Should Tackle Football Be Limited to Older Kids?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 12:42pm

In the game of football the potential for a high impact collision is there every time a player steps onto the field.

NFL Veteran Mack Strong says “The 1st time I played football and I got tackled it felt like I ran into a brick wall.”

And even though Washington has one of the toughest concussion laws in the country, just the threat of a brain injury has many parents asking if football players under 14 should be strapping on the pads at all.

Christopher Villa, Executive Director of 19 Sports says “There's a lot of development going on with kids at a young age and it’s really important to protect the brain.”

The CDC says that "young athletes with a traumatic brain injury experience longer recovery times and are at greater risk of serious outcomes compared to adults." And it's because of research like that, NFL veteran Mack Strong has his own young kids playing flag football in the 19 Sports non-contact league.

Mack Strong says “There's a lot about kids’ safety that I'm just really concerned about. I see a lot more kids these days with concussions and injuries.”

On the other side of the field are the 3 million youngsters between 6 and 14 who play organized tackle football. "USA football" regulates it and believes concussion training is the key to keeping kids safe.

Rich Ross, President of NW Junior Football says “The biggest step is education and that's been happening in the last few years.”

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