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Athletics and Brain Injuries

Recent scientific research, rule changes and a growing consciousness of the risk of high-impact sports are bringing attention to the concern of brain injuries that result from participation in athletics. Brain injuries are particularly common in football and affect all age brackets that play the sport. The recent changes regarding helmet-to-helmet contact in football reflect the severity of these injuries and the need to create a safer playing environment for all.

Inter-Collegiate Study

The Big Ten Conference and the Ivy League recently came together in order to study the short- and long-term effects that sports-related brain injuries have on athletes. The study will look at more than 17,500 athletes and hopes to collect data that accurately reflects the number and severity of brain injuries that stem directly from participation in sports. The Big Ten and Ivy League are particularly concerned because of the significant long-term health consequences. Study organizers hope to identify risks and then lead toward suggestions of safer practices.

Pop Warner Rules

Pop Warner is an organization that oversees more than 5,000 total youth football teams. It sets the rules and regulations to ensure safety for its players.

With the growing amount of information on brain injuries, Pop Warner has started to create rules to protect players from injury. One such rule places players closer to each other in practice so that a hit has less of an impact on the players. Because of the greater amount of time spent in practice, the organization feels that this regulation will significantly reduce the amount of head injuries.

NFL Players' View

NFL players are taking several different stances on the issue. Some believe that the increased regulation of the sport will limit fan support and diminish the integrity of the sport. On the other hand, several players have openly stated that they either do not want their children to play football or are undecided if they will allow their children to play.

When Concussions Occur

There is no substitute for preventive measures such as the use of helmets and other safeguards.

When accidents do occur on or off the playing field, a consultation with an attorney experienced in brain injury cases is an important step in protecting the injured person so that he or she may focus on the important task of recovery and rehabilitation.