As football winds down in the next few weeks hopefully the generally good media coverage on concussions doesn’t go away. ESPN.com is doing a feature this week on concussions in the NHL. Most of it is very good and similar to the NFL coverage but the video featured in the article brings up an equipment issue that not everyone would associate with concussions… shoulder pads.
The video does a good job covering the issue but to summarize; after 7 years of “research” the NHL is beginning to pad the hard shell cups used in the shoulder pads in an effort to hopefully reduce the ability to use them as weapon. I used air quotes around research because I haven’t seen the scientifically based data supporting this change, but on the surface and based on common sense “research” it seems like a good idea.
I am going to dig around in the literature and if I find something that will substantiate this it will come in another/later post. An interesting side note, the NFL realized some veteran players were never going to change their pads so the league “worked” with the athletic trainers to bring their pads into compliance.
Now if the NHL would only do something about the “helmets” used in hockey…..