You know all this talk about the prevalence (and severe long-term effects) of concussions in the NFL and that organization’s attempts to sweep the issue under the artificial turf? Well, the discussion has trickled down to youth sports, and the Baltimore-based US Lacrosse has joined with US Youth Soccer, USA Hockey, USA Softball, USA Basketball, USA Football, and several sports medicine organizations to form the National Sports Concussion Coalition.
The group will pool resources and compare notes, establishing best practices for the diagnosis and treatment of injuries. Lacrosse is not as contact-heavy as football, but concussions are still a persistent problem. According to Stephen Berger, men’s game director for US Lacrosse, “Players are getting bigger, they’re getting faster, they’re getting stronger. I know that the speed of the game has increased.”
So far, US Lacrosse has made changes to equipment and to the rules of the game to increase safety. They’ve also increased the penalties for illegal hits. But there’s still work to be done in the sport to make coaches and players aware of how serious concussions really are.
“Ten years ago, it was just, oh you got your bell rung; you get hurt but get back in the game. People didn’t understand the long-term implications of a head injury,” said Ann Kit Carpenetti, US Lacrosse’s managing director of game administration.
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