By Ken Reed
A recent research article on high school football injuries in The American Journal of Sports Medicine concluded that sports-related concussions (SRC) dropped 57% after a Wisconsin high school rule limited contact during football practices.
The report also said the SRC rate during games was unchanged. This is important to note because some opponents to the reduction of contact in practices claim limited contact during practices will result in the incidence of concussions increasing during games because players wouldn’t be allowed to sufficiently practice proper blocking and tackling techniques. The study’s data doesn’t support that claim.
Moreover, the rule change limiting contact during practices didn’t put less experienced football players at greater risk of injury. So, presumably, the less-experienced players were able to adequately learn proper blocking and tackling techniques under the limited contact rules.
In summary, The Wisconsin Interscholastic Athletic Association (WIAA) implemented a rule before the 2014 football season to limit contact during football practices and the rule change dramatically dropped the number of concussions suffered by high school football players in that state.
Thus, while tackle football will always be a dangerous game for the human brain, this research indicates there are rule changes that can be implemented that cut the number of concussions in high school football.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
- "How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
- Ken Reed's Author Page on Amazon
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
A League of Fans Special Report