Recently there has been much in the news regarding professional athletes and concussions. The long-term effects of this type of brain injury are being studied by multiple research groups and so far the results are astounding. Both the National Football League and the National Hockey League have been front and center in recent reports.
In what may be construed as a preemptive measure, the National Basketball Association is latest professional sports league to address the matter. Earlier this month it announced the creation of a program designed to manage concussions. The head of the program is a doctor considered to be a leading expert in sports and head injuries. It was implemented at the start of the teams’ training camps.
As a part of the program every player will take part in testing, the results of which will serve as a baseline throughout the remainder of the season. Should a player receive the diagnosis of a concussion at some point in the season, certain steps will have to be completed to demonstrate he is fit to play. The steps are designed to ensure the player can engage in various levels of exertion without experiencing lingering symptoms of the concussion.
The head of the program must also clear the player to return to the game.
According to the league the program was designed to ensure the safety of its players. Only time will tell if it will be successful. What do you think? Do you believe a program such as this will have the desired effect?
Source: The Washington Post, “NBA puts in place concussion policy to determine when players return from head injuries,” Associated Press, Dec. 12, 2011