Heading off concussions
Professor James Hicks, director of UCI’s Exercise Medicine & Sport Sciences Initiative, leads novel probe of impact injuries in water polo
As a result of ongoing probes into the short- and long-term effects of concussions in football, other sports are looking into whether additional steps can be taken to protect their athletes. Among them is water polo, and a novel research venture that includes UC Irvine scientists, coaches and athletes is helping.
The effort got rolling when James Hicks – a scientist, avid fan and father of three sons who played the sport – searched an NCAA database for concussion information related to water polo. But his inquiry came up empty.
“There was none,” says Hicks, professor of ecology & evolutionary biology at UC Irvine. “And given UCI’s historic place in the sport and the collaborative mission of the university, it became clear that we should take on this issue.”