The Impact of Litigation, Regulation, and Legislation on Sport Concussion Management

Submitted by Mr. Gregory B. Bonds1*, William W. Edwards2 PhD*, Brandon D. Spradley3 EdD*, Theodore Phillips4 PhD*

1* Associate Athletic Director for Internal Affairs at Jacksonville State University, Jacksonville Alabama

2* Chair of Sports & Exercise Science at the United States Sports Academy , Daphne Alabama

3* Director of Continuing Education & Executive Director of the Alumni Association, United States Sports Academy, Daphne Alabama

4* Former faculty member of the United States Sports Academy, Daphne Alabama

Mr. Gregory Bonds is the Associate Athletic Director for Internal Affairs at Jacksonville State University and a doctoral student at the United States Sports Academy.


Concussion injuries impact approximately 1.7 million Americans annually.  By design, sports such as football, ice hockey, and soccer demand physical contact often resulting in powerful blows to the head.  The impact on concussion management affects participant safety, well-being, and awareness of diagnosis, treatment, playing rules, equipment, education, and technology.  Previous research states that participating high school athletes suffer over 100,000 concussions annually.  In 2009, a study sponsored by the National Football League (NFL) announced that retired players between the ages of 30 and 49 were affected by dementia-type diagnosis 20 times greater than fellow citizens in the same age bracket.  Furthermore, retired players above the age of 50 were affected by dementia-type diagnosis at a rate five times higher than the national average of 1.2%. The culmination of concussion injuries from youth sports to retired professional athletes has accelerated unprecedented litigation, regulation, and legislative activities.  The heightened awareness on the dangers and consequences of concussion trauma has caused sports governing bodies, state legislatures, and federal congressional intervention to enact regulation and legislation to promote the safety of sports participants.  Based on recent legal activity to implement concussion and return-to-play guidelines, sports concussion awareness has risen to national attention.  Lawsuits may be counterproductive if mounting litigation, legal and liability costs outpace protective regulation and equipment able to withstand powerful force application.  The purpose is to review and analyze the impact of litigation, regulation, and legislation on sport concussion management.

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The Interrelated Back Stories of Kenny Washington Reintegrating the NFL in 1946 and Jackie Robinson Integrating Major League Baseball in 1947

Submitted by Raymond Stefani, Ph.D*

1* California State University, Long Beach, USA

Dr. Raymond Stefani is an emeritus professor of Engineering at the California State University, Long Beach, USA. His more than 120 sports publications are evenly divided between individual and team sports. He seeks a fundamental understanding of the physics, physiology, causes of gender differential performance, rates of improvement, effect of historical events and effects of performance enhancing drugs related to Olympic gold medal performances in athletics (track and field), swimming, rowing and speed skating. He has analyzed Olympic home nation medal advantage He developed a least squared team rating system applied to predicting the outcome of more than 20,000 games of American football, basketball, European soccer, Australian Rules football, and Super Rugby. Home advantage has been studied in those contexts. He has contributed to the understanding of the types and application of 100 international sport rating systems (both for individuals and teams) and their ability to predict the outcome of world and Olympic championship events. He contributed to the millennium edition of the New York Times. He has presented his work to 10 organizations conducting conferences in eight nations on three continents. Dr. Stefani invites collaboration with colleagues from around the world.


In 1946, Kenny Washington reintegrated the National Football League (NFL).  In 1947, Jackie Robinson integrated Major League Baseball. Those two iconic events initiated an era of opportunity for black athletes wanting to compete at the highest level in professional sports. In fact, both events terminated two interrelated (and largely forgotten) back stories from 1936 to 1947, covered in detail in this paper.  The back stories include two second-tier pro football teams, a narrow escape from Honolulu before Pearl Harbor by Robinson and the creation of a rival league to the NFL. Had it not been for the cancellation of the 1940 Olympics, Robinson might now be known as an Olympic medalist in the long jump. Had it not been for an ankle injury in 1944, Robinson might now be known as a former professional football player. Had it not been for Kenny Washington’s success in pro football from 1940 to 1945, Robinson might not be known for breaking the color barrier in major league baseball. These back stories form a fascinating, inter-twined chain of events upon which depended the signing of Washington and Robinson.

Key words:  integration, pro football, major league baseball, NFL, Kenny Washington, Jackie Robinson

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Kinematic Analysis of the Slap Hitting Technique in Division I Softball Players

Submitted by Robin Lund1, Ph.D.*, Travis Ficklin2, Ph.D.* Mr. Johnathan Faga3*, Ms. Cassie Reilly-Boccia4*

1* Assistant Professor of Physical Education at University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614

2* Assistant Professor of Physical Education at University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA 50614

3* B.A. in Movement and Exercise Science from the University of Northern Iowa.

4* Director of Research and Development at Athletes Warehouse in Pleasantville, NY.


The purpose of this study was to provide a kinematic description of the phase parameters of the slap hitting technique and the interrelationships that may exist in Division I softball players.  Video data were collected for all swings during a 15-game softball tournament in which six NCAA Division I teams played.  A high-speed video camera filming at 300 Hz was located along the third base line recording every pitch.  Only data from trials in which a slap swing attempt was made were kept, resulting in 200 trials.  Three phases were identified; preparatory step, wind-up and swing.  The duration of each phase (tPREP, tWIND-UP and tSWING, s) as well as the duration of the entire technique (tTOTAL, s), the forward velocity of the hips (vHIP, m/s) during the wind-up phase and the velocity of the bat at contact (vBAT, m/s) were obtained for each trial.  Descriptive statistics were calculated for each of the variables and Pearson product moment correlations were used to examine the relationships among the variables.  Several significant relationships were identified (p<0.05).  The duration of the preparatory step phase has a direct effect on vHIP and vBAT.  The duration of the wind-up and swing phases appear to be related to the timing of each individual trial and do not appear to play a role in vHIP and vBAT.  Coaches should consider the role of the preparatory step phase on vHIP and vBAT when coaching different techniques such as the soft slap and the power slap.

Key words: softball, kinematic, slap hitting. Continue reading

Serious Leisure and Personality Dimensions in Club Sport Athletes

Submitted by Eric Hungenberg1*, and James Gould2, Ph.D*

1* Doctoral Candidate, School of Sport & Exercise Science, Sport Administration Program, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639

2* Associate Professor, School of Human Sciences, Recreation, Tourism, & Hospitality Program, University of Northern Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639

Eric Hungenberg is a doctoral candidate at the University of Northern Colorado who will be completing his Ph.D. in Sport Management in May, 2015. His background working as a practitioner in sport involved overseeing and marketing destination club sport events. His research agenda is geared towards understanding sport commitment and sport tourism consumer behavior with a particular interest in the relationship between a consumer’s emotional connection to location and consumption.

James Gould is an Associate Professor of Recreation, Tourism, & Hospitality in the School of Human Sciences at the University of Northern Colorado. His academic interests include adventure special events, leisure philosophy, and community & outdoor recreation. Gould’s research agenda includes the psychometric analysis of committed leisure behavior, passive leisure, and adventure tourism.


The purpose of this study was to examine the associations between personality types and sport seriousness and their influences on sport choice and skill level among club sport athletes. A convenience sample of athletes (N = 215) representing fifteen clubs was conducted at two mid-sized universities in the mountain region of the United States. Personality was measured using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) form G (Myers & McCaulley, 1985), and the Ten Item Personality Measure (TIPM) (Gosling, Rentfrow, & Swann, 2003) for assessing the Big 5 Personality dimensions. Sport commitment was measured using the Serious Leisure Inventory and Measure (SLIM) (Gould, Moore, McGuire, & Stebbins, 2008). Results indicated that personality explained a moderate amount of variance in sport seriousness and self-reported skill levels. A logistic regression model indicated that the big five types were able to distinguish between contact sport and non-contact sport types of participation. Team sport athletes revealed a stronger identity with their sport and greater personal and group outcomes than did individual sport athletes.

Key words: serious leisure, personality traits, sport choice, sport skill, club sports Continue reading

Ratios of Certified Athletic Trainers’ to Athletic Teams and Number of Athletes in South Carolina Collegiate Settings

Submitted by Robert Bradley1, Ed.D, ATC, SCAT*. Fred Cromartie2, Ed.D*, Jeff Briggs3 PhD.*, Fred Battenfield4, Ph.D.*, Jon Boulet5 Ph.D*.

1* Assistant Professor of Sport management at North Greenville University, Tigersville, South Carolina, 29680

2* Director of Doctoral Studies at the United States Sports Academy, Daphne, Alabama, 36526

3* Professor of Sport Management at North Greenville University, Tigersville, South Carolina, 29680

4* Professor of Sport Management at North Greenville University, Tigersville, South Carolina, 29680

5* Professor of Economics at North Greenville University, Tigersville, South Carolina, 29680

Robert Bradley is a certified athletic trainer and assistant professor at North Greenville University.  He is an expert in the financial resources of athletic training and appropriate medical coverage research.



            The National Athletic Trainers’ Association produced a recommendation for the appropriate medical coverage of college athletics back in 1998.1  The purpose was to determine how many certified athletic trainers (ATC’s) they need to have to reach the NATA’s minimum recommendation. Despite the recommendation, there has been no review of the application of this recommendation in colleges since its inception. This research was to determine the current ratios of full time athletic trainers to the number of athletic teams and student-athletes in the collegiate setting in South Carolina.


            Cross-sectional study, using an open ended questionnaire sent to the head athletic trainers or athletic directors of the 32, four year colleges in South Carolina that support intercollegiate athletic teams. The subjects represented FBS, FCS, NCAA DI no football, NCAA DII with football, NCAA DII without football, NAIA, and NCCAA schools.  Results were compared to the original results from Rankin’s survey.


            Of the 32 available schools 23 responded for a 72% return rate. The number of full time athletic trainers in South Carolina colleges and universities rose from 3.0 in 1992 to 3.6 in 2014. The ratio of student-athletes to full time athletic trainers decreased from 115/1 to 87/1.  The ratio of sports to full time athletic trainers fell from 6/1 to 4/1 in the same time period.  Public schools report more full time athletic trainers with fewer sports than their private college counterparts.


            Colleges in South Carolina are attempting to address the NATA’s Appropriate Medical Coverage statement.  The ratio of student/athletes and teams to full time athletic trainers shows an effort by schools to address the medical coverage needs of their college student athletes. Public colleges report having fewer sports and more full time athletic trainers than private colleges.

Application in sports:

            In order for colleges in South Carolina and other states to meet the standards for appropriate medical coverage as determined by the National Athletic Trainers Association, colleges will need to hire additional full time athletic trainers.

Key Words: Ratio, Medical Coverage, Public Colleges, Private Colleges Continue reading