Monday, September 20, 2010

Is football too violent for kids? If it is, then what?

The scrutiny over youth sports concussion seems to get more intense by the day. Last week the New York Times ran four articles - pieces on concussions in youth basketball (we also blogged on this), a suspected link between the suicide of a college football player and years of head trauma, a NFL middle linebacker who was permitted to wobble back into a game despite having taken a major blow to the noggin and renewed speculation that head trauma occurs routinely (and is under-diagnosed routinely) in youth sports.

Over the weekend the Philadelphia Inquirer's deputy editorial page editor asked whether football is just too darn dangerous for kids.

Youth football organizations need to be taking the lead in sharing accurate information and encouraging frank discussion of this issue. On my last visit to the Pop Warner Web site, I couldn't find either. The lead articles were "Enter the 2010 Pop Warner Photo Contest" and "Vote for Pop Warner National Championships."

This is not Pop Warner's responsibility alone. But as the largest organized kids' football league in the country, it should be speaking loudly about this issue. And speaking out in every possible forum, including its Web site. So should countless other youth football leagues around the country.

Meanwhile, I recommend Stop Sports Injuries as an excellent source of information about concussions and many other common injuries in youth sports.

Is football too violent for kids? And if it is, then what?

1 comment:

CoachScott said...

Youth hockey and youth lacrosse are two sports that are being pushed (sometimes unwillingly) to be more proactive in protecting kids and diagnosing head injuries and preventing them.

I just wonder if it's not too late...Thanks for the great blog and references. I share them often with my youth coaches and parents. Keep up the great stuff.
Coach Scott.