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