Stop the Ban on Youth Tackle Football

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Patrick Kelley
Patrick Kelley signed this petition

The motive behind this is to prevent young athletes from sustaining long-term brain damage caused by repetitive tackling, hitting and blocking; however, no research has definitively linked long-term brain damage or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) to participation in youth tackle football.

Young athletes who are prevented from participating in youth tackle football programs are placed at a much greater risk for future injuries of all types; especially concussions, brain damage and CTE, as they would be prevented from years of training and instruction in proper tackling and blocking techniques that are provided at the youth level. Youth athletes are slower and smaller in weight & stature than their high school counterparts, which results in collisions and impact forces substantially less in youth tackle football then those associated with high school football. Youth athletes are therefore less likely to experience long-term brain injuries when participating in youth tackle football while learning and executing basic tackling and blocking techniques; however, as athletes progress into high school, the increased body mass and speed of high school athletes can result in collisions and impact forces which have the potential of injury on any given play, especially when the athlete does not have the benefit of years of prior training in the safe execution of these techniques.

Finally, the importance of organized youth football participation in the lives of our youth throughout Union County each year cannot be overlooked. Many youth athletes use football as a means to escape communities overwhelmed with poverty, crime, drug abuse and minimal family structure. The bonds built within youth football programs between players can last a lifetime and the mentoring relationship between players and coaches can ultimately assist players to rise beyond their environment to excel in society and life.  By denying youth athletes access to such positive influences during their most formative years of emotional and social development is more traumatic than any possible injury that they may suffer on the field of play.

Please join myself and youth athletes, coaches and parents throughout Union County in preventing the passage of this ban and keeping youth contact football an option for all youth athletes in our great town!