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One Concussion Conclusion

After both the first and second years of collecting head injury reports from all Michigan High School Athletic Association member high schools for all practices and events in MHSAA sports, we cautioned people to refrain from making too many conclusions.

It’s too soon. We now have a baseline, but we will need several years before we can be certain that we’ve spotted trends or trouble spots.

Nevertheless, one observation screams out. Girls report two to three times the number of concussions that boys do. In basketball, soccer, and in softball compared to baseball, girls report two to three times as many concussions. That was true in year one; it remained true in year two.

It may be that girls sustain more concussions than boys, or that girls are more forthcoming in reporting than boys are, or both. In the past, researchers have published both conclusions.

In either case, it means we need to coach boys and girls differently, and we need to prepare coaches differently for boys and girls teams, as we are doing in the MHSAA Coaches Advancement Program.

Posted in: Health & Safety

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About the Author

Jack Roberts

Jack Roberts has been at the helm of the MHSAA as its Executive Director since 1986, implementing programs and overseeing tournament administration and regulations for the Association which boasts 1,500 member schools, 10,000 registered officials and 13,000 head coaches.

During the last 44 years, Roberts has spoken to educator and athletic groups, business leaders and civic groups in almost every state and five Canadian provinces. He is one of the nation's most articulate advocates for educational athletics.

Roberts has served on the board of directors of the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO), is in his second term on the board of the National Federation of State High School Associations, and is the first chairman of the NFHS Network board of directors. He has been board president for the Refugee Development Center for seven years, and is a past-chair of the board of directors of the Michigan Society of Association Executives. He is vice chair and secretary of the board of trustees for the Capital Region Community Foundation.

He is a 1970 graduate of Dartmouth College, where he played defensive safety for the Ivy League's winningest football team during that span, and he sang in Dartmouth's close harmony vocal group.

His wife, Peggy, has retired from a 30-year career in social services, and is serving as president of the board of the Fenner Nature Conservancy in Lansing.