As the regional round of state high school football tournament games kick off tonight, Indianapolis continues to be a hub for efforts and research designed to make sports safer. The nonprofit Datalys Center is headquartered in the city and serves as an independent provider of data and research on sports injuries. Recent national attention has focused on several football-related deaths since September. Datalys Center Sports Injury Researcher Zack Kerr says the organization is constantly working toward ways to mitigate risks.
During an interview on Inside INdiana Business Television, Kerr said the risk of head injuries gets more attention in contact sports like football, but it’s important to consider all sports "in unison."
Kerr adds deaths from youth sports injuries are still "very rare" in the wide scope of youth sports and says there is more to be done to educate players, parents and coaches on the risks as well as create policies to make competition safer.
At any given time, Datalys Center Inc. has multiple, long-range and long-term injury studies in progress. Some include:
- NCAA Injury Surveillance Program, which has been ongoing since 2009
- High School NATION Program, which has been ongoing since 2010
- Youth Football Safety Study, which has been ongoing since 2012
- Project Concussion Assessment Research and Education, or CARE, which has been ongoing since 2014
- Lacrosse Study Tracking Injuries and Concussions in Kids, known as LAX-STICK
The organization was launched as a collaboration among the NCAA, American College of Sports Medicine and BioCrossroads