Concussion Safety in Youth Football

Sioux Falls, S.D.- With the Super Bowl coming up this weekend and registration for youth football around the corner, parents in the Sioux Empire have a big decision coming up.

“The game is being coached today safer than it’s ever been in the history of the game of football,” says former South Dakota Junior Football League President Larry Leveranz.

Youth football registration is coming up and a lot of parents have said no to tackle football.

With growing concerns of concussions and CTE in the professional game today, the trickle down effect is making its way down through the younger levels of the game.

An alternative option to tackle football is flag football until a child is old and mature enough to make the transition; that transition however is not easy.

Leveranz, who is also a coach says head injuries can happen no matter what kind of football is played.

“Even though flag is a non-contact sport, those kind of injuries can happen there as well as they can happen on a tackle football field.  Now regardless of severity, but there’s as many head-related injuries from contact on the ground as there is contact with another player,” Leveranz tells us.

As older football players may hide the symptoms of concussions to get back on the field, sports science researches speculate concussion rates are lower in youth football than in older players because they are more straightforward with their symptoms.

“It may also be that they’re more honest with their symptoms and reporting when they still don’t feel well, still may have a headache whereas high school kids, collegiate athletes, professional athletes may be more likely to say they’re feeling better when they really aren’t,” says Sanford Sports Science Institute Associate Director Thayne Munce.

Leveranz says the coaching of the game has evolved to make tackle football safer.

“Our coaches know more today than they ever known.  We teach different techniques today than we’ve ever taught.  It’s a safer game to play.”

Registration for the 2018 fall season for the South Dakota Junior Football League will begin this weekend.

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