Youth Football Player Health and Safety

Preliminary Study Results: Youth Football Player Health and Safety

May 23, 2013

Earlier this week USA Football released preliminary findings from the first year of a two-year study to “examine player health and safety in organized youth tackle football.”

USA Football, which bills itself as “the sport’s national governing body” and is endowed by the NFL and NFLPA, is working with Indianapolis-based Datalys Center for Sports Injury Research and Prevention to monitor 10 youth football leagues in six states to document player health and injuries during the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

From the USA Football website, some preliminary results:

Among the first-year findings, which included more than 60,000 individual athlete exposures (participation in a practice or game) for nearly 2,000 youth football players on more than 100 individual teams:

  • More than 90 percent of the 1,913 youth players did not suffer an injury that restricted participation.
  • Fewer than 10 percent of players incurred an injury, and of those injuries, 64 percent were minor where athletes returned to play on the same day.
  • Contusions were the most common injuries (35 percent), followed by ligament sprains (15 percent).
  • Fewer than 4 percent of the youth players sustained a concussion.
  • Similar to other levels of football, youth football players were more likely to be injured during games than practices.
  • No catastrophic head, neck or heat-related injuries were reported.

The final report is due 2014.

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