(Update at 7:25 p.m.)—Deerfield High School football Coach Steve Winiecki likes the effort of state Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) to limit athletic injuries but also agrees with Lake Forest High School Coach Chuck Spagnoli the approach might not be the right way to go.
“I applaud her concern over the safety of athletes but it’s very difficult to know how (the law will) define tackling,” Winiecki said. “At Deerfield we teach form tackling,” he said, wondering if those drills would be limited to once a week.
Should the law be passed, Winiecki also expressed apprehension some coaches might put too much emphasis on a lot of contact at once. “If they do drills that are just hitting, hitting, hitting it’s physiologically worse for the body,” he said.
When told Spagnoli’s concerns if tackling skills are not practiced consistently, Winiecki agreed. “He’s 100 percent correct,” Winiecki said.
(Update at 3:45 a.m.)—Lake Forest High School football Coach Chuck Spagnoli criticized proposed legislation by state Rep. Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills) to limit tackling practice to once a week.
Spagnoli opposes the idea because he believes drills designed to teach players proficiency at football skills must be accomplished on a consistent basis to have them done well and avoid injury.
“The idea is to avoid injuries,” Spagnoli said. “If you want to do that (tackling and other skills) must be taught, practiced and executed consistently like anything else you do.”
(Earlier at 1:09 p.m.)—About 100 people attended a community forum Monday at Vernon Hills High School on the dangers of concussions and brain injuries triggered by school sports, football in particular, reported the Vernon Hills Review.
The forum, which included coaches, players, parents and a seven-member panel of athletic and medical experts, was hosted by 59th District State Rep. Carol Sente, whose House Bill 1205 calls for increased sports safety measures.
One of the goals of Monday's forum was for Sente to get feedback to help her determine how to proceed with the legislation.
Neuropsychologist Beth Pieroth, of NorthShore University Health System, said the medical community disputes current criteria used to diagnose concussions, according to the Vernon Hills Review.
"Plenty of guys who play football, even professionally, have no injuries or problems," Pieroth said. "Some people are predisposed to injuries. In 10 years, we will be genetically testing kids to see if they are susceptible to certain injuries."
Resident Bart Newman said he was injured playing college football and continued to play because no one noticed any difference. He said coaches and parents can't rely on athletes to tell them when something is wrong, reported the Vernon Hills Review.
The National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) recently approved new rules for the 2013 football season in an effort to minimize player injuries related to helmets coming off during games, reported Patch.