Physical Therapy Center Expands on Youth Football Reform and Its Testing Procedures

Sports Reaction Center (SRC), a sports physical therapy center that claims to have “a cutting-edge concussion management program” recently shared its take on Pop Warner Little Scholars, Inc.’s decision to ban “some common drills and tell coaches to spend two-thirds of their practice time on non-contact activities.”

Neil Chasan, owner of the SRC, noted that the organization’s restrictions are based on the fact that most concussions happen in practice. These restrictions are:

• “Coaches will only be allowed to have full-speed hitting—including one-on-one blocking and tackling, contact between linemen and scrimmages—for one-third of their weekly practice time.  (Previously, there were no restrictions on contact time.)

• “Also barred are any head-to-head, full-speed blocking or tackling drills in which players start more than three yards apart.”

Chasan added that “players, parents and coaches need to understand the steps to take in case a concussion does occur, and how to prevent concussions in the first place.

“Football players are tough—but individual players may not be aware that they have suffered a concussion. This is exactly why the Lysted Law requires that kids are pulled out of a game when a concussion is suspected, returning only after being cleared by a suitable professional. For this reason it’s imperative to get screened so that return to the sport decisions can be made intelligently, safely and when appropriate,” he said.

Chasan went on to say that baseline testing “should be the first precaution taken by athletes competing in a contact sport.  A battery of baseline tests gathers information on an athlete’s normal brain function, which can then be compared to post-concussion testing in order to determine when they can safely return to action.

“ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) and BESS (Balance Error Scoring Testing) help to understand multiple measures of cognitive function. The clinic also performs tests using its OptoJump technology to measure dual functions of the brain while active.”

To measure reaction time, SRC uses a technology called D2 by Dynavision, which is an evaluation tool for head injuries, concussions and visual field deficits. The Dynavision D2 Visuomotor with a Tachistoscope “is widely used by athletes for reactive/cognitive training and testing,” according to Chasan.

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