Ivy League Rule-Change results in Zero Concussions on Kickoffs in 2016 Season

Ivy League Rule-Change results in Zero Concussions on Kickoffs in 2016 Season

Submitted by Hugh White on October 18th, 2017 at 6:02 PM

For the 2016 season, Ivy League football games featured an experiment where kickoffs were initiated from the 40 instead of the 35, in an effort to increase touchbacks, and decrease concussions. 


The league just released the findings of the experiment, and announced that it had seen zero concussions on kickoffs during 2016 conference play.  In previous years, kickoffs accounted for 23.4 percent of concussions, despite representing only 5.8 percent of overall plays.  


Link: http://www.ivyleague.com/news/2017/10/18/football-ivy-league-experimental-kickoff-rule-leads-to-significant-decrease-in-concussions.aspx

OT: Shoulder (Rugby style) tackling

OT: Shoulder (Rugby style) tackling

Submitted by UMProud on January 16th, 2017 at 12:41 PM

The Seahawks are utilizing shoulder style tackling and claim it reduces concussion instances.  Brian touched on this last April but after seeing them in the playoffs I found my curiosity piqued again.



View on YouTube


"A few years ago, the Seattle Seahawks transitioned to rugby-style tackling, in part because of concerns about injuries. Pete Carroll, assisted by Seattle’s passing game coordinator, Rocky Seto, produced a video in 2014 to help teach the technique at the college, high school and youth levels.

"There’s so much talk around the league and around the game of football right now, that I wanted to see if we could contribute to helping people understand how you could play this game and do it in a great fashion and continue to promote the game," Carroll said.

It’s a technique that former Seahawks defensive coordinator Dan Quinn brought with him to Atlanta when he accepted the head coaching position prior to the 2015 season.

"The rugby tackling really involves shoulder tackling," Quinn said when he was hired by the Falcons. "It’s a leverage tackling principle, so for us, not only is it safer but it’s more effective for us to do that."

Source:  SBNation, Jeanna Thomas, 9/6/2016

OT - Football Brain Impact Vizualization and Article (New Technology) - NYTimes

OT - Football Brain Impact Vizualization and Article (New Technology) - NYTimes

Submitted by Everyone Murders on January 9th, 2017 at 4:44 PM


The NYTimes just published a fascinating article measuring the effects of football impacts to the head over the course of the game.  The visualization relating to a helmet-to-helmet hit is especially striking.

Definitely worth a look for those who worry about player safety and the future of the game.

In this chart, we show the G-force data from just 10 of the 62 hits this offensive lineman accrued in a single game. The average G-force, 25.8, is roughly equivalent to what we would see if the offensive lineman crashed his car into a wall going about 30 m.p.h.

The bioengineering here involves a mouthguard developed at Stanford which measures impacts in a unique fashion.  This is apparently a superior (although still somewhat imprecise) measure of impact compared with helmet sensors.

Anyway, a good read for those interested in the topic.

Concussions: What can be Done?

Concussions: What can be Done?

Submitted by WSU to Blue on September 9th, 2016 at 4:19 PM

Sorry in advance for the extremely lengthy post, just my attempt at creating some “rigorous debate”.  But honestly, what more can the NFL/refs do to prevent concussions?

To say nothing has changed I feel is an absolutely inaccurate depiction of the situation. Check out any game from decades past and you’ll see 30 downs where a player gets  nearly decapitated and nobody bats an eye.  The NFL has come a long way from where they were when it comes to taking steps towards protecting players. Some hits are obviously malicious, but they assess penalties, fines, review plays after the game, and suspend players for weeks if need-be. The pads are as good as they can be, and there are jobs that are dedicated to researching and improving equipment when possible.

We would need to upgrade pads/safety equipment far beyond what we know/ are capable of doing right now, and proposing something like "take pads away" would never be taken seriously. If you ask me, the raise in concussions isn't necessarily about the player/safety relations (players are more informed than ever, causing many to retire early) but rather the increased level of athleticism, power, finesse, and speed at all positions.

Everyone has a "proper" way to tackle until you're faced with a 240 pound monster that runs a 4.4 barreling towards you.  Simply put, in the words of Mike Tyson, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”.  When it’s someone’s job to physically impose their will in order to stop you, these things will happen, and as long as you’re watching, it nullifies the need to take action because they’re still making $$$.

To my knowledge, there has been an emphasis throughout little league, and developmental teams to educate children about concussions from the start which should pay dividends to our up-and-coming athletes that could make it to the NFL.  Nonetheless, we’re still years away from seeing something like that pay off.  And as I’m sure you’re aware, the NFL has effectively gotten rid of kickoff returns, and could do away with them completely in the near future in the name of player safety.

SO, with all that being said, I present the question again:  With this becoming a major concern, what more can be done?  Do we allow the NFL to start by taking away kickoffs, and eventually tinker with the game enough to make it almost unrecognizable? Do we allow these hits to continue and just inform athletes that by playing the sport they could possibly be digging their own grave?  Do we assess targeting penalties similar to college football?  Because some coaches/ upper managment don't always make decisions with a players longevity in mind, I think if someone lobbied for a third party medical staff for teams, rather than one that works on behalf of the team, it could help so that there’s no incentive to rush players back on the field.  And as much as some people may disagree, I feel like the NFL is making an effort to protect players (and their wallets since the NFL has been under a barrage of lawsuits from former players) more so than years past, but it is nowhere near where it needs to be.  What are your thoughts?

OT: Football and Head Injuries: Nothing Has Changed.

OT: Football and Head Injuries: Nothing Has Changed.

Submitted by stephenrjking on September 9th, 2016 at 12:05 AM

The NFL opener was a good game.

But I'm having trouble enjoying it. Because Cam Newton was hit in the head multiple times in this game. 

It wasn't penalized until the last, worst offense.

Newton never missed a single play.

Cam Newton remains in the game after taking blow to the skull: pic.twitter.com/1wDUXWisCG

— Deadspin (@Deadspin) September 9, 2016


Also don't forget this hit earlier, where the guy jumped to try to hit Cam with his helmet https://t.co/gj20cBK9Wc

— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) September 9, 2016


Penalty yards assessed = how much the NFL actually cares about player safety. https://t.co/YjZAcY0Bxg

— Matt Hinton (@MattRHinton) September 9, 2016


The NFL has a concussion protocol unless it’s an important moment

— Bill Barnwell (@billbarnwell) September 9, 2016

All the talk about head injuries the past few years. Nothing has changed.

Why do I care? I'm not a Panthers or Broncos fan, I prefer college to the NFL, etc.

But I like football. And head injuries are a serious, serious safety issue in the sport. They could be the death of it. They certainly have affected players. The culture of the sport needs to change--leading with the head, the way Broncos players did several times tonight, should never happen. 

And guys that get hit that hard should not be in the game. Even if it's a one-point game with two minutes to go.

Nothing has changed.

Help: links to articles on why football is ok needed

Help: links to articles on why football is ok needed

Submitted by StephenRKass on June 18th, 2016 at 12:16 AM

So my wife and I watched "Concussion" tonight. This was kind of a mistake. Now she is ready to pull our son from football.

I fully understand that there is a danger of both concussions and CTE. However, I also know that coaching paradigms have changed, and that there are some studies showing it is not always bad for kids to play HS football.

Of course, I can google this. But you never know what you're going to find on the Internet. If any of you neurologists or doctors or coaches who have followed this can post some links on why it is ok to play tackle football in High School, it would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT:  As I read through the comments, I thought a few edits were in order.'

First, to reiterate, I have no problem with my son playing football, if he wants to play (which he does). Now, I want the trainers and the coaches to carefully follow concussion protocol. I pretty much have a "one concussion" rule. (If you have one concussion you're done playing football. Exception:  I recognize that in an abundance of caution, a trainer might go CYA and say, "your son might have had a mild concussion," when it is pretty unlikely. In the current climate, trainers can be a bit gun shy. That's when you get a second opinion).

Second, regarding bubblewrap and all, actually, we are fortunate to have pretty active kids. Between roller blading, street hockey, skateboarding, dirt biking, bicycling, and other stuff, we're glad the kids aren't just getting fat playing video games on the couch. His twin sister made the varsity soccer team this year as a freshman:  I suppose we should watch her just as carefully for concussions!

The movie "Concussion" really kind of loads the deck. Even though you can get a concussion in soccer or from a bicycle fall or from just tripping over your feet and hitting your head, there is something viscereal about seeing footage of brutal hits. When a mom sees clips of brutal head to head collisions in NFL games, it is pretty sobering. I'm sure the movie cherry picked the most graphic, brutal head to head collisions they could possibly find. This seems more frightening than the image of a kid on a socceer field, skateboard, roller blades, or a bicycle.

Concussions push ND WR Corey Robinson out of Football

Concussions push ND WR Corey Robinson out of Football

Submitted by StephenRKass on June 15th, 2016 at 8:17 PM

Notre Dame Wide Receiver Corey Thompson Robinson has decided to retire from football after three diagnosed concussions in the last year. He would have been their leading receiver.

LINK:  Concussions push Notre Dame receiver Corey Robinson out of football

The article is in the Chicago Tribune . . . not sure whether paywalled, as I subscribe.

Relevant portion:

"After much contemplation and prayer, I have decided not to continue playing football due to multiple concussions," Robinson said in a statement. "I couldn't have come to this difficult personal decision without the incredible support from so many within the Notre Dame football program." Robinson, who could have graduated in the spring, decided to return to school so he could run for student body president. He is believed to be the first football player elected to the office in school history.

 Robinson is the son of Basketball Hall of Famer David Robinson.

Good luck to the young man. Concussions and CTE are just not something to mess around with.

Question for those who wouldn't let their kids play football

Question for those who wouldn't let their kids play football

Submitted by StephenRKass on May 19th, 2016 at 11:19 PM

In only two weeks, we will see a whirlwind of satellite football camps. If I'm counting correctly, there are now 35 or more separate camps Michigan is involved in. Harbaugh has been very upfront about his purpose. He wants to help spread a love for the game of football. He believes that football is a great arena in which to teach many things, from teamwork to hard work to physical exercise to a host of other things. I happen to agree. In fact, I agree to the point that my son is gearing up for summer football, in preparation for the Fall season. While I seriously doubt my son will play in college, he is more than good enough to play in high school, and really enjoys the game.

However, many of you, while fans of Michigan football, would be strongly against letting your own children play football. This question is for you.

How can you justify being a fan of football if you are completely against your child participating in it? This just doesn't make sense to me. I don't mind those who hate football, and I understand that there are many people who for whatever reason, aren't capable of playing ball. But if you are a Michigan football fan, but won't let your kid play ball, help me understand how you reconcile that.

(Note:  this question isn't about whether or not football is dangerous, or whether or not there is a threat of CTE or concussion in playing ball. It is solely about being a fan and at the same time being against familial participation in tackle football.)

Innovative anti-concussion helmet technology

Innovative anti-concussion helmet technology

Submitted by Blue Crab on October 25th, 2015 at 9:02 AM

An "unnamed organization" (read NFL??) has contacted a scientific innovation company about designing a concussion-proof helmet.  This info came out of a long, yet fascinating article about Lowell Wood who just surpassed Thomas Edison as the inventor with the most patents by an individual in the U.S.  

  The entire article is at: http://www.bloomberg.com/features/2015-americas-top-inventor-lowell-wood/

Pertinent excerpts are provided below:

"Recently folks have been getting really concerned about concussions, because professional athletes are showing up demented in their 40s and dying before they’re 50 with real unpleasant brains at autopsies. So we were asked to look at the concussion situation from an inventive standpoint."

"An organization—he declines to say which—came to talk him into developing anticoncussion technology."

"Wood’s anticoncussion solution, much like football, isn’t for the squeamish. Sensors in the helmet trigger a mechanism that fuses a player’s helmet and shoulder pads. Wood is vague on exactly how that would work, but spikes or rods of some kind would shoot down from the helmet to keep the head from turning."

“In a fraction of a—a tenth, a twentieth, a thirtieth—second, the helmet will put things down that will grab your collarbones and not only will your neck not break, but your brain won’t be damaged. You may take some collarbone damage, but everybody understands that collarbones heal. At least you won’t take the lasting damage to an organ that you really depend on. That’s what we’ve invented.”

"And there’s two interesting things that you can do. First of all, you can give them a helmet that will measure what the level of damage is that happens in any particular hit and will signal, ‘Hey kid, you’ve had enough, this is it for a day, a week, a month, or whatever. You’re just on the sidelines. You had a bad break, and here’s what has to be done in order to prevent permanent damage.’"

“Then the more engineering-inventive sort of thing is a helmet that will actually prevent the damage no matter how badly you may misbehave or somebody may mistreat you. You can literally keep the brain from twisting in a helmet, or, worse comes to worst, the helmet will go active on you and will anchor your head to your shoulders.”