Player and Fans Guide to Football and Hockey Concussion Awareness

Welcome to our website, the number one destination on the web for football and hockey concussion awareness. If you are an NFL or NHL fan or indeed player, the danger of concussion is something that you should be aware of. Our site is dedicated to bringing you the most up to date information as well as guidelines and tips for concussion prevention. We look at the latest NFL safety advances, concussion research, and more.

Football and Hockey Concussion Awareness

What spectators of both NHL and NFL imagine the life of an athlete to be, all the fame and fortune and glory of winning and playing, is far from the reality of things. Hours of practice and countless injuries also come with the territory. According to the NFL, athletes peak at around 25 years of age and their average career spans three and a half years. That leaves them with a lot of time to pursue other career choices but if they have suffered from concussions, they can be left with effects that are irreversible.

Repetitive head trauma from playing these sports can lead to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). CTE symptoms can include symptomatic concussions which can kill nerve cells in the brain. CTE can also abruptly end people's lives. NFL statistics show that in 202 players were diagnosed with concussions in 2014. A settlement between the NFL and over 5,000 retired players who suffered concussions during their professional careers was reached for at least $900 million. This settlement also included a program of baseline examination for players for potential brain impairment, counselling, and treatment.

Both the NFL and NHL understand that concussions are real and continuous problems that no only affect a player's health but also their safety.

NHL Concussion Prevention

After the settlement, the NFL implemented the Julian Edelman Rule. This rule allows the concussion spotters to call for a medical timeout if a player shows obvious signs of disorientation or is clearly unstable. This new rule also requires that players have a full medical clearance before players may return. There are stiff penalties in place for hits to the head or neck and a neurological consultant is on the sidelines for all games.

What You'll Find About Football and Hockey Concussion Awareness

Our site has a number of subpages that provide information on a range of concussion awareness topics in both football and hockey. This includes information on side-line cards, NFL safety advancements, concussion research, concussion causes, and much more. You can use the headings below to take you to the relevant section where you will find all the information, advice, and professional guidance needed.

Concussion Management and Treatment

In 2013, the American Academy of Neurology updated their guidelines on the evaluation and management of sports concussion. A major change to the guidelines was the removal or return-to-play recommendations. The current recommendation is that athletes who have sustained a concussion be immediately removed from play and that they are not allowed to return to play until they have been assessed by a healthcare professional. Further information on the treatment and management can be found on our concussion management and treatment page.

Concussion Checklist

Most sports now have a concussion checklist that adheres to guidelines. This will often include pre-season education, head injury recognition protocols, onsite medical assessment protocols, a medical assessment checklist, concussion management, concussion care, and information on return to sport. The guidelines are in place to help prevent injuries and you can find out more on our concussion checklist page.

Concussion Sideline Cards

Football and Hockey concussion awareness also include the use of concussion sideline cards. These cards help players and coaches recognize the signs and symptoms of a concussion. They can also be used for on-field cognitive testing. Athletes should not return to play until they are symptom-free. If they fail any of the on-field cognitive testing it should be considered abnormal. These special cards include signs observed by staff, symptoms reported by athletes, and on-field cognitive testing which include orientation, anterograde amnesia, retrograde amnesia, concentration, and word list memory. You can find out more on our concussion sideline cards page.

ImPACT Testing

ImPACT testing is used by thousands of healthcare providers to save time, reduce risk to their practices, make informed clinical decisions, and more. The medical devices that have been created assist in the assessment and management of concussion. You can find out more on our imPACT testing page.

NFL Concussion Protocol

The NFL concussion protocol was implemented back in 2009 and has been adjusted throughout the years. Investigations into the way two teams handled head injuries during the 2017 season saw more changes being made to protocols. A new rule was added that requires teammates, coaches, or officials to take the player directly to a member of the medical team for evaluation. The NFL also added an additional neurotrauma consultant to each postseason game including the Super Bowl. The Play Smart Play Safe initiative was introduced in September 2016. You can read all about this on our NFL concussion protocol page.

NHL Concussion Protocol

The NHL has special concussion protocols that must be followed and this includes centralized spotter staff to detect visible signs and mandate removal from the game. It is up to individual clubs to identify a player who requires removal from a game and evaluation for a possible concussion, but the NHL and the NHLPA provide additional support to help identify payers under the NHL concussion protocol which you can find out more about on our dedicated page.

Technology Advancements in Sports

Sports today have a greater awareness of the dangers of concussion and new technological advances in diagnosing concussion could influence sports policy. Technology advances in sports and concussion include surveillance technologies, neuroimaging, electrophysiology, and biomarker technologies. You can find out all about these on our technology advancements page.

Concussion Research Funding

Football and hockey concussion awareness is something that is taken very seriously and the NFL has allocated more than $17 million to fund research into concussions and the effects of brain injuries. There is also a concussion grant in place. You can find out all about this on our concussion research funding page.

Does Sports Betting Affect NFL Players with Concussions?

There are a lot of discussions and debates as to whether sports betting is seen as being more important than the brains of the athletes and we look at this in detail as well as the implications of concussion on athletes and sports betting fans.