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Junior high too early for tackle football?

November 20, 2012 - Burt Angeli
How soon should youngsters play tackle football?

Peter King of Sports Illustrated sides with a Slate magazine Web story that states “there are too many dangers in allowing young children whose brains are still in their formative stages to play tackle football.

“If I had a son, I would wait until he was 14 or 15 before allowing him to play tackle football.”

NFL head-trauma adviser Dr. Robert Cantu proposed banning tackle football until kids are 14.

Cantu said children have big heads relative to the rest of their bodies and weak necks, creating a 'bobblehead-doll effect' that elevates the risk of concussion.

They typically play in the oldest equipment, with the least educated coaches, and with little or no available medical care.

King noted, “Football wouldn't likely die if kids didn't play until they were in high school, or if only flag football were allowed at an earlier age.

Just a couple of weeks ago, I spoke with the man who might be the Offensive Rookie of the Year this season, Tampa Bay running back Doug Martin. He never played a football game 'til he got to high school.

“The point about the future of football that I think everyone should realize is this: All options are on the table.”

 
 

 

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