NFL launches challenge to predict, prevent player injuries

Category: Sports


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. partner / ˈpɑrt nər / (v.) – to join with another person or organization in an activity

    The charity organization partnered with a big company for the fundraiser.

  2. contact / ˈkɒn tækt / (n.) – the act of making two things touch each other

    Sumo wrestling is an example of a sport with a lot of contact.

  3. tweak / twik / (n.) – a small change done to improve something

    The author made a few tweaks to the story before publishing the book.

  4. quantify / ˈkwɒn təˌfaɪ / (v.) – to measure the size or amount of something

    No one can measure or quantify happiness.

  5. crucial / ˈkru ʃəl / (adj.) – important or highly needed

    Sunlight is crucial for plants to grow.


Read the text below.

The NFL is searching for a technology-driven game plan to help predict — and prevent — player injuries on the field.

The league announced it is partnering with Amazon Web Service on the NFL Contact Detection Challenge, a contest in which designers will use machine learning and computer vision to find new ways to measure and analyze the timing, duration and frequency of player contact during NFL games.

The NFL said in a release the data collected would improve the league’s ability to better anticipate injuries and help prevent them — and potentially lead to tweaks to rules — based on the information gathered.

Quantifying the risk of injury that players face in every possible in-game scenario is a crucial step in understanding how we can reduce that risk, and ultimately prevent injuries,” said Jennifer Langton, the NFL’s Senior Vice President of Health and Safety Innovation. “By engaging entrants with a wide range of expertise, this challenge will help us understand which game situations have elevated amounts of contact. This can inform rules changes to improve the game.”

The challenge, announced at the “AWS re:Invent” conference in Las Vegas, began Dec. 5 with entries submitted on a website hosted by Kaggle, a leading platform for data science competitions. The top finishers will be announced in March, with the first-place entry receiving $50,000.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • What do you think about the NFL’s move to create a program that can help detect injuries (ex. unnecessary, innovative)? Do you think this technology is crucial? Discuss.
  • What other sport or work do you think should use this kind of technology? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • Do you think it’s possible to totally prevent injuries in contact sports like American Football? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Why do you think a lot of people still play contact sports despite the risks of getting injured? Discuss.