Analyzing Hair Pulling in Athletics

Authors: Laura Ruhala, Richard Ruhala, Emerald Alexis, E. Scott Martin

Corresponding Author:
Laura Ruhala, Ph.D.
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Kennesaw State University
1100 S. Marietta Pkwy
Marietta, GA 30060

Dr. Laura Ruhala is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kennesaw State University. Her research topics include biomechanics and engineering pedagogical techniques. She is an active member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American Society for Engineering Education. She enjoys collaborating with her husband and colleague, Dr. Richard Ruhala.

Analyzing Hair Pulling in Athletics

This paper investigates biomechanical and ethical issues surrounding long hair in athletics, with a focus on the population of athletes in the National Football League (NFL), the professional organization for American football, who is most affected. Background on the NFL rules regarding player hair length is described. Unlike grabbing a player’s facemask, it is not a penalty to grab and pull hair under certain situations in the NFL. The 2,905 players listed on rosters as of June 2015, are analyzed by their age, NFL units, positions, hair length, and style. Trends in player hair length are illustrated, and it is found that nearly ¾ of players with long hair, defined as long enough to reach their jersey, wear them in a dreadlock style. Three documented case studies of extreme hair pulling incidents by tackling in the NFL are described. A case study of hair tackling in women’s college soccer is also described. An engineering analysis is conducted to estimate the amount of force applied to a player’s hair during an actual NFL hair tackle. The forces are a function of the angle at which the hair is grabbed, and at some angles, the impulsive force applied to a player’s head and neck may exceed 500 pounds. Finally, the ethics behind hair tackles are investigated: both looking at the responsibility of the NFL for its players, as well as player sportsmanship.
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The Need for Law Enforcement Wellness Interventions: A Critical Review

Authors: Jason Williams, Vincent Ramsey

Corresponding Author:
Jason J. Williams MSBM
1 Academy Drive
Daphne, Alabama 36526
251-626-3303 x7151

Contributing Author:
Vincent K. Ramsey, Ph.D.
1 Academy Drive
Daphne, Alabama 36526
251-626-3303 x7154

Jason Williams is a Doctoral Teaching Assistant at the United States Sports Academy. His research interests include strength and conditioning for special populations, linear speed, and power development.

Dr. Vincent Ramsey is Chair of Sports Exercise Science at the United States Sports Academy. Prior to his employment to the Academy, Dr. Ramsey spent 10 years as a lecturer at the University of North Georgia for the Department of Health and Physical Education and Recreation.

Police work is a paradox between two contrasting realities. One reality encompasses a sedentary environment comprised of long periods of sitting and inactivity. However, the other encompasses life and death situations often necessitating maximum intensity physical exertion. This unique environment along with other factors contribute to alarming health consequences including, but not limited to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, hypertension, alcohol and drug abuse, as well as mental health issues. Intervention programs involving physical fitness, nutrition counseling, general wellness, stress management, and drug and alcohol education have shown promise with combatting the health maladies common to law enforcement. This review explores some of those successes and offers recommendations for high level decision makers capable of instituting transformational change. Although a more holistic approach to wellness is optimal, the primary focus is of this review is given to strength and conditioning intervention. Police are the lifeblood of law and order, vital to the health of communities. Creating holistic and practical wellness programs that meet the needs of law enforcement agents is a social responsibility and critical for this essential member of society.
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Review and Commentary of the Nutritional Recommendations, Weight Management Regulations, Weight Management Practices, and the Potential of Disordered Eating Patterns in High School Age Wrestlers

Author: Chandler Knox, Graduate Student, Mississippi State University
Page Love, MS, RD, CSSD, LD NutriFit Sport Therapy Inc. Atlanta, Georgia

Corresponding Author: Terezie Mosby Ed.D, MS, RD, LD, FAND Mississippi State University
Mailing Address: Herzer Building Box 9805 Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762
Office: 662-325-3200

The purpose of this article is to review the nutritional recommendations, the weight management practices, and the weight management regulations of high school wrestlers. Serving as a commentary on how these influences coupled with the perceived demand for lean body composition for better performance can relate to disordered eating patterns in high school wrestlers. Wrestling creates a high caloric demand while at the same time wrestlers practice restrictive dietary behaviors. Extreme weight loss behaviors performed by wrestlers have been observed. Nutritional recommendations are primarily made by athletic coaches who are not properly trained in nutrition and weight management. This can lead to the acceptance by the wrestler to practice poor behaviors related to food and nutrition. There is a need to properly evaluate and educate the coaches and athletes on nutrition, and weight management. Such education is necessary for the health of the athlete as they progress through the season, and through growth and development.
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Effects of Sitting versus Standing after an Active Warm-Up on Vertical Jump Performance

Corresponding and First Author: H. Scott Strohmeyer, Ph.D.
Morrow 137
Department of Nutrition and Kinesiology
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, MO 64093

H. Scott Strohmeyer is a Professor in the Department of Nutrition and Kinesiology at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg, MO.

Second Author: Jean Eckrich, Ph.D.
Exercise and Sport Sciences Department
541 Main Street
Colby-Sawyer College
New London, NH 03257

Jean Eckrich is a professor in the Exercise and Sport Sciences Department at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH.

There is significant interest concerning the effect of various warm-up protocols on performance. Efforts also have focused on warm-up decrements that occur with sports that have a halftime such as soccer or wait times associated with swimming events. However, player substitutes in many sports have significant periods of inactivity after the warm-up prior to their entry into competition. In some sports, the practice is for players to sit when not in the game, while other sports have substitutes stand. The evidence to determine if there are differences in performance based on sitting versus standing is lacking. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to compare the effects of standing versus sitting over time on vertical jump performance after an active warm-up period. Thirty-five participants participated in three different testing sessions where they were to stand, sit, or continue exercising after their warm-up. Treatment order was randomly assigned. Following warm-up, baseline standing vertical jump data for that testing session was collected. Standing vertical jump performance was then tested every 10 minutes for an hour to track performance degradation for a total of seven vertical jumps each session. Repeated measures found no differences at baseline or 10 minutes across conditions. However, there were significant differences at 20, 30, 40, 50, and 60 minutes with the vertical jump performances for the exercise condition better than the sitting or standing conditions. No differences in vertical jump performances were found between sitting and standing trials. While there are other measures to consider, these findings failed to find differences between sitting and standing on vertical jump performances after an active warm-up.
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Improving Amateur Indoor Rock Climbing Performance Using a Changing Criterion Design Within a Self-Management Program

Brett E. Furlonger*, Andrew Oey*, Dennis W. Moore*, Margherita Busacca* & Douglas Scott*.

*Faculty of Education, Monash University

Correspondence concerning this manuscript should be addressed to Dr. Brett Furlonger, Krongold Centre, Faculty of Education, Monash University, Clayton Campus, Melbourne, Australia 3800. Phone: + 61 3 99059173. Fax: +61 99055127. Email:

The authors state that this manuscript has not been published or submitted simultaneously for publication elsewhere.

Despite the popularity of indoor rock climbing there is little information on how amateur climbers can improve their performance. A single-case experimental design with baseline, intervention, and post intervention phases was conducted using a changing criterion design within a self-management program. Discrete exercise training and combined training methods were trialled, with the effects of both on actual rock climbing compared. All discrete exercises improved over baseline; Powerball grip 45%, open-handed pull-ups by 50% and multi-stage fitness 35%. There was, however, no observable improvement in climbing performance. In contrast combined training led to a 40% improvement in climbing performance. For amateurs wishing to improve their recreational indoor rock climbing ability, practicing the task holistically rather than by training discrete skills in isolation may prove to be more effective.

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