High school and college football are taken seriously in Texas, so when an East Texas town approved plans to shut down entry-level tackle football, objections were expected. The fact that the school board was able to make the switch from tackle football with virtually no opposition was such a shock to many that The New York Times even wrote an article about it.
The decision to make the change to flag football and suspend the tackling aspect of the game for younger kids was made in response to a growing awareness of just how dangerous repeated head injuries can be. Sports staff and schools that offer football programs have a responsibility to protect young people and to respond appropriately when a head injury occurs.
If school or coaching negligence causes head injuries to occur or exacerbates the risk of traumatic brain injuries, accident lawyers in Springfield, MO should be consulted. Tolbert Beadle & Musgrave LLC can help victims to pursue a claim for damages against those responsible for the harm resulting from brain injury.
Preventing Traumatic Brain Injury a Top Priority
Hits to the head have long been an unavoidable and under-reported part of playing football, but researchers are now focusing much more attention on the link between football and complications from head injuries. For example, recent research has indicated that players as young as seven years of age sustain hits to the head in tackle football that are comparable in magnitude to the blows absorbed by high school and adult players.
NFL players drew national attention to the long-term risks of repeated blows to the head with a lawsuit against the National Football League. Players indicated that many suffer from permanent brain damage and an increased risk of dementia and alleged that the league had hidden the risks.
Now that the risks are well known, participation in football among young people has declined. ESPN reported, for example, that participation in Pop Warner Football went down almost 10 percent between 2010 and 2012.
Pop Warner and other youth leagues are also spending millions to introduce certification programs for coaches to make sure that kids are taught proper techniques to reduce head injury risks. Some youth leagues are also bringing on medical professionals to provide care to young people who got hurt during a game and laws in all 50 states now require players to be taken out of a game if they may have a concussion.
As certification becomes the standard, schools and leagues that do not take these steps to protect players may find themselves considered negligent. This could result in the potential for increased liability.
Even teaching coaches about the risks, however, may not be enough to ensure that devastating brain injuries do not occur. Many more school districts and youth leagues are likely to follow the example of the Texas town that made the change to flag football, especially since after seeing that parents supported the effort to keep their kids safe.
Missouri accident victims should contact the offices of Tolbert Beadle & Musgrave LLC at 1-800-887-4030 or visit http://www.tbmlaw.com.