A major sports federation has mandated banning headgear in amateur boxing competition in an effort to reduce concussions and head trauma, a decision that is thought to be a first in the sports world.[…]
Removing the use of helmets or headgear has been discussed as a counterintuitive way to decrease brain injuries, with the idea being that athletes wouldn’t use their heads as weapons or hit as hard if they didn’t feel as protected. In boxing, there also is the belief that headgear makes it harder to see to the side to avoid blows, and makes the head a bigger target.
There has been limited research to support this change, but fresh data, still unpublished, suggests the removal of headgear in elite, male amateur boxing reduces the incidence of concussion, according to the chairman of the AIBA medical commission, Charles Butler, a retired cardiac surgeon and ringside doctor, who spearheaded the study that served as part of the basis for the recommendation.
Charles Butler explained the experiment to me a couple of years ago. He had an extremely refined understanding of the physics of the head trauma associated with boxing after years of being a ring doctor.
I look forward to reading the peer-reviewed article.
I don’t recall that Butler seem inclined to remove helmets in football. He did as I remember believe football helmets could be altered to reduce torsion and injury from unexpected hits.
Hopefully he will eleborate regarding other sports.
To make boxing safer , why not put a hard plastic shell over that soft headgear and the same on the gloves —
The sound of the hits could be like the sound of two helmets in football. …!
Dr Butler has made these recommendations to AIBA however he does not have data to support his comments; published or otherwise. When asked about the research he sites in his interviews I was directed to articles in the lay press, but no peer-reviewed scientific studies. I am not aware of ANY scientific studies being done by Dr Butler – nor has he produced evidence of such when requested – and I have been involved with USA Boxing for > 10 years. I believe that this decision by AIBA was not done based on scientific consensus but rather the opinion of one person.
The line of death is well collected and analyzed data. On the other hand, I don’t know what compelled boxers to wear head gear in the first place other than the unsubstantiated belief more gear equals more protection.
Maybe US boxing can show evidence why it demanded head gear in the first place. Hopefully, some studies were conducted that showed it mitigated some types of injury. I doubt that any study show head gear mitigated concussion.
Reblogged this on Broken Brain – Brilliant Mind and commented:
Interesting, that headgear is considered a contributor to TBI
than why not look at the recent medical histories of boxers when they retire, the hocky players, football players. why do you think baseball players when batting wear a helmet, too many head injuries from the pitcher threw 100mph baseballs.
Hard shell helmets are worn to prevent skull fractures. It works quite well. As far as soft helmets, I don’t believe much has been published.
reading about their struggles after they retire or forced to because of their health. thanks again for sharing the post