Concussions are a growing problem in sports

Travis Waker and Travis Waker

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concussionBy Staff Writer: Travis Waker

Concussions continue to be a growing problem in any sport including, football, hockey and, even baseball. They are also a problem at any age, or grade level; even professional athletes suffer from dreaded head injuries.

According to http://www.neurosurgery.pitt.edu, 300,000 concussions are suffered each year in the United States from sports related injuries. Measures have been taken by leaders of the National Football League, National Hockey League, and Major League Baseball to try and limit concussions. The rate has gone down slightly but still not enough.

In the National Football League, measures have been taken by NFL commissioner Rodger Goodell and his referees to protect the quarterbacks especially who suffer the most often from concussions. These include a fifteen yard penalty for ‘roughing the passer, every time the referee deems the quarterback is in danger of a head injury. Also fines as heavy as $100,000 have been handed out for dirty hits. Most commonly, these fines have been handed out to Detroit Lion’s defensive tackle Nodomakin Suh, who is commonly referred to as the NFL’s dirtiest player.

In the National Hockey League, all players have to be aware of contact to the head since the sport is so physically demanding. Just in the past off season, NHL commissioner Gary Betman has added a new rule to try and prevent injuries. In the past, the icing rule in hockey, (when the puck was shot into the offensive zone from the other side of the ice) has been that the player has to touch the puck before play is stopped. That would cause problems because two players would collide hard against the corner glass, a common place for concussions. Now the puck doesn’t have to be touched for play to stop.

Concussions have attempted to be eliminated from pro baseball as well. Catchers are the most common to suffer from head injuries because they have to take foul tips right off the mask. That’s a ninety five mile an hour fastball redirected right at the catcher’s head. Recently, a new catcher’s mask has been made that has been proven to pad hits to the head. The problem however, is the mask isn’t as comfortable as the previous masks.

Concussions have been a common problem in any sport but effective attempts have been made to cut down the number of sports related head injuries.

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