A Knock Or Ten Thousand On The Head

Will Truman

Will Truman is the Editor-in-Chief of Ordinary Times. He is also on Twitter.

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12 Responses

  1. Mike Dwyer says:

    As an MMA fan, I worry about the wave of CTE cases that is about to arrive. The pioneers in the sport are now all in their late 40s. The sport was much less injury-adverse in the early days and their fights looked much like the old Tough Man contests where two guys just hit each other repeatedly until the one of them lost consciousness. These early MMA fighters will undoubtedly start showing signs soon. Proof? The case of Jordan Parsons is a good example. Age 25, MMA fighter for 8 years and killed tragically in a car accident. They studied his brain and he had CTE. I struggle sometimes with the ethics of enjoying a sport where I know this is happening.Report

  2. George Turner says:

    I think one thing that will help female athletes is to get them in the weight room and have them develop really thick linebacker necks.Report

  3. PD Shaw says:

    An advantage of lacrosse is that unlike football you can have men’s teams and women’s teams, but that just brings us right back to the issues at the top of this article.

    Is the insinuation here that some/all of the gender differences are a result of player-to-player collisions in co-ed sports? ‘Cause the article seems to avoid offering context, but this quote suggests it might be:

    In gender-comparable sports, so sports that both boys and girls play, by the same rules, using the same equipment, on the same fields, like soccer and basketball, girls have higher concussion rates than boys.

    EDIT: The distinction I’m making is between sports injuries caused by the equipment and those caused by another player.Report

    • Will Truman in reply to PD Shaw says:

      That was not my intended insinuation. It was mostly that while women can play lacrosse, if they are more susceptible to head injury and maybe that’s one in particular they should avoid. (I assume lacrosse has more head contact in part because of the gear they wear.)Report

      • pillsy in reply to Will Truman says:

        I think I mentioned this in an earlier discussion of the topic, but discrepancies might have as much to do with who seeks care as it does with who actually gets concussed.Report

        • Will Truman in reply to pillsy says:

          You did on Twitter. The article mentions, though, that women not only reported more frequent problems but more severe symptoms. It could be that even guys who report are trying toi play it tough by reporting fewer symptoms, though.Report

      • PD Shaw in reply to Will Truman says:

        OK, and I may have misinterpreted same sport/rules/field as necessarily having anything to do with co-ed play.

        I’ve watched a lot of youth soccer, and don’t recall any potential concussions from heading the ball, but have from either head-to-head contact or tumbles to the ground. My suspicion is that by around age 13, at least in co-ed soccer, girls are likely to get the worst of contact with boys due to emerging differences btw/ height and upper-body mass.Report

      • Lyle in reply to Will Truman says:

        Actually you do find an equipment difference between female and male lacrosse, the men wear helmets and the women just wear eyegoggles. It seems sensible to require helments for both sports .Report

  4. fillyjonk says:

    My vague memories of lacrosse (I did not play but helped manage/scorekeep for the women’s team one year) from prep school was that women’s lacrosse was WAY less physical: I don’t remember helmets being worn like the men wore (but then again, this was the mid 1980s, before helmets were such a thing in many sports). There was some checking and “pushing,” but there weren’t (as I remember) full-on collisions.

    I came to think of lacrosse – from my experience with the women’s team – as being like “airborne field hockey,” though I guess field hockey can get kinda physical. (My main experience with the physicality of field hockey – the one year I played – was getting my shins badly banged up by other player’s sticks, even with shinguards)

    Maybe we make all lacrosse more like old-school women’s lacrosse? (shortie-kilt uniforms not necessarily required). Or like “stickball,” which is a thing here among people with Choctaw and Chickasaw heritage? It’s pretty physical in the sense that you have to be fit and coordinated to play it, but there seems to be a lower risk of concussion….Report

  5. PD Shaw says:

    There is a bill in Illinois to ban tackle football under 12, which has provoked a lot of slipper slopes argument, though I agree with Will here:

    if my own football experience is any indications, practice is a long series of repetition of hits.

    About five years ago my daughter’s soccer team shared a practice field(*) with a youth football team, about 10-11 years old. It was mostly drills involving bodies hitting bodies. I assume that aspects like passing and receiving were for special sessions. The national youth soccer association has banned heading balls for ages 11 and under, but heading is generally a limited aspect of youth soccer anyway.Report

  6. Michael Cain says:

    Being officially involved in sport fencing, athlete safety comes up regularly. Concussions do happen, almost always by falling badly and hitting the unpadded floor with the back of the head, but are rare. Whiplash is actually more common, when a straight lunge hits someone flush on the mask unexpectedly and snaps their head back. The most common injuries are to joints: sprains, strains, and occasionally the worse stuff. And bruises, of course. At least for an epee fencer, dime-sized bruises here and there are a way of life.Report

  7. PD Shaw says:

    My son was removed from a game for concussion concerns once; I think it was from multiple trips that sent him head to ground. The curious thing I remember was what happened after listening to the medic explain why they were taking him out of the tournament and how we should monitor him for the next 24 hours to make sure there wasn’t a concussion injury for which he would need to seek medical care.

    The coach turned to my wife (not me) and asked if she had a problem with any of that? Nope. The coach said good; we’re taught in coach’s training that the moms are the most difficult to sell on this, and I could tell you stories about the moms. My wife’s response was “no, I love my son.” I’m curious about these stories and what dynamics they suggest, but I know of none even indirectly.Report