The safety, or more specifically the lack thereof, of football helmets has been a source of concern for some years. One of the problems is that it is common for a football helmet to be used for many years when its condition can deteriorate such as its foam cushioning becoming too stiff or the plastic helmet becoming too brittle from aging, leaving the players more vulnerable to concussions and other head trauma. There are no laws that place a time limit on how long a helmet can be used. Football helmets more than 10 years old are worn by about … Read the rest
A Dallas Cowboys scouting assistant paralyzed and a special team’s coach whose neck was broken in the May 2, 2009, collapse of the team’s practice facility due to high winds filed separate lawsuits against the Pennsylvania-based company that built the structure and several other companies involved in the construction and maintenance.
Cowboys scouting assistant Rich Behm was paralyzed from the waist down and 11 others were injured when the structure was toppled in high winds. Special teams coach Joe DeCamillas suffered a broken neck in the collapse. Summit Structures, the company that built the practice facility. Summit, an engineer, and … Read the rest
Last week saw the National Football League make eleven (11) rule changes including issues involving replays, kickoffs, onside kicks, and hits to the quarterback. Viewed as a whole, the rule changes reveal a concerted effort to reduce injuries to players. Some critics contend, however, that the rule changes will water-down the physical aspects of the game, likening future NFL play to flag football. But to the owners, the players are their most valuable assets, and protecting them, and avoiding the sight of players being taken off the field strapped to stretchers is understandably paramount.
The new rules are also consistent … Read the rest
Heat exposure deaths happen occasionally in all levels of football. The cases have led to numerous lawsuits, however, no evidence can be found that a coach has ever been charged in the deaths. Until now. A Kentucky high school football coach was indicted by a grand jury last month with reckless homicide in the death of a player who collapsed during a sweltering practice. Coach David Jason Stinson was charged in the death of 15-year-old sophomore offensive lineman Max Gilpin that occurred on August 20, 2008, when the heat index reached 94 degrees.The indictment has brought on an uproar by … Read the rest
A major issue of concern that arose during this past baseball season was the frequent incidence of shattering baseball bats, particularly shattering maple bats. In fact, the issue was of such concern that baseball’s Safety and Health Advisory Committee was convened to study the problem and issue recommendations, including, if deemed appropriate, banning the use of maple bats.
After studying thousands of broken bats and hundreds that shattered into multiple pieces, the committee concluded the cause was the poor-quality “slope of grain” and ruptures caused by excessive bending. It was concluded that there was no inherent weakness in using … Read the rest
Injuries to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) often require surgery and months of rehabilitation. Such injuries have been a particular concern for female soccer players. Strengthening and flexibility programs that have been found to reduce injuries to the ligament often require special equipment.
Researchers looking for a program that could be easily incorporated into regular team practices have found a simple on-field alternative warm-up program that can reduce non-contact ACL injuries in female soccer players, especially those with a history of anterior cruciate ligament injury, according to a study published recently in The American Journal of Sports Medicine.
The … Read the rest
This year’s LandTek FieldTurf convention, held last month at a hotel in Huntington, Long Island, New York, was dedicated to addressing recent worries that the filling material, composed of ground up tires, could eventually expose athletes to life-threatening illness.
The concerns have to do with the fact that the artificial fields are constructed using up to ten tons of ground-up used tires, or crumb rubber, as in-fill. The danger is that since tires typically contain toxic substances which prohibit their disposal in landfills and oceans, it seems reasonable to question whether this material is safe for use on fields where … Read the rest
It is indisputable that cerebral concussions are commonly sustained by football players, professional or amateur. As time has gone by, concussions have gone from being considered relatively minor injuries to becoming a cause of deep concern for long-term cognitive problems that often result therefrom.
An interesting article in The New York Times last week by Alan Schwartz about the recent concussion sustained by Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and the expertise of concussion management at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center pointed out some apparently significant differences between how concussions are dealt with in the National Football League as compared … Read the rest