A concussion is a serious traumatic brain injury. Athletes usually suffer a concussion when they fall or collide with each other or with an object such as a goalpost. Concussion often occurs without the athlete losing consciousness.
Symptoms reported by athletes who have suffered a concussion include headache, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or noise. Athletes with a concussion may appear dazed and forgetful. They can also experience mood swings and personality changes in the long term.
Children and adolescents are more likely than adults to have a concussion and take longer to recover. And athletes who have previously had a concussion are more likely to undergo a new one. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has developed a four-step action plan for coaches who suspect one of their athletes has suffered a concussion.
While the total number of injuries in school sports has decreased since 2005, the total number of concussions has increased by 87%. Concussion can happen to athletes in any sport. Some high school sports, especially soccer, account for a higher percentage of current concussion rates than others.
Neural Effects analyzed data from the National High School Sports Injury Surveillance Study, which collects injury data from nine common high school sports, to determine the frequency of concussion for each. Neural Effects used data from 2018-19 to account for the cancellation of spring sports in 2020.