are protected at all levels.
I applaud MLB for placing player safety over profit. Perhaps this will be a wake-up call to the NCAA and NHL. Players are being exposed to needless brain trauma. Stop the excuses and live up to your professed obligations.