Jays reliever T.J. House hit on head by line drive

The ball ricocheted about 30 feet into the air before being caught by catcher Mike Ohlman.“Before he even caught it, people were signalling for the trainers to come out. You could tell the infielders were shaken by what they saw,” said Nick Brzezinski, who works for the Blue Jays’ Class A Lansing Lugnuts and was watching from along the first-base line.House fell to his stomach and was face down on the mound for nearly 20 minutes while being tended to by trainers. House was put onto a stretcher and gave a thumbs-up to the crowd as he was placed into an ambulance for transport to a hospital.Gibbons said the 27-year-old House was talking and had feeling in all of his extremities.“I couldn’t get near him,” Gibbons said. “They were working on him. He was talking, he could feel everything, so, hopefully, that’s a good sign.”The game was called with Toronto ahead 6-2, with a runner on first and one out in the ninth. “When I went out there, his face was in his glove,” Ausmus said. It’s scary, you know. “There was blood on his face, blood in the glove — everything.”The pitcher was hit on the back of the head by a ball off the bat of John Hicks. Toronto Blue Jays reliever T.J. House was taken off the field in an ambulance Friday after being hit on the head by a line drive in the ninth inning of a spring training game against the Detroit Tigers.House was talking before the ambulance left the field, Toronto manager John Gibbons said.Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said House’s injury was among the scariest things he has witnessed in a baseball game.

Study says minor hockey body-checking ban has led to fewer injuries

Brent Hagel, Willem Meeuwisse, Kathryn Schneider, Luz Palacios-Derflingher and Alberto Nettel-Aguirre. He missed a year of school and saw seven specialists to deal with his symptoms, from the constant headaches he still endures to the loss of balance that at one point wouldn’t let him walk more than three steps before he’d fall over.“I was just trying to get back my life,” he said.Thanks to his mom, who worked at the U of C’s kinesiology department, Kolstad’s story was relayed to Emery. We see that provincially in B.C., in Ontario and in Calgary.”The study showed there were 163 game-related injuries and 104 concussions in Alberta before the rule change. As we go forward, what we’re seeing is a policy change in non-elite levels in the older age groups. The 2013 decision to disallow body checking at minor hockey’s pee-wee level has produced major results, according to a University of Calgary study that will be presented at an International Olympic Committee world conference in Monaco.The study shows that the introduction of Hockey Canada’s body-checking rule resulted in “a 50-per-cent relative reduction in injury rate and a 64-per-cent reduction in concussion rate in 11-year-old and 12-year-old hockey players in Alberta.”

The data, to be shown next week at the IOC’s conference on prevention of injury and illness in sport, was collected from players on 59 then 73 pee-wee teams in all divisions before the body-checking rule changed (the 2011-12 season) and after (2013-14). “To be a part of it and see things change [for the better, for other players], I’m really lucky.”Emery added the body-checking study will continue to follow young hockey players over the years and in various age groups as well.The other researchers in the study being presented at the IOC injury-prevention conference are Drs. Having released a 2012 study examining the risks of allowing body checking, Emery brought Kolstad aboard first as “a poster boy for the project” and then as a research assistant.He is now 19, a third-year kinesiology student, and working on a separate study that is exploring the body-checking policy change on player performance before and after body checking was banned in pee wee.“I’m very passionate about this,” he said. Carolyn Emery, one of the study’s researchers at the Sport Injury Prevention Research Centre in the U of C’s faculty of kinesiology, said the reduction in the number of injuries and concussions was expected, but not to the extent that was calculated.“It’s very exciting when you do research and there’s a significant change,” Emery said from France while en route to Monaco. That’s quite the reverse. The study was in response to Hockey Canada’s call for a national ban, which sparked fiery debate between those who wanted body checking introduced in pee wee and those who wanted it taught and used in bantam, the next age group up.Dr. He suffered a concussion playing pee wee at the age of 12 and had to stay home for a week. “The big concern in pee wee is there’s a huge disparity in size [and growth rates] and there are also young and developing brains. His second concussion just two weeks after his return to action was the one that ended his hockey-playing aspirations.Driven head-first into the boards, Kolstad couldn’t stand light and had to stay in a dark room. After the alteration, there were 48 injuries and 25 concussions.For Ash Kolstad, the study has been especially meaningful.

Canadian men hope for home-field boost in World Rugby Sevens Series

He feels this team is coalescing and is acutely aware that future Own the Podium money is at stake.“Now, we’re rolling. The team is in 12th place. “We’ve never had that before.”Moonlight, turning 30 in July, set a record last weekend in Las Vegas when he played his 53rd sevens tournament for Canada. Five full-time staffers were cut. The results in the 15s and the sevens haven’t been great over the past few years.”The decisions of Own the Podium are based on Olympic medal potential. Another challenge for men’s sevens is additional competition. The inaugural Vancouver stop was a success, with lively crowds of about 30,000 on both Saturday and Sunday of the two-day tournament. The decision was tough, since men’s sevens needs more up-and-coming players.“I don’t want people to think we’re feeling sorry for ourselves,” said sevens head coach Damian McGrath, who took the job last October. “They’re all getting better, but it’s becoming more competitive within the group. Own the Podium conducts annual reviews.“A lot can change in a year,” Merklinger said.For men’s sevens, even with a lack of depth, McGrath insists his team can vie against the best squads. The organization handles about one-third of the $200-million or so spent on sports by the federal government – so all sports receive some money, but the most promising sports receive more. Rugby Canada juggled its internal resources to move $400,000 into men’s sevens – but the new budget of $1.2-million is still down by a quarter. It distributes $5.6-million, with the aim for summer teams to qualify for the next Olympics and eventually challenge for a medal.Men’s sevens had received team sport funding, an annual boost that had been $750,000 and rose to $825,000 in 2015-16 ahead of Rio 2016.Falling short of the Rio Games hurt. Men’s and women’s wheelchair basketball, which previously received core Own the Podium funding, have been dropped to the team funding level.The team sport strategy has “had a terrific impact on summer team sports,” said Anne Merklinger, CEO of Own the Podium. “It’s a chance for us to refocus and reorganize and I think Canadian [men’s] rugby maybe needs that at the moment. Archery, sailing, synchronized swimming and triathlon were dropped by the organization for the 2017-18 fiscal year.The most immediate way to win back the lost cash is to win on the field. There will be a raucous homecoming for Canada’s men’s rugby sevens team this weekend at BC Place – and the team looks to the boisterous support for a much-needed boost to its on-field performance.This is the second year BC Place holds one of the 10 stops on the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, which began in Dubai last December and ends in London in May. Proving this on the field, in Vancouver and through the spring, will be essential for Own the Podium money.“We’re a top-eight team, there’s no doubt about that,” McGrath said.Noisy BC Place could be a big help this weekend.“It was a surreal experience, the first time we went on the field,” former long-time captain John Moonlight said of last year in Vancouver. It’s up to us.” Own the Podium’s core funding program, the one most people know, distributes $64-million annually to summer and winter sports that are medal contenders. They focused on development of young players and worked areas such as physiotherapy, and strength and conditioning. The crowd is going to see a top-line Canada,” Moonlight said. This could benefit rugby sevens and its push to bolster the development of the sport in Canada.Looking at the longer term, HSBC this week invested an undisclosed amount in Rugby Canada’s “rookie rugby” program for children, with the aim to reach 375,000 kids over the next three years, up from 85,000 to date.At the top level, men’s sevens isn’t alone in losing backing from Own the Podium. This weekend, about 38,000 people are expected each day. And team sports are more expensive to support.”New funding of $10-million from the federal government and the private sector, under the umbrella of “next-generation” support, is in the works. However, Canada has shown some promise, with a fourth-place finish in Wellington in late January and a tie for seventh in Las Vegas last weekend.The team has a strong group of core players but lacks depth, so issues such as injuries immediately undercut the squad.The biggest off-field blow, stemming from the on-field problems, came recently: Own the Podium pulled its annual rugby sevens funding of $825,000 for the 2017-18 fiscal year, starting in April. This season, which is at the halfway mark, has also been difficult. Canada’s team, however, has long struggled on the field. A second, small program is called the team sport strategy, established for 2010-11, ahead of the 2012 Summer Olympics. “We know we have to step up. That money accounted for about half of the annual budget of $1.6-million for the men’s sevens program. Last season, Canada was 13th and also failed to qualify for the 2016 Summer Olympics. The peak came three years ago in 2013-14, when Canada finished sixth in the series.

Raptors defeated as Hawks swoop in closer to fourth seed

He became the first player to score 11,000 points with the Raptors. The Raptors took advantage of a turnover by Hawks rookie Taurean Price to regain the lead at 83-82 on a tip-in by Norman Powell.Atlanta’s challenging Friday traffic was blamed for an unexpected lineup change.Coach Mike Budenholzer removed small forward Thabo Sefolosha from the starting lineup after Sefolosha, caught in traffic, was late for pregame warmups. Dennis Schroder scored 26 points, including 13 in the final period, and the Atlanta Hawks beat the Toronto Raptors 105-99 on Friday night to pull closer in the race for the fourth seed in the Eastern Conference.DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 28 points. Atlanta won the season series 2-1 and would win a head-to-head tiebreaker if needed to determine a playoff position. Sefolosha had four points in 25 minutes.Budenholzer said the lineup change was for just one game.Hardaway replaced Sefolosha in the lineup. Toronto is fourth in the East, two games ahead of the Hawks.Paul Millsap had 21 points and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 20 for Atlanta.Toronto’s Serge Ibaka, who had 18 points, scored to make it 86-all, the 17th tie of the game.Schroder then took over the game, scoring back-to-back baskets and eight of Atlanta’s next 10 points in a stretch that gave the Hawks a 96-88 lead.Schroder’s run was capped by a reverse layup after he drove the baseline.The Raptors led 75-74 entering the final period but a 3-pointer by Hardaway gave Atlanta an 81-77 lead.Toronto quickly regained the lead.

Blue Jays’ T.J. House expected to be released from hospital

House was put onto a stretcher and gave a thumbs-up to the crowd as he was placed into an ambulance.The 27-year-old pitcher was talking immediately after he was hit and had feeling in all of his extremities. The ball ricocheted about 30 feet into the air before being caught by catcher Mike Ohlman.House fell to his stomach and was face down on the mound for nearly 20 minutes while being tended to by trainers. “I’m going to make a full recovery,” House said on Twitter. House was expected to be released from the hospital, a day after he was hit in the head by a line drive during a spring training game.“Everything looks good,” manager John Gibbons said before Saturday’s game against Philadelphia.House was taken off the field in an ambulance Friday. He was struck in the ninth inning of a game against the Detroit Tigers and taken to Lakeland Regional Medical Center. Toronto Blue Jays reliever T.J. “Things are looking good.”He called this the “scariest” moment of his career.Tigers manager Brad Ausmus said “there was blood on his face, blood in the glove — everything.” He described it as among the most frightening things he has seen in a baseball game.House was hit on the back of the head by a ball off the bat of John Hicks. Test results were normal and he was held overnight for observation.