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The Current

Baseline testing aims to protect Bruin athletes

Sensors in the Varsity and Junior Varisty football helmets measure the impacts taken by players. Coaches monitor these impacts in order to prevent concussion trauma. Photo by Tosh Celenza

Bear River is trying to protect Bruin athletes with a new technology called Baseline Testing.

Duwaine Ganskie, Bear River’s athletic director, explained what the Baseline Test is.

“The Baseline testing is a cognitive, visual, memory reaction test that gives us (coaches) an idea of where someone’s brain activity is when they are healthy,” he said. “We measure each of the tasks (cognitive ,visual, memory reaction) and score. That is the athletes baseline score when they’re healthy.”

Mr. Ganskie says the score help determine healing time for injured athletes.

“For example, if an athlete’s score was 100 and they got injured and retook the test and got a 50, then they’re only at 50% and they need more time for their brain to heal. But if an athlete scored a 95 on their retaken test they’re pretty close to being the same. You’re never going to get the same score as your first test.”

To some students, the Baseline test was pretty straightforward.

“The test was easy,” said Colton Hill, a senior. “I feel like the only hard part was the trying to memorize words and colors from the first section of the test.”

Others believed that the Baseline Test too difficult.

“My experience test was awful,” said Clayton Anderson, a sophomore. “They wanted you to remember random words.”

Mason Giordano, a sophomore, agrees with Anderson.

“My brain hurt,” Giordano said. “It was really energy-draining. … The test was confusing and it was hard memorising everything.”

Students believed that the Baseline Test was a positive safety measure for students.

“It’s a good thing — it helps make sure everything in good,” said Giordano.

“If you don’t remember things that you knew before your injury you aren’t okay,” said Anderson.

“The test is a good thing because, if you have a concussion, you need to take the test to see if you are doing better or worse,” said Hill.

Concussion are a very serious medical issue not to be taken lightly, said Bear River’s school nurse Kristin Youngman. She said the Baseline Test was helpful but overall concussion awareness was key.

“The baseline testing is another great tool for practitioners to use to determine if a student is OK to go back to play, but it does not diagnose concussions and it doesn’t really determine how severe concussions are,” she said.

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Baseline testing aims to protect Bruin athletes