Source: vocativ.com | Re-Post Duerson Fund 4/26/2017 –
Before USA Hockey reached a labor agreement with its women’s team, the organization attempted to replace their elite roster with high schoolers. USA Hockey’s posturing was misguided on many levels—the women’s demands for a livable salary and additional support for their families were eminently reasonable, plus, they medaled in each of their Olympic competitions. Perhaps worst of all, however, was that USA Hockey’s active recruitment of teenage girls for a competition against adult women playing a contact sport at its highest level demonstrated neglect of their well-being. A new study indicates that girls playing high school sports have more than 50 percent higher concussion rates than boys.
Dr. Zachary Y. Kerr, a University of North Carolina professor and research director for the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes at the University of North Carolina, has studied concussion rates throughout 27 high school sports between 2011 and 2014. Using information from the National Athletic Treatment, Injury and Outcomes Network (NATION), Kerr and his team found tremendous disparities in the likelihood of concussions for girls, particularly when controlling for sports that both boys and girls played, like basketball, softball, and of course, hockey.
Among those sports, sport-related concussion rates were roughly 56 percent higher for girls. The recorded concussion rate for girls’ softball and baseball was over four times greater than for boys. Player-to-player contact, like, say, a replacement player teen colliding with 5’10,” 160 lb Russian defender Angelina Goncharenko, was the likeliest cause of a concussion injury, accounting for 40 percent of girls’ concussion injuries.