10 April 2010
Contact Sports vs. Non Contact Sports: How Widely Do They Differ?
Head injuries are quite common and occur regularly in all contact sports. Concussions, from brain injuries can cause long term effects and can lead to dementia. Too many concussions occur in high school athletes that participate in contact sports. One may suggest that contact sports should be banned from all high schools. Non contact sports should become a part of the physical education curriculum so that young adults should not have to suffer the consequences from head injuries in contact sports.
There are a large number of dangerous contact sports that athletes participate in today. Examples of the most common contact sports include: football, basketball, soccer, wrestling, field hockey, and lacrosse. Research suggests that these sports have the most severe injuries. High school students that participate in contact sports are endangering their health, lives, and future.
Football is widely viewed by millions of spectators season after season. Recent research shows that “High school players sustained 43 head injuries from 1995-2004 in which there was incomplete recovery and college players sustained five head injuries from 1995-2004 in which there was incomplete recovery“ (“Sports-Related Head Injuries” 3). These statistics are important because they show how football can be considered unsafe for young athletes. If football was abolished from high schools there would be a significant decrease in the amount of head injuries in not only high school athletes, but college athletes as well. This is because a lot of universities recruit star athletes from their high school teams. When there is an absence of high school teams, the amount of head injuries in college students will decrease. League officials have also stated that “there are about 160 concussions in the National Football League every year“ (Sports-Related Head Injuries“ 3). This is unacceptable. If this statistic only includes football players, imagine how many concussions are suffered each year when all other contact sports are also included.
In the game of football, quarterbacks suffer the greatest risk of sustaining a concussion. Wide receivers are next to sustain concussions, followed by tight ends and defense men. Impact from another players helmet account for a great portion of concussions in football. According to the book titled “The Heads Up On Sport Concussion,” “About 11% of concussions are caused by ground contact “ (72). It is believed that educating and reeducating football players about proper tackling techniques could prevent some concussions. A formal educational program designed to inform professional players about the signs and symptoms of a concussion would be beneficial. The continuation of research would also help to better understand the possible long term consequences of concussions for all athletes.
The book titled “Play Hard, Die Young” was written by Bennet Omalu. Omalu introduces the term “gridiron dementia.” This term can be defined as a permanent brain damage that is a result of multiple brain injuries, specifically during contact sports. Omalu supports this idea by stating, “there is no doubt in my mind that in the near future
Basketball is another contact sport that causes head injuries. The game has become faster, more physical, and the guys are so big and strong; that the collisions are going to be more severe. According to an article from the New York Times, “Head injuries have increased 6.2% over the past 15 years and concussions resulted in 3.6% of the injuries that were reported”(“As College Basketball Grows, Concussions Are a Side Effect” 1). This shows how the number of concussions seen in basketball players is an issue that must be addressed. In addition, “Female basketball players were three times more likely to sustain a concussion than men” (“As College Basketball...