Just throwing my perspective as a skater parent into this conversation. My daughter competed in senior pairs many years ago, and she had a scary accident during a lift at a competition. During their free skate, her partner dropped her head first from their last lift because his shoulder became dislocated. Fortunately he grabbed her as best he could with his other arm as he was falling backwards, which slowed her down, and she put her forearm in front of her head to cushion the blow as she hit the ice. Both skaters were down but conscious, and she got up right away on her own. They finished the skating routine, and he popped his shoulder back into place. It was ugly but the skaters got up on their own and were not concussed. I believe if the skaters are not unconscious and are able to get up on their own, they should be allowed to continue skating if they feel able to do so. However, anytime someone is unconscious, they should not be moved and a medic should be called. A spine or neck injury is a real possibility.
During practices (over many years), my daughter had two collisions with other skaters that resulted in mild concussions. Her vision went black and in one case she couldn't hear out of one ear. Her coach and other skaters immediately stopped skating and waited for her to get up and over to the boards. That was the end of her skating for a week or so and she went to the doctor and had a head scan. If this type of thing had happened during competition, I would have wanted her to withdraw.
I also witnessed a senior pair skater (who later became an Olympian) in competition have her shoulder dislocate on a death spiral, and her partner pushed it back into place and they finished their program. Gruesome and incredible at the same time!!! There is no reason for a referee to stop a program unless a skater is seriously injured (e.g. unconscious, bleeding heavily) and cannot continue.
That definitely crossed my mind- that the hair bun might have mitigated the impact somewhat... though I did not feel up to re-watching the video to make sure.(Don't think I'm crazy, but can anyone else tell if the bun in Ashley's hair might have protected her when she fell?)
@Jozet Of the 4 local rinks that I’ve used, only one has an EMT on site at all times. One of the other rinks is literally next door to a fire station, so that probably counts. At the other two, I guess it’s best to skate when there’s high school hockey practice on another sheet so you know there’s someone in the building who knows what they’re doing.
Qualifying comps are required to have a medical person on site. However, that person doesn't have to be a physician, they could be a PT (they are cheaper, I remember someone on the organizing committee for Adult Easterns a few years ago told me they were doing that, to hold down the expense). But PTs are trained in concussion protocol like any other medical staff so they would be able to recognize symptoms, etc.
Club comps aren't. I remember at my club's comp about 7-8 years ago, an ice dancer (lower level) fell out of a lift and hit her head. They stopped skating (i wasn't watching so I don't know if it was the skaters or coaches who made that call, I think the skater got up and walked off the ice, prob with partner helping) and an ambulance was called. Luckily, one of the judges is an EMT so he sat with her and her mom until the ambulance arrived. Ultimately, the ER did not recommend a CT scan b/c of the long-term risks and the kid ended up being OK, thank goodness. I remember they competed at Easterns that year.
Won't this be moot with the new qualifying structure because skaters will have more than one opportunity to qualify for the next level event?... you don't want refs to be wishy washy about making those calls because they either don't want to prevent a skater from going on to the next round of competition or they don't want to go through the hassle of a grievance. Maybe there could be a special bye for injuries that happen in the course of competing, meaning a doctor needs to release the skater before further competition.
You're not crazy, I had the same thought about Ashley's bun. (Unless we're both crazy!) But I don't think she hit that part of her head.
Horse shows have to have medical personnel and a vet.Are figure skating competitions at any level required to have medical personnel on hand? There was just a study done by Seattle Children's Research Institute where they put an athletic trainer who was trained in recognizing and diagnosing concussions and at every single practice and game for the Northwest Junior Football League. Turns out 5 out of every 100 kids experienced a concussion during the playing season; previous studies which relied on incomplete data underestimated the incidence by 4%.
Now, football is NOT figure skating (duh), but I'd imagine similar increases in incidence would be not unexpected if there were someone at every practice and competition, looking at head hits. Right now, it's coaches (trained to recognize concussions?) or parents making the call whether or not to put kids back on the ice; adults and teens who skate on their own making their own calls.
Again, just reiterating what we all seem to be saying, but overall, there needs to be far more education, and with minors, someone taking charge of not letting kids back on the ice and protecting them from "overzealous" coaches and parents.
I think I've mentioned this elsewhere, but research shows that one concussion predisposes you to additional concussions. One concussion increases the risk of suicide twofold -- within 10 years for a child, within 5-7 years for an adult. A head hit is nothing to "guess" about -- any incidental contact with the ice, another skater, the boards and skaters should be brainwashed (so to speak) to take themselves off the ice for 48 hours for a "wait and see."
And I absolutely do not blame Tim or Ashley for this...although ref? WTH? USFSA is not banging this drum. However, they had better start now, and loudly.
I can understand he was probably scared seeing her out like that and, maybe for his own reasons, wanted to make sure that she wasn't seriously injured...which is why he picked her up after about a nanosecond rather than allowing her to get up on her own...or even open her eyes for that matter. It was almost like he was assuring himself that she was okay without taking and time to actually see if she was okay.
It should be a rule after a fall like that the partner is not allowed to pick the skater up unless the skater is clearly awake and attempting to stand on their own.