Entries in Hockey (3)


Drew Brees Teams Up Against Concussions in School Sports

Grant Halverson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Drew Brees, the quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, has taken some pretty hard hits in his career and knows the dangers involved with playing football professionally.

That’s why he’s lent his name to the PACE program -- Protecting Athletes through Concussion Education -- to make the sport safer.  The PACE campaign teams with ImPACT, a widely-used computerized concussion evaluation system.  All the NFL teams and many NHL teams use this technology.

PACE is a program that provides free concussion testing for more than 3,300 middle and high schools and youth sports organizations nationwide.  Their ultimate goal is to have one million kids tested this year, making it the largest concussion baseline program ever.

According to research published in May’s issue of the journal Neurology, a football player could sustain 8,000 hits over the course of a four-year high school and a four-year college career.

Baseline tests are important, doctors say, because they show what can’t be seen -- cognitive function.  Baseline testing, together with a preseason evaluation, help keep concussions to a minimum, and reduce their effects when they happen.

PACE is the first national program of its kind to offer the ImPACT baseline tests.  The program was started by the Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation.

Starting June 26, parents, athletes, coaches, teachers and anyone who wants to sign their school up can log onto to receive the free testing.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Hockey Hits Can Lead to Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(PITTSBURGH) -- Hits and checks have long been accepted as inherent to the game of hockey, but a decision by the NHL's biggest star to sit out of the game indefinitely represents only the latest professional athlete to suffer lasting injuries to the brain.

Sidney Crosby last week cited lingering concussion-like symptoms from at least one blow to the head that left him out of the game for 10 months.

"I've got to make sure with these sort of things that I'm careful and aware and making sure I'm 100 percent before I come back," Crosby, 24, told reporters in Pittsburgh last Monday. "You've got to listen to your body on these things."

Frustrated with the long-term risk of these sports, one neurologist, along with many others in agreement, called for a ban on intentional hitting and fighting in the game of hockey.

Dr. Rajendra Kale, neurologist and interim editor-in-chief of the journal CMAJ, published an editorial Monday that cites several athletes who experienced repetitive blows to the head during contact sports. Such hits led to severe medical problems, including short-term and long-term memory loss, chronic headaches, sleep disorders, mood and behavioral problems, psychiatric changes and even early onset dementia.

"When you find any tradition is causing damage to human's brain, it's time to change traditions," Kale told "We found traditions that are harmful and we need to give them up."

Symptoms of concussions include headache, nausea, confusion and loss of memory. Lingering effects can last for days, weeks or months, depending on the severity of the blow.

While Kale noted in the editorial that he was fascinated by the skill, grace and physical fitness needed to play hockey, he "was appalled by the disgraceful and uncivilized practice of fighting and causing intentional head trauma. The tragic story of Sidney Crosby's layoff due to concussions has not been sufficient for society to hang its head in shame and stop violent play immediately."

Kale cited three other hockey players -- Rick Martin, Reggie Fleming and Bob Probert -- who have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalophy, or CTE, a progressive degenerative disease found in people who have sustained several concussions or other head injuries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Hockey Players Penalized More Depending on Jersey Color?

Hemera Technologies/, Fla.) -- Could the color of a hockey player's jersey make an athlete more likely to get called out for penalties? Researchers at the University of Florida says that's the case, if the jersey is dark.

After studying hockey statistics from the last 25 years, researchers found that when teams switched to colored jerseys at home they were penalized more than when they wore white.

The study, published in the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, does not say whether players act more aggressively when they wear a dark uniform or whether referees judge them more harshly when they do.  The authors say it may be both. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio