Newton Braves Football Safety Officer...

is Coach Gregg Heller. Coach Heller has his Rutger’s SAFETY Certification, and has attended two USA Football Safety Training Seminars. Coach Heller works with our Coaches, Football Players, Cheer Participants and Volunteers to help make sure we are not only compliant with USA Football and Heads-Up Football standards but that we are operating at all levels with our players' safety, health and well-being as our first priority. If you have any questions, comments or concerns about Safety in Football and our League, please feel free to reach out to Coach Heller, at, or 973.862.5052 x725.
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NBYFL strongly recommends all athletes receive a Baseline Test at the beginning of each season.

To accurately diagnose a concussion, it helps to have measurements of the brain’s activity both before and after it has sustained injury. If an athlete suffers head trauma during the season, his or her post-concussion test is compared to the baseline to evaluate the severity of the injury.Although SIS (second-impact syndrome) is extremely rare, student athletes suffering from multiple concussions is fairly common. Therefore, baseline testing is very important for children involved in any high-energy and contact sports such as: skiing, snowboarding, hockey, skateboarding, cycling, football, basketball, gymnastics, cheerleading, soccer, lacrosse, etc.

What is BaselineTesting?

A baseline test is a series of computerized assessments that measure reaction time, memory capacity, speed of mental processing, and executive functioning of the brain. When taken each preseason, and post injury, baseline testing provides extensive information about the athlete's history with concussions. In the event that a concussion is diagnosed by a medical professional during the season, a "post-injury test is taken again by the athlete after the injury symptoms have subsided, yielding comparative scores from before and after the injury.

Why is it Important to get "Baselined?"

Baseline Tests are important piece to concussion management. Each concussion is unique, so it is important to treat individuals on a case-by-case basis. Comparing post-injury test scores of an individual to their own baseline test scores from before the concussion is considered best practice. Without a baseline test to use for comparison, an individual's post-injury test scores can only be compared to the general population.

Where can I get Baseline Tested?

There is CCAT baseline testing with organizations such as Axon Sports. The testing charge for Axon Sports baseline test is $7.50 (or $6.28 with NBYFL 15% discount code- contact to request discount code). The cost for a post-injury test is $7.50. Testing is done online and reports are saved in athlete's account for the use by any medical facility, physician and attendant.

There is
ImPACT baseline testing which is a software used by facilities, i.e. the Center for Concussion Care and Physical Rehabilitation at Overlook Medical Center in Summit and Sparta NJ. Baseline tests are taken online, and affiliated with these facilities. The baseline and post-injury tests run about $20 to $25 and a little more for a post-injury test. The tests are maintained at/by the facility and accessible to Morristown Medical Center, Overlook Medical Center and Newton Medical Center.

Important Fact:

Baseline testing of any kind is not diagnostic, it is only a tool or resource to provide to an attending physician to him or her in their assessment, treatment and management of an injury.

A Crucial Call on Concussions

By Joe Frollo (posted at USA Football)
Parents have a lot of questions about whether to let their children play youth and high school football. USA Football, the medical community and others are seeking real answers to help them make those decisions. “I think parents whose kids have played football in the past are comfortable,” Felix Festa (N.Y.) Middle School coach John Fitzgerald said told Mike Dougherty of the Westchester (N.Y.) Journal News. “The new parents, I know, are definitely showing more concern. Some kids probably had to do a little arm-twisting in order to play. One kid walked up to me and said, ‘My dad wants to know what the worst injury you’ve seen in the years that you’ve been coaching was.’ ”
Some parents are turning to the media for answers, but they aren’t getting the best information from folks whose job it is to offer opinion, according to Dr. Barry D. Jordan of the Brain Injury Program at Burke Rehabilitation in White Plains, N.Y.
Jordan said concussions aren’t limited to football, and most don’t draw news because kids recover in a week or two.
As coaches, players and parents become more educated on how to recognize and react when a concussion is suspected, young athletes will be at less risk of returning to play too early.”
“You can have a concussion in any sport,” Jordan said. “There should be concern only from the standpoint that the concussion needs to be properly managed to prevent it from lasting longer than is necessary, and also maybe predisposing that athlete to what we call Second Impact Syndrome, which is extraordinarily rare, but when it happens, it’s typically catastrophic and may result in death, so it gets a lot of publicity.
“From the standpoint of long-term consequences, as far as we can tell, the biggest risk factor for chronic brain injuries associated with repetitive concussions is exposure. The longer you play the sport, the higher risk factor you will have as far as having chronic problems. For the average high school athlete, I don’t believe that’s a significant problem.”
That’s why it’s important to include parents in the discussion – a key component of Heads Up Football.
“(Parents) need to be asking the kids questions,” said David Garrison, a Pop Warner coach for North Rockland (N.Y.) told Dougherty. “You cannot simply drop them off at practice and pick them up when it’s over. You need to ask, ‘How was practice? Did you take any hits? Was it fun?’ Symptoms from a concussion sometimes don’t show until hours later, and they need to be aware.”

football safety

Safety is the first priority

when it comes to your child's participation in sports. NBYFL is extremely serious about our Safety First risk management and providing a top quality and safe environment for all our participants. NBYFL strictly adheres to safety ruled class weight limits, provides mandatory and timed water breaks, and each team has a designated first-aid responder and first-aid kit. NBYFL mandates all coaches, who are volunteers, be finger-printed and background checked, as well as attend Rutgers' S.A.F.T.Y. Certification Clinic - with an emphasis on Sports Awareness for Educating Today's Youth. All of our coaches must complete additional mandatory continuing education credits via an accredited Youth Sports Teaching/Coaching Organization before each season.

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It is important that players, parents, teachers and coaches all be duly informed and better educated regarding safety in sports. Together we can reap the rewards of team athletics while minimizing risk to our children's safety.
quality football helmet

Whether a player uses the League issued equipment or purchases his/her own-- parents should always familiarize themselves with all the Fit Standards and Guidelines and then check and recheck for proper fit.
Speak to your levels Head Coach if you have any concerns or questions about fit.

The RIGHT equipment with the RIGHT fit are key to player safety.

football mouth guard
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Unfortunately there is no quick band aid solution to the concussion issue which exists in all sports at every level of play. However, some great strides in safety for athletes have been made recently with more knowledge, awareness, science and technology-- the industry is working earnestly on continued advancements in equipment, procedures, and methods to get as close to if not to full prevention.

Young people learn and receive so many wonderful and important benefits from participating in team sports. This is the primary reason NBYFL continues to provide programs and opportunities for our youth.

NBYFL insists on, in an environment of good-sportsmanship, top quality rated equipment and proper instruction by trained and competent coaches who emphasize, adhere to and teach safety first and foremost.

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...Facts for Parents and Players
A concussion is an injury that changes how the cells in the brain normally work.  A concussion is caused by a blow to the head or body that causes the brain to move rapidly inside the skull.  Even a “ding,” also referred to as “getting your bell rung,” or what seems to be a mild bump or blow to the head can be serious. Concussions can also result from a fall or from players colliding with each other or with obstacles, such as a goalpost.  You can’t see a concussion. Signs and symptoms of concussion can show up right after the injury or may not appear or be noticed until days or weeks after the injury.  If your child reports any symptoms of concussion, or if you notice the symptoms yourself, seek medical attention right away.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF A CONCUSSION? If your child has experienced a bump or blow to the head during a game or practice, look for any of the following signs and symptoms of a concussion:

Signs Observed by Players or Guardians
  • Appears dazed or stunned
  • Is confused about assignment or position
  • Forgets an instruction
  • Is unsure of game, score, or opponent
  • Moves clumsily
  • Answers questions slowly
  • Loses consciousness (even briefly)
  • Shows behavior or personality changes
  • Can’t recall events prior to hit or fall
  • Can’t recall events after hit or fall

Symptoms Reported by Athlete
  • Headache or “pressure” in head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Balance problems or dizziness
  • Double or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Feeling sluggish, hazy, foggy, or groggy
  • Concentration or memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Does not “feel right”
HOW CAN YOU HELP PREVENT A CONCUSSION?  Every sport is different, but there are steps you can take to protect yourselves from concussion.
  • Ensure that you follow your coach’s rules for safety and the rules of the sport.
  • Practice good sportsmanship at all times.
  • Always wear the right protective equipment you are issued (such as helmets, padding, and eye and mouth guards).  Protective equipment should fit properly, be well maintained, and be worn consistently and correctly.  (Note: The helmet, while it helps, does not itself prevent concussions or other head injuries. Proper fundamentals, safe play, cannot be overemphasized.)
  • Learn the signs and symptoms of a concussion.
1.   Seek medical attention right away. A health care professional will be able to decide how serious the concussion is and when it is safe for your child to return to sports.
2.   Keep your child out of play. Concussions take time to heal. Do not return your child to play until a health care professional says it’s OK. Children who return to play too soon—while the brain is still healing—risk a greater chance of having a second concussion. Second or later concussions can be very serious. They can cause permanent brain damage, affecting your child for a lifetime.
3.   Tell your Coach about any recent concussion. Coaches should know if your child had a recent concussion in ANY sport. Your coach may not know about a concussion your child received in another sport or activity unless you tell the coach.

ROCHESTER, MINN. -- A Mayo Clinic study of youth football showed that most injuries that occurred were mild, older players appeared to be at a higher risk and that no significant correlation exists between body weight and injury. The study, which appears in the April issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, found that the data for athletes grades four through eight indicated that the risk of injury in youth football does not appear greater than the risk associated with other recreational or competitive sports. "Our analysis showed that youth football injuries are uncommon," said Michael J. Stuart, M.D., a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon and the principal author of the study. Dr. Stuart and his colleagues studied 915 players aged 9 to 13 years, who participated on 42 football teams in the fall of 1997. Injury incidence, prevalence and severity were calculated for each grade level and player position. Additional analyses examined the number of injuries according to body weight. A game injury was defined as any football-related ailment that occurred on the field during a game that kept a player out of competition for the reminder of the game, required the attention of a physician, and included all concussion, lacerations, as well as dental, eye and nerve injuries. The researchers found a total of 55 injuries occurred in games during the season — a prevalence of six percent. Incidence of injury expressed as injury per 1,000 player-plays was lowest in the fourth grade (.09 percent), increased for the fifth, sixth and seventh grades (.16 percent, .16 percent, .15 percent respectively) and was highest in the eighth grade (.33 percent). Most of the injuries were mild and the most common type was a contusion, which occurred in 33 players. Four injuries (fractures involving the ankle growth plate) were such that they prevented players from participating for the rest of the season. No player required hospitalization or surgery. The study's authors said risk increases with level of play (grade in school) and player age. Older players in the higher grades are more susceptible to football injuries. The risk of injury for an eighth-grade player was four times greater than the risk of injury for a fourth-grade player. Potential contributing factors include increased size, strength, speed and aggressiveness. Analysis of body weight indicated that lighter players were not at increased risk for injury, and in fact heavier players had a slightly higher prevalence of injury. This trend was not statistically significant. Running backs are at greater risk when compared with other football positions, the researchers reported. Other authors who contributed to the study include: Michael A. Morrey, Ph.D., Aynsley M. Smith, RN, Ph.D., John K. Meis, M.S., all from the Mayo Clinic Sports Medicine Center and Cedric J. Ortiguera, M.D., a Mayo Clinic orthopedic surgeon in Jacksonville, Fla. Mayo Clinic Proceedings is a peer-reviewed and indexed general internal medicine journal, published for 75 years by Mayo Foundation, with a circulation of 130,000 nationally and internationally.Contact: John Murph |507-538-1385 (days) | 507-284-2511 (evenings) | e-mail:
knowledge awareness safety

Safety is enhanced with
Knowledge and Preparation.


should start
and games

stretching safety

Conditioning, Proper Nutrition, Sleep Wellness, Heat Preparedness, Hydration, Proper-Fitting Equipment -
All important factors adding to health safety for athletes.

When you have confidence,
you can have a lot of fun.
And when you have fun,
you can do amazing things.
--Joe Namath
(*1943, former NFL quarterback)

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SLEEP!... It's critical.

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