"Greatest" American Game Needs to Evolve

Taking the head out of the game of football — and ice hockey and other contact sports — is easier said than done, but some rule changes would certainly decrease the number of sports-related brain injuries.

See more videos with Dr. Julian Bailes.

Well, I think that we are advocating taking the head out of the game, particularly in football and in soccer, ice hockey. [Julian Bailes, MD - NorthShore Neurological Institute] Now, I played, so I realize that that is much easier said than done, and it can't be totally done. But, for instance, eliminating in football practice head contact, which is unnecessary, doing it just because that's always the way we've done it. I think it would eliminate probably half the head blows right off the bat, and I think, for coaches to begin to think that the game may have to evolve some, so there is not these purposeful head-to-head hits, that they learn to use and tackle with the shoulder or arms, more than maybe was taught in recent decades. So I think the game is the greatest game - football, I mean - in America, but I think it has to evolve to continue to be safe in light of some of these new findings.
Posted on BrainLine April 13, 2012.

About the author: Julian Bailes, MD

Julian Bailes, MD is a founding member of the Brain Injury Research Institute and professor and chairman of the Department of Neurosurgery, West Virginia University School of Medicine. He is a recognized leader in the field of neurosurgery and the impact of brain injury on cognitive function.

Julian Bailes

Produced by Noel Gunther, Brian King, and Michael Yoswa, BrainLine.