Tag Archives: equipment

TCU Officials Have a Beef with Concussion Policy

Various officials at Texas Christian University have a problem with the new concussion protocols being bandied about by the NCAA and Big 12 Conference.

Gretchen Bouton, TCU’s Senior Associate Athletics Director for Compliance and Student Services, told TCU360.com that “you don’t want to vote against concussion legislation, because it looks like you’re against concussion management and that’s not what it is. We wanted to table it,” she said. “And we wanted a committee to re-evaluate what the legislation was and propose something that was meaningful, not just PR, that had teeth and was legal.”1-IMG_1890 (2)

Dr. Michele Kirk, a team physician at TCU, focused specifically on the fact that it doesn’t mandate universal equipment.

“That’s one of our issues with the policy currently is it doesn’t give a lot of teeth to anything,” Kirk told the media outlet. “It’s a huge PR stunt in our opinion and it doesn’t give a lot of teeth to anything, because nobody’s going to be using the same equipment to measure so we feel like that puts us at risk.”

Kirk also speculated that the lack on a universal equipment mandate may lead to more legal exposure.

“You’re going to have to defend why you chose what you chose,” she said. “I think if we were all using similar things, that puts you at less risk legally.”

At the same time, the fact that there are so many choices when it comes to equipment and so much of it is unproven would make it difficult for a conference to endorse specific equipment.

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Study: Brand/Type of Helmet and Mouthguard May Not Significantly Reduce Risk of Sport-Related Concussions

In a recent presentation at the 23rd Annual Meeting of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine (AMSSM) at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, La Alison Brooks, MD, MPH, a sports medicine physician and faculty member at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, presented at talk on: “Incidence of Sport-Related Concussion in High School Football Players: Effect of Helmets, Mouthguards, Previous Concussions, Years Playing Experience.”

Dr. Brooks co-led a prospective cohort study of 2,288 high school football players over two seasons (2012 and 2013) to investigate whether a particular brand of helmet or type of mouthguard affects an athlete’s risk of suffering from sport-related concussion.

The study compared the helmet brands of Riddell, Schutt and Xenith with purchase years of 2003 through 2013 and generic versus specialized or custom mouthguard types against the incidence and severity (days lost) for each sport-related concussion sustained. Chi-square and t-tests were used to analyze incidence and Wilcoxon Rank Sum tests were used to determine severity. In total, 204 players sustained 208 sport-related concussions, causing them to miss a median of 14 days.

While helmet brand or age did not significantly affect the incidence or severity of sport-related concussion, prior concussion and the use of specialized or custom mouthguards were associated with an increased incidence of the injury. This is in contrast to manufacturers’ claims that a specific brand of helmet or type of mouthguard can significantly reduce the risk of concussion. Final multivariate regression analysis is in progress.

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US Lacrosse Supports ‘Youth Sports Concussion Act’

Add US Lacrosse to the list of organizations now backing the proposed “Youth Sports Concussions Act.”

A majority of states have either already passed, or are in the process of introducing, legislation targeted at reducing youth sports concussions. Now, at the federal level, a bill sponsored by Congressman Tom Udall (D-N.M.) is making its way to the U.S. senate. The bill’s mandate seeks to empower “both the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Trade Commission to take stronger actions in guaranteeing equipment safety standards and claims by sporting goods manufacturers.”

Scheduled for public release by January 2014 is a National Academies report on sports-related concussions that, among its other findings, includes “product safety standards that equipment manufacturers will need to consider for voluntary adoption.” This new legislation is intended to extend the impact of the report’s findings.

A major concern of many sports organizations has been the accuracy of statements made by sporting goods manufacturers. Does the manufacturer accurately represent “the protective benefits and limitations of equipment to mitigate injury and risk” as stated in its marketing materials, advertising campaigns, and other disclaimers?

Said Ann Carpenetti at US Lacrosse, “We have invested extensively in the area of injury research and prevention in the sport of lacrosse, and having sport specific equipment that performs to meet a protective standard is critically important to ensure player safety on the field.”

The passage of this bill will allow “the Federal Trade Commission to take stronger action against manufacturers who make false and deceptive product safety claims.”

To learn more about US Lacrosse, go to – http://www.uslacrosse.org/Home.aspx

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