Related Story: NFHS Responds to Report
BALTIMORE — US Lacrosse, the national governing body for men’s, women’s and youth lacrosse, supports the findings and recommendations of the report on youth concussions, recently published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council, and reaffirms its commitment to reducing the risk of injury at all levels of the sport.
Among other things, the IOM report calls for a better national system to track concussion injuries, more research into age-appropriate rules, a change in the culture of reporting head injuries and stronger accountability requirements on manufacturers who produce protective equipment. A full summary of the report, titled "Sports-Related Concussions in Youth: Improving the Science, Changing the Culture," is available on the IOM website.
“Of the four main pillars outlined in the report, US Lacrosse is already working hard on three of those areas,” said Bruce Griffin, director of health and sport safety at US Lacrosse. “I believe that the report confirms that we are doing the right things to address head injuries in youth lacrosse.”
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.
In fact, the newest US Lacrosse-funded study, to be released in the December issue of the Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine, chronicles the rate of injury among youth lacrosse players. The study utilized an injury surveillance system using certified athletic trainers to collect data on the types of injury and injury mechanisms.
Dr. Andy Lincoln, a member of US Lacrosse’s Sports Science and Safety Committee, served as lead author on the newest study.
“We believe this is a significant study because there was an A.T.C. onsite to give some strength to the initial diagnosis of injuries and to provide consistent reporting,” Lincoln said. “This type of study could serve as a model of the additional studies that are needed to better understand youth lacrosse safety, and is consistent with the IOM report’s call for better injury surveillance and reporting in youth sports.”
Another step taken recently by US Lacrosse to enhance player safety was increasing the limitations on body contact in youth boys’ lacrosse through rule revisions.
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 joined with 15 other national sports organizations in the formation of the National Sports Concussion Coalition, aimed at collectively reducing and better managing concussions among youth athletes.
Additionally, through its ongoing 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 IOM
The Institute of Medicine (IOM) is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decision makers and the public. Established in 1970, the IOM is the health arm of the National Academy of Sciences, which was chartered under President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. Nearly 150 years later, the National Academy of Sciences has expanded into what is collectively known as the National Academies, which comprises the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Research Council, and the IOM. For more details, please visit www.iom.edu.