Colorado Avalanche: Facing Concussions in Modern Hockey

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No Helmets? Presenting: Rugby

CBS Sports and many other people have discussed the notion of having pro athletes, like those in pro football, remove their helmet so that they feel vulnerable, hence reducing the force of the extreme collisions. What if in football, for example, players along offensive and defensive lines met in a scrum, locked shoulders and necks and then the whistle blew?

What would happen is that football would closer start to resemble professional rugby. While the entertainment angle seems debatable, there’s not a lot of ground to stand on for the argument that there would be less head contact. That theory is being quickly debunked in a series of controversies involving concussions aimed at the International Rugby Board.

While the players wear a relatively minimal amount of padding, the fact remains that rubgy, like football and hockey, is a fast and violent game. You can’t take the contact out of any of them completely and injuries will occur.

Wales winger George North told Bloomberg about losing consciousness in a defending head-banging effort to prevent England from scoring in the opening match of Rugby’s 6 Nations tournament. Lots of people have tried comparing rugby to football, but the same stories keep coming out of both leagues.

Players undergo concussion protocols, given off-field cognitive tests, “pass” them and appear back in play under suspicious levels of consciousness. Scottish rugby player Rory Lamont describes a similar incident occuring to an Australian player during a match in an interview with the Daily Mail.

"“Everyone saw George wobbling his way off the field, clearly concussed, and then come back on. I know the protocols inside out and there is no way a player should be allowed to stay on the pitch after a head knock. It’s insanity. We are seeing reckless disregard for players’ welfare right now.”"

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