|According to a league press release on Wednesday, the National Lacrosse League (NLL) will institute an across-the-board concussion testing policy for next season. The league also came out with a hard-line stance on high sticking and cross-checking, two moves that, at least in hockey, have garnered a lot of attention for their injurious natures recently.|
As for the concussion testing policy, the league announced that it had developed its own in-game protocol for players who have a suspected injury to be evaluated. The test will also be administered in the preseason, called baseline concussion testing, and the two scores (baseline and in-game) will be compared and evaluated to determine the likelihood of head trauma.
The crackdown on cross-checks and high sticks, on the other hand, is intended to discourage players from even attempting to get away with them. Like in ice hockey, the moves are illegal but still used frequently enough by aggressive players trying to get an edge on the competition.
The NLL's policy next season, though, will probably change that. If called, these moves will result in either a five-minute penalty or a match penalty, a.k.a. death sentence, a.k.a. you're out of the game.
NLL Vice President of Operations, Brian Lemon, said in the release, "The Competition Committee felt that by removing the middle classification of major & game misconduct penalty for high-sticking, we will create a greater deterrent for players from making contact on opponents with a high stick. Player safety is of the utmost concern to us, and the NLL will remain at the forefront of protecting its players."
There are some other similar changes as well, to do with increasing the severity of penalties for fighting and trying to discourage the practice overall by introducing suspensions for repeat offenders. Kudos to the NLL for putting players' safety first.