BALTIMORE — US Lacrosse is among 15 national sports organizations that have joined forces in the formation of a new coalition, announced today, aimed at reducing and better managing concussions among youth athletes. As the national governing body for the sport of lacrosse, US Lacrosse’s commitment to the newly-formed National Sports Concussion Coalition is an extension of its ongoing efforts to make the sport as safe as possible for all participants.
The founding youth, science and medical members of the coalition are US Lacrosse, Pop Warner Little Scholars, US Youth Soccer, USA Hockey, USA Football, USA Basketball, USA Football, American Softball Association/USA Softball, the National Council of Youth Sports (NCYS), Sports Concussion Institute, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), and the Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention. Supporting members outside youth sports include the NCAA, NFL, NFL Players Association and the National Football Foundation.
The coalition’s partnership is designed to combine the current concussion data and information with best practices that can assist in coaching, playing and officiating across all sports. The hope is that by working together, the coalition members can lessen the impact of concussions on young people playing organized sports.
“Enhancing player safety in lacrosse has been a focus of US Lacrosse since our 1998 inception as the sport’s national governing body,” said Steve Stenersen, CEO of US Lacrosse. “We’re pleased to partner with amateur sport leaders and sports medicine experts in our mutual pursuit of a safer playing environment through the continued study of head injuries and the appropriate employment of interventions to reduce their impact on athletes of all ages.”
US Lacrosse’s commitment to enhancing and promoting player safety is articulated as a point of emphasis in the organizations’ 2013-2015 Strategic Plan. Ongoing safety initiatives include coaches and officials’ education & training programs, standardization of youth playing rules and protective equipment requirements, and a sizeable investment in new scientific research.
“US Lacrosse is pleased to join these national partners to further enhance player safety through a greater exchange of information and a deeper understanding of concussion mechanisms and management” said Dr. Bruce Griffin, director of health and sport safety at US Lacrosse. “We’ve introduced a number of initiatives in recent years, such as modified and standardized youth rules, aimed at reducing concussion occurrences, and look forward to continuing to build on those efforts through the coalition partnership.”
Led by its Sports Science and Safety Committee, US Lacrosse has committed significant resources toward the study, understanding and analysis of concussion injuries in men’s and women’s lacrosse throughout its 15-year history. From video analysis studies to head acceleration research, the organization has funded and sought greater understanding of concussion injury mechanisms. Increasing the limitations on body contact in youth boys’ lacrosse through rule revisions is the latest manifestation of prevention interventions resulting from those efforts.
US Lacrosse’s educational messaging about concussions to its membership has included videos, magazine articles, grassroots safety campaigns and social media outreach. US Lacrosse partners with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) on its Heads Up campaign, and recently endorsed the U.S. Senate’s Youth Sports Concussion Act.
Additionally, through its collaborations with the Sports and Fitness Industry Association, National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment, and ASTM International, the organization works to enhance concussion safety through equipment modifications and development.
About the National Sports Concussion Coalition
The National Sports Concussion Coalition is comprised of health professionals and leading organizations across youth, college and pro sports. Individually and collectively, coalition members are working to enhance the sports experience for youth in the United States by advancing the approaches to identify and manage concussions in sports. For further information, please visit www.sportsconcussioncoalition.org.
About US Lacrosse
US Lacrosse, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, is the national governing body of men’s and women’s lacrosse and the home of the nation’s fastest-growing sport. US Lacrosse has more than 415,000 members in 64 regional chapters across the country. Through responsive and effective leadership, US Lacrosse provides programs and services to inspire participation while protecting the integrity of the sport. Bookmark, like and follow US Lacrosse at uslacrosse.org, fb.com/uslacrosse and @uslacrosse, respectively.