Is Tackle Football too Dangerous for Kids to Play?
Football, a game we all love. It brings people together every weekend, for the Thursday night game, Sunday games and the Monday night game. The NFL first started on August 20th, 1920 in Canton Ohio. “National Football League Franchise Histories”. (N.D). The game of football has four quarters which are 12 minutes each. Each team has to reach the opposite side of the field to score a touchdown which is six points and the kicker has a chance to score another point if he scores thru the uprights, which is like 2 goal post with a net through it that the kicker has to score through.
In Order to continue having the ball in your possession the team has 4 attempts at moving the ball 10 yards in order to continue moving down. “Football:Rules”(N.D.). When a player is running with the ball, players from the opposing team are allowed to tackle the player with the ball. In some cases, if the hit is very hard, it can cause a concussion. A concussion is caused by a direct hit to the head, its a type of traumatic brain injury. “What Is a Concussion?” (2017, January 31). If a player gets multiple concussions, it can lead to a player developing CTE. CTE or Chronic traumatic encephalopathy, is the term used to describe brain degeneration likely caused by repeated head traumas. “Chronic traumatic encephalopathy”. (2016, April 20).
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All of these things sound terrible and it can be worse if we continue to let kids play tackle football at such a young age. According to popwarner.com, which is a peewee football league, the age children begin to play tackle football is at age five. “AGES & WEIGHTS”. (n.d.). They should wait till highschool to play. Today i will give you three reasons why it’s too dangerous for children to play tackle football. The first reason is that it can cause severe brain damage. The second reason is that it causes children to act rough and selfish. The third reason is that the kids don’t know the risk of playing at their age. It ties a little bit into child abuse.
The brain of a child isn’t fully developed till the age of 25. Sather, Rita, Shelat, Amit ( N.D.). A young child playing tackle football, especially in a peewee league, is at risk for broken bones, torn ligaments and more importantly, head and brain injuries.“Football Injuries”. (N.D.). Getting a concussion, or even worse multiple concussions, can hurt the brain in such a way that it causes the children to have behavioral, cognitive and emotional problems and double the chance of the child developing behavioral issues and triple the chance of the child getting depression.
”Tackle football is not for children”. (2017, September 26).Robert Stern, who is one of the authors of the study from the university’s Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center said “”The brain is going through this incredible time of growth between the years of 10 and 12, and if you subject that developing brain to repetitive head impacts, it may cause problems later in life,”.”Tackle football is not for children”. (2017, September 26).
Children often learn how to act based on the environment they are around and the people they are around, especially parents. Eleanor E. Maccoby, a professor at Stanford university, agrees that this is in fact true. She says “There is clear evidence that parents can and do influence children”. Maccoby, Eleanor, E. (2000, February). When children are playing football at a young age they are surrounded by other children who aggressive against opponents.
The children see this behavior and may carry that same aggression off the field. For example they cause get aggressive at home with siblings or even parents and at school with classmates. In some cases a parent, (usually a dad) will be at the game and if a bad call is made against his or her childs team the parent will yell and even curse at the referee, and a the children who see this may think it is ok to do that causing them to be more disrespectful.
Children may feel like they are more important and superior than the rest of their classmates and schools and football programs giving certain children more attention and treating them better because they are the best on the team. These children can become bullies because they think they are better than the rest. In an article about youth sports Dr. Marika Lindholm said “Schools and towns may even afford young athletes privileges and leeway that other students don’t receive.
There are too many instances of successful athletes who thought they were above the law or the norms of a school. Parents need to be vigilant for signs that their young athletes lacks humility and empathy. It’s up to us to make sure that sports don’t bring out the worst in our children.” Lindholm, Marika (2017, May 5). Children on teams should be treated equally in attempt to avoid the children from becoming potential bullies and so that they don’t become disrespectful and to keep them from acting selfish.
The last reason for that playing football is dangerous for children to play is that they don’t know the risk they are taking by playing football, this can also be like child abuse because the parent or parents want their child or children to play football but aren’t keeping in mind the risk. There is more risk than reward in this situation. If the parents are aware of the things that can happen to a child while playing football, it’s wrong and can be looked at as child abuse. Furthermore, coaches sometimes push their players too much and that can leave the child feeling over used and burnt out.
Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist who founded CTE said that he thinks children under 18 should not play football and says it is child abuse and that it will one day be banned. “Someday there will be a district attorney who will prosecute for child abuse, and it will succeed, It is the definition of child abuse.” Almond, Elliot, Sabedra, Darren, Lefkow, Mike (2017, August 9). The fact that he said such a strong statement obviously causes people, especially parents to double think and really take a look into the risks of their children playing football at a young age.
A lady by the name of Kimberly Archie was very happy that Omula brought this issue up and was passionate about it. Since 2014 kimberly has been calling youth football child abuse because her sons brain was diagnosed with CTE a year after he past away. Archie is suing pop warner and the National Operating Committee on Standards Athletic Equipment. She said “People will listen to him,” in reference to what Omalu said. she also went on to say “Moms often get dismissed as emotional. It meant a lot to all the CTE families who buried their kids who just played the game for fun.”
Almond, Elliot, Sabedra, Darren, Lefkow, Mike (2017, August 9). This statement makes it clear that youth football is very dangerous. It causes many deaths each year. According to cdc.gov there were twenty eight deaths among high school and college students from 2005-2014. Twenty four being high school students and four were college students. Kucera KL, Yau RK, Register-Mihalik J, (2017, August 14).
Twenty eight over nine years may not sound like all that much, but in reality, one, is one too many. People don’t seem to understand that children play in pee wee leagues don’t know the risk they’re at. If twenty eight high school and college students combined died because of football just imagine what the number would be for middle school and pee wee leagues and all other leagues of ages under high school.
These little kids are still developing and are fragile and to put them through the risk of getting injured just for a game is flat out wrong. And alternative would be flag football. There’s a way smaller risk of getting injured in flag football as there is no tackling involved. With tackling eliminated there is less room for severe injuries such as concussions, broken bones, torn ligaments and so on even though there can be injuries no matter what. At the end of the day, it’s better to keep our kids safe than be sorry later on.
There are many reasons why children should not be playing football under a certain age. But the main three are, it can cause severe brain damage and severe injuries besides from the brain, such as broken bones and torn ligaments, it can cause children to act rough and selfish and feel like they are better than their peers causing problems in school and in their leagues, and lastly, children don’t know the risk they are put at every time they are on the field and that can be seen by some as child abuse.
Children who are involved in very physical sports should be thought about the risk of the sport they are about to enter so that they can decide on their own, of course if they are old enough to think about it on their own and make decisions on their own. If they are not capable of choosing that means they are too young to be engaging in the sport.