The Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention in Indianapolis is widening its scope. The organization is expanding its data collection platform to include youth, high school and amateur sports throughout the country. July 29, 2013

News Release

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention announces the expansion of its sports injury data collection platform to go beyond collegiate sports to include youth, high school, and amateur sports programs across the country. Over the past six years, the Datalys Center has expanded its platform to include programs for the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA), National Athletic Trainers’ Association Foundation and USA Football, Inc. with immediate plans to expand into other youth sports.

Recognizing the combination of Indiana’s strong and plentiful life sciences assets and the state’s long history in sports and amateur athletics, BioCrossroads, along with the NCAA and American College of Sports Medicine, identified, organized and launched the Datalys Center as a sports centered life sciences initiative to collect and analyze injury, health outcomes, and performance data related to sports. Since inception in 2006, the organization has successfully advanced the understanding of sports injury and prevention through the development of a multi-platform model that collects and analyzes sports injury and outcome data for athletes ranging from youth to collegiate level.

“After a modest start in this arena, Datalys Center has proven its metal by duplicating the methodologies of research and data collection to make the program widely available in a number of applications to improve sports centered life sciences,” said David Johnson, President and CEO of BioCrossroads, Indiana’s initiative for investment, development and advancement of the state’s signature life sciences strengths. “They're efforts have garnered national support from reputable organizations putting Indiana on the map for sports centered life sciences.”

The organization’s first engagement came in the form of a contract with the NCAA to continue and expand its Injury Surveillance program. Today, that program collects and analyzes data from nearly 700 individual teams in 25 sports at nearly 200 universities to report sports injuries to the NCAA. Since the first engagement with the NCAA, the Datalys Center has successfully expanded the platform through contracts with the National Athletic Trainers’ Association Foundation to create the National Athletic Treatment, Injury and Outcomes Network (NATA NATION) which involves nearly 100 high schools including 27 sports; and with the USA Football, Inc. for the Youth Football Safety Study to collect data from nearly 2,000 youth players from 10 leagues across six states. The Youth Football Safety Study initiated in 2012 was recently extended another year.

“We’ve been able to build a data collection methodology and protocol that enables scientific investigation of injuries and outcomes related to physical activities that can be used across a wide spectrum of athletes,” said Tom Dompier, President and Epidemiologist for Datalys Center. “The implications of this longitudinal platform mean we can compare injuries across all sports, all ages, and at all levels of play so we can begin to make legitimate comparisons about specific injuries.”

Dompier added that being able to identify and compare how frequently injuries occur across this wide spectrum of activities and age groups translates to a deeper understanding of human physiology as it relates to injury and treatment outcomes and even toward injury prevention measures in the future. The Datalys Center is now in discussions with US Youth Soccer, USA Hockey and US Lacrosse with the hopes to develop partnerships like the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, USA Football, Inc. and the NCAA to begin collecting data on injuries and outcomes using the same model in those sports for both boys and girls.

“In a very short time, the Datalys Center has become a nationally recognized leader in sports injury research and surveillance,” said Jim Whitehead, CEO and Executive Vice President of the American College of Sports Medicine and Chairman of the Board for Datalys Center. “We have a great vision for continued growth and expansion across more sports and varying age athletes so that sports injuries can be prevented where possible and have better outcomes for treatment when they do occur.”

The organization has recruited important talent to Indiana through the hire of two PhD and two master’s level scientists along with other staff, consultants and volunteers. Datalys Center is now in discussions with national youth (boys and girls) soccer, lacrosse and hockey organizations to implement similar programs to the Youth Football Safety Study and has a long term vision of incorporating professional sports down the road.

Source: Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention

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