The University Interscholastic League, Texas' governing body for public high school sports and NFHS member, is partnering with the O'Donnell Brain Institute at UT Southwestern Medical Center on the nation's largest effort to track brain injuries among young athletes. The project aims to gauge whether rules or equipment changes are improving player safety and what more can be done to protect athletes.
The Texas program will track Texas' 800,000 student-athletes in about two dozen sports from football to girls' soccer, recording what caused an injury, recovery time and other data.
The Texas study will collect more concussion data than has been gathered before, UIL deputy director Jamey Harrison said. Currently, only one school from each district is required to report concussions as part of a weekly injury reporting system, though each school in the football playoffs is required to report concussions.
"Right now, it's a sample that is just a snapshot. It's not scientific," Harrison said. "We need to move beyond that."