By Ken Reed
U.S. Soccer, in order to resolve a concussion lawsuit, has issued safety guidelines that prohibit players 10 and under from heading the ball and reduce headers in practice for those from age 11 to 13.
Monday’s announcement ends a class-action lawsuit that was filed in August 2014 by a group of parents and players in United States District Court in California. The suit charged negligence in treating and monitoring head injuries. The legal action sought only rule changes, not financial damages.
“With the development of the youth concussion initiative by U.S. Soccer and its youth members, we feel we have accomplished our primary goal …” said Steve Berman, the attorney who brought the case.
The new safety guidelines are indeed a good start. However, they need to be extended to cover high school-age soccer players. The brain is still developing until at least age 18. And a developing brain is more susceptible to brain trauma injuries.
According to the original filing in the case, nearly 50,000 high school soccer players sustained concussions in 2010, which is more than baseball, softball, basketball, and wrestling combined.
Heading restrictions need to be extended beyond age 13.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
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Episode #10 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: An Issues Discussion With Paul Dolan – Dolan is the Cleveland Indians Owner and CEO. He discusses the use of Native American names and logos by sports teams and the decisions to drop the Chief Wahoo logo and the upcoming change to the team name. Other baseball topics include health and safety, possible MLB rule changes and youth participation in the sport.
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Episode #9 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Talking Sports Issues With Ralph Nader – Nader is a consumer advocate and was named one of the “100 Most Influential Americans of the 20th Century” by Time magazine. He is the founder of League of Fans.
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Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
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Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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