Why We Need Hit Counts in Football

Sean Gregory @seanmgregory

Oct. 12, 2015

CARE researcher Stefan Duma was quoted by Sean Gregory in a recent Times article.

We already count pitches in baseball to save arms. It’s time to track hits in football to save lives.

As the risks of concussions and other brain trauma from playing football have become clearer, leagues have tried to limit the bone-rattling thwacks that were once celebrated by cheering spectators. Yet researchers increasingly believe that football-related head trauma is more likely to result from multiple–and often perfectly legal–hits, rather than a single shot. Which means the danger of playing football is as much in the accumulation of small hits to the head as it is the stomach-churning big one. And yet no major organization at any level of the game, from Pop Warner to the NFL, has a mechanism in place for counting the number of blows players take to the head.

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