Should I let our son play tackle football?
This question is being asked in households in every city and town across the United States.Warriors Youth Sports in Denver and the Arapahoe Youth League would like to provide our answer to this question – a resounding YES – and then provide you information to help you reach the same conclusion.
Having played this sport, coached my own sons and instructed many others, I strongly feel that every child who shows interest should be allowed to play tackle football, the greatest game out there. Football provides the best opportunities for your child to learn many life lessons that will apply to the future. Life lessons to help them be better men, husbands, fathers, citizens, employees, bosses … you name it.
Football is a hard sport. There is no debating that. However, I believe many of you will echo that at times life is pretty hard as well. There is no other sport that requires the same levels of teamwork, self-sacrifice, reliance on others and physical preparedness that a player learns in tackle football. Like life, football knocks you down time and time again and requires you to get up and face those challenges until you master them. Football teaches perseverance, something that can be applied to playing a musical instrument, public speaking, math, chemistry, work skills, boot camp, special projects, family budgets and so much more.
You may accept all of this, but it doesn’t address your fears that your son will get seriously hurt playing tackle football. Unfortunately, this is an area where the national media has done a great disservice to this question. Football in America is news. It is the most popular sport on TV, and it will always attract the negative story if there is one out there.
In February 2012, USA Football commissioned a two-year study of injuries in football called the Youth Football Player SafetySurveillance Study. This independent scientific study monitored 13 leagues with more than 200 teams and 4,000 players, ages 5 to 14, in six states. For the study, medical professionals attended every practice and documented every injury – from an upset stomach to the smallest bruise to broken bones and concussions – during the course of the 2012 and 2013 seasons. The study’s findings include:
· Nearly 90 percent of youth players did not sustain an injury that resulted in missing a game or practice
· Of the 22.4 percent of players who reported an injury, 70 percent returned to play the same day
· Of the 11.9 percent of players who missed a game or practice because of injury, 60 percent returned to play within seven days.
· Bruises were the most common injuries (34 percent) followed byligament sprains (16 percent)
· 1.4 percent of players suffered a broken bone or fracture with 77 percent of these in the forearm, wrist or hand
· More than 95 percent of players in the study did not sustain aconcussion
· No youth player age 7 or younger sustained aconcussion at any time during the two-year study
· No catastrophic head, neck or heat related injuries were reported among the more than 4000 players during thestudy’s two-year span
· Injury rate and time loss rate goes up with age