SOUND OFF: Is Youth Football Too Dangerous?
Central Mass. Pop Warner has banned two youth coaches after five kids (ages 10-12) reportedly received concussions.
The suspension of coaches and officials involved in a Pop Warner football game that resulted in multiple concussions has drawn attention to youth football.
In what the Boston Globe called "an alarming case of young athletes being put at risk," five children suffered concussions last month in a Pop Warner football game between teams in the Southbridge and Sturbridge area.
In the game, which ended with a Southbridge Pee-Wee team beating Tantasqua 52-0, the mercy rules were not enforced and at least one boy suffered a concussion on a play that should have been ruled dead, the Globe reported.
The coaches of both teams were suspended for the season, and the league's presidents were placed on probation. In addition, the three officials who worked the game have been permanently banned.
The state requires high schools to adopt concussion policies, and the national's largest youth football organization, Pop Warner Little Scholars, established rules in 2010 aimed at reducing brain injuries caused by concussions.
The Southbridge/Tantasqua game, however, raises questions about the enforceability of those regulations.
What can, or should, youth leagues do to reduce the risk of injury among athletes? Do you think youth football is dangerous? If you are a parent or coach of a player, what do you do to minimize risk to your players?