Traumatic Brain Injuries and California Sports
Brain injuries and American football have, unfortunately, seemed to go hand in hand in recent years. Despite the popularity of contact sports, commentators have suggested that contact sports may have to be scaled back in the coming years due to the high risk of serious head trauma. Research suggests that even a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) like a concussion can have life-threatening consequences. Indeed, a number of professional football players have been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a dangerous degenerative brain condition caused by multiple concussions, while a number of high school athletes have sustained severe brain injuries on the field.
What’s California doing to prevent serious head injuries? According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, Governor Jerry Brown recently signed into law a bill that is designed to protect student athletes from serious TBIs. Specifically, it “prohibits football teams at middle and high schools from holding full-contact practices that exceed 90 minutes a day,” while it also “limits the number of full-contact practices during the season to two per week.” In addition, it prohibits coaches from holding any contact practices at any point during the off-season.