Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Deaths and Problem solving in Youth Hockey- de-evolving gear for safety???

It is a fact, that when looking at Hockey Canada, and USA Hockey's injury numbers, that they are far lower than those of many sports.  Where youth fatalities are studied, we all want that number at ZERO.  Yet physcaial sports do not yield to our wishes. Hockey does "well", when compaired to youth footballs 8 deaths, and long term concussion issues, which also out pace U20 to novice hockey, at ALARMING rates.  It was the concussion talk around HS football, and class action law suit taking shape that may end High School Football, due to the long term hidden dangers concussions present.  which now has me thinking....this is way to much for just one article, way to much one hockey scout/blogger.  I am not a medical professional.  So to my readers understand we are not going dive deeply on those issues.

Mark Messier  did extensive research on helmet desing with medical professionals on helmet designs to help lessen concussions.  While I can see how the shap of a lid, can deflect blow from on direction, and some energy absorbing matierials can help absorb impacts.  Everything I have read and been told,   is you do not need a head impact, to contract a concussion.  I personally can relate to this as the first concussion I suffered was while playing football.  I was in 8th grade.  I was running a reverse from the right end.  I had just gotten the ball, and had my eyes on my blocker as I speed toward the left end of the line, my blocker was 4 yards ahead of me, he had the guy lined up, I began my cut up the field....Im on my back...oddly cold, very cold.  who are these people....where am I????WHO am I..As I am asking these questions of my self, the people looking at me their two faces, I do not know...lips moving, and now I am starting to hear words...Its all very confusing....I see Coach in the chair off to the corner, his face concerned, very similar to his serious gaze, but softer...Ignoring the questions I ask where am I...they ask me about figners and bang my head feels like its about to expood!  Youve had a concussion..."you got your bell rung but good" coach says.  3, I say.
So that tale goes on, but you see.  The guy who laid the hit on me, hit me at the waist, right as I made my cut, never saw him.  I never hit my head on anything, I was out cold.  My brain slamed formward in my head.  You dont need to a hit to the head, to have your grey matter slosh around.
To me this new law suit is going to be a nasty slope.  8 million kids play HS football. Should this law suit be sucessfull, it ends.  Why?  You can not prevent or create any new gear in Football to prevent concussions.  It is ,as all sports are, is a dangerous sport.  High Schools will have no choice but in order to protect themselves from lawsuits, disassociate froom the sport.  They plaintifs will win this case.  Their desier to make sport safer...will.  It will end the sport.  Casuing a cascade of private football teams.
I relected back on hockey, and one of the most tragid stories I am familure with.  Kyle Fundytus,  a 16 year old defender for Don Wheaton Midget team.  He slid across the ice to make a routine shot block, and wham.  the puck him right in the throate.  He passed away overnight from the injury sustained.  As a result of that 2011 death, we now have talk of a rule, and in some places in effect, that prevents players from leaving their feet to block shots.
Taking away the method, is not really the answer.  We live in a time, where a player is faster, stronger, and more advanced as  a player from learnign and trainging techniques.  A time where people pitched a bitch about a little goalie pad here, or there.  Ill admit, goalie pads over 12" wide, are too wide.  That pads should not be taller than the inseam.  At the same time, players, especially none Jr players and above, do not need these high tec sticks.  I am tiered of watching youth players walk the proshops, flexing sticks...98% have no clue as to why they are doing it.  More over at 14U its an insaine expense with 0 gain.  At MM and Minors, these stick do aid in performance, a level of performance which creates shots at dangersous velocities.  When these players who on the bottom of the learning curve on how to really exploit the benfits of these high tech sticks, accidentaly stumble upon a well loaded stick, 90+mph shows up right now.  where, I will presume that 70 was about the peek in my day.  The high teck sticks...are landfill fodder.  Not recyclable.  Im not a believer in polictially created man made climate change fraud...I studied to much science and history to fall for it. But I do believe we are wastful race.  No reason to make the sticks, but no reason to take kids who get little benifit and have them dramaticly speed up the process.  The end of the Day, a 43 FPS reduction in velocities high end, would lessen injury, save a life potentially and save millions of dollars and waste.  So instead of taking a blocking method awway, turn the velocity down.   Take a way tool they do

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