Football. It is one of the most American sports in this country and is basically a part of U.S culture. A short explanation of the sport is as follows. A team of guys, with heavily armored uniforms, perform plays that will hopefully end with the team getting the egg shaped ball into the end zone. Along the way they get ran into and tackled to the ground by the other team. Many people enjoy watching this dangerous sport and cheering on their favorite team. Children may think “I want to play that sport," but it is not a very safe sport for children to be playing.
It has already been mentioned that football is a very popular sport, but how popular is it? In the U.S there are almost 1.5 million children participating in the sport. Annually, there are an average of 248,642 injuries inflicted upon football players. The majority of those injuries are had by adolescents ages 13 to 17. The most common area of injury is the finger, followed by the head and shoulders. One may argue that these injuries are usually a only strain or a sprain and do not require hospitalization, but there is still a chance that they could result in permanent damage.
When you think about football injuries, one of the first things that come to mind is probably a concussion. High school students who play football are more likely to get a concussion than students in any other sport. Concussions may not seem very bad, however they can result in worse medical conditions. Studies have shown that concussions may play a role in the development of a disease by the name of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy, or CTE. The disease sparks a buildup of tao. Tao is an abnormal protein which is associated with the breakdown of brain tissue. This lack of brain tissue can result in other diseases such as Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease. It may be thought that hockey is just as dangerous as football, but hockey players take less hits to the head.
Academy of Pediatrics, or AAP, in short says that the rules of football should be enforced stronger, athletes should be taking more personal responsibility, more athletic trainers should be present at football games, and more non-tackling leagues should be created. Now, to break each of these down. First, the rules should be enforced stronger. Athletes and coaches alike would be more cautious about the game, and if a rule is broken multiple time would result in a player’s suspension from the current game. Next, athletes should be taking more personal responsibility. This ties a lot into the first statement with how players would be more cautious when playing the game. It gives the athlete more to focus on than just winning. After that is, more athletic trainers should be present at games. This is very self explanatory because if there are more athletic trainers, there will be more players helped immediately. Also, more hands would be helpful in case of serious injury. Finally, more non-tackle leagues should be created. Tackling is what causes just about every injury in football, so taking away that danger by making more non-tackle leagues would bring down the injury rate immensely. Non-tackle football may sound boring. However, my cousin is prone to head injuries, so he plays flag football. He loves everything about the sport and plays as often as he can.
There are so many sports for aspiring children to choose from besides football. The amount of sporting events held in the Olympics vary, but the average is around 30. Those 30 sports are just the tip of the iceberg. There are common sports like basketball, volleyball, and swimming, but there are also thousands of other sports that may be new to you. For example, have you ever tried extreme ironing or chess boxing. These sports may sound strange, but are considered real sports according to the “World Sports Encyclopedia” written in 2003 by Wojciech Lipoński. However, if a child is very passionate about football they are better off playing than being inactive and alone.
To make a long story short, tackle football should not exist among the youth or at least it should have more strict rules. There are very many injuries annually. Of those injuries are concussions, which can be very harmful. A few simple changes to the sport could make it more safe and more enjoyable. Besides football there are a huge amount of other sports to play. Anyways, no matter what you do, just make sure it is something that you enjoy and that makes you happy.