NFL Health Update: Youth football commissioners gather in Indy

NFL HEALTH AND SAFETY UPDATE -- FEBRUARY 26, 2014

YOUTH FOOTBALL COMMISSIONERS ATTEND USA FOOTBALL NATIONAL CONFERENCE

Commissioners from 331 of the top 500 largest youth football organizations traveled to Indianapolis last week for the first USA Football National Conference.

The two-day conference February 21-23 focused on the core elements of Heads Up Football. Commissioners had the opportunity to interact with leaders in the sport, including Cincinnati Bengals head coach Marvin Lewis and ESPN analyst and former player Merril Hoge. The conference also provided access to the NFL Combine and an on-field Heads Up Tackling session at Lucas Oil Stadium.

For more on USA Football and Heads Up Football, visit www.usafootball.com.

NFL, UNDER ARMOUR & GE RECEIVE MORE THAN 450 SUBMISSIONS TO HEAD HEALTH CHALLENGE II

More than 450 proposals from 19 countries were submitted to Head Health Challenge II, the NFL, Under Armour (NYSE:UA) and GE (NYSE: GE) announced this week. The challenge will award up to $10 million for proposed innovations and materials that can protect the brain from traumatic injury and for new tools to track head impacts in real time. The challenge is part of the Head Health Initiative, a collaboration to accelerate progress in improving diagnosis, treatment and protection against brain injury.

The submissions will be evaluated by a panel of external judges that include leading experts in brain research. Winners will be announced at a later date.

Specific focus areas for Head Health Challenge II include:

  • Potential to improve the prevention and identification of brain injuries
  • Monitoring and identifying injury
  • Protection against injury or its consequences
  • Training

The first challenge launched last March and closed in July with more than 400 submissions from more than 25 countries. The 16 winners of Head Health Challenge I were announced in January.

To learn more, visit http://www.headhealthchallenge.com.

AMERICAN JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE EXAMINES YOUTH CONCUSSION LAWS

A recent paper in the American Journal of Sports Medicine (AJSM) looked at how youth concussion laws, now passed in all 50 states, are affecting behavior regarding head injuries.

According to Education Week's Schooled In Sports blog, "The authors surveyed 270 public high school football, girls' soccer, and boys' soccer coaches in Washington state -- the first state to implement youth-concussion legislation (the Zackery Lystedt Law) -- from 2012 to 2013. They asked coaches about the amount of required concussion education for coaches, parents, and athletes, and also evaluated the coaches' knowledge of concussions."

While responses from coaches indicated that they were receiving the appropriate concussion education on a consistent basis, athlete and parent education are areas that need improvement, according to the paper.

"This paper represents the next major frontier in youth-concussion legislation," according to the Schooled in Sport piece. "Now that every state has a law, it's up to researchers to determine how effective each law is in terms of shaping behaviors."

For more, read Schooled in Sport here, and view the AJSM abstract here.

-- NFL Communications

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