CFL and Football Canada Team Up

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; Continue reading

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NHL Taking It Slow: Commentary

As the general managers meet in Florida for the last day, what has come from the meeting the past two has been “tightening of the ship.”  Rather than take sweeping changes and possibly modifying the game to ends that make the owners and their proxy, general managers, uneasy the standards/statements made thus far have at least let us know they are fully aware.  And it has shown that money or fear of losing money drives the ship.

On Monday the league announced that the protocol for a player showing concussion signs will be removed from the bench for a thorough evaluation by a doctor.  I opined that this was a good first step, what I didn’t mention was that I didn’t like how the connotation from the media and even the league that the athletic trainer may be at fault.  Taking the player from the bench is a “no-brainer”; the instinct to hop the boards when your shift is called far outweighs the honest answers a player may be inclined to give to the athletic trainer behind the bench.  Also, removing the player from outside influences, say peers and coaches, makes this move both warranted and good “window dressing.”  This particular move does nothing for the player that will give dishonest answers in an effort to return to the game, the hopes are that using the SCAT2 model, to the ‘T’, will identify more concussions.  Is it a move in the right direction?  Yes!  Just remember before others go on a rampage saying the athletic trainer would not be qualified to do this; the SCAT2 was developed by and for athletic trainers to use, on a hockey bench there is neither the time or space to do such an evaluation.  Part of the umbrage I take as well is the influences of the coaches, peers and players themselves when the injured is still on the bench.  The athletic trainer has never been viewed as an overriding authority on the bench/sidelines in professional sports, which is a shame because that is their profession and that is what they are trained to do.

On Tuesday, there was no move by the league to ban hits to the head, like the IIHF and OHL have done.  Rather the league will enforce Continue reading