Over the past several weeks there has been a movement by a small handful of states, including Maryland, Illinois and California to ban tackle football for kids under 14 years old - or in other words, essentially ending tackle football until kids enter high school.
While there are many in favor of the bill for a variety of reasons, many argue that choice should be up to the parents to make, not put in the hands of lawmakers.
In the wake of that movement, a number of accomplished people in the areas of neuroscience, neuropsychology, and brain injury research banded together to put together an article in the Star Tribune. Their stance is that “A cause-and-effect relationship has not yet been demonstrated between [CTE] and sport-related concussions or exposure to contact sports. As such, the notion that repeated concussion or subconcussive impacts cause CTE remains unknown.”
The article asks that drastic changes to the football model currently in place be data-driven and after a careful and thoughtful risk-benefit analysis, and not be driven by emotion or politics.
The piece close by urging that more information is needed before an informed decision is made about banning sports, specifically funding from federal and private sources sources for sound studies, consistent and coordinated standards, and some aid from government of concussion research centers.
The full article is a great read for all coaches. Read the full piece here.