Tag Archives: safety
USA Today sports columnist Christine Brennan wondered aloud in a column this week whether football would have made it as a sport if invented today? Her answer seemed to be, probably not because of the safety issue, especaily as it relates to concussions.
One of the most vexing issues to Brennan is the lack of athletic trainers.
“Only 37 percent of U.S. public high schools have full-time athletic trainers, according to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association,” wrote Brennan.
“This means that thousands of high school football games go on every year without a certified athletic trainer anywhere nearby. So when a young athlete can’t get up after a hard hit or wobbles over to the sideline, clearly in trouble, a trained professional isn’t there to help him.
“We know why this is. Our public schools are slashing their budgets. Where’s the line item for the new athletic trainer? It doesn’t exist.
“But what kind of society allows a vast majority of its children at public schools to play such a rough and violent sport without any semblance of a safety net?”
The NHL and NHL Players’ Association have amended the spotter program in the NHL Concussion Evaluation and Management Protocol to guarantee the inclusion of concussion spotters employed and trained by the League at every game in an attempt to further strengthen the program.
“The spotter program is not new, it has been in existence as part of our Concussion Protocol for some time now; the thing that is changing is how we are allowing clubs to deal with the responsibility,” NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly said. “By introducing League-employed-and-trained spotters, we are simply providing our clubs with another alternative to adequately and properly execute the spotter responsibility.”
As has been the case under the protocol, each team maintains the right to designate its own concussion spotter for each game. In such cases, the team’s concussion spotter will be considered the on-duty spotter for that game. However, the NHL has designated a network of people, two at each arena, to serve as League-designated spotters.
A team can elect to have the League-designated spotter serve as the on-duty spotter for any game. To do so, the supervisor of the NHL off-ice officials in the arena must be notified at least one hour prior to the game.
Otherwise, the League-designated spotter at that game will log incidents of players exhibiting one or more visible signs of a concussion, regardless of whether the player receives medical attention of any kind. The information logged by the League’s concussion spotters, regardless of whether they are on team duty for a game, must be sent back to the NHL by the first of each month.
The spotters in the League-designated network, who receive training from the League in how to identify signs of a concussion, were chosen from a list of NHL off-ice officials at each arena.
There will be one League-designated spotter at each game, and that spotter will not serve as an official in any other capacity for that game.
“Most clubs so far have indicated a preference to continue with a club-spotter approach, but certainly there will be situations where a club will opt to utilize the League spotter,” Daly said. “All of the designations must be made before each game so there is no confusion as to who will be performing the active-spotter duties in a particular game.”
Daly said the role of the spotter is to identify and flag incidents that have led to players on the ice demonstrating visible signs of a concussion.
The spotter, who is expected to sit in the press box, has a two-way radio in order to communicate what he or she has seen with the training staff on the bench to properly notify a team of a player demonstrating possible signs of a concussion.
Daly said the responsibilities of diagnosing concussions or medically determining if a player can return to play belong to the medical professionals employed by the team in question.
“Depending on the nature of what is reported to him, the trainer has the next call on whether the player needs to be removed for evaluation,” Daly said.
The process of logging visible signs of concussions and relaying that information back to the NHL has been put into place for this season to help the League understand what is being observed in a game and what is being flagged, Daly said.
“From that information, determinations can be made as to how the spotter program is functioning and whether it is doing what we designed it to do,” Daly said.
In an effort to “continually ensure the safe practise of sport,” Football Quebec has announced the creation of a working group on safety in football, as well as modifications to its safety regulations rulebook.
These new actions are in line with a myriad of new safety measures adopted over the last year. Those included the adoption of new game rules at the start of the 2014 season, new training standards for coaches related to safe tackling and head injuries and the creation of a full-time position focused on sport safety and development.
Five Experts To Examine the Major Issues in Quebec Football
This permanent and independent working group focused on football safety will study various possibilities in terms of sport safety practises and will make recommendations to the Federation’s Board of Directors.
Working Group participants have expertise in various areas of Quebec and Canadian football, and also bring to the table their own individual experience and knowledge:
– Tim Fleiszer, former professional player in the Canadian National Football League, player agent, and Director of the Canadian Branch of the Sport Legacy Institute – an international research group recognized for its scientific contributions to concussion research in sport.
– Patrick Gendron, Chief Athletic Therapist of the Université de Montréal Carabins and member of the Conseil de médecine du sport du Québec (CMSQ).
– Étienne Boulay, former professional player in the Canadian National Football League.
– Roland Grand’Maison, Lawyer specialized in sport, former Director of Collegiate Programs with Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec (RSEQ).
– Bernard Daigneault, former referee and Provincial Assignments Supervisor, Administrator,Quebec Provincial Football Officials Association (QPFOA).
Modifications To Safety Regulations
The newly formed working group has already had its first meeting to study current Federation safety regulations rulebook, and issued preliminary proposals to the Board of Directors as of March 11, 2015. The following modifications were ratified:
1) Currently in Quebec, a First Aid Attendant has to be present during games and contact-training. The Board of Directors has adopted a new measure specifying that during games, each team must have its own First Aid Attendant, and that this individual can’t be part of the coaching staff of either team.
2) As of immediately, all teams must be equipped with a recognized return-to-play protocol for athletes following concussions. The Federation also recommends the protocol approved by the Corporation des thérapeutes du sport du Québec (CTSQ).
3) As of August 15, 2016, during all games and contact training, all football teams in Quebec must have in attendance an individual having successfully taken (or having equivalent skills approved by the Federation) the newly developed “Football First-Aid” (Secourisme Football) certification – developed in partnership with the Red Cross, the Corporation des thérapeutes du sport du Québec, and the Conseil de médecine du sport du Québec (CMSQ).
This specialized training comprises elements related to: first-aid specific to the sport of football; current identification standards for concussions and return-to-play protocol; football equipment removal in order to facilitate ambulance / medical assistance.
Football Quebec has also established a Football First-Aid (Secourisme Football) program training schedule that is currently available for viewing and registration on the Federation’s website at www.footballquebec.com.