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The New York Times has a story looking at the lack of oversight of football helmets.
-- Eric Sondheimer
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Football can be a great contact sport with reduction in injuries with just some rethinking of the rules for tackling and reinforcing good tackling techniques starting at the youth & high school level.
Just food for thought but consider Rugby, a sport I think no one would say is a sissy sport and which the number of tackles per match is actually much more than in football.
In Rugby, when you tackle, you can't leave your feet and fly into the ball carrier with your head or shoulder ; you must wrap-up the ball carrier when you take him down. So you don't have defenders flying in the air leading with their head/helmets or shoulders to make a tackle.
Another rule is that when a player is in the air about to catch the ball, you can't make a hit. Since Rugby isn't a forward pass sport harder to relate this one to football though. But still obviously something to consider at the youth & high school level to increases safety for the players. We'd just need to think about this rule to see if it could be applied to football and at what level(s).
Probably the one point I want to put out their is that the rule of "having to wrap-up and not tackle with a shoulder/head hit" both makes Rugby players very good football tacklers when they play both sports and is also just good football tackling technique. Would wrapping up decrease the chances of having concussive type hits to the head and fewer knee/leg related injuries in football? I can only guess but would say most like, yes.
So how do we keep the physicality we all love with football but decrease injuries to the players. I think that is what the topic is really about now.
I don't think that improved equipment is "the end-all answer" while it could obviously help, but having coaches/parents/officials make sure that kids learn and just as importantly "are rewarded" for learning good technique and then making great tackles on the field.
Just wanted to point out that making sure that our youth are Taught AND Rewarded for learning how to wrap-up while tackling is probably the most "doable" way to decrease injuries.
October 22, 2010 at 10:49 AM
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