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Youth and High School Football Safety

The National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research suggests the following four measures to reduce or prevent serious injury (concussion, traumatic brain injury, spinal paralysis) or death in football:

  • Continued emphasis by coaches and officials on enforcement of the 1976 rule change which prohibited initial contact with the head in blocking and tackling (spearing).
  • Continued research in helmet safety.
  • Improved medical care of the injured athlete.  
  • Improved coaching to teach the fundamentals of proper blocking and tackling which avoids helmet-to-helmet contact. Indeed, teaching proper tackling technique might solve as much as "half the [concussion] problem," according to Kevin Guskiewicz, an athletic trainer and researcher at the University of North Carolina Injury Prevention Center, chair of UNC's Department of Exercise and Sports Science, and a leading concussion expert. 

Updated June 12, 2014