Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Safety Changes to Football

         In recent years more research has been done on concussions especially when it comes to sports. In the article, "Not Safe for Children? Football’s Leaders Make Drastic Changes to Youth Game", Ken Belson discusses the future of youth football. The amount of participation in the sport has dropped, so action is being taken to make it safer. 
         He talks about the U.S.A Football organization making changes to the way players are positioned and the amount of players on the field. Players will no longer be using the three-point stance when starting plays. Instead, they will now be starting in a crouched position. The teams will have six to nine players on the field at once instead of eleven. Tackling will still be allowed but athletes are being taught a safer tackle style that already has led to a decrease in concussions. 
        The organization also promoted a program called Heads Up Football which is teaching schools safer ways to play while also giving them proper fitting safety gear, and further information on brain trauma. U.S.A Football is working hard to improve the lives of the athletes. Their executive director, Scott Hallenbeck says, "This is the future of the game. All of this is all about how we do a better job, and a smarter job around the development of athletes and coaches in the game of football."
        In my opinion it pleases me greatly to see that steps are being taken to improve the safety of the athletes. I'm not sure how much this new style of football is going to lead to less head injuries or any injury for that matter, since there will still be tackling. Players will still have to face impacts with other players and the ground. However I think the U.S.A Football organization is on the right track. The Heads Up Football sounds like a great idea. I believe the modified tackling will definitely prevent some concussions. With this change to football, I am sure there will be people that disagree and don't want to be told what to do. In the long run though, seems like it would be smarter to learn a new style of football than have to live with brain trauma for the rest of your life due to the repeated impacts from improper tackling.