Tag Archives: girls

NFHS Committee Addresses Concussion Problem in Cheer with Rules Changes

The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Spirit Rules Committee revised several rules for the 2017-18 season, including adjustments to release transitions and inversions, in an ongoing effort to minimize risk of injury for participants in high school cheer and dance.

All rules revisions recommended by the committee at its March 4-6 meeting in Indianapolis were subsequently approved by the NFHS Board of Directors.

The term “static” was removed from several places in the rules book and replaced with wording that more clearly defines the intent of the rules. One particular example involves allowing braced extended stunts to transition in such a way as to allow for more creativity and better technique.

Rules 3-3 and 4-3 had extensive revisions to reduce risk of injury for the top person in a stunt in cheer and dance. The rules were reorganized and clarify the requirements that must be followed in order for the top person to be in an inverted position.

Rules 3-3-8 and 4-3-8 were also added to prohibit a swing roll-down stunt because the person in the swing is being moved facedown toward the performing surface. Additionally, in Rule 3-3-3, inverted stunts that go to a non-inverted position may pass through the inversion without having to stop in a stationary position. This change will allow more creativity and proper technique for certain inverted skills.

“The Spirit Rules Committee takes risk minimization very seriously and looks at the rules for cheer and dance to ensure the most amount of success – from beginners to advanced – with minimal risk for all involved,” said James Weaver, NFHS director of performing arts and sports and staff liaison to the Spirit Rules Committee.

Rules 3-2-7 and 4-2-7 in cheer and dance, respectively, allow for stunts that don’t end in an extended position to be performed without a spotter. However, a spotter would still be required for stunts that stop in an extended position.

Rule 3-8-2 in cheer and Rule 4-8-2 in dance now state that props cannot be held in the hands during tumbling skills, where the supporting hands are not on the performing surface. The committee believes props are a safety concern when a tumbler is using her/his hands for support during a cartwheel or round-off.

A new rule (4-10-14) states that when transitioning from a prop to a stunt/lift, the new bases shall be in contact with the top person before he/she leaves the prop. This rule minimizes the risk to participants when transitioning from props as bases to people as bases so that at no time the top person is free of contact from a base.

In addition, the Spirit Rules Committee approved revisions or removal of 11 definitions in Rule 1.

“The revision of definitions is to ensure accurate understanding of rules by clarifying the language and removing repetitive definitions,” Weaver said.

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Sports Legacy Institute to Honor US Women’s Soccer Legends Brandi Chastain, Cindy Parlow Cone at 7th Annual Impact Awards Dinner on Oct. 30

The Sports Legacy Institute (SLI) will honor US Women’s Soccer Legends Brandi Chastain and Cindy Parlow Cone each with an Impact Award at SLI’s annual dinner that recognizes organizations and individuals for their commitment to solving the concussion crisis. The awards will be presented at the 7th Annual Impact Awards dinner, which raises funds for the non-profit SLI’s concussion advocacy, awareness, education, and research programs, on Thursday, October 30, 2014, at the Boston Harbor Hotel.

Chastain and Cone have been spokespersons for the Parents and Pros for Safer Soccer campaign (SaferSoccer.org, #SaferSoccer), which SLI launched in June with the Santa Clara University Institute for Sports Law and Ethics. The campaign seeks to eliminate headers in youth soccer prior to high school to reduce the risk of concussion in youth soccer players and allow them to focus on foot skill development. Nearly half of concussions could be eliminated in middle school soccer players by delaying the introduction of heading.

#SaferSoccer has been met with resistance from the soccer industry, but thanks to the leadership of Chastain and Cone, it is winning supporters among professional soccer players, coaches, schools, advocacy organizations, and youth soccer programs. A full list of supporters can be found at  SaferSoccer.org.

“It takes leaders to create culture change, and Cindy Parlow Cone and Brandi Chastain are tireless advocates for protecting youth soccer players from concussions. The concussion care debacles at the 2014 FIFA World Cup showed us how far we have to go to change hearts and minds among soccer leadership, and I know we can count on Cindy and Brandi to lead that change,” said Dr. Robert Cantu, founding medical director of SLI.

The Impact Awards will be hosted by Jim Braude, host of New England Cable News (NECN) show “BroadSide” and co-host of Boston Public Radio on WGBH. Last year’s Impact Awards gathered over 250 attendees, athletes, and distinguished guests from across the country and raised more than $360,000 to support concussion advocacy, awareness, education, and research. Prior honorees include The Ivy League, WWE, the NFL, Dr. Ann McKee, and former athletes Ted Johnson, Micky Ward, and Keith Primeau.

Cindy Parlow Cone is also being honored with the SLI Impact Award for being the first female athlete to pledge to donate her brain to the VA-BU-SLI Brain Bank back in 2008. Since then, over 600 current and former athletes, including over 100 female athletes, have joined her. In addition, she courageously shared her ongoing struggle with post-concussion syndrome for the documentary Head Games.

Cone played on the US National Team for a decade and retired due to post-concussion syndrome as the 5th all-time leading goal scorer. She won gold medals in the 1996 and 2004 Olympics and helped lead the 1999 World Cup title-winning team. A two-time national champion and Hermann Trophy winner as the National Player of the Year at the University of North Carolina, she coached the Portland Timbers of the National Women’s Soccer League to the title in 2013 and also serves as director of coaching for the Triangle United Soccer Association.

Brandi Chastain is famed for her iconic penalty kick conversion that clinched the 1999 Women’s World Cup Soccer title for the US. A professional soccer player and member of the US National Team, Chastain’s international career spanned two decades and is highlighted by a 1996 Olympic gold medal and 1999 World Cup title. A graduate of Santa Clara University, Chastain now serves as a color commentator for both NBC and ABC, a volunteer assistant coach at Santa Clara, and on the board of the Institute for Sports Law and Ethics.

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Study: Middle-School Girls Continue to Play Soccer with Concussion Symptoms

Concussions are common among middle-school girls who play soccer, and most continue to play with symptoms, according to a study by John W. O’ Kane, M.D., of the University of Washington Sports Medicine Clinic, Seattle, and his colleagues.My beautiful picture

Using an email survey and interviews, the authors evaluated the frequency and duration of concussions in young female soccer players, as well as whether the injuries resulted in stopping play and seeking medical attention. Their study included 351 soccer players (ages 11 to 14 years) from soccer clubs in the Puget Sound region of Washington.

Among 351 players, there were 59 concussions with 43,742 athletic exposure hours. Concussion symptoms can include memory loss, dizziness, drowsiness, headache and nausea. Cumulative concussion incidence was 13 percent per season with an incidence of 1.2 per 1,000 athletic exposure hours. Symptoms lasted a median four days (average 9.4 days). Heading the ball accounted for 30.5 percent of concussions. Most players (58.6 percent) continued to play with symptoms, with almost half (44.1 percent) seeking medical attention, according to the results.

The authors note that the rate of 1.3 concussions per 1,000 athletic exposure hours was higher than what has been reported in other studies of girls soccer at the high school and college levels.

“Future studies are needed to develop education strategies to ensure players understand and report concussion symptoms and that parents and coaches ensure appropriate medical evaluation and clearance before returning to play,” the authors conclude. “Future studies should also compare short- and long-term outcomes for those who seek medical care and return to play according to recommended guidelines vs. those who do not seek medical care and/or return to play prematurely.”

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