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Pop Warner participation drops

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Inky_Wretch, Nov 13, 2013.

  1. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Decrease of 9.5 percent from 2010-2012. Authors see concussions as part of the reason.

  2. poindexter

    poindexter Well-Known Member

    Friday Night Lights is huge in our area (flag). Some probably went there.
  3. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    It's an interesting issue.

    So, I'll pose the question...... to those of you who have children, would you allow or encourage them to play football? What about hockey, wrestling or other sports?
  4. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    Naw, Inky, we covered this and it's namby-pamby bullshit. Ask BrianGriffin, it's just because of the concussion "narrative" (TM YankeeFan).

  5. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    My oldest played Pop Warner for the first time this year. I'm not going to lie, the concussion narrative had me a bit scared, and that's from someone who played tackle football for 10 years.

    They addressed a lot of the concerns at the first parent meeting and demonstrated how they were teaching kids to tackle and how much emphasis there was on not lowering your head.

    It's easy to say that, but it was really cool to see in the games that it was clearly emphasized by all the teams. One kid got kicked out of a game for lowering his head twice. There were 12 teams over two age groups and no concussions. A kid on my youngest son's flag football team got a concussion when he hit his head on the ground.

    I'm sure it's not like that everywhere. But I could not have been happier about the experience. It was the most structure my son had seen in any of the sports he has played.

    One of the things I've always loved about Pop Warner is that almost of the kids really want to be there. It's not one of these YMCA leagues where you pay $15 so half the parents don't care about their kids missing games. When you pay $150, plus another $150 deposit for the pads, the parents had clearly sat the kids down and said, "If you want to play, that's great, but there will be no quitting."

    I could not have been happier with the whole experience.
  6. Rusty Shackleford

    Rusty Shackleford Active Member

    I'll start by admitting I've never played organized football, but this method doesn't seem safe either. Maybe I'm misunderstanding, but it seems to me that if you tackle with your head up, you risk snapping your neck. If you hit a speeding tailback in the chest with your face, what's to stop your head from snapping back and breaking your neck?

    Granted, I'm sure that's less likely than a concussion, but I feel like you're trading severe injury by 1,000 cuts (concussions) for quadriplegia by tackling like that.
  7. McNuggetsMan

    McNuggetsMan Member

    Head snapping back is not really how you break your neck in football. It's when you head is driven down, exposing the vertabrae in the back of your neck that leads to broken necks.
  8. Roscablo

    Roscablo Well-Known Member

    How do you teach kids to play to not get concussions? There is so much various contact that there is no way to eliminate getting heads knocked. The best way is to limit contact, but I'm guessing most practices at lower levels -- Pop Warner, high schools, even many colleges -- still have a good amount of day-to-day contact drills.

    I didn't play until high school, my parents wouldn't let me, I guess they were ahead of the times more than 20 years ago. But once I did play I absolutely loved it. I never got a "concussion" in my four years of playing. But with this debate I look back and can think of at least several instances where I probably did get one. In one case, I actually blacked out for a second. It was in a game and I got kneed in the head. How do you avoid something like that? Not teach kids to play low any more? What about when a ball carrier is tackled and his head hits the ground? What about basic lineman play where head-to-head contact is almost inevitable, regardless of how the head is positioned?

    My 11-year-old nephew just got a serious concussion in a game and the contact didn't even look serious. It was almost a dog pile of sorts. He was out of school for more than a week and basically had to sit in a room with no stimulation. And he missed the rest of the season. His parents have mostly decided he won't play again until high school at the least.

    I doubt I would let my kids play until high school, unless there was some huge advance in helmets and how the game is approached even at the lower levels. And even then I don't know.
  9. 3_Octave_Fart

    3_Octave_Fart Well-Known Member

    The only worse thing I can think of than covering Pop Warner would be watching it as a "fan" - and feigning any sort of excitement for it as a viewing spectacle.
  10. Mizzougrad96

    Mizzougrad96 Active Member

    I think discouraging lowering your head and leading with your head will lower concussions considerably. Obviously, you can never completely eliminate concussions in any sport.

    I share your hope that there will be a big advance in helmets soon. I'm confident that there will be one in the next 3-5 years.
  11. silent_h

    silent_h Member

    Published a feature on this topic today. A long one. And still couldn't fit in much of what I wanted to cover. Really complex topic, both in terms of science and ethics.

    I can say with a lot of confidence that there is never going to be a magic breakthrough helmet. I can also say that the two most effective and simple solutions in terms of youth risk reduction - a) playing less tackle football (i.e. reduce practice hitting, more time between games, shorter seasons); b) having certified ATCs at every youth game and practice - seem to be the ones that don't get much discussion. Probably because the NFL is pushing Heads Up so hard, and anything the NFL pushes permeates the media atmosphere by default.

    Anyway, here's a link, hope to spur more discussion:

  12. JayFarrar

    JayFarrar Well-Known Member

    I don't think concussions or the fear of them is what's keeping kids away.

    Football is dying and more because the urban populations that you need to support the system are dwindling in terms of support for football and sports in general.

    While you'll always have outliers, multi-school, urban districts don't have the financial resources or the general support of the city to field winning programs because the best teams have always been about a) having a large pool of players to draw from, b) a district with a financial commitment to sports, c) generous booster clubs that pay for the extras and d) stable family homes for the school's best athletes that allow them to play sports.

    Concussions are the word of the day but football's problems are much larger.
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