American College of Sports Medicine honors expert who made sports safer

June 24, 2003

CHAPEL HILL -- In recognition of his tireless work on -- and success in -- cutting fatal and severe injuries to U.S. athletes, the American College of Sports Medicine has presented one of its top awards to Dr. Frederick O. Mueller, chair of exercise and sport science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Mueller, who received the Citation Award at the ACSM's recent annual meeting in San Francisco, was honored for his pioneering efforts in athletic injury research for more than 35 years.

"For over 25 years, he has served as the founder and director of the National Center for Catastrophic Sport Injury Research, the premiere injury recording registry for such injuries in scholar and professional sports involving men and women," the college's citation read. "This registry has served as an invaluable source of epidemiological information which has led to rules, conditioning and safety equipment changes in numerous sports, including football, trampoline, pole vaulting and cheerleading."

The registry, funded by the National Collegiate Athletics Association, "has also been an invaluable resource for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other governmental and scientific organizations, as well as for individual investigators interested in catastrophic sports injury."

For decades, Mueller has spoken on sports injury topics before a wide variety of national and international organizations including the NCAA, the American Football Coaches Association and the ACSM, of which he has been a fellow since 1975. He also has published many papers, book chapters and books on injuries among high school and college athletes.

Each year, the center Mueller directs produces reports on deaths and severe injuries from amateur and professional sports.

Reports are based partly on newspaper stories from around the United States, along with information from the NCAA, the National Federation of State High School Associations and more than 150 volunteers who monitor sports accidents.

As an examples of the effectiveness of specific efforts by Mueller and others, in 1968, 36 healthy young high school football players died as the direct result of injuries suffered while playing the game, a toll that shocked doctors, coaches and the public.

In 1990, not one U.S. football player died from mishaps on the field in games or during practices, and since then, the number of such fatalities almost always could be counted on one hand.

Also reduced were heatstroke deaths, which Muller said were almost entirely avoidable. Now, almost all coaches are sensitive to the need to allow football players and other athletes as much water as they want and cooling-off periods during practice.

In 1994, the UNC professor published a study showing that, surprisingly, cheerleading was the most hazardous sport for girls and young women. That study led in part to regulations in many states prohibiting some of the most dangerous aspects of the sport. More recently, he participated in a UNC School of Public Health study demonstrating that use of "safety" baseballs could significantly reduce the number of injuries Little League baseball players suffer.

Mueller already has received numerous honors, including awards from such organizations as the U.S. Product Safety Commission, the NCAA, the National Federation of State High Schools and the U.S. Sports Academy.
By David Williamson
UNC News Services

Note: Mueller can be reached at 919-962-5171.

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Related Sports Medicine Articles from Brightsurf:

Girls benefit from doing sports
Extracurricular sport in middle childhood diminishes subsequent ADHD symptoms in girls, but not in boys, a new study suggests.

Managing pain after sports medicine surgery
A Henry Ford Hospital study published in the Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery has found that patients who underwent knee surgery and other types of sports medicine procedures could manage their pain without opioids or a minimal dosage.

Addressing sexual violence in sport: American Medical Society for Sports Medicine issues position statement
Sexual violence is a serious problem with potentially severe and lasting negative effects on the physical, psychological, and social well-being of victims -- including athletes.

NUS Medicine researchers can reprogramme cells to original state for regenerative medicine
Scientists from NUS Medicine have found a way to induce totipotency in embryonic cells that have already matured into pluripotency.

Play sports for a healthier brain
There have been many headlines in recent years about the potentially negative impacts contact sports can have on athletes' brains.

Researchers say elite-level video gaming requires new protocols in sports medicine
Study authors note multiple health issues including blurred vision from excessive screen time, neck and back pain from poor posture, carpal tunnel syndrome from repetitive motion, metabolic dysregulation from prolonged sitting and high consumption of caffeine and sugar, and depression and anxiety resulting from internet gaming disorder.

Sticking to sports can help kids adjust
By participating in organized physical activity from the age of 6, children will have less risk of emotional difficulties by the time they're 12, a new Canadian study finds.

Can recreational sports really make you a better student?
A new Michigan State University study adds to growing evidence that participating in recreational sports not only can help improve grades while attending college, but it also can help students return for another year.

How team sports change a child's brain
Adult depression has long been associated with shrinkage of the hippocampus, a brain region that plays an important role in memory and response to stress.

Study reveals complementary medicine use remains hidden to conventional medicine providers
Research reveals that 1 in 3 complementary medicine (CM) users do not disclose their CM use to their medical providers, posing significant direct and indirect risks of adverse effects and harm due to unsafe concurrent use of CM and conventional medicine use.

Read More: Sports Medicine News and Sports Medicine Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to