ladies dr martens boots coaches say banning tackling in football won improve declining participation
Ervin said their league has had fewer players over recent years. He said part of the reason is fear of injury.
“But we obviously need to do as much as we possibly can to make the game as safe as we can and we have to change,” said Ervin.
But some groups across the country are proposing bans on tackling for kids under age 12. A team physician at the University of Iowa said that’s not the answer.
“I think that’s misguided. I think that in general, barriers to sport participation harm more kids than they help. I don’t think this should be legislated or codified. I don’t think we need rules on this. I think families should be able to make the decision on what’s right for their kids,
” said Dr. Andy Peterson with the University of Iowa.
Ervin said one change their league is working on is “flackle” football. It’s a transition year between their flag and tackle programs where kids tackle dummies in practice but use flags in games. He said kids who do flackle will have learned proper technique once they get to high school and college.
“What you’ll see is that the people who do get to the high school level or to the college level that didn’t have some of the training early on aren’t going to be as prepared,” said Ervin.
“Football is clearly a dangerous sport. We don’t have a good sense of how dangerous it is at the younger levels but the more we learn about that the better informed decisions we can make,” said Dr. Peterson.
Ervin said their league is teaching tackling techniques that don’t lead with the head. He said professional teams are doing the same thing to help prevent concussions.
Lawmakers in Illinois are pushing to keep children under 12 from playing tackle football. The Dave Duerson Act is named after Chicago Bears player killed himself in 2011. He had CTE,
the degenerative disease has been linked to repeated head trauma in football players. Lawmakers behind the bill argue the risks of playing football at a young age aren’t worth it.