When it comes to children playing football, most parents believe football health and injury prevention to be the most crucial factors to take into account. They want to understand things like, “Is it safe to play football? What’s the distinction between tackle and flag football, anyway?”
This section delves into the research, describing how the game has progressed through time.
Football as we know it is undergoing a transformation. The way the sport was introduced and played in the past differs from how it is now. Player safety and injury prevention are now top priorities, resulting in a significant cultural shift in the sport. As experts strive to study the impact of continuous contact in youth sports, leagues at all stages are implementing new technologies, regimens, and laws in an effort to decrease the risk of injury.
We’ve identified the main improvements in football safety precautions to assist parents in better grasp what’s evolved.
Limiting Contact in Practice
Concussions are more likely to happen during a tackle football practice than during a match, according to a 2015 research published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The explanation for this is that there are just more sessions than games. As a result, leagues throughout the country started to reduce the amount of one-on-one contact that happened during practice in order to more effectively safeguard players.
Research, in particular, studied a group of Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association high school football players. The prevalence of sports-related concussions fell by 57 percent when new regulations and limits were established specifying and restricting the amount of contact permitted in practice.
New Rule Changes
The NFL, the NFHS, and sports groups have modified numerous football regulations, forbidding specific activities and implementing new fines in order to minimize potentially dangerous activity that might lead to injuries.
Several schools have also taken their additional safety measures, such as restricting the number of players on the field and in pads during drills and prohibiting contact in two-a-day sessions.
Players and coaches are also required to attend concussion monitoring and analysis training in order to improve football safety knowledge. In reality, concussion reoccurrences have decreased over the previous decade in 20 varying high school sports, owing to improved concussion care methods.
Teaching Proper Technique
Coaches are introducing a new method to tackle at all levels of the sport. When executing a tackle, some coaches taught players to position their heads in front of the ball carrier, effectively utilizing their heads as an extra limb to block their competitors from going ahead.
Even at the pro level, coaches are already adopting innovative techniques to decrease the danger of brain injuries. The Seattle Seahawks, for instance, promote “Hawk tackling,” a rugby-style technique that emphasizes utilizing your shoulder for torque while striking the ball-thighs. In youth football, players are taught to wrap and roll rather than dive headfirst.
Furthermore, the NFL Way to Play is a training program that aims to teach appropriate techniques, clarify key ideas, and share best practices. Football safety initiatives are also being incorporated in flag leagues, where athletes must square up, flex their knees, and position their head just like they would in tackle football to properly retrieve their opposition’s flags.
Parents and schools should feel encouraged to push talks about football safety as we learn more from data analysis; studies have identified negative mental health and cognitive processes linked with tackle football, while others haven’t.
Parents should enquire about the league’s injury prevention efforts. Discovering how a program tries to safeguard its participants, as well as reading new studies, may assist parents and guardians in making educated judgments.