Utah soccer and girls' sports have high concussion rates

Monday , September 23, 2013 - 1:48 PM

Soccer ball

Soccer ball

Bubba Brown, Standard-Examiner Staff

While much of the national focus in recent years on concussions in sports has centered on football, the numbers show it’s hardly the only sport with high rates of head injuries.

According to a study released by the Center for Injury Research and Policy, nearly 27 percent of all sports injuries during high school games in the 2012-2013 season were concussions. In comparison, concussions accounted for only 25 percent of football injuries.

“We see a lot in football because of the contact nature of the sport,” said Bart Thompson, Utah High School Athletics Association assistant director and sports medicine coordinator. “But other sports have a lot of them, too.”

According to the report, sports with higher concussion rates than football were both boys’ (35 percent) and girls’ soccer (38 percent), as well as girls’ basketball (28 percent). The sport with the lowest rate was baseball at 12 percent.

Additionally, girls were more likely to get concussions in their respective sports than boys, according to the report.

Thompson said that even though football concussions get the most attention, Utah’s high school coaches in all sports are trained to know how to look for the symptoms of concussions.

“A coach is not allowed to coach a UHSAA team unless they’ve completed a concussion training course,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s a volunteer — that’s knowledge a coach has to have before stepping on the field with their players.”

Contact reporter Bubba Brown at 801-625-4221 or Follow him on Twitter at @BubbaBrownSE.