Water polo modified Nathan Allen’s lifestyles for the higher. The Palatine High School junior wasn’t an awful lot of an athlete when he turned into younger, however, he determined a place in a sport that, to the spectator, seems like a move among a water ballet and a mugging. The physicality and competitiveness transformed him, and he now plans to sign up for the Marine Corps after high school.
It has been an excellent enjoy, keep for one trouble: He continues getting hit within the head.
Allen, an 18-yr-antique goalie, had one identified concussion his freshman year and suffered two other extensive blows. Since then, he has taken numerous other painful shots.
“If the ball ricochets off the returned of the (goalpost), it may hit me within the lower back of the top,” he stated. “That’s the primary hassle.”
Water polo is more and more famous in Illinois, which fields extra high faculty groups than any nation other than California. As with many other sports activities, even though, athletes, coaches and mother, and father are an increasing number of cautious of head injuries induced both by the ball and speak to with different gamers.
James Hicks, director of the University of California at Irvine’s Center for Exercise Medicine and Sports Sciences, has observed that just over a third of water polo gamers say they’ve suffered a concussion for the duration of their careers. For goalies, it’s close to half of.

In another study, posted just this month, Hicks used sensors inner players’ caps to locate that they mechanically go through head impacts throughout games and practices. Players on the middle positions, who batter every different looking to get ownership of the ball, regarded the most vulnerable.
Hicks stated he can’t compare water polo’s concussion chance with higher known sports activities due to the fact he has no data on the rate — how many injuries arise consistent with 1,000 games or practices. Nor can he say how the head affects he measured, none of which resulted in an identified concussion, affected the athlete’s mind features.
But he said he’s doing extra studies into how the brain works the following head effect, hoping to one day expand an early caution machine so that it will permit coaches to sit gamers earlier than extreme issues start.
“Our aim is not to prevent the sport,” he said. “I’m a massive fan of water polo. I assume it’s a high-quality game. We’re simply looking for out what’s taking place in the game, what the dangers are and how we manipulate those risks.”
Though water polo has constantly been acknowledged for its roughness — its maximum well-known game, played between the Soviet Union and Hungary at the 1956 Olympics, is called the “Blood inside the Water” in shape — an ongoing lawsuit claims that precautions have been insufficient.

The mother of a teenage player says her daughter received a concussion whilst gambling goalie all through a 2014 match, best to be despatched returned out for greater punishment.
The youngster quickly confirmed signs and symptoms of the submit-concussion syndrome, in line with the lawsuit. Her symptoms, which included dizziness, nausea, and complications, have been so terrible that she had to stay out of school for the relaxation of the 12 months, the lawsuit says.
The woman’s mom claims USA Water Polo, the sport’s governing frame, had no concussion management coverage for teens gamers notwithstanding having one for the countrywide crew. The case continues to be being litigated.
USA Water Polo declined to remark, however, its website now includes a “concussion action plan” that advises coaches to remove athletes from play till they are cleared by using a fitness care expert.

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