Concussions in Football
Lakeside High School
In this paper I am going to be talking about concussions in Football. I wanted to research this topic because I did not know how easy it is to get a concussion in sports. I also chose this topic because it can relate to the news today. The National Football League has just recently passed a rule that fines any player that tackles another player and creates head-to-head contact. I really wanted to know more about this new rule, and how this is going to affect the game.
A concussion is a mild brain injury that happens when the brain ...view middle of the document...
The new rules say that players who sustain a concussion should not return to a game or practice on the same day if he shows symptoms of a head injury. These symptoms include memory loss, confusion, dizziness and headaches. The old guidelines said that players should not return to a game only if they lost consciousness.
“When I came in, the game was played by one motto: by any means necessary. Now, 15 years later, there are just too many rules.” Those words are from Ray Lewis, the Baltimore Ravens Middle Linebacker, when asked about the new NFL rules (King, 2010). Very recently the NFL created new rules that are supposed to protect a defenseless player from receiving blows to the head by fining any player up to $75,000 who makes helmet-to-helmet contact with another player. Before this rule helmet-to-helmet contact was considered a personal foul and if the defense committed this foul then the offense received 15 extra yards to the end of the play.
Dr. Michael Collins and a team of researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and the University of British Columbia divided high school athletes who had had a concussion into two groups: those who had suffered only one concussion (60 athletes; average age, 15.8 years) and those who had suffered three or more concussions (28 athletes; average age, 16.1 years). Compared to athletes who had suffered only one concussion, athletes who suffered from multiple concussions were: 6.7 times more likely to lose consciousness, 3.8 times more likely to have memory problems for events immediately after the injury, 4.1 times more likely to become confused, 4.4 times more likely to have an altered mental state for more than five minutes, and 9.3 times more likely to have 3-4 signs of a concussion.
Athletes of all ages who have experienced a concussion should be evaluated by a specialist before they return to any sports, said a major doctors group Monday in the latest sign of concern over potential lasting damages from head injuries. The statement by the American Academy of Neurology follows rules already adopted in college sports and in the NFL aimed at preventing blows to the head. Research involving NFL players has suggested that repeated concussions can have a long term neurological consequences. Doctors want to get the message “to the athletes their parents and their coaches that concussions are a big thing and it is an injury to the brain” said Dr. Mark Halstead. Concussions “need to be treated as if they are a big deal. The brain is pretty important.” The neurology academy is the most authoritative medical group when it comes to concussions. And its advice should be heard by all athletes of all ages. The academy also says that there should be a certified athletic trainer at every athletic event and even practices where there is a chance that there might be a concussion (AJC, 2010).
Dr. Ann McKee, an associate professor of neurology and pathology at Boston University who...