SHAWNEE, Kan. - As the father of a freshman playing varsity soccer, Mark Gettings thinks constantly about the risk of concussion his son faces every time he takes the field.
"That's the first thing that goes through your mind," Gettings said as he watched his son's match on Friday. "Is it a concussion? What's going on?"
Gettings’ concerns are well-placed, according to a new study by the National Academy of Sciences, which shows high school athletes are twice as likely to report concussions than their college counterparts.
"The numbers are right. The question is why," Dr. Randy Goldstein, a physician and sports medicine expert from the KU Center for Sports Medicine, said. "And there are lots of reasons. One is the size difference of a freshman high school player versus a senior high school player."
Those developmental differences lessen in college and pro sports, even as the speed and violence of games like football increase.
As might be expected, the study showed football player sustained the most concussions, with lacrosse, wrestling and soccer (especially girls’ soccer) all trailing.
Goldstein offered two other reasons why concussion reporting might be trending up among high school athletes: better testing and more regular reporting.
Concepts like "getting your bell rung" are out; mild traumatic brain injury diagnoses are in.
Soccer players are at risk not just from collisions, but from whiplash and even from heading the ball improperly, Goldstein said.
"We worry about head to head and head to ground contact, but concussions can happen with rotation and with whiplash, so it doesn't have to be a contact."
Teaching proper technique and monitoring symptoms closely, he said, are the best tools to cut down on concussions and their effects. Technology and helmets alone are not enough.
You can read the full study at the following link: http://bit.ly/1adScw0
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Junior center fielder Blaise Ostertag doubled in two in the bottom of the fourth to lift Conner to a win over Scott.
Freshman center fielder Hailey Nicholas singled up the middle with no outs in the bottom of the eighth to lift Cooper to a win over Campbell County.
Sophomore Sheldon Preisler won his eighth straight match to open the season as Boone County edged Lloyd, 3-2 on Wednesday.
Sophomore Erin Mogus remained perfect through five matches with her win at third singles as Cooper shut out Covington Latin.
Eighth-grader Curtis Kalbaugh improved to 7-0 on the season with a win at second singles as Ryle shut out St. Henry.
Conner coach Brad Arlinghaus set the school record for coaching wins as his Cougars beat Ryle.
Junior designated hitter Chelcey Broughton singled home two to put Simon Kenton ahead for good in a win over Grant County.
Junior shortstop Jake Whitford singled up the middle to plate the lone run in Highlands’ win over Cincinnati McNicholas.
The second doubles team rallied to win five straight games in the final set but Campbell County fell to Montgomery County, in the first of…
Newport Central Catholic advanced to the All ‘A’ state tournament for the first time since 2011 with wins over Lloyd and St. Henry.