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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.

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?

Avon Barksdale October 24, 2012 at 12:50 PM
Joe, I am sorry that nuance eludes you. I don't believe that kids should play football before high school. I also don't believe that kids should cheerlead, ever, that anyone should ever be subjected to onions, or that they should watch anything on the Lifetime Movie Network. Just because I don't believe something should be done doesn't mean it should be eliminated as a choice for everyone. That philosophy is ingrained in a little document I like to call "The Constitution Of The United States of America," perhaps you should look into it.
Joe Kane October 25, 2012 at 05:08 PM
Avon - your overall attitude in participating in this conversation has diminished your validity on the subject. Please find another playground to try out your bully routine!
Dave Lenane October 25, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Joe, the people across the aisle need to have their say. He's wrong and its been shown, but let him have his fun.
Mr. Nibbles October 25, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Football for youngsters should be limited soley to computer games. This will insulate them from any possible injury, as well as exercise, fresh air and sunshine. This should be the new normal. Everyone knows that.
Dave Lenane October 25, 2012 at 09:02 PM
The next argument will be the "Why are my kids so obese?" argument. Parents need to be parents. If you don't want your son or daughter playing football, the good for you! If you are a parent that will allow it, then I'm hoping you will be responsible enough to look out for his/her welfare. By all means if the coach seems like someone who's seen way to many sports movies, be afraid and get involved. At the same time rule changes need to be applied to make the game safer. I'm all for limiting the amount of physical contact in all youth sports. Kids don't need to know the difference between a Cover 2 and a Man Under defense at ten years old. And I'm pretty sure Billy or Molly don't need to be lining up shotgun with 5 Wides. Before we talk about banning any youth sport, sensible people (I didn't say me) need to try and figure out any way possible to not ban a youth sport. Play 60 Kids! Put down the controller there's a whole world out there!

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