Canada Takes Initiative

When you can get five separate entities – including the largest hockey organization in the country and one of the most well-funded brain injury awareness groups – to pool resources and information to increase awareness of concussion then I would say that is initiative.  This dive is once again coming from north of the border as Hockey Canada and ThinkFirst Canada are amongst the five organizations making a push.

The noteworthy product of this group is a survey;

“I think that’s outstanding,” said Pat Waslen, executive director of Football B.C. “One of the problems from our perspective here is there needs to be more [concussion protocols] put in place. Years ago there were no rules saying you had to have seatbelts in your car, right? So it’s the same thing with concussions.” Continue reading

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NHL Concussion Thoughts

Recently there has been a spike in awareness and number of concussions in the National Hockey League.  Last year we began compiling the injuries in our database to see where the sport stands (we also do NFL, NCAA football, and Aussie Rules Football).  When Sidney Crosby sustained his initial concussion in the Winter Classic last year it seemed that NHL has begun to take notice.

It was refreshing to see The Star of the NHL deal with the brain injury with some transparency, although he endured some criticism what Crosby did was set into motion the awareness of concussions.  Last season prior to the new year it was very difficult to find actual listed concussions; they were veiled in “upper body” or “undisclosed” listings.  In some cases the injury was improperly reported as a neck or shoulder injury; a sign that the concussion was either a) not understood (unlikely) or b) needed to be hidden.

Before you read on it is important to understand the position of the blog and this author about concussions.

Concussions, brain injuries, are an inherent part of collision sports.  There is very little in the way of equipment that can prevent concussions, the only way to impact a positive change (see decrease) is to address the culture and mechanics of sports.  This does not mean that professional sports should be outlawed, rather subtly changed to protect those that play, not only for the immediate time, but for the long-term health of the athletes.  With this; Continue reading

Chevy Joining the Concussion Fight

Although we all should know that helmets DO NOT prevent concussions, they are vital part of collision sports, especially football, hockey and lacrosse.  Knowing this, having the newest helmet possible is the best for any athlete and a high priority for the younger athletes.  On Tuesday Chevrolet announced it is joining with Hockey Canada to provide a huge donation;

The auto maker announced Tuesday it will partner with Bauer and Hockey Canada to provide more than 20,000 helmets for children born in 2006, who are registered for the 2011-12 season.

GM Canada spokesman Jason Easton said the company wanted to expand its Safe and Fun Hockey program and felt protecting the heads of new players was a good way to start.

EVERY SINGLE 5-year-old in Canada will be given a helmet. Continue reading

Bravo Hockey Canada!

On May 28th Hockey Canada, the governing body of amateur hockey throughout the nation, sent out a press release tightening down on the rules for contact to the head;

  • zero tolerance measures for all head contact or checks in minor, female, junior and senior hockey:
    • in minor and female hockey, a minor penalty shall be assessed for all accidental hits to the head, while a double minor penalty, or a major and game misconduct at the discretion of the referee based on the degree of violence of impact, shall be assessed for any intentional contact to the head; Continue reading