Concussions at the Youth Level...

by Prez Ro, Matteson, IL
Youth & HS Football  Youth & HS Basketball  Youth & HS Baseball  NCAA Sports Pro Sports News More Sports

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While documenting a link between concussions and memory loss, many reports leave unanswered questions of whether football-related head trauma in young players can lead to a range of other issues that many former NFL stars have said they’ve had to battle in retirement, including depression, suicidal impulses, Alzheimer’s disease or the neurodegenerative condition chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE).

Young football players are nearly twice as likely to sustain a concussion as upper classmen, or college players, yet it “remains unclear” as to whether repetitive head injuries can lead to long-term brain disease, according to a new report released Wednesday.

Many studies, which was an analysis of peer-reviewed studies on head trauma in a variety of high school sports, estimated that high school football players suffered 11.2 concussions for every 10,000 games and practices. Among college players, the rate stood at 6.3.

RELATED: Study of prep football players finds changes in brain tissue even if no concussion

But the same study cautions, however, that their estimates are likely conservative because many concussions go unreported and because data on such injuries is limited.

This is why, in May, Pop Warner Little Scholars dubbed the decision the first of its kind for a national football organization, citing safety as the driving force behind the move.

“We are constantly working to make the game safer and better for our young athletes, and we think this move is an important step in that direction,” said Pop Warner executive director Jon Butler said in a statement. “Eliminating kickoffs at this level adds another layer of safety without changing the nature of this great game. We are excited to look at the results at the end of the year as we explore additional measures.”

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