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Pro: Contact Sport Regulations

Michael Mantzouranis, Contributing Editor

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While the excitement and exhilaration brought about by intense sports is entertaining for students and fans, it should not be the number one priority in school athletic events. That spot belongs to the health and safety of the players.

Injuries to young athletes are a major problem that plague our society, with nearly 25 percent of Americans filing reports of having had at least one sports-related injury in their lifetime, according to NPR (National Public Radio). Luckily, in recent years, there have been regulations put in place that limit the possibility of serious injuries occurring in youth athletic events. While many bash the regulations for making the sport ‘soft’, it is these same regulations that keep the kids safe and protect their futures.

Concussions are a common, yet very serious type of brain injury in which an athlete suffers a blow to the head which causes trauma to the brain, according to WebMD. People can recover quite quickly from minor concussions through rest, some as soon as a couple hours after the injury.

However, it is the long-term effects of these injuries that should bring uneasiness to the young athletes and their parents. Concussions can have severe consequences for athletes later in life. According to Weill Cornell Medicine, victims of these injuries can eventually have a weakened short-term memory and loss of ability to perform basic tasks.

Sports regulations must be implemented to limit, and hopefully completely eradicate, the occurrence of concussions, as well as other serious injuries, in youth sports.

One of these possible regulations for youth level and high school sports consists of reducing the number of players on the football field at one time.  Only seven players from each team will be on the field at once, rather than the previous number of 11. In addition, the playing field will be reduced from 100 yards to 40 yards, players must rotate positions and players of equal stature should be matched up with one another. These changes can reduce the risk of concussions, since they lessen the possibility of major collisions between players that could lead to head trauma.

While these changes are drastic to America’s favorite pastime, they could be the factor that determines whether a player will have brain damage later in life or not. A continuation of the old rules can lead to kids eventually developing chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a “debilitating disease associated with head injuries,” according to CBS News. This same source provides information on past NFL players, stating that a study by Boston University confirmed that 87 out of 91 deceased former NFL players tested positive of CTE.

Junior Parker Shugars is an active athlete at RHS who has suffered from these damaging concussions in the past.

“I feel like there can be a lot of precautions that should be taken, especially with previously concussed athletes,” Shugars said. “There should be a set amount of time that an athlete should sit out after being diagnosed with a concussion.”

We are constantly persuading kids to try their best to make it as far as they can in their beloved sport, in football’s case being the NFL, but really, we are just leading them to their own demise.

 

To prevent these injuries from occurring, regulations must be put in place that limit, and hopefully one day eradicate, the possibility of receiving a concussion.

 

While sports are a great way to stay active and be competitive, they should not be played at the risk of serious head trauma. To prevent these injuries from occurring, regulations must be put in place that limit, and hopefully one day eradicate, the possibility of receiving a concussion. It may seem like overkill in the bold and risky minds of young individuals, but it is these regulations that will secure their well-being in the future.

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The Student News Site of Rockville High School
Pro: Contact Sport Regulations