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MHSAA: Concussions drop 11% in 2nd year of study; football players still have the most

Posted at 10:58 AM, Aug 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-08 17:12:17-04

EAST LANSING, Mich. - As fall sports get going for the upcoming school year, the Michigan High School Athletic Association says that concussions in student-athletes dropped by 11% from the year before.

Schools were first mandated to report head injuries to the MHSAA for the 2015-2016 school year.  The MHSAA says schools reported 3,958 head injuries in the 2016-2017 school year just completed.  That is an average of 5.2 head injuries per member school.  The average in 2015-2016 was 5.9 head injuries per school.

Participation for MHSAA sports last year was 283,625, with students counted once for each sport they played.  That means 1.4% of student athletes suffered a head injury.

“Our first survey in 2015-16 raised some initial themes, and the data we collected this past year and will continue to collect will help us identify the trends that will guide our next steps in reducing head injuries in interscholastic athletics,” MHSAA Executive Director John E. 'Jack' Roberts said on the MHSAA website. “However, the necessity for more data to determine these trends should not delay our efforts to experiment with more head protection and modified play and practice rules in contact sports like ice hockey, soccer, wrestling and lacrosse – which all ranked among the top 10 sports for numbers of head injuries per thousand participants.

More statistics from the report:

  • 66% of the head injuries were experienced by boys.
  • 55% of the head injuries came to varsity athletes.
  • 65% of the head injuries were suffered during competition
  • 27% of athletes who suffered a head injury returned to activity in six to ten days

The top sports for head injuries were:

  • Football
  • Ice hockey
  • Girls soccer
  • Girls basketball
  • Girls competitive cheer
  • Girls lacrosse

The study found that girls playing sports that are similar to boys, (soccer, basketball, softball/baseball) reported more head injuries than boys.

To read the complete report, click here.