Datalys Center established by NCAA, BioCrossroads and ACSM

Indianapolis, April 15, 2008 — As the weather grows warmer, baseball and softball leagues swing into action, soccer and tennis matches start up and cyclists and runners hit the road. The health benefits are substantial for those who regularly participate in sports and physical activity. But unfortunately, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 10,000 emergency room visits per day are the result of participation in sports, recreation or exercise. That’s 3.65 million ER trips per year. How can those injuries be reduced?

The Datalys Center (www.datalyscenter.org), a new national non-profit research center formed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), BioCrossroads, and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), will answer that question by conducting research and providing surveillance expertise to support the sports injury information needs of academic researchers, sports governing organizations, and the broader sports medicine community. The Datalys Center also will serve the general public, media, policy-makers, and all those interested in promoting safe and injury-free participation in sports and physical activity for millions of Americans of all ages. Through the analysis of sports participation, injury and treatment data, the Datalys Center’s mission is to produce and enable significant progress toward better prevention, public health and sports medicine outcomes.

“The goal of the Datalys Center is to create the leading sports injury research, data collection and translation center in the world,” said Troy Hege, President of the Datalys Center. “The data and its translation are the foundation for the development of programs, policies, rules and education aimed at preventing, mitigating and treating sports injuries more effectively. In addition, the Center will be an educational vehicle for sports and exercise medicine and health promotion.”

The Datalys Center will build on and evolve from the NCAA’s Injury Surveillance System (ISS). The NCAA will continue its involvement with sports injury surveillance as the Center’s first collaborative partner. The NCAA has been collecting injury and exposure data from a sample of NCAA institutions in a variety of sports for 25 years. This effort, which has resulted in the creation of the largest ongoing collegiate sports injury database in the world, has established the NCAA as a leader in student-athlete injury surveillance and prevention, and the Datalys Center will continue the NCAA’s prominence in this area. The NCAA sport and policy committees have used the data as the underpinning for evidence-based decision making on health and safety issues.

For example, the NCAA has used its injury surveillance data in policy discussions related to:

  • 1995 rules modifications and a point of emphasis in men’s ice hockey for the officials on reducing hitting from behind and contact to the head.
  • 1997 NCAA Bylaw modifications addressing the use of permissible equipment and player contact in spring football practices to reduce the risk of injury.
  • 2003 NCAA Bylaws modifications for football fall pre-season practice day schedules to reduce the risk of injury.
  • 2003 rules modifications in women’s lacrosse mandating protective eyewear to reduce the risk of injury.

“By seeding the Datalys Center with some of our tools and injury surveillance capabilities, these resources will now be available to a much broader community,” said Robert Vowels, Vice President of Educational Services, NCAA. “In addition, this access and the development of new research services and capabilities will advance our own health and safety efforts in collegiate athletics.”

The ACSM and BioCrossroads, Indiana’s initiative to grow the life sciences, also were involved in organizing the new research initiative.

“The science of sports medicine is an intriguing area for BioCrossroads. It represents the overlap between sports and life sciences, two of the most significant sectors in the Indiana economy,” said David Johnson, President and CEO, BioCrossroads. “The Datalys Center is a significant research asset that complements Indiana’s other leading research institutions such as Indiana University School of Medicine, Purdue University, The Regenstrief Institute and the Fairbanks Institute for Healthy Communities.”

Also announced today, are the Board of Directors for the Datalys Center, which includes leading members of the sports medicine community:

  • Marjorie J. Albohm, President-Elect, National Athletic Trainers Association
  • Irv Bomberger, Executive Director, American Orthopaedic Society for

    Sports Medicine

  • James Isch, Senior Vice President for Administration and CFO, NCAA
  • Barry P. Katz, Director of the Division of Biostatistics, Department of

    Medicine, Indiana University

  • John B. Swarbrick, Jr., Partner, Baker & Daniels
  • Robert C. Vowels, Jr., Vice President for Education Services, NCAA
  • James Whitehead, Executive Vice President/CEO, ACSM

    “ACSM believes that the Datalys Center is a vital resource for helping society to better capitalize on the benefits of sport and physical activity, and it will be an important asset to the sports medicine community and everyone interested in safe and healthful sports and physical activity,” said James Whitehead, Executive Vice President, ACSM.

About The Datalys Center
The Datalys Center (www.datalyscenter.org) is a national non-profit organization that conducts and provides research and surveillance expertise to support the sports injury information needs of organizations focused on improving the health and safety of the growing number of Americans who are physically active and/or participate in sports. Through the Center’s collection and analysis of sports participation, injury and treatment data, programs, policies, rules and education can be developed in order to prevent and treat sports injuries more effectively.

Datalys is a combination of the words “data” and “analysis”, symbolizing the Center’s work in sports injury research, data collection and translation of the information into actionable outcomes. In Greek mythology, Daedalus was a clever and skillful inventor and problem solver, a fitting image as the Center will provide answers and solutions to the sports medicine community about sports injury and prevention.

Where ideas find life.