Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rise of concussion in helmeted sports

(Photos: Geoff Burke-US PRESSWIRE, elbow to head causes concussion on play)

Despite helmets & body armour, head injuries are occurring exponentially amongst NHL players - & Canada for one is flailing around for an answer.

A flurry of Globe & Mail articles in recent months has dissected the many finer points of the game underpinned by the conservatism of NHL top-brass who naturally don't want to change any hockey 'stuff' that brings in the dough.

Notwithstanding, not only is the game being called to account by the media, but also by the parents of the league's juniors. As mums & dads sit anxiously on the side-lines watching their little 'Canuck-fodder' or whatever move through their hockey paces, a cold chill emanating from a potential spectre of 'things to come' has started to waft through the ranks of NHL.

Could it just be that hockey numbers will dwindle as mums & dads decide 'early dementia' just isn't worth it?

Could it just be that football, a ball sport without the ubiquitous helmets, body armour & risk compensation factor, will soon be the new national game for Canadians if the NHL alumni doesn't wake up to the savage reality of hockey and the paucity of protection that can ever be successfully implemented without dramatic behavioural change?

Meanwhile Vancouver plays 'Inventors' in a bid to crack it's 'city bike-share scheme' unfortunately coupled with clunky mandatory helmet laws...

"When will we ever learn?"


  1. Have you been to Canada? Ice hockey is deeply ingrained into Canadian culture. I would be like suddenly banning AFL as we know it. Never going to happen.


  2. Will we ever learn? What do you mean? Rising injuries will be met with cries to design better helmets and padding, as well as more extensive sports medicine programs. And hockey players will accept that, for the money and fame it brings them.

  3. Round about the 15th century the quality of steel had risen to the point that knight's helmets (which were well padded as well) had become essentially impervious to swords and the ranged weapons of the time.

    The solution? The return of the war hammer.

    Hit that puppy upside the head with a blunt instrument and he was going down and staying down, because the critical impacts happen inside the skull, not outside.

    It is worth noting that participants in motor sports, who wear the world's best helmets, sometimes die of head trauma without any impact to the head at all.

    If you start thinking you can use your head as an offensive blunt instrument just because you've put a bit of a plastic shell over it, well, maybe the dementia had onset before you even put it on.