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FACTCHECK.ORG Fails to Check Facts, Cites Imputed, Not Real, Data on Rates of High School Athlete Deaths, and Fails to "Debunk" Increase in Athlete Deaths. How to Report Sports Injuries.
Under this error, "no change" necessarily implies "increase".
This article from FactCheck.org cites people who run the UNC’s National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury claiming that there has been no increase in athletes dying following COVID-19 vaccines. The UNC experts say (twice) that if there was an increase, they would see it. Factcheck.org of course waxes long on how there really has been no increase.
However, the 2020/2021 Report by the NCCSI contains evidence that at least some of their sports participation data on high school athletes was not even collected in 2019/20 and 2020/21. The missing participation data should have come from the National Federation of State High School Associations (https://nfhs.org). The participation data are important because annually they are used by NCCSI as the denominator for calculating the rates of catastrophic injuries. From the NCCSI report:
(emphasis theirs). I am not sure how 2020/21 values were imputed by 2020/21 values, I assume there is a typo in the latter reference to “2020/21”
It is widely known that that during 2020 and 2021 sports participation likely plummeted (See "High School Sports Participation Declines Over After Pandemic"). National participation rates are still 4% lower in 2023 compared to 2018/2019.
Michigan saw a drop of 10% from 2019/2020 to 2020/2021 (see this report about data from Michigan High School Athletic Association), and has recently seen a net increase of 6% from the low as there is, according to the report, a return to a sense of “normalcy”:
“Participation numbers dropped from 274,126 in 2019-20 to 244,012 in 2020-21 as schools grappled with the impact of COVID. It was the lowest total number of participants in a school year dating back to the year 2000.
‘The numbers show that we are finally crawling out from where we were for about a year-and-a-half in terms of COVID fears and precautions and everything else,’ MHSAA communications director Geoff Kimmerly said. ‘Things have begun to return to normal quite a bit around the state.’”
With all certainty befitting a propaganda instrument, FactCheck.org makes (yet again) a fatal error by not checking their facts.
Since the NCCSI reports “no change”, an unaccounted-for ten percent reduction in denominator (# of participants) means that the data actually support that an increase in catastrophic sports injury has occurred. In some sports, the dropoff was likely more than 10%.
Sports injury of any kind can be reported by anyone at UNC’s National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury by following the link below:
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