Contact Sports Newest Contestant

Contact sports in many’s eyes is the pinnacle of sports. Many players and fans enjoy the adrenaline fuelled grudge matches of brawn, but as more professional athletes are coming out with CTE we see the negative stigma of contact sports leading to many parents fearing of exposing children to the dangers of such brutality.

Looking for safer alternatives many players and parents are looking to alternative sports.


Rugby in the Westman region has in recent years taken off due to its low costs and inclusivity offering programs to men and women’s leagues.


Many feel uncomfortable due to the lack of equipment the sport offers, but Jane Alex manager to the Elton Sabres rugby team says “The lack of equipment adds more cation to the players leading to slower and safer hits.”


Many football players as well have been looking into the conversation concerned over their own personal safety.

(James Ried former Vincent Massey Football player and current Brandon Barbarians player.)

Football players overcompensate for their equipment leading to faster, and harder hits, often leading with their heads causing for very dangerous and unsafe contact.


Rugby offers safer tackling techniques as uncontrolled hits, or above the shoulder hits are considered illegal in the sports rules and lead to large penalties.


As more people are becoming aware of these techniques we see a shift from traditional football tackling to rugby form.


Professional football team Seattle Seahawks have recently undergone clinics to teach their players to wrap their opponents around the waist instead of shoulder charging to prevent injury.


Rugby isn’t without its own stigma though as players often try to push through injuries and put themselves into dangerous positions.


Manitoba Women’s U18 coach Shawn Sarkonick says that “safety is Rugby Manitoba’s #1 priority, having concussion protocols in place and requiring doctors permission before any contact whatsoever is allowed after returning from a head injury.”


Rugby is still a contact sport however, along with football and hockey many studies have found greatly increased risks of head injury compared to basketball, or volleyball.


It’s up to governing organizations and players interest in these sports to see any sort of change to prevent these type of injuries.


With the rise of CTE in contact sports athletes the question is posed, are these dangerous sports worth the risk?


-Justin Muirhead, ACC Newsline

This entry was posted in General.