Sports concussions are a growing concern within high school athletic programs. Some schools are considering removing high school football from the program to reduce the potential for injuries. These schools are making this decision based on data that shows irrefutable evidence linking the damage caused by concussions to long-term disabilities and the potential for developing everything from dementia to Alzheimer’s.
Nevada Union has dropped the junior varsity football program following reduced turnout over previous years. Similarly, West Campus did the same. While Novato High School petitioned to end their varsity football program, the school dropped the petition following a public uproar over the move. Nationwide, enrollment and interest in junior varsity and varsity football are declining and these schools may be the first of many that move towards a football free future.
Football and Concussions
According to the CDC, the rate of reported concussions among children have nearly doubled in the past decade. In 2012, roughly 2.8 million concussions were recorded. Recent data shows that approximately 47% of all high school athletic concussions are suffered by high school football players. Roughly 33% of these concussions occur during practice with the rest occurring during gameplay.
Nationwide, there are between 64-77 high school football concussions recorded per 100,000 athletic exposures. While helmet technology developed by companies such as Riddell aims to reduce high school football injuries by providing stronger shells and actionable real-time data on impacts, these technologies merely limit the damage that can occur with successive impacts. Indeed, players wearing these technologically advanced helmets remain just as vulnerable to single impacts as before.
Will Removal Reduce Injuries?
While there is no doubt that high school football poses a serious risk of concussion injuries and the potential for traumatic brain injury, it is not the only dangerous sport on the roster. Hockey, soccer, lacrosse, and wrestling also have high rates of concussion injuries. Students who are not allowed to participate in football programs may just as easily be injured while playing these alternatives.
Liability for Injuries
A Las Vegas personal injury attorney can help injured players and their families pursue compensation for the medical expenses, pain, and suffering, loss of quality of life, etc. that a concussion or TBI can cause. When a player is injured, the player causing the injury, coaches, medical personnel, and school districts can be held liable for failing to prevent, assess, or promptly treat the injury.