Concussion policies

Some safety steps

Published August 5, 2007


NFL: Mandatory baseline testing this season; new whistle-blower program for anonymous reporting of incidents in which a player is pressured to return to action before he is ready; continuation of independent medical committee.

NHL: First league to do baseline testing, starting in 1997-98 season; mandated use of certified helmets, installed flexible glass systems; aggressive evaluation of the circumstances of every concussion.

MLB: Eighteen teams are using the ImPACT baseline program (compared to fewer than five last season). "I've been very happy with baseball's response to the injury," said Dr. Mickey Collins of the ImPACT program. "Some use it for select positions, some for the entire team. What's really impressive is most of those teams are using it for their minor-league guys, too." All major- and minor-league umpires are baseline tested.

IRL, Champ Car: Each circuit conducts ImPACT baseline testing. Some additional measures taken by the IRL: a team of trauma doctors, nurses, firefighters/EMTs, paramedics and other first responders who are present for every IndyCar series and Indy Pro series race. First responders are familiar with a driver's medical background and history.

NASCAR: Head and neck restraints, safer barriers.

Boxing: World Boxing Council, for instance, prohibits boxers who suffer concussions from fighting within 75 days.

Steeplechase: Jockeys who fall must be checked on course by doctor; improved helmets.