New U Of I Study Says Flag Football No Safer Than Tackle
I am a fan of football. I follow the sport very closely. I'm passionate about my teams. I'm also passionate about watching my son play. Chase has played tackle football since the 4th grade. Next year, he'll start 7th-grade junior high ball. Holly and I had a brief discussion about concussions and safety before he started playing. We attended informational meetings held by the league Chase played in and felt that he would be participating in as safe an environment as football could offer.
Some parents allow their kids to play flag football rather than tackle thinking that it will be safer. But a new study out of the University of Iowa has some different findings. The study found that injury rates in flag versus tackle football were NOT significantly lower, despite removing tackling from the game. That was also the case with severe injuries and concussions.
Now I'm not going to suggest that this should ease every parent's concerns. With each year Chase has moved up a grade level, the kids get bigger. So do the hits. As parents, Holly and I also have an exit strategy for Chase's football career too. If he ever suffers what doctors determine to be a significant concussion, he's done. I don't care if it's next year or his senior year of high school. It simply isn't worth it.
Do you allow your kids to play tackle football? If not, why?