Ivy targets concussion prevention
PRINCETON, N.J. -- The Ivy League has imposed new rules to limit concussions in lacrosse and soccer.
The league announced Monday that its presidents accepted a series of recommendations made by a committee, including the possibility of suspension for hits to the head.
The changes, which also will limit the amount of contact in practice, will take effect this fall for men and women.
The recommendations call for continued emphasis on educational initiatives. Consistent with current protocols, preseason meetings will emphasize learning and recognizing the signs of concussions, as well as the importance of reporting symptoms of concussions.
Soccer and lacrosse teams will collect prospective data for further study. And the league office will collect video clips from games to assess whether the film is of sufficient quality to allow for the future implementation of a postgame review and possible suspension policy, similar to the current review in football.
The league introduced new rules to limit concussions in football earlier this year.
"The presidents are committed to continuing to review the frequency and impact of concussions in collegiate athletics in order to protect the welfare of our student-athletes," said Shirley M. Tilghman, Ivy League Council of Presidents chair and Princeton University president. "Concussion research is rapidly evolving, and our policies need to reflect changes in our understanding of this important issue."
In men's lacrosse, coaches will designate 11 combined days in the fall and spring seasons in which body checking will not be permitted in practices. Full contact will be permitted in only one practice per day. Coaches will place a greater emphasis on teaching proper hitting techniques.
The league also will work with the NCAA on specific issues that could potentially lower the incidence of concussion, including examining the possibility of more stringent consequences for penalties involving targeting the head as well as considering possible rules changes surrounding faceoffs.
In women's lacrosse, coaches will modify 10 spring practices to exclude stick-checking, while dedicating time during the beginning of fall practice to teaching proper stick-checking technique.
In men's and women's soccer, education regarding the NCAA substitution rule will be emphasized to players, coaches and officials. The rule allows for substitution and re-entry for players with concussion-like symptoms so that they can be properly evaluated on the sideline but substituted back into the game and not count against team's substitution total if they are cleared to play.
Three hours of countable preseason practice will be used by coaches to teach and review proper techniques for heading duels.
The league also identified men's and women's ice hockey as sports warranting a similar concussion review. The presidents will consider those recommendations in December.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press