The Canadian Football League has been very progressive with concussion awareness, in fact it would be factual to say the CFL has been the most progressive in North America in the sport of football. The eight-team league instituted a standardized sideline test for concussions last year, the SCAT2; and this year they will use tracking software for concussions. Not unlike the CDC in the States, the CFL and its partners will be distributing educational information via flyers and handouts. Thanks to SportMed BC we were given the story;
The goal is to educate players and coaches at all levels and dispel any remnants of the old-school gridiron habits where players made premature returns to the field.
“I think that culture has shifted,” CFL commissioner Mark Cohon said Tuesday. “I think that concept has shifted and these guys want to live long and healthy lives. And part of that is managing concussions.”
Other partners include;
- Canadian Interunversity Sport
- CFL Player’s Association
- CFL Alumni Association
- Canadian School Sport Federation
The founder of ThinkFirst and a leader in concussion research; including a longevity study on brain function and concussions, Dr. Charles Tator is leading the way;
“I would say we are at our infancy in examining this issue,” Tator said. “That’s why it’s extremely important for scientists to be involved. Even the definition of concussion has changed over the past few years, the management of concussions, the use of exercise for example, to bring on symptoms of concussions. We didn’t know about that a few years ago.
“So in my view this is a new ball game.”
And it just not scientists and activists that are helping with the cause, former players as well; including star quarterback Matt Dunigan;
“You may have got two or three a game,” Dunigan said. “You know, that turn the field sideways on you. Give you tunnel vision and make you spin. You just got back up, handed the ball off and relied on the defence to get you the ball back, and went back out there. It was just the way you approached the game. It was the way I knew how.
“The game is being played differently now. Not so much with how physical or aggressive or whatnot. It’s just the approach. And to me it’s a huge step forward.”
Now if the NFL would just take a clue from our friends up north, perhaps we can begin to change the stigma elsewhere. Good On Ya Canada!