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Arizona First in the U.S. to Mandate Concussion Education for Male & Female Athletes
Ohio Bill Removes Students Immediately From Play When Concussion Symptoms Detected
New Mexico Researchers Find Concussions May Affect Kids for Months
Spotlight on Saving Young Minds, Inc.
New Hit Count® Certification Program Makes Contact Sports Safer
More than 50% of high school athletes with concussions play despite their symptoms
Southern California Youth Rugby’s Award Winning Player Welfare Program
Brock Field Named Outstanding Facility of the Year by the ASBA
“1,100 lbs of Force Driven into the Turf” Sports Science
16,000 Spectators Rally at UNC Hooker Fields
USF Benedetti Baseball Fields “True As The Ball Could Roll”
Chief’s QB Suffers Concussion from Head-to-Turf Collision
Texas School District Puts Safety First for 8 Fields
Brock Shock Pads in Kickabout Systems
Real Sports with Bryant Gumble: Youth Sports and Concussions
Today We Mourn The Fallen
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Arizona First in the U.S. to Mandate Concussion Education for Male & Female Athletes

Arizona First in the U.S. to Mandate Concussion Education for Male & Female Athletes

In August 2011, Arizona became the first state in the U.S. to mandate that all male and female athletes undergo concussion education and pass a formal test before playing sports. A breakthrough in concussion prevention, this initiative was formed through the collaboration of the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), and the Arizona Cardinals, and should impact more than 100,000 Arizona student athletes each year.

Previously, Arizona was ranked second in the nation for traumatic brain injury. Until the launch of this initiative, there had never been a mandated education and testing program designed for student athletes to teach them about the dangerous effects of concussion.
Twenty-eight states, including Arizona, have concussion laws that require concussion education, removal from play and return to play. Arizona is the first to define and create the education directly targeting students through a new e-learning module and the AIA is the first to require that every student complete and pass the education module in order to participate in athletics. This program, designed by AIA, Barrow and the Arizona Cardinals, is expected to change the face of high school sports in Arizona.

“The AIA recognizes the seriousness of this debilitating brain injury and is proud to be taking the lead in changing the way athletes are educated about traumatic brain injuries associated in sports,” says Harold Slemmer, Ed.D., Executive Director of the AIA. The AIA is an association of public and private high schools throughout Arizona that oversees interscholastic activities including athletics in 275 schools.
“There are approximately 3 million sports-related concussions nationally each year,” says Javier Cárdenas, MD, neurologist at Barrow, who has taken a state-wide lead in concussion prevention. “Players recognizing the signs and symptoms of concussion can prevent death and disability.”

All student athletes through the AIA will receive their concussion education through Brainbook, an interactive online site created by Barrow and Arizona State University. Designed to look like a social media site, the students are taken through a series of educational content, activities and videos. At the end of the module, the students are required to pass a formal exam before being cleared to play. The module is the first collaborative educational effort between a pro football team, a hospital, and an interscholastic agency. Brainbook is currently being evaluated for implementation in other states throughout the nation.

To learn more about this program, visit Barrow Neurological Institute.

Ohio Bill Removes Students Immediately From Play When Concussion Symptoms Detected

Ohio Bill Removes Students Immediately From Play When Concussion Symptoms Detected

Beginning with the 2013 spring sports season, young athletes in Ohio will have to immediately be removed from a game or practice when they show symptoms of a concussion. As reported by The Columbus Dispatch, the state senate unanimously approved the concussion legislation, House Bill 143, which requires that steps be taken to educate parents, youth coaches and officials about symptoms, and that a young athlete who shows such symptoms be immediately pulled from a game. A youth could not return to competition unless cleared by a physician.

As public awareness rises over the potential long-term consequences of repeated head injuries, the bill focused on ensuring that concussions in student athletes are properly handled. Gov. John Kasich signed the bill in December 2012.

Among the health-care professionals who supported the bill was Dr. Jason Dapore with OhioHealth Sports Medicine, who has served as the team physician for the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Upper Arlington school district. Dapore said no two athletes will have same experience with concussions: Some can suffer far-reaching consequences that affect function, emotion or pain, while others can have only a mild headache for a few days.

“This is why prompt recognition and removal from play are critical in protecting the athlete who has suffered a concussion,” Dapore told a Senate committee last week. He also stressed that anyone suffering a head injury should be examined by a physician to ensure there is a careful assessment and diagnosis of the injury.

The Ohio Department of Health plans to develop an information sheet on concussions and head injuries. Before an athlete could play, a parent and the student would have to verify that they have reviewed the information, and coaches would have to complete a training program on brain trauma.
“There is a clear risk of further complication when an athlete plays while experiencing concussed symptoms,” said Sen. Scott Oelslager, R-Canton. He noted that under the bill, an athlete removed from a game with a head injury must sit out for at least 24 hours.

New Mexico Researchers Find Concussions May Affect Kids for Months

New Mexico Researchers Find Concussions May Affect Kids for Months

In December 2012, researchers at the University of New Mexico reported that the effects of concussions may linger for months in children. The team studied 30 children between the ages of 10 and 17, performing brain scans and administering cognitive tests. Half of the children had recently suffered concussions in which they’d lost consciousness and shown an altered mental state.

Two weeks after their injuries, children with concussions showed small deficits in their cognition and changes in their brains’ white matter, compared with those who hadn’t suffered brain injuries. White matter consists of nerve fibers surrounded by the insulating fat called myelin.

But three months later, while their other symptoms had disappeared, brain scans still showed changes in the white matter of children who had suffered concussions, they reported in the Journal of Neuroscience.

“These findings may have important implications about when it is truly safe for a child to resume physical activities that may produce a second concussion, potentially further injuring an already vulnerable brain,” Andrew Mayer of the University of New Mexico, who worked on the study, said in a statement.

Studies in adults have shown that the brain’s white matter changes after a concussion, but the severity of the changes seen in the children in this study was larger than what studies of adults have shown, Mayer said. This may mean that children are more susceptible to the effects of brain injuries, he said.

Dr. Christopher Giza, a brain injury researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, said future studies should investigate whether the structural changes revealed in the brain scans have clinical implications for kids. Giza was not involved in the study.

“Further work is needed to determine whether the changes in white matter present at four months represent a prolonged recovery process or permanent change in the brain,” Giza said in a statement.

This content was excerpted from My Health News Daily. Visit the Society for Neuroscience to learn more.

Spotlight on Saving Young Minds, Inc.

Spotlight on Saving Young Minds, Inc.

There are many terrific organizations that focus on preventing youth sports injuries or educating others about the growing concussion crisis. However there has not been as much attention focused yet on the connection between sports-related concussions and academic performance. That is why we wanted to introduce you to Saving Young Minds, Inc., (SYM) a non-profit group whose mission is to educate and protect the young minds of student-athletes from under-privileged communities.

Created by school psychologist Alberto Gamarra, PhD, SYM is primarily focused on providing concussion awareness education and baseline assessments of cognitive, neurological, and balance functioning in the hopes of preventing unnecessary risks to student-athletes who sustain brain injuries that often go unrecognized and untreated. Here is our Q&A with Dr. Gamarra:

Q: How does Saving Young Minds make a difference in helping young student-athletes protect their minds from your perspective as a school psychologist, especially in light of the growing concussion crisis?

A: What I have learned during the past three years is that there is very little “profession-wide” understanding of this area. In creating this organization, I have been able to use my credibility as a psychologist to draw the connection between sports-related concussions and academic performance. We’ve only just begun to get the word out, and it has been an uphill struggle to get organizations and parents to listen. Saving Young Minds provides a different platform, separate from my private practice, where I can play the exclusive role of a student/athlete advocate with no monetary strings attached. It also allows me to present research-based information and opinions impartially to a wider audience and this ultimately moves us closer to our mission of educating and increasing awareness. We want to be a community-based resource for credible and practical information.

Q: Why is it important to look at the issue of sports concussions from the school psychology vantage point?

A: For the first few years I researched the topic of sports-related concussions, the emphasis was on player safety and the return-to-play (RTP) decision. Who makes the call, when, and for how long? The focus population began at the professional level and has gradually trickled down to collegiate and high schools. Just look at the emphasis on the development of the assessment tools; as an example, IMPACT’s computer-based assessment has only been validated as low as age 14, but because they were the first ones out of the gate, they have cornered the market and almost every group uses their product. From my perspective, there are tens of thousands of student-athletes under that age participating in organized sports like soccer, lacrosse, and roller hockey. The recently passed legislation in Florida, where we are located, only requires baseline assessments beginning in high school (age 14), which demonstrates to me a lack of understanding of the available research. This legislation is reactive and has little in the way of preventing injuries by focusing prevention efforts at the earliest ages. For the last two years I have presented at the Florida Association of School Psychologists’ annual conference (FASP) on the role of the school psychologist in managing the return-to-learn (RTL) process for student-athletes, as well as other traumatic brain injured students. As a profession, I felt that there is a disconnect when it comes to involving ourselves with student-athletes and handling their post-concussive returns to academics.

Q: How can others get involved?

A: As a fledgling organization with high hopes and scant resources, we are always in the process of learning and sharing our message. I have developed a protocol for assessments, multiple sport specific presentations (soccer, football, rugby, etc.) and audiences (coach, parent and athlete). We also encourage people to talk to the coaches and directors at their local sports club/league/academy and demand a full presentation and resources from a knowledgeable professional. SYM appreciates site visits and any efforts to support our fundraising and awareness efforts!

To learn more about Saving Young Minds, Inc., visit Saving Young Minds, Inc.

New Hit Count® Certification Program Makes Contact Sports Safer

New Hit Count® Certification Program Makes Contact Sports Safer

Last month, the non-profit Concussion Legacy Foundation announced a major advance in the effort to prevent concussions and brain damage in contact sports with the launch of the Hit Count® certification program after two years of development, which was unveiled at a press conference at the 2014 Super Bowl Media Center in New York City.

Hit Count® builds on the progress that head sensor device companies have made in developing devices that can measure acceleration of the head. Current products used on the field are focused on alerting coaches, medical professionals, and parents when a potential concussive impact occurs.

Inspired by Pitch Counts baseball, which set limits to the number of times a player throws from the mound to prevent arm injury, Hit Count® Certified Devices will have a second function that measures and “Counts” impacts that exceed the Hit Count® Threshold, set by a committee of leading scientists, with the goal of minimizing brain injury.

“Research using sensor devices has revealed that each year in the United States, there are over 1.5 billion impacts to the heads of youth and high school football players,” said Chris Nowinski, Founding Executive Director of SLI who launched the Hit Count® initiative in 2012 with SLI Medical Director Dr. Robert Cantu. “Most hits are unnecessary and occur in practice. By utilizing Hit Count® certified products as a teaching tool for coaches and a behavior modification tool for athletes, we can eliminate over 500 million head impacts next season.”

Committee member Gerry Gioia, PhD, of Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University School of Medicine, unveiled that the Hit Count® Threshold will be set at the subconcussive level of 20 g’s of linear acceleration. “This is the beginning of a major research and public health effort to limit brain trauma in sports. While current science does not provide a “safe” or “unsafe” Hit Count®, our goal is to eventually provide clear guidance for coaches and parents. We will need the youth sports, sensor manufacturer, and medical science communities to work together to provide reliable answers.”

Hit Count® Certified products will go through a rigorous test protocol developed by the University of Ottawa Neurotrauma Impact Laboratory in conjunction with engineers from the six Hit Count® Initiative sponsors, including Battle Sports Science, G-Force Tracker, i1Biometrics, Impakt Protective, MC10, and Triax.

Three-time Super Bowl Champion Ted Johnson, a former linebacker for the New England Patriots who retired from post-concussion syndrome in 2005, said, “I track the number of steps I take each day to lower my risk of heart disease. I owe it to my son to count the number of Hits to his head in sports to lower his risk of concussions and subconcussive brain damage.”

To learn more about this initiative, visit the Concussion Legacy Foundation.

More than 50% of high school athletes with concussions play despite their symptoms

More than 50% of high school athletes with concussions play despite their symptoms

Awareness of youth sports concussions has increased significantly and now all 50 U.S. states have some form of concussion prevention/recognition legislation in place addressing high school sports. Yet recent research indicates this might not be enough.

As reported in this article from Reuters Health, a new study indicates that more than 50% of high school athletes with concussions play despite their symptoms, and often their coaches aren’t aware of the injury.

“I think that currently the big problem is that kids hide their symptoms,” said Dr. Frederick P. Rivara in the article, who led the study at Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Washington in Seattle. “The laws and attention to concussion have made coaches much more aware of the issues and I do believe that most coaches want to do the right thing. Playing with symptoms increases the risk of a more serious brain injury.”

His team’s study included male high school football players and female soccer players in Washington state during the 2012 season. At the beginning of the season, team coaches filled out questionnaires designed to assess their personal details and experience and their level of education with regard to concussions. Athletes also filled out baseline questionnaires about their history of head injuries at the beginning of the season, and researchers contacted them and their parents weekly throughout the season to report the number of practices, games, head injuries and potential concussion symptoms.

Over one season, 11 percent of soccer players and 10 percent of football players sustained a concussion, based on the symptoms they reported. According to the survey of 778 athletes, 69 percent of those with concussions reported playing with symptoms and 40 percent reported that their coach was not aware of their concussion.

“It’s disappointing that so many young athletes with apparent concussions choose not to report their symptoms to coaches or even parents, but they are often highly motivated to avoid being removed from play,” Keith O. Yeates, a pediatric traumatic brain injury researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said. “They may also downplay or not realize the risks associated with concussions.”

Each year, U.S. emergency rooms treat more than 100,000 sports-related concussions in kids age 19 and under, according to the CDC.

Southern California Youth Rugby’s Award Winning Player Welfare Program

Southern California Youth Rugby’s Award Winning Player Welfare Program

Southern California Youth Rugby (SCYR) is leading the way for player safety with the introduction of a new “Player Welfare Program.” The unique program was designed by Alexandra Williams, executive director of SCYR, to prioritize the health and wellness of rugby athletes.

SCYR is the governing body in charge of over 5000 players in Southern California. SCYR works with over 100 clubs and high school programs to grow the game and promote rugby.

The new Player Welfare Program features several key improvements that help prevent and treat concussions and other major injuries. Notably, athletic trainers are scheduled for every contact rugby match and a comprehensive concussion protocol is in place. Trainers and coaches can notify SCYR about possible concussions through InjureFree, an online portal. InjureFree prevents players with suspected or diagnosed concussions from being placed on match rosters until they have been cleared by a physician or complete the full concussion protocol.

Wyatt Blue, the Player Welfare Manager and experienced athletic trainer, follows up directly with parents on suspected concussions and serious injuries. Blue thinks the program is a great way to educate parents, and explained “when they hear about it they are very excited about what we are doing, because it’s all about the safety of their athletes.”

Alexandra Williams describes the program as “unique and groundbreaking in a lot of ways.” She notes that the response to the program has been largely positive and says, “the time is right for it, and people are very supportive of it.”

The Player Welfare Program is only entering its second season, but has already garnered national attention. SCYR was named the Organization of the Year by the National Council for Youth Sports, and won the NCYS STRIVE Award. USA Rugby, the national governing body for rugby, provided a grant to help kick-start the program. Additional funding is provided by sponsor groups, including Brock USA.

SCYR said the partnership with Brock “provides critical support to the implementation of the PWP and greatly benefits our athletes, much as Brock’s products provide critical safety features for artificial turf fields, which are increasingly being implemented by schools and parks and used by youth sports teams across Southern California.”

Williams is hopeful for the future of the program, and wants “all of youth rugby to be working at these same levels.” In the next few years, SCYR is looking to increase the capabilities of the program and develop new ways to support athletes. Possible expansions involve using the rugby injury data collected with InjureFree to create new training resources for coaches.

Southern California Youth Rugby’s Player Welfare Program will help protect players, and inform coaches and parents when possible concussions and serious injuries have occurred. The strategies used by SCYR are being shared with youth organizations around the country to promote safer sports.

Brock Field Named Outstanding Facility of the Year by the ASBA

Brock Field Named Outstanding Facility of the Year by the ASBA

The American Sports Builders Association, the organization for builders/suppliers of materials for athletic fields, announced its annual Outstanding Facilities of the Year Awards. Winning projects are chosen based on layout, design, site work, drainage, innovation, and several other categories. 

The winner of the Outstanding Multi-Field Facility of the Year Award was the Shoreline Athletic Facility, located in Mountain View, California. Designed by Siegfried Engineering, the 10-acre facility features synthetic Astroturf over Brock ShockPad Series.

The project took 5 years to complete from design to installation. Special modifications were made to the construction process to accommodate the western burrowing owl, a protected species that lives in the area. A portion of the site is set aside as a wildlife habitat.

The fields can accommodate baseball, softball, soccer, and lacrosse. The facility also includes night lighting, batting cages, and a concessions building. The surface was designed with flexibility in mind, and is enjoyed by athletics of all ages.

The Shoreline Athletic Facility is just one of many Brock projects that have been awarded by the American Sports Builders Association. Others include Bellarmine College Preparatory School, Dartmouth College, and Fessenden School.

“1,100 lbs of Force Driven into the Turf” Sports Science

“1,100 lbs of Force Driven into the Turf” Sports Science

The popular ESPN program “Sports Science” chose to dive into the forces at work during a rugby match. What was discovered is a violent mix of possibilities that open the doors for serious injuries. There was no doubt that rugby is a hard-hitting, collision sport that demands each player to constantly protect themselves from harm, but most players do not grasp the sheer force impacting their bodies and, more specifically, their brains.

Luckily, World Rugby has established standards for rugby associations and they have been adopted by leagues all around the globe. The most significant metric that stands out in the standards guide for artificial turf fields is a Head Injury Criterion rating of >1.3 meters. This may seem like a practical height considering the test measures head impacts, but natural grass fields regularly score HIC ratings between 1.6-2.0 meters. Pristine natural grass is the only standard Brock PowerBase/Pro, PowerBase/YSR, and the ShockPad/SERIES are measured against. For this reason you can conduct a HIC test on any Brock field and you will see a HIC rating of 1.6 meters or higher.

16,000 Spectators Rally at UNC Hooker Fields

16,000 Spectators Rally at UNC Hooker Fields

When Brock fields aren’t being sprinted on to meet a soccer pass, or landed upon for a diving touchdown catch, they’re sometimes used to support 16,000 spectators at a rally with the President of the United States! That’s 32,000 feet that were kept comfy during the hours of speakers that graced the stage and urged those in the audience to get out and exercise their right to vote and determine the future of the nation.

The University of North Carolina hosted the rally for the democratic party on Wednesday, Nov. 2nd at Hooker Fields. The fields used to hold the massive crowd were Greenfields MX over Brock PowerBase. Although it is not recommended to vary the uses of the fields for non-athletic play, a Brock field can easily handle events of this nature. Brock’s drainage properties also help when cleaning up any spills or garbage left behind, so the next athletes to take the field have a quality surface to play upon.

Less than a week before the 2016 Presidential election wraps up. Get out and VOTE!!!

Photo credit: The News & Observer

USF Benedetti Baseball Fields “True As The Ball Could Roll”

USF Benedetti Baseball Fields “True As The Ball Could Roll”

Baseball and artificial turf might not sound like a good mix, but ask the coaches at the University of San Francisco and they’ll rave about how great Dante Benedetti Field has performed for their team. The diamond was built using organic infill over Brock’s ShockPad/14.

The field’s namesake comes from Coach Benedetti who coached the team for 29 years and also ran a successful restaurant in the heart of San Francisco. Up until 2012 Benedetti was the winningest coach in San Francisco history.

The field hosts youth baseball camps all summer long and is ready for play whenever the team wants to get in some practice hits. By not using natural turf the field doesn’t require months of down time for recovery. What really matters is how the playability and how the field affects the game. For that we’ll let Assistant Head Coach, Troy Nakamura, explain things.

“The playability has been fantastic. Everyone who has come to play here has really enjoyed the experience.”

Chief’s QB Suffers Concussion from Head-to-Turf Collision

Chief’s QB Suffers Concussion from Head-to-Turf Collision

Last week’s NFL game play had serious repercussions for the Kansas City Chiefs when their starting quarterback, Alex Smith, and running back, Spencer Ware, were both lost to concussion injuries. Smith’s collision with the turf is yet another reminder of how critical it is to bring the playing surface into the concussion discussion.

Smith left the game in the first quarter to be checked for a possible concussion, but returned to play only to suffer another blow in the third quarter. The second collision was with the turf and Smith would not return.

The NFL has investigated a significant rise in the number of concussions diagnosed in the 2015 season. The study found a rise of 58% over the concussion diagnoses in regular season play from 2014. Contact with the playing surface was found to be one of the top three scenarios where players suffered concussions.

Photo Credit: Indy Star

Texas School District Puts Safety First for 8 Fields

Texas School District Puts Safety First for 8 Fields

How incredible would it be for a Texas high school football player to play on the same field as the Dallas Cowboys? Well, for one school district in San Antonio the student athletes are getting the next best thing. They will be playing on the same surface being utilized in the brand-new Dallas Cowboys Practice Facilities.

The North East ISD installed Brock PowerBase beneath eight of their fields this summer and, as of August, the fields are now in use. The mounting concerns surrounding concussions and how the playing surfaces can be utilized to reduce risk led to the district choosing Brock PowerBase. This decision came after extensive research and onsite demonstrations.

“All of the high school coordinators took a trip in December to look at different
types of turfed fields and see if any had padding underneath the surface,” said Karen
Funk, NEISD Executive Director of Athletics. “We were particularly interested in the
cushioning of different types of turfed surfaces and those with pads. Turfed fields become hard over time, especially with multiple groups practicing and playing on the campus field. We were very interested in a pad that would cushion the body and the head. Brock PowerBase is the top of the line and thickest pad the panel was introduced to and all agreed this was the best for our students and athletes.”

Read the full NEISD article

Photo Credit: My San Antonio

Brock Shock Pads in Kickabout Systems

Brock Shock Pads in Kickabout Systems

Brock USA is proud to partner with Hellas to install Kickabout fields in elementary schools and playgrounds. The average kid spends over 7 hours a day consuming media, but Hellas hopes the accessibility and unique features of Kickabout fields can help encourage physical activity and establish healthy habits in young students.

Kickabout fields are low maintenance, environmentally friendly, and can be customized to fit the needs of students and work with existing playground equipment. The fields can be anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 square feet. The surface patterns can be designed to accommodate mini soccer fields, hopscotch, tetherball, running lanes, four square, and other playground activities.

The Kickabout system allows kids to play outside in any weather without worrying about mud, puddles, slippery surfaces, rocks, holes, or weeds. The fields can be built with a pea gravel infill or an organic infill, which keeps surface temperatures low so the playground can be enjoyed even in the Texas heat. In addition to absorbing less heat, the alternative infills don’t give off an odor like a traditional rubber and sand infill might.

The International School of Texas hosted a Grand Opening on November 17th for their Kickabout field. Tim Reilly, Head of School at IST, said that, “all the kids are benefiting from the field.” The inclusion of a Brock shock pad protects kids from the inevitable falls and tumbles that happen during playtime. The school has already noticed a decline in injuries since the field was installed. Reilly said “it was especially exciting for the parents to find out that there is the same turf the Dallas Cowboys play on. The parents were ecstatic when they heard the field had organic infill and padding.”

Most of the Kickabout fields have been installed in Texas where Hellas in located, but the program continues to expand and bring safe playing surfaces to kids around the United States.

Real Sports with Bryant Gumble: Youth Sports and Concussions

Real Sports with Bryant Gumble: Youth Sports and Concussions

Tune in tonight for HBO’s “Real Sports: with Bryant Gumbel” and see Concussion Legacy Foundation Co-Founder and CEO, Chris Nowinski, speak about the dangers of youth football. He is joined by Dr. Ann Mckee, Director of the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank and many other experts to dissect the question every parent should ask, “Is football safe for my child?”

Brock has been a long-time partner with the Concussion Legacy Foundation and has had the pleasure of inviting Mr. Nowinski speak at our Regional and National Seminars. Mr. Nowinski has a talent for bringing the dangers and repercussions of continued head trauma to light in a very personal way. His own life has been affected by Post-Concussion Syndrome and he has been a leader in advancing the discussion around long-term health effects of concussions.

Dr. Mckee has been on the forefront of CTE research and has been featured in several documentaries and news programs centered on brain injuries. Her work at Boston University is primarily focused on repeated head trauma in sports and the military. With over 100 publications to her name, Dr. Mckee continues to uncover new discoveries to help concussion sufferers better understand and cope with their conditions.

These two pioneers work to advance the discussion around concussion injuries and open a dialogue to find solutions.

Today We Mourn The Fallen

Today We Mourn The Fallen

“…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” – John Donne

Today the sports community mourns the loss of the Brazillion Soccer team, the Chapecoense. The charter plane carrying the team to take on the Colombian club, Atletico Nacional from Medellin, tragically crashed in Rionegro, Colombia killing 75 passengers. The only surviving member of the Chapecoense team was Defender, Alan Ruschel.

The team was on the rise and fans may always wonder what might have been. “Yesterday morning I was saying goodbye to them, they told me they were going in search of the dream, to make this dream a reality,” said Plinio David de Nes Filho, chairman of the club’s board. “And we, very excitedly, shared this dream with them. But the dream was over this morning.”

Let us hope, although this dream may have ended in heart-breaking loss, the next team to take up the green jerseys of the Chapecoense feel pride and obligation to rise and fulfill the dreams lost in the wreckage.

Media coverage and images of the crash will continue to flood news outlets around the world, but we hope to focus on the solidarity and love within the sporting communities. Whenever athletes tie on their cleats or coaches drape whistles around their necks, we’re brought together for the love of the game. In triumph, we all triumph. In defeat, we all ache. This loss touches us all and we must all extend our hearts and prayers to the families and friends of those athletes no longer with us.

Arizona First in the U.S. to Mandate Concussion Education for Male & Female Athletes
Ohio Bill Removes Students Immediately From Play When Concussion Symptoms Detected
New Mexico Researchers Find Concussions May Affect Kids for Months
Spotlight on Saving Young Minds, Inc.
New Hit Count® Certification Program Makes Contact Sports Safer
More than 50% of high school athletes with concussions play despite their symptoms
Southern California Youth Rugby’s Award Winning Player Welfare Program
Brock Field Named Outstanding Facility of the Year by the ASBA
“1,100 lbs of Force Driven into the Turf” Sports Science
16,000 Spectators Rally at UNC Hooker Fields
USF Benedetti Baseball Fields “True As The Ball Could Roll”
Chief’s QB Suffers Concussion from Head-to-Turf Collision
Texas School District Puts Safety First for 8 Fields
Brock Shock Pads in Kickabout Systems
Real Sports with Bryant Gumble: Youth Sports and Concussions
Today We Mourn The Fallen
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Arizona First in the U.S. to Mandate Concussion Education for Male & Female Athletes

Arizona First in the U.S. to Mandate Concussion Education for Male & Female Athletes

In August 2011, Arizona became the first state in the U.S. to mandate that all male and female athletes undergo concussion education and pass a formal test before playing sports. A breakthrough in concussion prevention, this initiative was formed through the collaboration of the Barrow Neurological Institute at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, The Arizona Interscholastic Association (AIA), and the Arizona Cardinals, and should impact more than 100,000 Arizona student athletes each year.

Previously, Arizona was ranked second in the nation for traumatic brain injury. Until the launch of this initiative, there had never been a mandated education and testing program designed for student athletes to teach them about the dangerous effects of concussion.
Twenty-eight states, including Arizona, have concussion laws that require concussion education, removal from play and return to play. Arizona is the first to define and create the education directly targeting students through a new e-learning module and the AIA is the first to require that every student complete and pass the education module in order to participate in athletics. This program, designed by AIA, Barrow and the Arizona Cardinals, is expected to change the face of high school sports in Arizona.

“The AIA recognizes the seriousness of this debilitating brain injury and is proud to be taking the lead in changing the way athletes are educated about traumatic brain injuries associated in sports,” says Harold Slemmer, Ed.D., Executive Director of the AIA. The AIA is an association of public and private high schools throughout Arizona that oversees interscholastic activities including athletics in 275 schools.
“There are approximately 3 million sports-related concussions nationally each year,” says Javier Cárdenas, MD, neurologist at Barrow, who has taken a state-wide lead in concussion prevention. “Players recognizing the signs and symptoms of concussion can prevent death and disability.”

All student athletes through the AIA will receive their concussion education through Brainbook, an interactive online site created by Barrow and Arizona State University. Designed to look like a social media site, the students are taken through a series of educational content, activities and videos. At the end of the module, the students are required to pass a formal exam before being cleared to play. The module is the first collaborative educational effort between a pro football team, a hospital, and an interscholastic agency. Brainbook is currently being evaluated for implementation in other states throughout the nation.

To learn more about this program, visit Barrow Neurological Institute.

Ohio Bill Removes Students Immediately From Play When Concussion Symptoms Detected

Ohio Bill Removes Students Immediately From Play When Concussion Symptoms Detected

Beginning with the 2013 spring sports season, young athletes in Ohio will have to immediately be removed from a game or practice when they show symptoms of a concussion. As reported by The Columbus Dispatch, the state senate unanimously approved the concussion legislation, House Bill 143, which requires that steps be taken to educate parents, youth coaches and officials about symptoms, and that a young athlete who shows such symptoms be immediately pulled from a game. A youth could not return to competition unless cleared by a physician.

As public awareness rises over the potential long-term consequences of repeated head injuries, the bill focused on ensuring that concussions in student athletes are properly handled. Gov. John Kasich signed the bill in December 2012.

Among the health-care professionals who supported the bill was Dr. Jason Dapore with OhioHealth Sports Medicine, who has served as the team physician for the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Upper Arlington school district. Dapore said no two athletes will have same experience with concussions: Some can suffer far-reaching consequences that affect function, emotion or pain, while others can have only a mild headache for a few days.

“This is why prompt recognition and removal from play are critical in protecting the athlete who has suffered a concussion,” Dapore told a Senate committee last week. He also stressed that anyone suffering a head injury should be examined by a physician to ensure there is a careful assessment and diagnosis of the injury.

The Ohio Department of Health plans to develop an information sheet on concussions and head injuries. Before an athlete could play, a parent and the student would have to verify that they have reviewed the information, and coaches would have to complete a training program on brain trauma.
“There is a clear risk of further complication when an athlete plays while experiencing concussed symptoms,” said Sen. Scott Oelslager, R-Canton. He noted that under the bill, an athlete removed from a game with a head injury must sit out for at least 24 hours.

New Mexico Researchers Find Concussions May Affect Kids for Months

New Mexico Researchers Find Concussions May Affect Kids for Months

In December 2012, researchers at the University of New Mexico reported that the effects of concussions may linger for months in children. The team studied 30 children between the ages of 10 and 17, performing brain scans and administering cognitive tests. Half of the children had recently suffered concussions in which they’d lost consciousness and shown an altered mental state.

Two weeks after their injuries, children with concussions showed small deficits in their cognition and changes in their brains’ white matter, compared with those who hadn’t suffered brain injuries. White matter consists of nerve fibers surrounded by the insulating fat called myelin.

But three months later, while their other symptoms had disappeared, brain scans still showed changes in the white matter of children who had suffered concussions, they reported in the Journal of Neuroscience.

“These findings may have important implications about when it is truly safe for a child to resume physical activities that may produce a second concussion, potentially further injuring an already vulnerable brain,” Andrew Mayer of the University of New Mexico, who worked on the study, said in a statement.

Studies in adults have shown that the brain’s white matter changes after a concussion, but the severity of the changes seen in the children in this study was larger than what studies of adults have shown, Mayer said. This may mean that children are more susceptible to the effects of brain injuries, he said.

Dr. Christopher Giza, a brain injury researcher at the University of California, Los Angeles, said future studies should investigate whether the structural changes revealed in the brain scans have clinical implications for kids. Giza was not involved in the study.

“Further work is needed to determine whether the changes in white matter present at four months represent a prolonged recovery process or permanent change in the brain,” Giza said in a statement.

This content was excerpted from My Health News Daily. Visit the Society for Neuroscience to learn more.

Spotlight on Saving Young Minds, Inc.

Spotlight on Saving Young Minds, Inc.

There are many terrific organizations that focus on preventing youth sports injuries or educating others about the growing concussion crisis. However there has not been as much attention focused yet on the connection between sports-related concussions and academic performance. That is why we wanted to introduce you to Saving Young Minds, Inc., (SYM) a non-profit group whose mission is to educate and protect the young minds of student-athletes from under-privileged communities.

Created by school psychologist Alberto Gamarra, PhD, SYM is primarily focused on providing concussion awareness education and baseline assessments of cognitive, neurological, and balance functioning in the hopes of preventing unnecessary risks to student-athletes who sustain brain injuries that often go unrecognized and untreated. Here is our Q&A with Dr. Gamarra:

Q: How does Saving Young Minds make a difference in helping young student-athletes protect their minds from your perspective as a school psychologist, especially in light of the growing concussion crisis?

A: What I have learned during the past three years is that there is very little “profession-wide” understanding of this area. In creating this organization, I have been able to use my credibility as a psychologist to draw the connection between sports-related concussions and academic performance. We’ve only just begun to get the word out, and it has been an uphill struggle to get organizations and parents to listen. Saving Young Minds provides a different platform, separate from my private practice, where I can play the exclusive role of a student/athlete advocate with no monetary strings attached. It also allows me to present research-based information and opinions impartially to a wider audience and this ultimately moves us closer to our mission of educating and increasing awareness. We want to be a community-based resource for credible and practical information.

Q: Why is it important to look at the issue of sports concussions from the school psychology vantage point?

A: For the first few years I researched the topic of sports-related concussions, the emphasis was on player safety and the return-to-play (RTP) decision. Who makes the call, when, and for how long? The focus population began at the professional level and has gradually trickled down to collegiate and high schools. Just look at the emphasis on the development of the assessment tools; as an example, IMPACT’s computer-based assessment has only been validated as low as age 14, but because they were the first ones out of the gate, they have cornered the market and almost every group uses their product. From my perspective, there are tens of thousands of student-athletes under that age participating in organized sports like soccer, lacrosse, and roller hockey. The recently passed legislation in Florida, where we are located, only requires baseline assessments beginning in high school (age 14), which demonstrates to me a lack of understanding of the available research. This legislation is reactive and has little in the way of preventing injuries by focusing prevention efforts at the earliest ages. For the last two years I have presented at the Florida Association of School Psychologists’ annual conference (FASP) on the role of the school psychologist in managing the return-to-learn (RTL) process for student-athletes, as well as other traumatic brain injured students. As a profession, I felt that there is a disconnect when it comes to involving ourselves with student-athletes and handling their post-concussive returns to academics.

Q: How can others get involved?

A: As a fledgling organization with high hopes and scant resources, we are always in the process of learning and sharing our message. I have developed a protocol for assessments, multiple sport specific presentations (soccer, football, rugby, etc.) and audiences (coach, parent and athlete). We also encourage people to talk to the coaches and directors at their local sports club/league/academy and demand a full presentation and resources from a knowledgeable professional. SYM appreciates site visits and any efforts to support our fundraising and awareness efforts!

To learn more about Saving Young Minds, Inc., visit Saving Young Minds, Inc.

New Hit Count® Certification Program Makes Contact Sports Safer

New Hit Count® Certification Program Makes Contact Sports Safer

Last month, the non-profit Concussion Legacy Foundation announced a major advance in the effort to prevent concussions and brain damage in contact sports with the launch of the Hit Count® certification program after two years of development, which was unveiled at a press conference at the 2014 Super Bowl Media Center in New York City.

Hit Count® builds on the progress that head sensor device companies have made in developing devices that can measure acceleration of the head. Current products used on the field are focused on alerting coaches, medical professionals, and parents when a potential concussive impact occurs.

Inspired by Pitch Counts baseball, which set limits to the number of times a player throws from the mound to prevent arm injury, Hit Count® Certified Devices will have a second function that measures and “Counts” impacts that exceed the Hit Count® Threshold, set by a committee of leading scientists, with the goal of minimizing brain injury.

“Research using sensor devices has revealed that each year in the United States, there are over 1.5 billion impacts to the heads of youth and high school football players,” said Chris Nowinski, Founding Executive Director of SLI who launched the Hit Count® initiative in 2012 with SLI Medical Director Dr. Robert Cantu. “Most hits are unnecessary and occur in practice. By utilizing Hit Count® certified products as a teaching tool for coaches and a behavior modification tool for athletes, we can eliminate over 500 million head impacts next season.”

Committee member Gerry Gioia, PhD, of Children’s National Medical Center and George Washington University School of Medicine, unveiled that the Hit Count® Threshold will be set at the subconcussive level of 20 g’s of linear acceleration. “This is the beginning of a major research and public health effort to limit brain trauma in sports. While current science does not provide a “safe” or “unsafe” Hit Count®, our goal is to eventually provide clear guidance for coaches and parents. We will need the youth sports, sensor manufacturer, and medical science communities to work together to provide reliable answers.”

Hit Count® Certified products will go through a rigorous test protocol developed by the University of Ottawa Neurotrauma Impact Laboratory in conjunction with engineers from the six Hit Count® Initiative sponsors, including Battle Sports Science, G-Force Tracker, i1Biometrics, Impakt Protective, MC10, and Triax.

Three-time Super Bowl Champion Ted Johnson, a former linebacker for the New England Patriots who retired from post-concussion syndrome in 2005, said, “I track the number of steps I take each day to lower my risk of heart disease. I owe it to my son to count the number of Hits to his head in sports to lower his risk of concussions and subconcussive brain damage.”

To learn more about this initiative, visit the Concussion Legacy Foundation.

More than 50% of high school athletes with concussions play despite their symptoms

More than 50% of high school athletes with concussions play despite their symptoms

Awareness of youth sports concussions has increased significantly and now all 50 U.S. states have some form of concussion prevention/recognition legislation in place addressing high school sports. Yet recent research indicates this might not be enough.

As reported in this article from Reuters Health, a new study indicates that more than 50% of high school athletes with concussions play despite their symptoms, and often their coaches aren’t aware of the injury.

“I think that currently the big problem is that kids hide their symptoms,” said Dr. Frederick P. Rivara in the article, who led the study at Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center at the University of Washington in Seattle. “The laws and attention to concussion have made coaches much more aware of the issues and I do believe that most coaches want to do the right thing. Playing with symptoms increases the risk of a more serious brain injury.”

His team’s study included male high school football players and female soccer players in Washington state during the 2012 season. At the beginning of the season, team coaches filled out questionnaires designed to assess their personal details and experience and their level of education with regard to concussions. Athletes also filled out baseline questionnaires about their history of head injuries at the beginning of the season, and researchers contacted them and their parents weekly throughout the season to report the number of practices, games, head injuries and potential concussion symptoms.

Over one season, 11 percent of soccer players and 10 percent of football players sustained a concussion, based on the symptoms they reported. According to the survey of 778 athletes, 69 percent of those with concussions reported playing with symptoms and 40 percent reported that their coach was not aware of their concussion.

“It’s disappointing that so many young athletes with apparent concussions choose not to report their symptoms to coaches or even parents, but they are often highly motivated to avoid being removed from play,” Keith O. Yeates, a pediatric traumatic brain injury researcher at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, said. “They may also downplay or not realize the risks associated with concussions.”

Each year, U.S. emergency rooms treat more than 100,000 sports-related concussions in kids age 19 and under, according to the CDC.

Southern California Youth Rugby’s Award Winning Player Welfare Program

Southern California Youth Rugby’s Award Winning Player Welfare Program

Southern California Youth Rugby (SCYR) is leading the way for player safety with the introduction of a new “Player Welfare Program.” The unique program was designed by Alexandra Williams, executive director of SCYR, to prioritize the health and wellness of rugby athletes.

SCYR is the governing body in charge of over 5000 players in Southern California. SCYR works with over 100 clubs and high school programs to grow the game and promote rugby.

The new Player Welfare Program features several key improvements that help prevent and treat concussions and other major injuries. Notably, athletic trainers are scheduled for every contact rugby match and a comprehensive concussion protocol is in place. Trainers and coaches can notify SCYR about possible concussions through InjureFree, an online portal. InjureFree prevents players with suspected or diagnosed concussions from being placed on match rosters until they have been cleared by a physician or complete the full concussion protocol.

Wyatt Blue, the Player Welfare Manager and experienced athletic trainer, follows up directly with parents on suspected concussions and serious injuries. Blue thinks the program is a great way to educate parents, and explained “when they hear about it they are very excited about what we are doing, because it’s all about the safety of their athletes.”

Alexandra Williams describes the program as “unique and groundbreaking in a lot of ways.” She notes that the response to the program has been largely positive and says, “the time is right for it, and people are very supportive of it.”

The Player Welfare Program is only entering its second season, but has already garnered national attention. SCYR was named the Organization of the Year by the National Council for Youth Sports, and won the NCYS STRIVE Award. USA Rugby, the national governing body for rugby, provided a grant to help kick-start the program. Additional funding is provided by sponsor groups, including Brock USA.

SCYR said the partnership with Brock “provides critical support to the implementation of the PWP and greatly benefits our athletes, much as Brock’s products provide critical safety features for artificial turf fields, which are increasingly being implemented by schools and parks and used by youth sports teams across Southern California.”

Williams is hopeful for the future of the program, and wants “all of youth rugby to be working at these same levels.” In the next few years, SCYR is looking to increase the capabilities of the program and develop new ways to support athletes. Possible expansions involve using the rugby injury data collected with InjureFree to create new training resources for coaches.

Southern California Youth Rugby’s Player Welfare Program will help protect players, and inform coaches and parents when possible concussions and serious injuries have occurred. The strategies used by SCYR are being shared with youth organizations around the country to promote safer sports.

Brock Field Named Outstanding Facility of the Year by the ASBA

Brock Field Named Outstanding Facility of the Year by the ASBA

The American Sports Builders Association, the organization for builders/suppliers of materials for athletic fields, announced its annual Outstanding Facilities of the Year Awards. Winning projects are chosen based on layout, design, site work, drainage, innovation, and several other categories. 

The winner of the Outstanding Multi-Field Facility of the Year Award was the Shoreline Athletic Facility, located in Mountain View, California. Designed by Siegfried Engineering, the 10-acre facility features synthetic Astroturf over Brock ShockPad Series.

The project took 5 years to complete from design to installation. Special modifications were made to the construction process to accommodate the western burrowing owl, a protected species that lives in the area. A portion of the site is set aside as a wildlife habitat.

The fields can accommodate baseball, softball, soccer, and lacrosse. The facility also includes night lighting, batting cages, and a concessions building. The surface was designed with flexibility in mind, and is enjoyed by athletics of all ages.

The Shoreline Athletic Facility is just one of many Brock projects that have been awarded by the American Sports Builders Association. Others include Bellarmine College Preparatory School, Dartmouth College, and Fessenden School.

“1,100 lbs of Force Driven into the Turf” Sports Science

“1,100 lbs of Force Driven into the Turf” Sports Science

The popular ESPN program “Sports Science” chose to dive into the forces at work during a rugby match. What was discovered is a violent mix of possibilities that open the doors for serious injuries. There was no doubt that rugby is a hard-hitting, collision sport that demands each player to constantly protect themselves from harm, but most players do not grasp the sheer force impacting their bodies and, more specifically, their brains.

Luckily, World Rugby has established standards for rugby associations and they have been adopted by leagues all around the globe. The most significant metric that stands out in the standards guide for artificial turf fields is a Head Injury Criterion rating of >1.3 meters. This may seem like a practical height considering the test measures head impacts, but natural grass fields regularly score HIC ratings between 1.6-2.0 meters. Pristine natural grass is the only standard Brock PowerBase/Pro, PowerBase/YSR, and the ShockPad/SERIES are measured against. For this reason you can conduct a HIC test on any Brock field and you will see a HIC rating of 1.6 meters or higher.

16,000 Spectators Rally at UNC Hooker Fields

16,000 Spectators Rally at UNC Hooker Fields

When Brock fields aren’t being sprinted on to meet a soccer pass, or landed upon for a diving touchdown catch, they’re sometimes used to support 16,000 spectators at a rally with the President of the United States! That’s 32,000 feet that were kept comfy during the hours of speakers that graced the stage and urged those in the audience to get out and exercise their right to vote and determine the future of the nation.

The University of North Carolina hosted the rally for the democratic party on Wednesday, Nov. 2nd at Hooker Fields. The fields used to hold the massive crowd were Greenfields MX over Brock PowerBase. Although it is not recommended to vary the uses of the fields for non-athletic play, a Brock field can easily handle events of this nature. Brock’s drainage properties also help when cleaning up any spills or garbage left behind, so the next athletes to take the field have a quality surface to play upon.

Less than a week before the 2016 Presidential election wraps up. Get out and VOTE!!!

Photo credit: The News & Observer

USF Benedetti Baseball Fields “True As The Ball Could Roll”

USF Benedetti Baseball Fields “True As The Ball Could Roll”

Baseball and artificial turf might not sound like a good mix, but ask the coaches at the University of San Francisco and they’ll rave about how great Dante Benedetti Field has performed for their team. The diamond was built using organic infill over Brock’s ShockPad/14.

The field’s namesake comes from Coach Benedetti who coached the team for 29 years and also ran a successful restaurant in the heart of San Francisco. Up until 2012 Benedetti was the winningest coach in San Francisco history.

The field hosts youth baseball camps all summer long and is ready for play whenever the team wants to get in some practice hits. By not using natural turf the field doesn’t require months of down time for recovery. What really matters is how the playability and how the field affects the game. For that we’ll let Assistant Head Coach, Troy Nakamura, explain things.

“The playability has been fantastic. Everyone who has come to play here has really enjoyed the experience.”

Chief’s QB Suffers Concussion from Head-to-Turf Collision

Chief’s QB Suffers Concussion from Head-to-Turf Collision

Last week’s NFL game play had serious repercussions for the Kansas City Chiefs when their starting quarterback, Alex Smith, and running back, Spencer Ware, were both lost to concussion injuries. Smith’s collision with the turf is yet another reminder of how critical it is to bring the playing surface into the concussion discussion.

Smith left the game in the first quarter to be checked for a possible concussion, but returned to play only to suffer another blow in the third quarter. The second collision was with the turf and Smith would not return.

The NFL has investigated a significant rise in the number of concussions diagnosed in the 2015 season. The study found a rise of 58% over the concussion diagnoses in regular season play from 2014. Contact with the playing surface was found to be one of the top three scenarios where players suffered concussions.

Photo Credit: Indy Star

Texas School District Puts Safety First for 8 Fields

Texas School District Puts Safety First for 8 Fields

How incredible would it be for a Texas high school football player to play on the same field as the Dallas Cowboys? Well, for one school district in San Antonio the student athletes are getting the next best thing. They will be playing on the same surface being utilized in the brand-new Dallas Cowboys Practice Facilities.

The North East ISD installed Brock PowerBase beneath eight of their fields this summer and, as of August, the fields are now in use. The mounting concerns surrounding concussions and how the playing surfaces can be utilized to reduce risk led to the district choosing Brock PowerBase. This decision came after extensive research and onsite demonstrations.

“All of the high school coordinators took a trip in December to look at different
types of turfed fields and see if any had padding underneath the surface,” said Karen
Funk, NEISD Executive Director of Athletics. “We were particularly interested in the
cushioning of different types of turfed surfaces and those with pads. Turfed fields become hard over time, especially with multiple groups practicing and playing on the campus field. We were very interested in a pad that would cushion the body and the head. Brock PowerBase is the top of the line and thickest pad the panel was introduced to and all agreed this was the best for our students and athletes.”

Read the full NEISD article

Photo Credit: My San Antonio

Brock Shock Pads in Kickabout Systems

Brock Shock Pads in Kickabout Systems

Brock USA is proud to partner with Hellas to install Kickabout fields in elementary schools and playgrounds. The average kid spends over 7 hours a day consuming media, but Hellas hopes the accessibility and unique features of Kickabout fields can help encourage physical activity and establish healthy habits in young students.

Kickabout fields are low maintenance, environmentally friendly, and can be customized to fit the needs of students and work with existing playground equipment. The fields can be anywhere from 2,000 to 20,000 square feet. The surface patterns can be designed to accommodate mini soccer fields, hopscotch, tetherball, running lanes, four square, and other playground activities.

The Kickabout system allows kids to play outside in any weather without worrying about mud, puddles, slippery surfaces, rocks, holes, or weeds. The fields can be built with a pea gravel infill or an organic infill, which keeps surface temperatures low so the playground can be enjoyed even in the Texas heat. In addition to absorbing less heat, the alternative infills don’t give off an odor like a traditional rubber and sand infill might.

The International School of Texas hosted a Grand Opening on November 17th for their Kickabout field. Tim Reilly, Head of School at IST, said that, “all the kids are benefiting from the field.” The inclusion of a Brock shock pad protects kids from the inevitable falls and tumbles that happen during playtime. The school has already noticed a decline in injuries since the field was installed. Reilly said “it was especially exciting for the parents to find out that there is the same turf the Dallas Cowboys play on. The parents were ecstatic when they heard the field had organic infill and padding.”

Most of the Kickabout fields have been installed in Texas where Hellas in located, but the program continues to expand and bring safe playing surfaces to kids around the United States.

Real Sports with Bryant Gumble: Youth Sports and Concussions

Real Sports with Bryant Gumble: Youth Sports and Concussions

Tune in tonight for HBO’s “Real Sports: with Bryant Gumbel” and see Concussion Legacy Foundation Co-Founder and CEO, Chris Nowinski, speak about the dangers of youth football. He is joined by Dr. Ann Mckee, Director of the VA-BU-CLF Brain Bank and many other experts to dissect the question every parent should ask, “Is football safe for my child?”

Brock has been a long-time partner with the Concussion Legacy Foundation and has had the pleasure of inviting Mr. Nowinski speak at our Regional and National Seminars. Mr. Nowinski has a talent for bringing the dangers and repercussions of continued head trauma to light in a very personal way. His own life has been affected by Post-Concussion Syndrome and he has been a leader in advancing the discussion around long-term health effects of concussions.

Dr. Mckee has been on the forefront of CTE research and has been featured in several documentaries and news programs centered on brain injuries. Her work at Boston University is primarily focused on repeated head trauma in sports and the military. With over 100 publications to her name, Dr. Mckee continues to uncover new discoveries to help concussion sufferers better understand and cope with their conditions.

These two pioneers work to advance the discussion around concussion injuries and open a dialogue to find solutions.

Today We Mourn The Fallen

Today We Mourn The Fallen

“…any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.” – John Donne

Today the sports community mourns the loss of the Brazillion Soccer team, the Chapecoense. The charter plane carrying the team to take on the Colombian club, Atletico Nacional from Medellin, tragically crashed in Rionegro, Colombia killing 75 passengers. The only surviving member of the Chapecoense team was Defender, Alan Ruschel.

The team was on the rise and fans may always wonder what might have been. “Yesterday morning I was saying goodbye to them, they told me they were going in search of the dream, to make this dream a reality,” said Plinio David de Nes Filho, chairman of the club’s board. “And we, very excitedly, shared this dream with them. But the dream was over this morning.”

Let us hope, although this dream may have ended in heart-breaking loss, the next team to take up the green jerseys of the Chapecoense feel pride and obligation to rise and fulfill the dreams lost in the wreckage.

Media coverage and images of the crash will continue to flood news outlets around the world, but we hope to focus on the solidarity and love within the sporting communities. Whenever athletes tie on their cleats or coaches drape whistles around their necks, we’re brought together for the love of the game. In triumph, we all triumph. In defeat, we all ache. This loss touches us all and we must all extend our hearts and prayers to the families and friends of those athletes no longer with us.

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The Chance of Rubber Infill Causing Cancer: 1 in a Million

In the span of an athletic career, participants can spend thousands of cumulative hours playing on artificial surfaces. Shock pads and infill are designed to help protect players from injury and customize the field to serve the specific needs of athletes. The safety...

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