Michigan releases preliminary fall concussion numbers

Michigan’s athletic association announced Wednesday that nearly 2 percent of the state’s high school athletes may have suffered a concussion during the fall sports season.

HeadInjuriesThis was the first year that the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) requested statistics on possible concussions from the state’s high schools. More than 100,000 student-athletes participated during the fall season, and WXYZ in Detroit reported that nearly 2,700 of them may have been concussed.

The numbers are preliminary and the MHSAA expects the figure to be lower when a final report is released after the spring season. Some important numbers:

  • 744 — 99% — of MHSAA’s member schools reported data.
  • Football was responsible for 79% of concussions, followed by boys soccer (11%).
  • Preliminary numbers put the rate of concussions at 3.2 per school.
  • 27% of reporting schools said that none of their student-athletes suffered a concussion.

From the MHSAA:

Of 36 schools reporting the most concussions this fall, 11 are part of the MHSAA’s pilot sideline detection programs. Those programs – King-Devick Test and XLNTbrain Sport – utilize technology to provide on-site testing of athletes who have sustained possible concussions, with results of those examinations then compared against baseline tests taken by athletes previously.

The MHSAA also is the first state association to provide all participants at every member high school and junior high/middle school with insurance intended to pay accident medical expense benefits – covering deductibles and co-pays left unpaid by other policies – resulting from head injuries sustained during school practices or competitions and at no cost to either schools or families. The program will produce additional data about the frequency and severity of head injuries. While it is still early, only 34 claims have been made on the insurance policy designed to assist in payment for concussion care. Twenty of the claims are for football, 11 for soccer.

“These three efforts combined are part of making our good programs better,” MHSAA Executive Director John E. “Jack” Roberts said. “We’re pleased to provide these services to our schools, and we anticipate having a comprehensive report after the end of the school year, with that data then used by the National Federation of State High School Associations and research institutions to continue to make our games safer.”

The preliminary report includes possible concussions in games and practices. The MHSAA will release a complete breakdown next spring, including concussions by gender, sport, team level and setting.

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