Tag Archives: rules

NFL Looks at What Worked and What Didn’t in 2013

(Below is an excerpt for the NFL’s recently released Health and Safety Report)

“There is an undeniable improvement in protection of players when rules, technique and technology seamlessly integrate, making the game safer to play. NFL rules are regularly reviewed by the Competition Committee and adjusted to protect players from unnecessary risk and make gameplay safer. The development of a thoughtful and comprehensive set of rules designed to remove unnecessary risk from the game continues to be an evolving process and the league regularly evaluates how new rules can best be leveraged to address safety and health issues.2012-12-16 11.24.44

“Five rules focusing on reducing unnecessary player risk were enacted in 2013, in addition to the implementation of mandatory thigh and knee protective equipment. Each year, as rules and other changes such as schedule adjustments are enacted, injury data is closely monitored to gauge if the intended positive benefits are achieved. Last season, after an initial adjustment period in the preseason, all players suited up with the mandatory thigh and kneepads for the duration of the season.

“Also in the 2013 season, specific rules enacted to protect defenseless players and decrease hits to the head contributed to not only a decrease in concussions due to head-to-head impacts, but most significantly, a decrease in the total number of concussions over the entire season.

“New safety rules and the resulting adjustment in technique in the 2013 season contributed to a decrease in concussions. However, concussion rates could have increased as awareness and technology for detection advanced. Players and commentators expressed concerns that the adjustments to legal tackling technique could lead to an increase in leg injuries as defenders aimed hits lower on the body. But statistics show that the total number of ACL injuries in the 2013 season decreased slightly from the previous season, and MCL injuries remained flat. In 2014, the NFL is continuing to address concerns regarding leg injuries with more robust protective regulations. Improving techniques in response to rule changes resulted in player safety.

“The ability of players, coaches and officials to make fundamental adjustments to tackling techniques and other approaches to play is a testament to the continued shared commitment to football’s longstanding heritage of improvements to safety and competition through progressive evolution.”

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High School Coaches Opine on WIAA New Contact Rules

Last month, the Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association introduced new contact rules designed to limit concussions in high school football.

Per the new rules, major contact will not be allowed the first week, limited to 75 minutes the second week, and 60 minutes each week thereafter.

In a recent article in the Leader-Telegram, a Wisconsin paper, various high school coaches gave their opinion on the new mandates.

Fall Creek football coach Josh Tumm, for example, worried about the new rules’ effect on evaluating linemen.

“That’s definitely our biggest concern is getting our linemen ready to go,” he said. “That drill time where you teach guys to block man-on-man and working on some of that footwork that helps kids learn how to block, that’s limited. That’s definitely a concern about how we play football, because it is based on the power run.”1-IMG_1890 (2)

Durand football coach Rod Rosemeyer echoed that concern, suggesting that blocking a stationary bag is not the same as a “moving target.”

“We do block a lot on bags, but anybody can block on a bag,” he said. “You don’t really get a good understanding unless you’re blocking a moving target. We’re going to have to be very careful with the time we use and make sure we’re more efficient. We’ll probably move at a faster pace so we make sure we don’t go over the time allotment.”

To see the full story, visit: http://www.leadertelegram.com/sports/article_b694e720-0fc6-11e4-9850-0019bb2963f4.html

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Committee: Those Who Would Change Playing Rules Should Think Before They Act

The NCAA’s Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports has called on the committees that set the playing rules for the various NCAA sports to evaluate the health and safety implications of every rule change before an action is taken.

The committee noted that while rule changes are typically made to ensure fairness on the playing field, or to adapt to changes in playing styles or equipment in a given sport, they can also have a health and safety impact by, for example, enhancing the risk of concussion.

It cited “a prime example” involving “a recent proposal from the Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Committee that would require schools to add 10-inch pegs to their rinks that goals would rest upon in order to keep them more firmly anchored in place. The committee wanted to add the pegs so that goalies can’t intentionally bump the goal off of its spot in order to stop play and negate an offensive threat. The committee’s discussion took place amid the context of competitive fairness, but there are potential health and safety implications of the goal being more difficult to move – players careening into a goal sitting on those pegs could, potentially, be at greater risk.

“So the competitive safeguards committee emerged from its meeting with a statement calling for all discussions of playing rule changes to include an evaluation of health and safety implications, even if the rule change, such as the hockey recommendation, wasn’t proposed for reasons related to health and safety. The committee asked that the NCAA Sport Science Institute and playing rules staffs develop a collaborative formal review process and report their progress at the committee’s December meeting.”


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