No one quite knows when athletes begin suffering blows to the head that could affect them later in life.
But associations, who are charged with protecting the safety of young athletes, aren’t taking any chances.
Two poignant examples of this were on display within days of each other over the last week.
First, the NCAA’s Playing Rules Oversight Panel approved moving the kickoff from the 30-yard line to the 35-yard line. It also moved the free kick line from the 20-yard-line to the 25-yard-line. The moves were made to encourage touchbacks and lessen the risk of concussion and other injuries.
Next, the New York Times chronicled how USA Hockey and Hockey Canada are “seriously considering rules that would effectively end fighting in nonprofessional leagues as early as next season.” The article quotes industry observers, who note that the sport no longer needs fighting to maintain its entertainment value. Here’s the story: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/28/sports/hockey/fighting-in-amateur-hockey-leagues-may-be-on-way-out.html?_r=3&ref=sports