Tag Archives: collision

The Ivy League Adopts Football Experimental Rule for 2016, Impacting Kickoffs

The Ivy League will use an experimental rule for the 2016 football season to move kickoffs to the 40-yard line and touchbacks to the 20-yard line in an effort to reduce concussions and further promote the safety and welfare of its student-athletes.

“This experimental rule change is another example of The Ivy League leading the nation in concussion prevention,” said Executive Director Robin Harris. “Our data showed us that kickoffs result in a disproportionate number of concussions and this rule will allow us to assess whether limiting kickoff returns will reduce the incidence of concussions.”sports facility

The goal of the experimental rule is to limit kickoff returns, which account for 23.4 percent of concussions during games despite representing only 5.8 percent of overall plays. The League will evaluate the concussion and kickoff return data after the 2016 season. The request was made to the NCAA as a part of The Ivy League’s overall review of concussions, which began with football in 2010 and has included eight other sports to date (men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s ice hockey, men’s and women’s soccer, wrestling, rugby). As a result of this comprehensive review of concussions, the League began an all-sports concussion data collection and study in 2013. Data from this study prompted discussion of kickoffs, which led to The Ivy League head football coaches suggesting this experimental rule change. The NCAA granted The League’s request for conference games only.

This experimental rule is the latest in a series of Ivy policies and rules that are designed to limit the incidence of concussions. Most recently in May, The Ivy League formally adopted another policy originating with the League’s eight head football coaches to eliminate to-the-ground (“live”) tackling in practices during the regular season, which will also go into effect with the 2016 campaign. Changing practice rules does not require NCAA approval.

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MLB Makes Good On Promise to Protect Players

By Paul D. Anderson, ESQ

(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.

Mike Matheny, whose career was cut-short due to multiple concussions, had this to say about the proposed rule:

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.

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NCAA’s New Kickoff Rule Is Doing Its Job, Reducing Concussions

Not surprisingly, the NCAA’s new kickoff-return rules are producing tons of touchbacks. Through Oct. 6, there were 1,450 touchbacks in the Football Bowl Subdivision, eclipsing 1,397 touchbacks that were registered through the entire 2011 season.

Earlier this year, the NCAA Football Rules Committee moved kickoffs from the 30-yard-line to the 35-yard line in hopes of reducing injuries, especially concussions.

“Everyone is in chase mode on kickoff returns,” said Rogers Redding, NCAA Football Rules Committee secretary-rules editor and national coordinator of college football officials. “Before the return starts, the kicking team is flying down the field and the receiving team players are running back to protect the runner. There are some collisions, but mainly, the more significant collisions happen on the return and not the kick.”

Redding added that another tweak in the rules is also having a positive effect – moving the start position for a team that takes a touchback from the 20-yard line to the 25-yard line. This has led to fewer kickoffs being returned, since data has shown that when a player brings the ball out of the end zone, the offense usually starts inside the 25-yard line, according to the NCAA.

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