PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of jathtrainLink to Publisher's site
 
J Athl Train. 1992; 27(2): 120-122, 124.
PMCID: PMC1317148

The Incidence of Spearing by High School Football Ball Carriers and Their Tacklers

Abstract

This study established the cumulative incidence per season of ball carrier spearing and concurrent defensive spearing by tacklers on a New Jersey high school football team. Spearing, which involves flexing the neck and initiating contact with the top of the helmet, is a significant cause of injury to the head and neck of a football player. To reduce the risk of head and neck injuries in football, all avenues of spearing must be explored. Nine game films from the 1989 football season were reviewed to determine the incidence of ball carrier spearing and concurrent defensive spearing. There were 167 incidents of ball carrier spearing (1 per 5.1 plays) and 72 incidents of concurrent defensive spearing (1 per 2.3 ball carrier spears), although no spearing penalties were called. This study detected a surprisingly high cumulative incidence of ball carrier spearing and concurrent defensive spearing, along with poor enforcement of the rule banning spearing.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.6M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Albright JP, McAuley E, Martin RK, Crowley ET, Foster DT. Head and neck injuries in college football: an eight-year analysis. Am J Sports Med. 1985 May-Jun;13(3):147–152. [PubMed]
  • Buckley WE. Concussions in college football. A multivariate analysis. Am J Sports Med. 1988 Jan-Feb;16(1):51–56. [PubMed]
  • Mueller FO, Blyth CS. Fatalities from head and cervical spine injuries occurring in tackle football: 40 years' experience. Clin Sports Med. 1987 Jan;6(1):185–196. [PubMed]
  • Torg JS. Epidemiology, pathomechanics, and prevention of athletic injuries to the cervical spine. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1985 Jun;17(3):295–303. [PubMed]
  • Torg JS, Quedenfeld TC, Moyer RA, Truex R, Spealman AD, Nichols CE. Severe and catastrophic neck injuries resulting from tackle football. J Am Coll Health Assoc. 1977 Apr;25(4):224–226. [PubMed]
  • Torg JS, Sennett B, Vegso JJ. Spinal injury at the level of the third and fourth cervical vertebrae resulting from the axial loading mechanism: an analysis and classification. Clin Sports Med. 1987 Jan;6(1):159–183. [PubMed]
  • Torg JS, Vegso JJ, Sennett B. The National Football Head and Neck Injury Registry: 14-year report on cervical quadriplegia (1971-1984). Clin Sports Med. 1987 Jan;6(1):61–72. [PubMed]
  • Virgin H. Cineradiographic study of football helmets and the cervical spine. Am J Sports Med. 1980 Sep-Oct;8(5):310–317. [PubMed]
  • Watkins RG. Neck injuries in football players. Clin Sports Med. 1986 Apr;5(2):215–246. [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of Athletic Training are provided here courtesy of National Athletic Trainers Association