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TORONTO — The Canadian Football League in consultation with the CFL Medical Committee will introduce several health and safety measures this season.
“Our players are our game’s greatest ambassadors, both on and off the field,” said CFL Commissioner Randy Ambrosie. “We must continue to explore new equipment, technology and best practices to help ensure they are physically and emotionally able to have long and successful careers.
“As athletes evolve through better nutrition, training regimens and a clearer understanding of the human body, so too will our game. As a league, we must embrace that evolution and work with our players to create an exciting and competitive, but safe, football environment.”
The new measures are slated to be put in place during CFL Training Camps.
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HEALTH AND SAFETY MEASURES
For the 2023 season, the CFL has mandated use of the Guardian Cap by offensive and defensive linemen, running backs and linebackers during CFL Training Camps, as well as all contact practices during the regular season. Players at other positions may choose to wear the product, but they are not mandated to do so.
The Guardian Cap is a padded shell affixed to the outside of the helmet. Research has shown that when worn by one player, the Guardian Cap reduces the severity of impact by at least a 10 per cent reduction, and by at least 20 per cent when worn by both players.
Beginning this season, clubs will have collapsible tents on the bench that will be used for medical assessments and/or examinations. The tents create a distraction-free environment to help ensure examinations are carried out thoroughly, while also providing privacy for players.
Tents will be visible on both benches at each game and will only be raised when needed.
Pre-game Medical Meeting
The league has made enhancements to the pregame medical meeting. In addition to medical personnel, the pre-game meeting has been expanded to include representation from key stakeholders, including but not limited to, security, and staff from the venue operations and game presentation departments.
In the event of a medical emergency, the personnel team will be well-aligned as they expedite care for affected individual(s).
Medical Staff training
In addition to the training required to satisfy professional requirements, staff from all nine clubs gathered in the off-season to complete additional advanced professional development courses including, but not limited to:
Additionally, staff working with players in strength and conditioning or physical performance capacities must now hold the certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS) designation offered by the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA).
The league is involved in several ongoing and upcoming scientific research studies with Dalhousie University, Concordia University, McGill University, University of Manitoba, University of Alberta, University of Victoria and The University of British Columbia. Studies range in topics from the effective use of various equipment and technologies in the prevention and rehabilitation of injury, to injury surveillance and correlation analyses with performance optimization.