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The A7FL Announces Dr. Arthur J. De Luigi As The Football League’s First Chief Medical Advisor

Dr Arthur De Luigi Joins A7FL Football

The A7FL Adds Mayo Clinic Doctor As Chief Medical Advisor To Continue Its Commitment To Building Player Safety As A Pillar Of The League

The A7FL has announced the appointment of  Dr. Arthur Jason De Luigi, DO, MHSA, Chair of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Director of Sports Medicine for the Mayo Clinic Arizona, as the league’s first Chief Medical Advisor starting immediately.

While the no helmets no pads league has become a viral sensation across social media and grown to 32 teams across the country, “The A7FL’s first priority is safety,” according to David Isaacs, UFC Co-Founder and the head of the league’s Advisory Board. “The rules of American 7s football are optimized for our athletes’ safety while creating a fast-paced game that delivers the big hits and awesome highlights that football fans crave.”

“The medical advisory team I’ll be putting together [for the A7FL] will have experts on different aspects of sports medicine,” said Dr. De Luigi. “We are looking for those medical conditions, the cardiopulmonary issues, muscular-skeletal, neurologic head injuries. We would work with the league and the divisions from that standpoint and share with them that we are here with you. We’re not trying to put people on the sidelines prematurely, we’re not trying to take away from your game”.

“We are grateful to Dr. De Luigi for joining the team to help us expand safety initiatives league-wide during our national expansion. With Jason’s guidance, we look forward to building on our earlier research showing A7FL’s rules substantially improve athlete safety,” said Sener Korkusuz, A7FL CEO and Co-Founder.

Dr. De Luigi is board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), Sports Medicine, Brain Injury Medicine, Pain Medicine, and Musculoskeletal Ultrasound.

Dr. De Luigi has played a prominent role with numerous concussion work groups, including the National Basketball Association (NBA) Concussion committee, the American Academy of Neurology’s Concussion Outcomes workgroup, and the Chair of the multispecialty (AAN, AAOS, ACSM, AMSSM, AAPM&R, AAFM, & AAP) workgroup on the Treatment of Concussion with Exercise & Medications.

Dr. De Luigi’s sports medicine background includes being the Head Team Physician for the Washington Wizards, Medical Director & Head Team Physician for the Washington Mystics, and Team Physician for the Washington Nationals, DC United, and Washington Spirit. He also holds 14 positions on advisory boards and councils, including but not limited to being the Vice Chair of the Research Committee and Co-Chair of the Enterprise Research Committee of the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, and Co-Director at the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

Dr. Arthur Jason De Luigi – FULL BIO

A7FL Podcast Video Interview With Dr. De Luigi – A7FL 3-On-1 Podcast

One of the primary initiatives  Dr. De Luigi intends to implement for the A7FL is an injury surveillance system to provide the league with in-depth injury data.

“One of the first things we want to do is injury surveillance. It will be tracked so we can get the full breadth of what injuries are occurring and where and when they are occurring. Once we know where the league has the softest spots, then you can try to figure out how to prevent those from happening.” said Dr. De Luigi

Football is a full-contact sport, and thus injuries are to be expected, with the most devastating often being blows to the head. Dr. De Luigi explained the dangers of the confidence provided by helmets and how concussions still occur despite a player wearing even the most advanced helmet:

“Often, the helmet is used as a weapon. And that’s where we have a lot of the head injuries now. People feel safe because they have the helmet on and so they would make their contact,” he commented.  “Even when you’re putting a helmet on, your brain is a peanut in a shell. By putting another helmet on, all  you’re doing is adding another layer of shell, but the peanut still moves around in the shell.”

Despite the improvement of football helmet technology, Dr. De Luigi believes it may be time to remove the helmet altogether, noting the A7FL’s success without helmets for the past 8 seasons.“Instead of making the helmet smarter and harder and encouraging [players] to continue to hit with the head, maybe we should go back to the other way, almost to the point where we have no helmets.”

Dr. Arthur Jason De Luigi – FULL BIO

A7FL Podcast Video Interview With Dr. De Luigi – A7FL 3-On-1 Podcast

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