Reforming High School Football

May 3, 2010
by: kberg


 Every Friday night high schools across the country come out to support their football teams in a game full of excitement, school rivalries, skill, strategy, and of course injuries.  Every sport has their most common injury with volleyball its ankles, soccer ACL's, baseball shoulder injuries, but the worst of all is football with injuries to the brain.  Most injuries can be fixed with surgery or therapy, but when you critically injure your head there's not as much you can do. 

  More than 3 million kids play football at the youth level, and an additional 1.2 million suit up for their high school teams. So football's safety issues reverberate far beyond the NFL....High school football players alone suffer 43,000 to 67,000 concussions per year, though the true incidence is likely much higher, as more than 50% of concussed athletes are suspected of failing to report their symptoms.

The effects of concussions later in life are scary and if most athletes knew these effects they might be more inclined to report their symptoms even if it meant missing that big game on Friday night. 

A study commissioned by the NFL found that ex–pro players over age 50 were five times as likely as the national population to receive a memory-related-disease diagnosis. Players 30 to 49 were 19 times as likely to be debilitated.

With so many kids, teenagers, and adults playing this sport there has to be a way to protect these people from this injury.  Some solutions people have come up with are to change the rules, equipment and training, youth football and culture.  When people hear stories of the way athletes have been effected they see the need for change.  When 13-year old Zackery Lystedt played football in Washington with a concussion he collapsed immediately after the game.  His brain hemorrhaged, went into a monthlong coma and now is forever paralyzed on one side of his body.  Now because of his story that happened in 2006 there is the Lystedt Law. 

The law requires that all youth athletes suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury during a practice or game must sit out and may not return to play unless cleared by a licensed medical provider trained in concussion management.



Kberg, I totally agree with

Submitted by beenut on Mon, 2010-05-03 21:34.


I totally agree with your post, "Reforming High School Football," because the side effects of such a violent game is very evident. Don't get my wrong I love a good football matchup, but the way players insist on playing without consulting doctors is just scary. Our class has covered the brain in anatomy this year, and we even got to see the effects of brain injuries first hand in a video. The most common brain injury in football is a concussion. If gone unchecked, players can cause serious permanent damage. Coaches, players, and doctors need to be on the same page with these types of injury because on friday night game could ruin a young player's life forever.

Thank you for calling attention to the dangerous side of football, and I hope to read more of your posts in the future!


Kiersten,    I really

Submitted by isaacjl on Tue, 2010-05-04 00:58.


   I really appreciated this post. I think that sometime this sport gets a little too rough, and people could die. Like Bennet said, I love to watch a good game of football, but the way some of the athletes try to just destroy the opposing player is a little uncalled for in itself. Yeah, maybe some upgrades should be made to the gear, but some upgrades should also be made to the quality of play and sportmanship, because if every player went out on the field trying to hurt someone there would be a lot more concussions, and if every player went out there with the regard of the opposing player there would be far fewer injurie. Now I know some meathead out there is going to tell my I'm just a whimp and need to toughen up, but I think that everyone can agree that in general, football can be played more sportsmanlike.



P.S. oh, and just some FYI Kiersten, soccer isn't the best sport to play if you don't wnat concussions, its pretty bad too, right up there at the top

 Dear Kiersten,  I

Submitted by bfery on Tue, 2010-05-04 14:56.

 Dear Kiersten, 

I appreciated the statistics in your post about head trauma in football. I found it interesting because I have suffered three concussions myself. Concussions are difficult because there is no timeline for recovery. After my third concussion I noticed that many easy tasks became difficult, such as paying attention for short periods of time or even spelling some words. I'm glad that the Lystedt Law was put into place because I feel that if I was pressured into playing again during my recovery period I would have suffered much worse consequences.