On Twitter yesterday I commented on the words Jim Nantz spoke on “Face the Nation” regarding concussions (emphasis mine);
“[r]esearch shows that at the college level, a women’s soccer player is two and half times more likely to suffer a concussion than a college football player. I don’t hear anyone saying right now, ‘should we put our daughter in these soccer programs?'”
Huge props to Jason Lisk of bigleadsports, for doing the work of digging to find the information that Nantz used in the interview. The long and short of Lisk’s adventure was that he could not find a specific connotation of such claims. The 2007 article he cited in his wirte-up can be found here, Concussions Among United States High School and Collegiate Athletes, via nih.gov. You can look and see what Lisk and myself see, football concussions occur more than female soccer concussions – except for an anomaly (very small one less 4%) – in college football and female college soccer. Lisk also notes this was a 2007 study, although ancient in the realm of concussions, it is very solid and worth citing.
A repeat of the above study could not be found and probably should be done, however there are plenty of “concussion incidence” research in the high school sports. Those can be found by simply going to ‘Google Scholar’ and defining your terms. Here is a very good one regarding concussions alone, Marar et Al_ Epidemiology of Concussions, where the football vs. girls soccer numbers are; 6.4/3.4 (that is per 10,000 athlete exposures). This is a 47% increase as compared between the two sports, almost two-time as likely. More important is that this information was published a year ago, some of the freshest information out there.
Specifically Nantz was using collegiate soccer as his “trump card” in the case for football. Not only is collegiate soccer a rare occurrence for those playing soccer, it is not nearly as populated as high school and youth soccer, where the concussion problem is WAY lower than football.
Not only was Nantz – and Limbaugh – spewing information that is both hard to find (no source) and outrageous to this author, it is completely irresponsible to even suggest that female soccer is more “dangerous” than football, in terms of concussions.
Here is my diatribe from twitter last night; Continue reading
A group of researchers including R. Dawn Comstock released data, published earlier this year, regarding concussions what was initially found is not surprising, or shouldn’t be;
Of 14,635 high-school sports injuries reported during the 2008-10 school years, 1,936 (13.2 percent) were concussions, according to an epidemiological study published in January in the American Journal of Sports Medicine. This was nearly twice the rate reported in earlier studies of high-school athletes.
Part of the reason the increase exists is because of the inclusion of boys hockey and lacrosse, however taking that away there would be a significant increase otherwise. This too can be attributed to the increased awareness and better assessment of concussions. It is of my opinion that we are just now on the verge of finding the “true” rate of concussions, for many years it has been under-reported due to the lack of understanding/awareness (also an issue with general and serious injury tracking as well, see Matt Chaney)
What makes this research “eye-opening” is what the researches found about recovery; Continue reading
Statistics are seemingly becoming a major part of all of our lives; from your favorite baseball players batting average, to the graduation rate of the school system, to your fantasy football team, to the injury rate of particular activities. Being an athletic trainer the later is important, not only does it paint a picture of “expected” injuries we should be on top of, it also provides information for us to use in terms of making solid decisions about return to sport.
If a player sustains an injury that occurs a high percentage of the time in the sport, then when returning there are different things we can do, in terms of preventative measures, to possibly avoid a re-injury. Along with that, if a player sustains a “freak injury” and obtains complete recovery statistics can tell us if playing again is a good idea at all.
This is why it is important to have all the available information be correct and up to date; more and more decisions not only from athletic trainers but parents about playing are made from such injury statistics. One of the “gold standards” of injury surveillance for athletic training is Continue reading
Although the initial intent of this research study was to examine all injuries of high school athletes in nine sports, the study uncovered some raw numbers on concussions, as reported by Mike Szostak of the Providence Journal. R. Dawn Comstock began the injury surveillance survey in the 2005-2006 school year and the findings released go through the 2009-2010 season;
The number of concussions suffered by athletes increased 44.8 percent during that four-year period to about 190,385, from about 131,419.
Concussion as a percentage of total injuries increased to 14 percent in 2009-2010, from 9.1 percent in 2005-2006.
That is an eye-opening number, but some of the increase can be attributed to greater awareness. In the article I could Continue reading